DAY SIX – AUGUST 7
The Prayer of Saint Clare of Assisi
“ What a great laudable exchange: to leave the things of time for those of eternity,
to choose the things of heaven for the goods of earth, to receive the hundred-fold in place of one,
and to possess a blessed and eternal life.
Because of this I have resolved, as best I can, to beg Your excellency and Your holiness by my humble prayers in the mercy of Christ, to be strengthened in His holy service, and to progress from good to better, from virtue to virtue, so that He Whom You serve with the total desire of Your soul may bestow on You the reward for which You long.” ( Saint Clare)
I pray you, O most gentle Jesus, having redeemed me by baptism from original sin, so now by your Precious Blood, which is offered and received throughout the world, deliver me from all evils, past, present and to come.
By your most cruel death give me lively faith, a firm hope perfect charity, so that I may love you with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. Make me firm and steadfast in good works and grant me perseverance in your service so that I may be able to please you always. Amen.
Saint Clare – a Life of Praise
“The contemplative experience of Francis and Clare sprang from the incredible discovery of God’s love, …” (this is the beginning sentence of Art 4.1 in the Order of Nuns of St. Clare) but just taking even part of this sentence gives us such a clear look at Franciscan contemplation and prayer. Not a life of prayer for prayer’s sake, but a prayer like the Blessed Mother’s Magnificat that overflows from becoming aware of how good God is.
So that an ordinary walk in the garden becomes an ecstasy of delight as each little blossom shouts out how wonderful God is. A pause at the window fills one with joy as white puffy clouds sail along like ships across the sky. Did Francis and Clare lead a somber life of poverty? Poverty from what? Gold and silver and fancy clothes, yes….but surely not poverty from the glory God constantly surrounded them with. Saint Clare used to counsel her sisters as they were to leave on a begging trip – to fill their hearts with praise at the beauty of a single flower.
We need to do this too, to let our contemplation become one of awe-filled praise and worship. To focus not on our lacks or even our needs but rather instead to look about us and see with new eyes the great beauty that God sets before us.
Prayer to Saint Clare of Assisi
O seraphic Saint Clare, first woman to become a disciple of the Poor Man of Assisi, you left riches and honors for a life of sacrifice and extreme poverty, obtain for us from God, we implore you, the favor we seek (mention your intention); and may we always humbly accept whatever He wills for us, completely confiding in the loving providence of our Heavenly Father.
O Seraphic Saint Clare, who, although living apart from the world, did not forget the poor and afflicted, but showed a motherly solicitude for them by sacrificing your own wealth and working many miracles in their behalf, obtain for us from God, we implore you, the favor we seek, (mention your intention); and may we also, as becomes true followers of Christ, charitably help our brothers and sisters in all their necessities, whether of soul or body.
and devastated by barbarians, obtain for us from God, we implore you, the favor we seek, (mention your intention); and may we with His help overcome the snares of a world having neither faith nor morals, maintaining in our homes true Christian peace, together with a salutary fear of God and a true devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.
The Blessing of Saint Clare of Assisi
May Almighty God bless You!
May He look with kindness upon you with the eyes of his mercy,
and give you his peace –
May he pour forth his graces on you abundantly and in heaven –
may He place you among his saints.