August 11, 2016
Dear Family of Mary!
Today is the Memorial of St. Clare of Assisi. Clare joined St. Francis in Assisi as a young woman, desiring to give herself completely to Jesus. And that is exactly what she did. For 41 years she gathered women around her who wanted to devote themselves to “Eucharistic prayer and joyful poverty”. In the year 1240, the Saracens approached Assisi and were about to enter and despoil the monastery where Clare and her sisters lived. Here is what happened:
Here is an account of the incident from The History of Saint Clare, Virgin, written by Tommaso da Celano:
“By imperial order, regiments of Saracen soldiers and bowmen were stationed there (the convent of San Damiano in Assisi, Italy), massed like bees, ready to devastate the encampments and seize the cities. Once, during an enemy attack against Assisi, city beloved of the Lord, and while the army was approaching the gates, the fierce Saracens invaded San Damiano, entered the confines of the monastery and even the very cloister of the virgins. The women swooned in terror, their voices trembling with fear as they cried to their Mother, Saint Clare.
“Saint Clare, with a fearless heart, commanded them to lead her, sick as she was, to the enemy, preceded by a silver and ivory case in which the Body of the Saint of saints was kept with great devotion. And prostrating herself before the Lord, she spoke tearfully to her Christ: ‘Behold, my Lord, is it possible You want to deliver into the hands of pagans Your defenseless handmaids, whom I have taught out of love for You? I pray You, Lord, protect these Your handmaids whom I cannot now save by myself.’ Suddenly a voice like that of a child resounded in her ears from the tabernacle: ‘I will always protect you!’ ‘My Lord,’ she added, ‘if it is Your wish, protect also this city which is sustained by Your love.’ Christ replied, ‘It will have to undergo trials, but it will be defended by My protection.’ Then the virgin, raising a face bathed in tears, comforted the sisters: ‘I assure you, daughters, that you will suffer no evil; only have faith in Christ.’
Upon seeing the courage of the sisters, the Saracens took flight and fled back over the walls they had scaled, unnerved by the strength of she who prayed. And Clare immediately admonished those who heard the voice I spoke of above, telling them severely: ‘Take care not to tell anyone about that voice while I am still alive, dearest daughters.'”
St. Clare had a living relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. And so, when her convent was in dire need, it was to Jesus she went for help. And the Eucharist defeated the invaders. It was Jesus’ presence that repelled them.
I believe that Our Lady in the message of August 2 is urging us to become like Clare. Consider this excerpt of the message:
“…I know that each of you has his concerns, his trials. Therefore, I am inviting you in a motherly way: come to the table of my Son. He is breaking bread for you; He is giving Himself to you; He is giving you hope; He is asking for more faith, hope and serenity from you. He is seeking of you to battle within against egoism, judgement and human weaknesses. Therefore, as a mother, I am saying: pray; because prayer gives you strength for the interior battle…” (August 2, 2016)
Our Lady points out that each of us has concerns, each of us has troubles. It may not be an invasion of Saracens, but we are being invaded, daily, by temptations, fears, worldly troubles and woes, societal disruptions and troubles of all sorts brought on by sin. We have interior battles to fight. Just keeping our faith strong is a battle. With all the bad news these days, we have to fight to believe in God’s love and mercy.
It is in these battles that we must take Clare as an example. With deep reverence we need to come to the table of Jesus, where He breaks the bread with us. We must come to Jesus, in the Eucharist, present and waiting for us. In Jesus, we will find hope, faith, serenity, and the strength to battle egoism, judgment and all our human weaknesses. We need Eucharistic Adoration!!
And as we grow in our adoration of Jesus, our hearts will become monstrances filled with Jesus! We can then plant the monstrance of our hearts, filled with Jesus, Our Lord, smack dab at the center of our interior battles, and then worship Him! Rather than be distracted by the troubles, we need to look at Jesus, and worship Him, just like Clare did. She didn’t get frantic when the enemies came into the monastery, she went into deep prayer before Jesus in the Monstrance, and Jesus spoke the words of command and protection that defeated her enemies.
In this day, Our Lady wants us all to be little Clares!! With the Eucharistic Jesus enthroned in our hearts, we need to plant ourselves as a protective hedge around our homes and communities, worshiping Jesus and asking Him to drive our enemies away! He will do it!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2016