Love, In the Letters of St. Clare
We often speak of St. Francis’ conversion experience before the San Damiano crucifix. St. Clare actually spent 42 years in prayer before that same crucifix, noticing and absorbing every detail, until it became a kind of mirror of love for her. In the four letters we have from her to Agnes of Prague, the word caritas (love) appears many times. Here are two examples:
The Third Letter to Agnes of Prague (1238)
Indeed, it is now clear that the soul of the faithful person, the most worthy of all creatures because of the grace of God, is greater than heaven itself, since the heavens and the rest of creation cannot contain their Creator; only a faithful soul is His dwelling place and throne, and this only through the charity that the wicked lack. (v. 21-22)
The Fourth Letter to Agnes of Prague (1253)
in that mirror,
and inexpressible charity shine forth as,
with the grace of God,
you will be able to contemplate them throughout the entire mirror. (v. 18)
Images teach us a lot - about love, or about other things. What we watch actually forms us. What images do you watch during the day? How do they shape who you are? What is a mirror of love for you?
To read all four of St. Clare's letters to St. Agnes, just visit this page on our fraternity website.
Donna Foley, OFS
Minister - San Luis Rey Fraternity
Secular Franciscan Order
Old Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92057
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