Posted by: frburke23 | August 10, 2017

Thought for Friday, August 11, 2017 (St. Clare)

Thought for Friday, August 11, 2017 (St. Clare)
 
(First in English, Spanish is below.)
 
MATTHEW 16:24-28
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?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
========================
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 Clare’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, because 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.
 
St. Clare and her sisters were faithful to the teaching in today’s Gospel. They were willing to take up the cross, deny themselves and closely follow Jesus in their poverty. They did not cling to anything of this world, but only to Christ. Many of us gain the whole world, but at what cost? “What profit would there be to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
 
What do I cling to in this world?
Do I practice self-denial daily through fasting and discipline?
Am I willing to carry the cross for Jesus?
 
St. Clare, pray for us.
 
Have a blessed day,
Fr. Burke
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Spanish translation:
 
Mateo 16:24-28
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “El que quiera venir conmigo, que renuncie a sí mismo, que tome su cruz y me siga. Pues el que quiera salvar su vida, la perderá; pero el que pierda su vida por mí, la encontrará. ¿De qué le sirve a uno ganar el mundo entero, si pierde su vida? ¿Y qué podrá dar uno a cambio para recobrarla?
 
Porque el Hijo del hombre ha de venir rodeado de la gloria de su Padre, en compañía de sus ángeles, y entonces dará a cada uno lo que merecen sus obras.
 
Yo les aseguro que algunos de los aquí presentes no morirán, sin haber visto primero llegar al Hijo del hombre como rey”.
===================
Hoy la Iglesia recuerda a Santa Clara de Asís (1194-1253). Nació en una familia adinerada y su padre quería que se casara con un hombre rico. Sin embargo, a la edad de 18 años, escuchó la predicación de San Francisco y decidió que el Señor la estaba llamando a ser una hermana religiosa. Su padre trató sin éxito de raptarla del convento, pero Santa Clara se sintió verdaderamente llamada a vivir una vida sencilla y austera como San Francisco.
Dos de las hermanas biológicas de Santa Clara, Inés y Beatriz, se entraron al convento con ella. Y eventualmente su madre se uniría más tarde a ellas también. Muchas otras mujeres se unieron a ella, así como se sintieron llamadas a ser pobres para Cristo. No llevaban zapatos, no comían carne, vivían en una casa pobre y guardaban silencio la mayor parte del tiempo. Ellas fueron conocidas por primera vez como las “Damas Pobres” debido a su estilo de vida radical. Esto era algo muy nuevo en el mundo. Hoy en día se les conoce como las Clarisas, viven una vida de pobreza, oración y trabajo duro.
Una poderosa historia sobre Santa Clara nos dice sobre un grupo de soldados que estaban atacando a la Ciudad de Asís. Su ataque iba a comenzar en el convento de Santa Clara. Ella estaba muy enferma, pero las hermanas la ayudaron a levantar el Santísimo Sacramento hasta la ventana y ella comenzó a orar por su protección. Los atacantes rápidamente dieron media vuelta y huyeron.
Santa Clara y sus hermanas siguieron de cerca las palabras del Evangelio de hoy. Ellas estaban dispuestas a tomar la cruz, negarse a sí mismas y seguir a Jesús de cerca en su pobreza. No se aferraron a nada de este mundo, sino sólo a Cristo. Muchos de nosotros ganamos el mundo entero, pero ¿a qué costo? “¿De qué le sirve a uno ganar el mundo entero, si pierde su vida?”
¿A qué me aferro en este mundo?
¿Practico la negación a diaria a través del ayuno y la disciplina?
¿Estoy dispuesto a llevar la cruz por Jesús?
Santa Clara, ¡Ruega por nosotros!
P. Burke
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