Saturday, August 11, 2007

St. Clare

Today is the feast of my patron, St. Clare. While I am devoted to her in some way, her feastday reminds me that I need to cultivate a deeper devotion. I have a very deep devotion to my patron from Confirmation, St. Therese of Lisieux. This devotion is very long-standing... I've loved her for as long as I can remember. But sometimes I forget my other patrons who have also been such a help to me, and who I could learn so much from. And so I resolve to cultivate a deeper devotion to St. Clare.

I did always think the fact that she is my name patron very appropriate. I'm at the age when a young girl is constantly discerning in terms of her vocation, but has received no clear indications of what path she should trod, and so remains open to whatever God wills despite an utter ignorance of it. But, if I were to become a nun, I've always been interested in the Poor Clares. Their enclosed life of poverty and prayer has always appealed, for lack of a better word, to me.

If it did turn out that I took that path, I'm sure I'd have many people laughing and saying: "Aha! You must have chosen them because of your name!" I get told that occasionally with just the mentioning of a possibility, and it irks me to no end. Of course, I'd probably have to go into lengthy explanations of why a nun at all.

Why is it that one always has to make excuses for being a nun, while if you get married it's always all fine and dandy? St. Clare herself was given a lot of trouble from people who adopted this mentality.

If I do become a nun, I'll say many prayers for an increase of religious sisters (I will in the meantime, too). If I'm married, I'll always encourage my daughters to become nuns if God wills, tell them about what an honour it is, and never indicate that it's a shame or a sorrow in any way (especially not if my biggest excuse is that I want grandkids... not that there's anything wrong with that, but we have to be like St. Therese's father and be willing to sacrifice our desires for God).

I'm tired of hearing sad tales from girls whose parents don't approve of nuns and won't permit it. I'm tired of hearing of parents that think nuns are wonderful but "not for my daughter," regardless of what God might think. I'm tired of hearing of parents that think nuns are wonderful and definitely for their daughter, but the daughter is scared away from it by the feelings of aversion society in general has towards the calling.

St. Clare is the perfect one to intercede to for this cause... after all, she did suffer on account of it, and if it hadn't been for her determination to serve God and His help, she would have been dragged home, and who knows what would have become of the Poor Clares.

So, for all those who scorn the religious life, for all those who let their own selfish desires get in the way of God's will (that includes me on many occasions), and for those girls who feel called to the religious life but are afraid of the condemnation or at least rude questions of those around them, St. Clare pray for us, that God will give us the grace to be willing to sacrifice everything for His sake.

1 comment:

Alice Gunther said...

You are lovely. What a beautiful post.