At some point in our lives, we will all experience some form of suffering. Whether it is physical or emotional in nature, it is painful and difficult. Saint Clare was no stranger to suffering. Throughout her life she endured pain and illness and often was bedridden. She did not, however, allow it to distance her from Christ.Even then, Clare held on to her promise of simplicity. Her bed was a straw mat, her pillow a layer of straw. Only when Francis instructed the sisters to give Clare a bale of hay for a pillow did she accept it. She did not allow her suffering to distract her from her commitment to Christ. In fact, she saw it as a connection with the crucified Lord.
In the midst of suffering is when it can be the hardest to feel as if God is with us. It is at those times that we must turn to Christ, as Saint Clare did, and remember that even in our darkest moments, Christ is there.
In Clare’s Own Words
“Love that does not know of suffering is not worthy of the name.”
Questions for Reflection
What suffering have you endured?
What would you say to someone who is going through a trying time?
When is a time when you felt distant from God? What did you do?