Francis and Clare: In Love, But With Whom? - ZENIT - English
Francis and Clare of Assisi | See more ideas about Clare of assisi, San Francisco and St francis. St. Clare of Assisi ( – ) is the female counterpart of St. Francis of .. They begin with a presen- tation of the witness and her relationship to Clare and or companions' that San Damiano would be a monastery for sisters (Test 9- 14). Q. St Clare is known as an " ______", meaning her body did not corrupt over the years. answer choices Q. The church where St Francis experienced Christ speaking to him? answer choices . Denied his relationship with his dad. Tags.
The fact that sister Amata reported the story helps a bit: It seems better to me to deline- 45 Ch. Frugoni, Una solitudine abitata. Following a suggestion of Rima,48 the story can be divided in three acts or scenes, each followed by an appreciation: She was climbing a very high stair- way, but was going very quickly, almost as though she were going on level ground. In the first scene, Clare ascends the stairway and comes near to St.
The climbing is easy. In the second scene, Francis nurses Clare. The milk is delightful. After she had imbibed, that nipple or opening of the breast from which the milk comes re- mained between the lips of blessed Clare. After she took what remained in her mouth in her hands, it seemed to her it was gold so clear and bright that she saw herself totally in it as in a mirror.
In the third scene, Clare uses the nipple as a mirror. It is bright as gold. The following images play a role in the story: I will now treat the different scenes with their images. This act was reenacted on Maundy Thursday in the churches, but much more often in monasteries as the so called mandatum: Francis stressed this aspect. In his Earlier Rule and in one of his Admonitions, he compared being in charge of the brothers with the duty of washing the feet: Liturgie- geschichtliche Untersuchung Beuron, A satisfactory answer is hard to find.
The most likely possibility is that washing the feet of members of the opposite sex was considered too inti- mate. In the Vulgate, the male form sanctorum is used. An additional explanation could be that Francis did not like his feet to be washed, as Thomas of Celano witnesses: The other image of the first scene is the stairway.
This, also, had a very rich tradition as a metaphor. It became one of the favorite images for the ascent to heaven, with Christ or one of the saints on top.
St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi
In monastic circles it was used as a metaphor to illustrate growth in virtues. Clare climbs the stairway with ease. This reminds us of a passage from her second letter to Agnes of Prague: What you do, may you do and not stop.
But with swift pace, light step, unswerving feet, so that even your steps stir up no dust, may you go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly, on the path of prudent happiness, believing nothing, agreeing with nothing that would dissuade you from this commitment or would place a stumbling block for you on the way. She does so in simple words that, however, are laden with tradition- al meaning.
Quod tenes, teneas, quod facis, facias nec dimittas; Song 3: Tenui eum, nec dimittam. The significance of this first scene seems to be that Clare goes the path of her vocation of humility and poverty. She is on her way to St. Francis who has reached the top. She goes lightly and quickly although the ladder is high. However, the moment Clare reaches St.
Francis, the action changes. In fact, the scene breathes intimacy, but it is the intimacy of mother and child. The interpreter now has a choice: If he chooses the latter, reactions tend to be skeptical.
Nevertheless, this choice seems the right one. One cannot deny that these images have sexual overtones for modern hearers, but this is a modern and not necessarily a medieval way of understanding. The English translation cannot make this clear. It sounds in the NRSV: Si non humiliter sentiebam sed exaltavi animam meam — sicut ablactatus super matre sua, ita retributio in anima mea, in English: Like one who has been weaned from his mother, so was I recompensed in my soul Ps To make this connection even more natural, this psalm is one of the Cantica Graduum, the Songs of Ascent, just what Clare has been doing.
Three interrelated elements have to be clarified: Francis, the male breasts and the image of milk.
St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi – The Sisters of Saint Francis
Walker Bynum has in a series of publications drawn attention to the gender inversion 59 Reading P. Vandermeersch, La chair de la passion: Sed quid si non humiliter sentiebam, si exaltavi animam meam? In some parts of the Bible God has motherly characteristics, e.
God will give consolation to Jerusalem as a mother who takes care of her own children. In the New Testament, Paul uses a comparable image for himself as an apostle, e. In the same way, Augustine speaks of God as a father and a moth- er: God is father because he calls, commands, reigns; mother because he fosters, feeds, gives milk, keeps together.
Bernard of Clairvaux, for in- stance, exhorts abbots to be gentle: Be gentle, avoid harsh- ness, do not resort to blows. He was really fond of this way of speaking. In the center of his rule he states: Francis avoided every association with fatherhood, both for himself as a founder and for the lead- ers of groups of Friars Minor. He called himself mother in a letter to brother Leo, he gave brother Elias this title when he replaced him; and brother Pacifico gave him this name.
