Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Saint Clare

Clare’s father was a count, her mother the countess Blessed Orsolana. Her father died when the girl was very young. After hearing Saint Francis of Assisi preach in the streets, Clare confided to him her desire to live for God, and the two became close friends. On Palm Sunday in 1212, her bishop presented Clare with a palm, which she apparently took as a sign. With her cousin Pacifica, Clare ran away from her mother’s palace during the night to enter religious life. She eventually took the veil from Saint Francis at the Church of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi, Italy.
Clare founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) at San Damiano, and led it for 40 years. Everywhere the Franciscans established themselves throughout Europe, there also went the Poor Clares, depending solely on alms, forced to have complete faith on God to provide through people; this lack of land-based revenues was a new idea at the time. Clare’s mother and sisters later joined the order, and there are still thousands of members living lives of silence and prayer.
Clare loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, chivalrous, and every day she meditated on the Passion of Jesus. She would get up late at night to tuck in her sisters who’d kicked off their blankets. When she learned of the Franciscan martyrs in Morrocco in 1221, she tried to go there to give her own life for God, but was restrained.

Once when her convent was about to be attacked, she displayed the Sacrament in a monstrace at the convent gates, and prayed before it; the attackers left, the house was saved, and the image of her holding a monstrance became one of her emblems. Her patronage of eyes and against their problems may have developed from her name which has overtones from clearness, brightness, brilliance - like healthy eyes.
Toward the end of her life, when she was too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would display on the wall of her cell; thus her patronage of television. She was ever the close friend and spiritual student of Francis, who apparently led her soul into the light at her death. During her life and after her death there was disagreement at intervals between the Poor Clares and the Brothers Minor as to their correct relations. The nuns maintained that the friars were under obligation to serve their needs in things both spiritual and temporal. When in 1230 Pope Gregory IX forbade the friars to visit the convents of the nuns without special license, Clare feared the edict might lead to a complete severing of the ties established by Francis. She thereupon dismissed every man attached to her convent, those who served their material needs as well as those who served them spiritually; if she could not have the one, she would not have the other. The Pope wisely referred the matter to the minister general of the Brothers Minor to adjust. After long years of sickness borne with sublime patience, Clare's life neared its end in the summer of 1253.
Pope Innocent IV came to Assisi to give her absolution, remarking, "Would to God I had so little need of it!" To her nuns she said, "Praise the Lord, beloved daughters, for on this most blessed day both Jesus Christ and his vicar have deigned to visit me." Prelates and cardinals gathered round, and many people were convinced that the dying woman was truly a saint. Her sister Agnes was with her, as well as three of the early companions of Francis-Leo, Angelo, and Juniper. They read aloud the Passion according to St. John, as they had read it at the death-bed of Francis twenty-seven years before. Someone exhorted Clare to patience and she replied, "Dear brother, ever since through His servant Francis I have known the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have never in my whole life found any pain or sickness that could trouble me." To herself she was heard to say, "Go forth without fear, Christian soul, for you have a good guide for your journey. Go forth without fear, for He that created you has sanctified you, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother." READ MORE

...fiore di San Francesco...rosa purpurea...CHIARA 

...oggi le campane suonavano all'impazzata...segno di si sente che sotto c'è un motorino...ah, direte voi, la solita criticona, ora di Assisi manco le campane le vanno più bene!...Beh ho vissuto a Jork in Inghilterra dove la tradizione dei campanari è, forse, secolare e le campane...ah come sono suonate bene! Qui se è festa le suonano tutte e fanno una specie di cacofonia che, meno elegantemente, chiamerei casino....comunque...
La festa di Chiara, presto, presto mentre annaffiavo le mie piantine, il roseto che "il vicino assassino" mi ha potato così malamente che non spero più che dia rose... pensavo a cosa vuole dire morire l'11 penso così spesso alla morte che mi sono trovata a pensare: "Buon giorno per morire a san Damiano..." le finistrine aperte, le sorelle amate attorno, i pochi fratelli fedelissimi e....tutto quello che pochi vedevano: gli camerone sulla chiesina forse non era umido e freddo e dala finistrina veniva di certo il profumo di erbe e fiori....quel saluto estremo così semplice...

Va’ sicura anima mia, perché colui che ti ha amata, ti ha santificata, e sempre guardandoti come una madre il suo figlio piccolino, ti ha amata con tenero amore. E tu Signore sii benedetto che mi hai creata”.

C'è modo migliore per morire?!? Non credo, in queste semplici parole annegano tutte le teologie, tutti i pensieri, tutte le pomposità...vorrei morire così, vorrei sentire nel mio cuore queste parole e poi andarmene felice, vorrei vedere il cielo su di me...e andarmene a Casa...là dove aspettare la mia rosa ne andrò prima io...Lei, Chiara, era attesa dalla Sua di Rose Purpuree coperte di rugiada divina e immersa nella luce...poi ci hanno scritto le agiografie, poi ci hanno disquisito se si ascolta solo l'intelligenza del cuore si sente solo amore, Amore, AMORE, AMORE nient'altro che quello, per sempre!