My Thoughts on 11/08/2021

Today we celebrate the feast of St Clare of Assisi.

When I was in Assisi I visited the Church of San Damiano on the outskirts of the town where Clare set up her convent. Upstairs I was shown the old dormitory which was large empty room over the cloister and was shown the spot where Clare died. I realised that the sisters slept together and didn’t have their own little cells, such was their willingness to live a life of poverty and community. These first nuns really did live a simple life of great poverty, austerity and complete seclusion from the world. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat and inserted almost complete silence.

Ecclesiastical authorities tried to regulate them but Clare clung to her conviction that their first calling was to poverty and that their needed to go out to beg. She wrote her own rule that was accepted by Pope Innocent IV two days before her death.

We need to ask St Clare today to help us to lead a simple life that embraces gospel poverty.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest