Happy Feast Day of Saint Clare!
Clare expresses her love for poverty, not a desire to be destitute, but rather a desire to be more conformed to Christ in the way he chose poverty for the sake of solidarity and relationship with all humanity. Furthermore, this choice is a reason for joy because it leads one to discover right relationship with God and all His creation.
How do these words written by Clare speak to us at this point in our spiritual journey?
"O blessed poverty, Who bestows eternal riches On those who love and embrace her! O holy poverty, God promises the kingdom of heaven and, in fact, offers eternal glory and a blessed life to those who possess and desire you! O God-centered poverty, whom the Lord Jesus Christ Who rules and now rules heaven and earth, Who spoke and things were made, condescended to embrace before all else! The foxes have dens, He says, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man, Christ, has nowhere to lay His head (Mt. 8:20), but bowing His head gave up His spirit (Jn. 19:30). If so great and good a Lord, then, on coming into the Virgin's womb, chose to appear despised, needy, and poor in this world (2 Cor. 8:9), so that people who were in utter poverty, want and have absolute need of heavenly nourishment, might become rich in Him by possessing the kingdom of heaven, be very joyful and glad (Hab 3:18)! Be filled with remarkable happiness and a spiritual joy! St. Clare of Assisi. The First Letter to Agnes of Prague 15-21, trans. by Regis Armstrong in Clare of Assisi: Early Documents (St. Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute Publications), 36-37.