11 August 2008


Mt 19:27-29

We have a saying, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” This is a good maxim to live by. Be careful with whom you associate with. Choose your friends well.

She was a very close friend of Francis, the son of a wealthy merchant from Assisi who voluntarily and literally stripped himself of all material goods to follow Jesus all the way. Her name was Clare. When Francis started attracting men to his radical way of following Jesus, Clare likewise was drawn into the same path. She was the first member of the Franciscan order for women that later on was to be known as the Poor Clares. But it did not happen very easily for her. She had to escape from home several times to follow Francis’ way of radical discipleship. Each time she would escape, her brothers would track her down and, finding her, would literally drag her back home. But when they saw her hair cut short underneath her veil, her brothers decided to leave her alone in peace.

Born in 1193, Clare was Italian by birth. Though coming from a well-to-do family, Clare – following Francis, her childhood friend and townmate – left everything to live a life of poverty and penance in a life consecrated to Christ. She had a deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist and saved her city from the invading barbarians by raising the Blessed Sacrament over them. Thus, her statue clad in a nun’s habit with the Blessed Sacrament. After a holy and austere life, she passed away in 1253.

Clare was Francis’ intimate friend.

Need we say more?

Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.

It is never too late to choose your friends. Choose only those who leads you closer – not farther – to Christ.

Friends, let us be saints together!


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