Posted by: frburke23 | August 11, 2014

Thought for Monday, August 11 (St. Clare of Assisi)

Matthew 17:22-27

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
“Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him,
“Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you.”

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Today the Church remembers St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253).  She was born into a wealthy family and her father wanted her to marry a wealthy man.  However, at the age of 18, she heard the preaching of St. Francis and decided that the Lord was calling her to be a religious sister.  Her father unsuccessfully tried to abduct her from the convent, but Clare truly felt called to live a simple and austere life like St. Francis.

Two of Clair’s biological sisters, Agnes and Beatrix, joined her in the convent.  And eventually their mother would join them as well.  Many other women joined her as well as they felt called to be poor for Christ.  They wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house and kept silent most of the time.  They were first known as the “Poor Ladies” because of their radical lifestyle.  This was something very new to the world.  Today they are known as the Poor Clares as they live a life of poverty, prayer and hard work.

One powerful story about St. Clare tells of a group of soldiers who were attacking Assisi.  Their attack was going to begin at Clare’s convent.   She was very sick, but the sisters helped her raise the Blessed Sacrament up to the window and she began to pray for their protection.  The attackers quickly turned around and fled.

In the Gospel for today, the disciples were overwhelmed with grief when Jesus told them He was going to be killed and raised on the third day.  They didn’t place their complete faith in Jesus.  We also struggle with our faith at times.  St. Clare is a great example of someone who placed her faith in Jesus.  She trusted Him for everything.  Do I trust Jesus to provide for my every need?

Clare, pray for us.

Have a blessed day,

Fr. Burke


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