Clare was greatly influenced by St. Francis of Assisi.
He, of course, lived a life of great poverty and simplicity. He wanted to own nothing. He was, indeed, a prophet for his time and for all time.
Clare, like Francis, also wanted her Order to own nothing. During her own lifetime there were attempts to modify the rule because of its radical stance on poverty. She resisted these attempts.
Her Order was a contemplative Order. This means that the sisters were committed to prayer and work within the convent. They are now known as the Poor Clares.
It was the example of St. Francis that motivated St. Clare. She heard him preach and left a very privileged life in a noble family, to commit herself to this form of religious life.
Keeping in mind Pope Francis’ letter of ‘Laudato Si’, both Francis and Clare are prophets for out times.
We care called in our own times, when materialism and the deification of comfort and an easy life are so widespread, to stop and reflect. All Christians are called to share in the prophetic ministry of Jesus.
Obviously, we are not all called to the radical poverty of Francis and Clare. However, we can all learn from them and reflect about how free and unencumbered by excess baggage we are.
Do I just consume because I can?
Do I just throw away things instead of fixing them?
How wisely do we use sources of energy, e.g. air-conditioners, other use of power, fuel, etc?
Do I have a sense of care for the environment?
How is my prayer life going?
How balanced and wise am I in my pursuit of pleasure?
Do I choose what is good, or just what is easy?
Am I prepared to ensure that products I buy are ethically procured?
St. Clare and St. Francis both had clarity about their priorities. That is whey we still remember them so fondly now.
They are both beacons of light for all time.