to wealth in Assisi, Italy,
I understand that you had a special affection for
Insisting that you marry, your parents found a noble
prospect, but you fled your home
rather than be wed, for you wanted to give your
life only to God. You then found protection in the
of the Order of Friars, recently established by
the godly Francis in your city.
by your sister, and then by other holy women intent
on living an austere religious life, you established
a group known as the “Poor Ladies.”
I know that You resisted attempts by several successive
popes to impose on your sisters any requirement
which would diminish
the Order’s radical commitment
to extreme corporate poverty.
after your death, in 1263,
the order renamed itself the “Poor Clares”
in your honor.
to you now, today, Poor Clare,
for poverty of spirit, and for disengagement
from physical things, especially as they come in
any way between me and my religious life, or me
and Our Lord God Redeemer.
eyes to see through materialistic scrims and distractions
of the physical world to the substantive and enduring
treasures of the heavens beyond this earth.
Help me always to remember that,
“All this will pass away,”
and only our merits and our good deeds
will remain to us when we appear before
the court of Our Maker.
me, Poor Clare, I beg you, for you are rich indeed
in the treasures of heaven
and abundantly graced in the sight
of Our Divine Lord.
(c) 2012 Donn B. Murphy
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