Clare's Gift of Contemplation

Posted by Roch Niemier, OFM on Aug 7, 2019 5:00:00 AM

Basilica of St. Clare | Image: Christopher HeffronPerhaps Clare’s greatest gift to the Franciscan story and to the church is a new, refreshing way to look at contemplation. Contemplation for Francis and Clare was a matter of vision, a matter of where one focused his or her gaze. The goal of the monk of that time was to gaze upward toward heaven and this upward direction would lead to union with God. The goal for the Franciscan, on the other hand, was a penetrating gaze into the ordinary of life. The starting point is the Incarnation, God descending to us rather than our ascending to God. Our gaze is upon this Incarnate God as reflected, particularly, in the Crucified Lord. The goal of contemplation for a monk focused on a vision of God that resulted in the ecstatic union. The goal of contemplation for the Franciscan focused on transformation by which one became like the face of God reflected in the Incarnation.

—from the book In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare by Roch Niemier, OFM

In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare


Categories: Francis of Assisi, good news, Gospel