Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Louise Hembrecht begins a monthly Franciscan reflection first focusing on the first follower of St. Francis, St. Clare of Assisi.
As we celebrate the Feast of St. Clare this month, we have an opportunity to consider the influence of her life and example on our own Franciscan response to given witness to Jesus. Though comparisons are odious, they are also quite natural so here goes. Clare lived in the 13th century, we live in the 21st. She responded to God’s call to her through Francis by living her life in the cloister, separated from, yet involved in both the Church and the world. The five Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity live a very active life of service wherever we are missioned (in this case West Point, Nebraska) in the midst of the busyness of the world around us.
Though expressed differently, Clare responded to God’s presence in both the Church and the world. We are called to do the same. Perhaps, we can sum up Clare’s response by considering the role the Eucharist had in life. When her convent was attacked, she sought the presence and protection of the Eucharist. Looking to the Eucharist came naturally to her. Today, the Church calls us to deepen our response to Jesus in the Eucharist in both the celebration of the Mass and in Adoration.
Each day, we seek to live the Gospel as Francis did, as Clare did. We seek to give witness to Jesus present in the world, the Church, in our lives. Perhaps, as we deepen our love for the Eucharist, we can do so a little more completely, a little more perfectly. In doing so, we will not just be admiring St. Clare, we will be imitating her. God calls. We invite.