When he wanted the Pope to approve his way of live, he told him a parable that Christ had revealed in a vision: A king once met a poor woman; he fell in love and impregnated her.
Walker Bynum, Jesus as Mother. Pater est, quia condidit, quia vocat, quia iubet, quia regit; mater quia fovet, quia nutrit, quia lactat, quia continet. This is Anonymous of Perugia, par.
So Clare dreams of St. Francis in a way that fits him well. She liked female images for God too. At her deathbed she says God has preserved her as a mother her newly born baby. To his lap the said brothers took recourse full of confidence, not so much as to a father, as to the bosom of a mother. A well known and often depicted legend tells that Bernard of Clairvaux prayed before a statue of Mary. Monstra te esse matrem, a quotation from the hymn Ave maris stella, the statue bared her breast and sent some milk to his lips.
The legend, however, can hardly have been known to St. Clar, as it originated in the fourteenth century. Bernard of Clairvaux thinks both explanations are possible.
The milk feeds, the food gives the growth. The easiest way to show this is to quote the relevant parts of three entries from the dictionary of Alain de Lille 68 Remembrance, par. Nicolao de Carbio, par. Lac nostrum Christus humilis est; cibus noster, idem ipse Christus aequalis Patri.
- A Love Letter to St. Francis of Assisi from St. Clare
Lacte te nutrit, ut pane pascat. Ubi duo Testamenta, duo ei sunt Sponsi ubera, ex quibus lac sugitur omnium sacramentorum, pro salute nostra aeterna temporaliter gestorum, ut perveniatur ad cibum, quod est Verbum Dei, Deus apud Deum. Humilis enim Christus, lac nostrum est; aequalis Deo Deus, cibus noster est. Lac nutrit, cibus pascit. Mamma, breast, in the proper sense means spiritual doctrine; see the Song of the Church 4: It means a teacher of the church, see the quoted text.
It means the doctrine of heretics, see Lamentations 4: It means the great ones in the Church of God who suckle the simple ones, see Song 4: To these two biblical quotations a third one can be added: You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distin- guish good from evil. These are the images of the second scene of the vision that was given to Clare. Her efforts to assist Francis in washing his hands are forgotten because he shows her the intimacy of a mother 76 Mamma, proprie, spiritualis doctrina; unde in Cant. Quam pulchrae sunt mammae tuae, id est doctrina tua spiritualis. Dicitur doctor Ecclesiae, ad quam significationem potest referri praemissa auctoritas.
Dicitur dogma haereticorum, unde in Threnis: Lamiae nudaverunt mammas, lactaverunt catulos suos, id est haeretici manifestaverunt dogmata sua, et deceperunt simplices. Dicitur doctrina et refectio Christi praesentiae, unde in Cant.: Meliora sunt ubera tua vino, id est doctrina et refectio tuae praesentiae legis fervore vel quibuslibet institutis. Dicuntur majores in Ecclesia Dei qui lactant rudes, unde in Cant.: Duo ubera tua sicut duo hinnuli capreae. Dicuntur dona spiritualia, unde ibidem: Exsultabimus et laetabimur in te memores uberum tuorum super vinum, id est donorum tuorum spiritualium.
Tanquam parvulis in Christo lac dedi vobis potum, non escam, et alibi, Quasi modo geniti infantes, lac concupiscite. With his milk, he feeds her the spiritual knowledge he has.
He gives it to her abundantly and she delights in it. He is leading and raising her, not as a man in command, but as a gentle, feeding mother. Before we discuss the symbol of the mirror, we must pay attention to a suggestion of Chiara Frugoni.
There is, however, one argument against her interpretation that we consider decisive: Two images play a role in the scene: The nipple is so bright that it is compared to gold. Gold is used as an image with a variety of meanings, all centering around pre- ciousness and clarity. The first reference is the vision that St.
Francis received before he composed the Canticle of Brother Sun. He stayed at that time in San Damiano, close to Clare. In the dream eternal life is compared with a world of pure gold: It is a quotation of Sirach It seems obvious to us that a mirror shows the person who is looking at it.
For Clare that is not the case. In two of her letters to Ag- nes of Prague she talks about mirrors. To her, a mirror shows not so much a reflection.
It is, in the words of Pozzi, a laterna magica that shows objects of contemplation: Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory cf. Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance cf.
The mirror becomes a model for her. Francis or Christ, but her own image in the mirror, a wonder of identification. The food of St. Francis has become a part of herself. She has digested it and has become another Francis. One is reminded of 2 Cor 3: And this is done by the Spirit of the Lord. This part of the vision plays an interesting play with identity and difference. A part of St. Francis comes to Clare: She puts it at a distance: Then she sees herself: Corona aurea super caput eius, alleluia.
