Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 11th August 2021
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.” ― St. Clare of Assisi “
Today, the Church remembers Clare of Assisi one of the first followers of St Francis. Clare was born into a rich family in Assisi, her faith was encouraged by her deeply religious mother. As a teenager, she was so profoundly moved when she heard Francis preach that she asked him to help her to follow his teaching. After spending some time in an existing convent, with the help of Francis, Clare and her sister Agnes founded a new order for women the “Poor Ladies of San Damiano”. Here they lived a simple life of poverty, austerity and seclusion from the world. The order, now known as the Poor Clares, spread around the world and still follows the Rule written by Clare. The first rule written by a woman which obtained papal approval. A remarkable feat for her time.
Clare’s humble and deeply authentic devotion to Jesus was recognised in a time where women were often treated as spiritually inferior beings. Her commitment to a life of poverty, silence, seclusion, and compassionate service for her fellow sisters makes her a co-founder of the Franciscan movement along with Francis. As such, Clare’s life continues to speak to all of us today. She inspires us to embrace simplicity, singleness of purpose and unity within our families and communities into the complexity of our 21st-century lives. Encouraging us to value the simple things in life, an open flower, a homemade card, laughter on the face of a child, freshly baked bread.
Clare’s legacy for our Mothers’ Union branches, is her total commitment to Jesus as the only way to discover how to love others as he loves us. Even as an enclosed order the Poor Clares are able to have a positive effect on their local communities. They don’t travel around the globe to undertake their ministry. They work in their own local areas for the good of all. Acknowledging that each person is made and loved by God. Calling us to be the means by which God’s love becomes visible in our families and local communities. Something we can achieve by undertaking the ordinary things of life whilst walking in the presence of our Loving Lord.
With all my love and prayers