While both Clare and Francis left the world to pursue God insofar as they abandoned their status, wealth and security, never did they renounce the world for the sake of God. Rather, they realized that the created world was the world embraced by God; thus God could not be found apart from the world. The world, not the monastery, was the true cloister.
—from the book Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
✞ "To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them." — St. Thomas Aquinas
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "We trust ourselves to a doctor because we suppose he knows his business. He orders an operation which involves cutting away part of our body and we accept it. We are grateful to him and pay him a large fee because we judge he would not act as he does unless the remedy were necessary, and we must rely on his skill. Yet we are unwilling to treat God in the same way! It looks as if we do not trust His wisdom and are afraid He cannot do His job properly. We allow ourselves to be operated on by a man who may easily make a mistake—a mistake which may cost us our life—and protest when God sets to work on us. If we could see all He sees we would unhesitatingly wish all He wishes." — Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, p. 90 AN EXCERPT FROM Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
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Saint Clare of Assisi
Saint of the Day for August 11
(July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253)
One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-woman counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.
The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, Clare was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.
At 18, Clare escaped from her father's home one night, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed her long tresses to Francis' scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. Clare clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair, and remained adamant.
Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity, and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order. At age 21, Francis obliged Clare under obedience to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.
The Poor Ladies went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat, and observed almost complete silence. Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor: "Our bodies are not made of brass." The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade Clare to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness: "I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ."
Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of Clare's life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick and washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals, and bishops often came to consult her—Clare herself never left the walls of San Damiano.
Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. Clare was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.
A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. Clare had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens. "Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect." To her sisters she said, "Don't be afraid. Trust in Jesus." The Saracens fled.
The 41 years of Clare's religious life are scenarios of sanctity: an indomitable resolve to lead the simple, literal gospel life as Francis taught her; courageous resistance to the ever-present pressure to dilute the ideal; a passion for poverty and humility; an ardent life of prayer; and a generous concern for her sisters.
Saint Clare is the Patron Saint of:
Eye disorders Television
Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin
Reading 1 Dt 4:32-40
Moses said to the people: "Ask now of the days of old, before your time, ever since God created man upon the earth; ask from one end of the sky to the other: Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of? Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, all of which the LORD, your God, did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? All this you were allowed to see that you might know the LORD is God and there is no other. Out of the heavens he let you hear his voice to discipline you; on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard him speaking out of the fire. For love of your fathers he chose their descendants and personally led you out of Egypt by his great power, driving out of your way nations greater and mightier than you, so as to bring you in and to make their land your heritage, as it is today. This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 77:12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21 R. (12a) I remember the deeds of the Lord. I remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I remember your wonders of old. And I meditate on your works; your exploits I ponder. R. I remember the deeds of the Lord. O God, your way is holy; what great god is there like our God? You are the God who works wonders; among the peoples you have made known your power. R. I remember the deeds of the Lord. With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. You led your people like a flock under the care of Moses and Aaron. R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.
Alleluia Mt 5:10 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 16:24-28
Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."
All this you were allowed to see. (Deuteronomy 4:35)
The Hebrews whom Moses led out of Egypt saw spectacles we can only imagine: plagues, pillars of cloud and fire, and a sea that parted before them and closed on Pharaoh's army. Just recounting all the miracles and signs and wonders surrounding the Exodus can make us tired. Surely God could have just picked up his people and transported them directly to the Promised Land instead! But he didn't. He chose to lead them by signs and wonders so that they would know that the Lord is God—and there is no other.
Likewise, God wants to give us signs and wonders to help convince us that he is the one and only God. His signs are all around us. Brilliant sunsets and billowing clouds, towering peaks and rushing streams, daily proclaim his glory. The vast variety of plants and animals on our planet declares his infinite beauty and creativity—and, in some cases, his sense of humor. The slow erosion of mountains and the movement of glaciers show his limitless patience, while gales and blizzards tell of his vast power.
God's signs and wonders aren't just visible around you; they are within you as well. Pillars of fire may be rare, but the Holy Spirit might "light up" a Scripture verse to help you understand God's mind a little better. Or you might read the story of a saint and gain a new appreciation for another way that God has worked in the world. Or God might give you the grace to cross "seas" of discouragement or fear so that you can emerge stronger and closer to him.
God is always sending you signs that he is alive and present. It just takes practice to recognize them. One way to start is with praise—maybe praising him for the glory of a glowing sunrise or the pleasure of a cooling breeze on a hot day. Look for the ways he has helped you forgive someone or has given you a sense of how much he loves you. If you open your eyes today, you can be confident that you'll see the glory of God.
"Lord, open my eyes so that I can see your power at work in my life today."
Psalm 77:12-16, 21 Matthew 16:24-28
It is recommended to better grasp the Spirit of the Lord in the following, to have read all of the above scriptures and reflections in peace, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart.
In today's first Holy Scripture, the Word said "This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other. You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today, hat you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever." The "promised land" was never some piece of dirt, it was being with God....FOREVER.
In the Holy Psalms we prayed today "I remember the deeds of the Lord. I remember the deeds of the LORD". Pause. To remember means what? Just to read about it every once in a while? No. To remember means to always have it at the forefront of your mind...your very life. Continue: "Yes, I remember your wonders of old. And I meditate on your works; your exploits I ponder." And we ponder and fall into wonder, which spiritually speaking, to be in the state of awe, amazement, a state of wonder with eyes wide open at the grandeur of God our Lord.
In comes the Lord of our lives, our Savior: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." In our society, there is this mentality that aims to preserve your life, eat healthier foods, which is fine, but that's all they do to preserve their lives. This is not the promised land. This is not the life we are supposed to try to save. The life the Lord is speaking about is our souls, that which lives forever, our true lives which inhabits this physical body. The words of Christ, the Messiah are heavy, and if taken lightly, can be deadly. These words are words of everlasting life, because they come from the Life itself, Jesus. Take up your cross. What does this mean? It means to take up the Way and the Truth, and the Life. His Way, His Truth, and His Life.
A spanish reflection said today (I'll translate): "If Jesus invites you to go with him it is because he will be with you to help you. He listens to you and understands when you talk about your difficulties, misunderstandings and fears. But He also accompanies you through many people nearby who help you carry or make things more bearable. Put faces to these people. Place them before God and thank Him for each one of them." Before the atrocities of our world, and so "little time" and such stress, people wonder why it is so. It is because there is so "little time" for the Lord. You reap what you sow.
And so we wonder: • why we don't got enough money? Because we left behind the cross. • why don't we got enough time? Because we forgot the cross. • why don't I have a true love of God? Because we did not choose the cross.
The cross is weight, and we want things easy, in convenience so we drop the weight, leave it behind. The cross makes us fit...for the Kingdom, but few bodies are fit. This is why the Lord says the gate is narrow, and that many will cry LORD LORD at the gates of Heaven. Just because you call Him Lord doesn't mean He is Lord of your life! Let's take a simple example of one who took up their cross and followed the Lord; the Blessed Mother, our Mother Mary. She followed Christ until the end, and "until" in the bible does not mean things ever changed. She still follows the Lord in Heaven. Now THAT is true love of Jesus, GOD, and the cross