Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Life of St. Francis of Assisi and Poor Clare Spirituality



On October 4th we will celebrate the Solemnity of our Holy Father St. Francis.  In order to prepare for this great celebration, during these next few weeks I would like to share a series of reflections on his life, written by one of our novitiate Sisters. The purpose of this study is to introduce the reader to our Poor Clare Spirituality through the lens of the edifying life of our holy founder, Saint Francis of Assisi. 


 

Part One:  
The Youthful Romance


The Garden of Delight
    From earliest youth Francis was a man of dreams and vigor.  He was extravagant, generous, jovial, and ambitious.  For him life was joyful and filled with potential and wonder.  His hope was to do great things with his life and to experience fully the delights it held.  This led him to devote himself to the foolish and vain pursuits the world offered, but it also opened his heart to supreme self-emptying and utter dedication.
***
    For one who has opened her eyes upon the Light of God’s Face, the first task is to welcome the gift of existence.  God the Radiant and Perfect Good exists, the created world truly exists, and she herself has been given the gift of existence.  She must conceive the fundamental realization that life has been given to her for a purpose, and that purpose is good. 

   Like Saint Francis, those who inherit his legacy must experience the fire of life.  The invitation to self-gift presupposes the value of one’s own being and the concept of the goodness of the Other.  Francis’ extravagant youth was his touchstone with reality.  His perception of earthly delights and his ambition to fight for the romance life held was the preparation for his encounter with the Divine Benefactor.  Aglow with the full view of the day, a Poor Clare waits eagerly for this same encounter.

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