Expressa signo sanctitatis, gloriae et honoris, alleluia. We have changed the translation of Armstrong because quae cum sit splendor The easiest solution is to strike quae, because the verb is in the conjunctive.
See more extensively G. Verkenningen in het licht van Franciscus van Assisi, Nijmegen, Images are ever new; they open up worlds and they do not close them. With this caveat, we continue seeking meaning in the vision as a whole. The three scenes look at first glance haphazard.
A logical or emotional connection between them seems hard to find. Let us, therefore, first recapitulate the actions in the scenes. In the first one, Clare goes out to Francis in order to render him the service of washing his hands. In the second one, Francis reaches out to Clare to feed her with his wisdom.
In the third one, Francis has disap- peared, but Clare still has a relic of his: When she looks at it, she sees herself fully. It may help to compare the succession of the three scenes with a classical triad in mysticism: Humility is driving her. In the second scene she is on the receiving side. Francis is feeding her spiritual wisdom; she is illuminated.
We cannot know if Clare or her sisters were aware of the remarkable parallel, but it helps us certainly to understand the function of the three scenes and its development. Probably that divine grace had given Clare the wisdom, experience and sanctity of St.
Francis, that she was a new Fran- cis like he was an alter Christus. She acquired this status through her humility and devotion to St.The Legend of St Francis and St Clare
Francis, but also through the teachings and the motherly care of St. That this was the case, was revealed to her in a vision, a gift from God.
The meaning How did this vision function in the life of the sisters, and later, of the inquisitors and the curia? To begin with the men, they wrote it down and then choose to forget it.
The acts of the process were not intended for publication. They were an internal memorandum for the Pope, cardinals, and their functionaries. When the process was over, an official proclamation of the new saint in a papal decree and an officially approved Life were published.
They do not speak about the dream. It was apparently too intimate, too private. Seen in this way it is possi- ble to give the dream a precise place in the history of the San Damiano sisters, even though it can- not be exactly dated.
Danger came from two sides. In the first place from the church authorities, who considered enclo- sure the most important characteristic for nunneries. She was not opposed to it, as her Rule makes clear, but she did have difficulties with one of the consequences: The second danger consisted in the reluctance of the Friars Minor to take care of the sisters. They were needed for two tasks: Especially the last two duties made permanent residence near the monasteries of the nuns a necessity for the brothers: The brothers, however, objected to the obligation to reside.
From on, more and more often the Pope released them from this obligation. The consequence was that the sisters had to use the services of chaplains who lived with them. She continued to demand that Franciscans resided next to her monastery and started writing her own Rule that was finally approved by the Pope at her deathbed. Clare adhered to these two points as guarantee of the identity of her life project.
He was an important new saint who was widely venerated. He was the master card that she could use both against the leadership of the church and 87 My vision on the origins and early history of the Poor Clares can be found in my dissertation, Clarissen in de dertiende eeuw. Drie studies, Utrecht, I deviate from the prevailing view, eloquently expressed by M. Secondly, I think Clare supported the other monasteries on their way to recognition, while most other researchers think there is a wide gulf between her and the others.
This papal letter was also given to the Dominican sisters, see H. In her Testament she wrote: Against this background the central role that Francis plays in the vision must be understood.
A Love Letter to St. Francis of Assisi from St. Clare | HuffPost
He is the guarantee for the own identity of San Damiano. Every day is the simple peace. You in the cave of your heart, me with my budding Roses, life is precious. Simple peace and our hearts wrestle with the Divine being so much for our simple human heart. The birds, animals, planets and stars are family in these moments.
Francis, I know you have tried again and again to explain to the Bishops that they are no more special than our homeless friends, the lepers. The rich are no more rich than the very poor. Life's treasure is within us. Why don't people understand that everything is given in the silence of our heart? Francis I want to tell you about a day dream I have been carrying all week.
I see all the priests and ministers finally agreeing there is nothing to say! Every church large and small is just a house for God.
People come and sit in silence. There is no preaching, no need to preach. In the silence is all and everything, so much peace. And after sitting for a while, everyone absorbing the goldenness of God in our heart, the people share bread and medicine to any who have need. This is the real church! Why do they make it so complicated Francis?
Anyway this is not the reason I write. I write today trying to put some words to where I have been led inside. I know you already know. But maybe my words support you as well. I know you are burning inside in this fire. Love lightens and overwhelms all my human edges. This very, very, very bright light rises from deep inside of me. I just pray to be available. Truly God knows we are only human.
My selfishness is just part of my humanness. This is not to make excuses but Francis we really should not punish ourselves for being human. We are what we are. Can I say that in truth we are this light, only this light? When we leave this world and all our limitations, the angels will welcome us and we will know for certain. There is so much light! Francis, I know some of the brothers are praying that your tears will stop for the sake of your health.
But Francis, don't stop. I understand why you cry and cry so much.