St. Clare of Assisi
Your Selfie Picture
Your Selfie Picture
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Matthew 16: 24-26
Today is the feast of St. Clare of Assisi. She was born to a wealthy family and embraced the Franciscan ideal of radical poverty, chastity and trust in God’s providence. She and her sisters’ main spiritual focus is to imitate Christ through a life of poverty. Their heart burned with a great desire to imitate Jesus. Like him, she wanted to live a poor, humble life for Jesus. She wanted her selfie picture to be filled with pixel (small little dots are what make up the images on computer displays, whether they are flat-screen ...) of Christ. “Clare, like Francis, did not choose poverty for philosophical reasons, nor for practical ones, as a choice making her life more productive or efficient. And neither of them speak about this poverty as a response to the affluence of Church or society in their day, though it was undoubtedly seen by others in that way. The focus of their attention was God’s overwhelming generosity and love, expressed in the free choice of the Son to embrace poverty in becoming a creature. The two disciples from Assisi embraced poverty because it was embraced by their Beloved.” (William J. Short, OFM, Poverty and Joy: The Franciscan Tradition) During his general audience on Sept. 15, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave a catechetical address on Christian culture in the Middle Ages. He quoted one of four letters that Clare sent to St. Agnes of Prague, the daughter of the king of Bohemia who wished to follow in her footsteps, Clare speaks of Christ, her beloved spouse, in nuptial terms, which might seem disconcerting at first, but which are very moving: “Loving him, you are chaste; touching him, you will be more pure; letting yourself be possessed by him, you are virgin. His power is stronger, his generosity loftier, his appearance more beautiful, his love gentler and all grace finer. Now you are enfolded in his arms, he who has adorned your breast with precious stones ... and has crowned you with a crown of gold marked with the sign of sanctity” (Lettera prima: FF, 2862). Having the revelation of Christ is not enough, we must be a reflection of Christ for people to see. Honestly, wherever you are today, if people look at you, do they see Christ in you?
If you take a selfie of yourself, do you see the characteristics (or the pixels) of Christ?
“Place your mind before the mirror [Christ] of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation.” -St. Clare of Assisi
St. Clare Prayer
It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.
I am secure in the Lord.
I can look out, now, through the Lord’s eyes.
I can see the world as He created it, in His mercy,
I can see my sisters and brothers with His love,
and I can worship the Father through the eyes of the Son
in the Love of the Holy Spirit.
Blessing of St. Clare
May Almighty God bless you.
May He look 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.
Happy Feast Day you all!
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent Vuong Nguyen
Sent by Fr. Vincent Nguyen on Friday, August 11 at 6:33AM