19th Thursday in Ordinary Time
Not only because of her close friendship with Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Clare is widely known. The fact that she founded an Order of Nuns was named after her has contributed to her renown. Popularity and fame, however, were the opposite of what she represents in the Church. Though she was born into a noble family, Clare chose the way of simplicity and poverty, being deeply impressed by the example of Saint Francis of Assisi who guided and supported her.
The monastery Church in which he arranged to settle her is located outside the city of Assisi. In keeping with the humility that Saint Clare made such a prominent role in her life it stands near the bottom of the high hill on which is found the great Church of Saint Francis. The monastery Church remains in use by a community that continues her way of life with fidelity. The choir stalls are impressive in their sturdy and tasteful simplicity. The grand Basilica of St. Francis. high above at the edge of the city reflects the glory and continuing influence of the Poor Man of Assisi. At the same time, the thirteen century also casts its influence through the monastic presence at Saint Clare’s simple yet strikingly attractive structure and contents. The place remains as a clear statement of faith and dedication to the glory of God.
As we offer this Eucharist here today we realize how the spirit of deep faith, so obvious in the lives of Saints Clare and Francis and in the Church of their age still has a role in our world today, It stands as an inspiration and a challenge to us to live with some share in the spirt of faith and total dedication that their lives witness to.