Memorial of Saint Clare of Assisi
“Ya gotta be all in!” We hear that a lot. Basketball and other coaches urge their players to be focused and to leave it on the field. To be all in. Outstanding leaders urge their followers: “The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing.” Make the mission the focus of all you do. “Ya gotta be all in!”
Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint Clare of Assisi, the eldest daughter of a wealthy noble family. As a young woman, she was already very devout, apparently taking after her mother, known for her piety. One evening young Clare attended a Lenten service in Assisi. The preacher that evening was Saint Francis. His words and subsequent conversations with Clare inspired her to follow him into religious life. Eventually, she founded the Poor Clares, who devoted themselves to lives of prayer, sacrifice, poverty, and humility.
Like many holy women throughout history, Saint Clare led a life exemplifying the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel: Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses life for my sake will find it. Clare was all in
While reflecting on love during the “Great Retreat” near Rome in 1865, Saint Peter Julian Eymard wrote, Our Lord wants to be the center of love of his disciples, the center of my love (March 24). For Father Eymard, this was the chief motivation for everything he said and did: his Eucharistic vision, life, and mission. He urged his followers to give their minds, hearts, wills, and whole being to Christ. In other words, to be all in. Let my prayer and worship lead me there this day.
Let Us Pray:
I remember your deeds O Lord. I remember all the signs of your great love each and every day. May my response be as Saint Eymard urged: that I am all in! – my mind, heart, my whole being. And I meditate on your works; your exploits I ponder.