Clare would hear in her contemplation of the cross the invitation to be transformed. And so she would counsel Agnes: Gaze upon Christ, consider Christ, contemplate Christ, imitate Christ and become like the One upon whom you are gazing, not to look for suffering, crucifixion or pain, but to enflesh that same kind of openarmed, self-giving, unconditional love that Jesus’ presence on the cross symbolizes. And to know that this is the only power that can transform the world and rebuild life. This is what we are invited to taste, to welcome, to pursue: the open arms of Jesus on the cross, the open heart and life of Francis eager to embrace the cross, the open welcoming gaze of Clare onto the cross. Gaze, so as to taste. Taste, so as to become like the One on whom you gaze, that we might become the incarnation of God’s unconditional love.
—from the book In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare by Roch Niemier, OFM