Franciscan saints & blesseds: August 2009 Archives
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
Gracious God, you filled your priest and martyr, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, with zeal for souls and love for his neighbor. Through the prayer of this devoted servant of Mary Immaculate, grant that in our efforts to serve others for your glory we too may become like Christ your Son, who loved his own in the world even to the end, and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Militia Immaculata Prayer of Marian Consecration
(Composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe)
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world."
Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against your enemies.
Can anyone think of Clare without Francis? Is it possible to conceive of the mendicant orders without the witness of Saint Clare? Saint Clare of Assisi is a pivotal figure in Catholic spirituality and religious life that I think she's been studied and followed by very few. James Thompson, a composer of sacred music, wrote the following piece on Clare which deserves our attention. I have posted Thompson's texts here before with the thought that they provide food for thought and prayer. He captures well the spirit and life of this companion of Francis.
O Light from Light, all splendor's Source,
Whose clear beams shine with heaven's joy,
We give You thanks for Mother Clare
And ev'ry form of praise employ.
Enticed by Francis' preaching sweet,
Christ Crucified became her Spouse;
She gathered sisters to her side
Where Poverty would grace the house.
She left behind all earthly gain
That riches true might be her all;
In poverty, obedience,
And chastity she heard Christ's call.
As mother to her flock, she lived
And modeled Christ to ev'ryone;
In loving service spent herself
In toil from dawn to setting sun.
As she has shown us, Lord,
Your way, So give us grace like her to be,
That we may turn from self to You
And in your Way be truly free.
Most high, omnipotent, good God,
O Father, Son and Spirit blest,
With Mother Clare and all your saints Bring us,
Your Church, to endless rest.
88 88 (LM) no suggested tune
James Michael Thompson (c) 2009 World Library Publication
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking good pearls, who, when he had found one of great price, gave all that he had and bought it.
Hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the feast of blessed Clare, Thy Virgin, so may we also be strengthened in the love of true piety.
Saint Clare once said, "They say we are too poor. Can a heart which possesses God be really called poor!"
The Poor Clares nuns never ate meat. They walked without socks and shoes. The sisters wore a hair shirt and ate only bread and water during Lent.