Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Beacon of Hope
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Today is the Feast of St. Clare of Assisi. When I stayed for a month with some Franciscan Sisters a couple of years ago when I was discerning, I remember a very powerful image they had of St. Clare in their gardens. She was standing guard with the Eucharist, kind of trailblazing in a way (and she wasn't too creepy for me as far as statues go because she was a little smaller in statue stature ;)
St. Clare is often showed holding the Eucharist for this reason:
"An army of rough soldiers came to attack Assisi and they planned to raid the convent first. Although very sick, St. Clare had herself carried to the wall and right there, where the enemies could see it, she had the Blessed Sacrament placed. Then on her knees, she begged God to save the Sisters." (from Catholic Online)
I started praying to St. Clare back in college when my spiritual director at the time gave me a prayer for healing with St. Clare as the intercessor. Man, did I learn then the powerfulness of this saint! St. Clare doesn't mess around. She may have been one of St. Francis' quiet followers, but you HAVE to be a rebellious revolutionary to do what she did. So she comes through in intercession for sure!
Speaking of revolution and the Eucharist...in reading my "Five Loaves and Two Fish" which I am doing daily by Cardinal Van Thuan, I was appropriately reading his chapter on the Eucharist.
The man performed daily Mass and had adoration with fellow Catholic prisoners in a jail cell for years. When I was reading about how they would put the consecrated host in a cigarette box to keep Jesus' presence amid them as a tabernacle....WHAT!? How crazy beautiful is that??
And then it got me thinking about how we take the Eucharist and Christ's Presence in it totally for granted. Cardinal and the lay faithful in his cell knew the power and presence of Christ among them in the Eucharist. The Eucharist IS Jesus' way of being present among us now...but yet we don't even genuflect when we go into a Church.
It also got me thinking about how Jesus is all around us and how we should treat everything around us with reverence and Christ's presence like we do with the Eucharist. Christ's presence in the Eucharist brings me so much peace. And so what if we envisioned that peace in the Eucharist all around us- His Presence all around?
It's like St. Clare, blazing the way holding a monstrance- the peace that was then there present in Christ amid the chaos of war and destruction. What if we imagined Christ's presence like that? How much more peaceful would we be?
Here is the prayer I mentioned for healing to St. Clare- we all need a little healing. May Christ through St. Clare be a beacon of HOPE for us!
O Blessed Saint Clare,
your life shines like a beacon
and cast its light down the ages of the Church
to guide the way of Christ.
Look with compassion on the poor and humble
who call on you for help.
As you bow before your Eucharistic Lord in Heaven,
speak to Him of my afflicted body
and my broken spirit.
Ask Him to heal me
and to wash away my sins
in His precious Blood.
Great Servant of Christ,
remember the needs of my family
and all those I pray for.
Defend us from everything
that would threaten our Holy Catholic faith.
Hear the cry of the poor
and make it a song of intercession,
rising from your poor heart
to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
and our Lord.