On August 11th we celebrate the feast of St. Clare, that precious friend of St. Francis who gave up a comfortable life to live in poverty out of love for Jesus who had given up everything for us. In total poverty, Sts. Francis and Clare were able to empty themselves in order to fully receive the Holy Spirit and then give Him to others.
Though we haven’t taken a vow of poverty, we sure have given up a lot to God for the sake of our families: our time, money, energy, sleep, clean houses, waistlines, smooth skin, and original-colored hair. Is there anything else that we could possibly let go of for God?
Something that seemingly all mothers have in abundance is negative thoughts: troubles, anxieties, frustrations, fears, envies, anger, and prideful thoughts, too. What do we do with all of these? What one of us wouldn’t love to permanently part with this mental labor that can so swiftly and relentlessly bring us down?
In the life of Clare it was so evident that she had harnessed all powers of her soul and directed them toward loving and serving Our Lord. On her feast day, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to help us do the same. Below are a few humble suggestions for getting started in the most arduous task of sanctifying our thoughts:
- Offer each sacrifice of the day for a different person: each poopy diaper, spill at the table, tantrum, messy room, dirty toilet, trip to the grocery store, wait in line at the post office, dinner fail, and hard-to-zip-up dress. I think we would weep if we could see the good that could come from even doing this for a day.
- When critical thoughts of others come, catch it, say a little prayer for that person, and move on.
- Focus on the task at hand. Thinking about what we’re doing at that moment and doing it the best we can for God is so difficult when there are a thousand other things to do and fires to put out, but doing so can bring such peace and improve our work big-time.
The glorious St. Clare who held nothing back from God certainly did not die with regret. In stretching ourselves to give Him even more, we, too, are sure to experience the saying that God will not be outdone in generosity. And we might even keep a little more of our original-colored hair.
Copyright 2015 Meg Matenaer.
Photo by cohdra (2007) via Morguefile.