HOLY POVERTY

“O blessed poverty, who bestow eternal riches on those who love and embrace you!”

St. Clare wrote in her Rule that we are to “live the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”. She put special emphasis on poverty, going so far as to call it a privilege, the privilege of radical dependence on God.

This radical dependence on God brings out two particular traits of a Poor Clare, Gratitude and Joy; Gratitude that everything is a gift, and Joy in God who cares for us so bountifully.

Established, then, in the heart of God through our love of the Lord and one another, we are a visible sign of hope for all who come to us and for the many who write seeking the strength of our prayer.
so that we may be a mirror and example to those living in the world, we devote ourselves to what we should desire to have above all else; the Spirit of the Lord and His holy manner of working, a pure heart praying always to Him, humility, and patience in difficulty and in infirmity. Joyous penance that renews us and leads us to Jesus is at the heart of our daily life.

Our prayer must be pure and powerful, so we live an enclosed life and are, in a physical sense, separated from the world, but, in a spiritual sense, more deeply united with all people in their joys and sufferings. Clare, in the austerity of her cloistered solitude,...broke the alabaster jar of her body,...and the whole Church was thoroughly imbued with the aroma of her sanctity.

But true prayer requires that our hearts and hands be empty when we come before the Lord, so that He can fill them. Holy poverty is also our life: to be poor in spirit and in reality. The form of life of the Order of Poor Sisters that the Blessed Francis founded is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one's own, and in chastity.

The privilege of poverty frees us to depend totally on the Lord, for He who feeds the birds of the heavens ( cf Mt 6:26) and clothes the lilies of the field (cf Mt 6:28) will not fail you in either food or clothing until He ministers to you in heaven.

Being poor people, we share the lot of those who labour to support themselves. St Clare called it the grace of working; she desired us to work in such a way that we do not extinguish the Spirit of holy prayer and devotion to which all other things of our earthly existence must contribute.

Because she belonged entirely to God who is Love, Clare was all tenderness. She wished her daughters to be a true family united by Jesus, around Jesus, for Jesus, with each sister feeling responsible for the others and with everything held in common among them: gifts of heart and of mind and spiritual riches of grace, as well as material goods. Love one another with the charity of Christ.(St Clare)