Aug 11 – Memorial for St. Clare, virgin, religious founder
St. Clare (1194-1253) loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, and chivalrous. She would get up late at night to tuck in her sisters who’d kicked off their covers. She daily meditated on the Passion. When she learned of the Franciscan martyrs in Morrocco in 1221, she tried to go there to give her own life for God, but was restrained. Once, when her convent was about to be attacked, she displayed the Sacrament in a monstrace at the convent gates and prayed before it. The attackers left.
Toward the end of her life, when she was too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would be displayed on the wall of her cell; thus her patronage of television.
- Patron Saint Index
Eze 2:8 – 3:4
Mt 18: 1-5,10,12-14
‘…unless you change and become like children you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.’
Remember the time when your children were babies? How they depended completely on you. You were their everything. When you bathed your babies, how heedless they were in their state of nakedness and total dependence. They had complete trust in you and in your care for them, that transcends any concern they could have about their vulnerable state. A child is born with many inherent qualities –- pure, trusting, open, sincere, and spontaneous. But in the process of ‘becoming an adult’, we abandon many of these traits.
We all grow up in life –- physically, socially, psychologically. But sometimes this ‘growing up’ fails to preserve the ‘growth’ that is already witnessed in little children.
The older we get, the more difficult it gets. This could be a result of the upbringing in our society or the culture we live in, or when we go through life and experience countless moments of ups and downs along the way. Our heads rule our hearts in so many ways. We lose the innocence of childhood, and the art of entrusting things into the hands of our Father. We want to do everything for ourselves because we feel WE know best what is good for us.
I know how my own growth into adulthood has tainted whatever childlike innocence was once in me. How often I have viewed people with scepticism; fearful and disbelieving of people. I grew up with this script, “If you want something, you have to get it yourself!” Sadly this was what my earthly father told me. As a result, I grew up relying on my own effort and strength. I never expected or trusted anyone to do things for me. I am also ‘hardwired’ to fix whatever is wrong –- whether it is my own issue, or that of someone else’s, for fear that it would eventually end up in my lap. Where’s my faith in God? I have lost my childlike trust in my heavenly Father.
Yet scripture reminds us of the ‘privilege’ of being childlike…
“At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” (Mt 11:25)
Jesus tells us that the mysteries of God will be revealed to those who are childlike. Even as adults, we must have the disposition of a child — being trusting, with a sincere heart and totally dependent on the Lord. When we place ourselves in this position, our hearts and minds are open to receive the knowledge of the mysteries of God. Our hearts long for the true happiness that comes with knowing the Lord. Jesus wants to reveal the Father to each of us. His teachings, His sacrifices and His death on the cross prove that He wants to reveal the Father to everyone. But if our minds and hearts are not open to Him like that of a child, then we will never have the true wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
So today, let us pray to be made purer, simpler and childlike.
May St Clare of Assisi, whose feast we celebrate today, become an inspiration for us to firmly trust in God.
In her words:
“Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation!
Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him.”
May we be privileged to be graced with the gift of being ‘like children’ and thus be able to firmly trust and relax in the arms of our caring and loving Heavenly Father!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Geraldine Nah)
Prayer: O God, make me a child – pure, guileless, trusting in You with a sincere faith.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for always seeking out your wandering sheep. For always being loving, encouraging and patient.