Clare of Assisi died on August 11, 1253 at 60 years of age. We celebrate her life this week-end. She is an intriguing person. Born into the noble class she chose a different course of life than her birthright. Clare wanted to be poor. She greatly desired to have nothing so that she could rely entirely on the divine in her life. She left her home at a very young age against anguished opposition and entered a monastery. Her focus was to live in imitation of Jesus Christ. Perhaps to our 21st century sensibilities something seems off with this course of life. Yet in the middle ages in the midst of war and violence Clare realized that wealth did not bring her greatest desire: deeper union with God.
There isn’t anything wrong with money or even wealth. The question is the place it has in our life. Is it our God? Does it bring security or fear? Do we hold on to it or share? For many in our world poverty is a given because of circumstances, war, greed, inequality, prejudice, etc. There isn’t anything romantic about physical poverty. Everyone needs care for their basic needs. Yet, for many in our world the question persists: What really is our treasure? For what or whom do we give our lives?
In the Christian scriptures (Luke 12:32-48) Jesus says, “Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an exhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
There are times we forget what is most important in our lives–pressure, fatigue, stress, concerns–are contributing factors. When we are able to step back and reflect, we open ourselves for rearranged energy to see our treasure more clearly– and where that treasure is so also will be our heart.
What do you treasure most in life? Where is your heart?
Our invitation is to embrace the treasure.
Please note: A Women’s Spirituality Morning of Reflection will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at St. Joseph Center in Milwaukee (Motherhouse of the School Sisters of St. Francis) The title of the day is Clare of Assisi: A Woman for All Ages. I will have the privilege of sharing on Clare’s life and suggest connections for us today. For a brochure containing further information and registration, visit: http://www.sssf.org/SSSF-File-Pile/morning_of_reflection13.pdf or ask for a brochure through this blog’s comment section to receive a brochure through e-mail. Registrations required by October 8, 2013.
Blessings and peace