What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint.Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about in my book A Mended and Broken Heart: The L … [Read more...]

The Hidden Life of Clare of Assisi

The hidden life of Clare of Assisi (119-[something] to 1253) is forever bound to that of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), though Clare was a force unto herself who cast her own light and left a unique echo. I have already written a book about Francis (A Mended and Broken Heart, 2008, Basic Books) and have now turned my thoughts to Clare--the medieval feminine expression of Francis' spiritual vision. She has a lot she can teach today's women because she was -- as Hillary Clinton recently … [Read more...]

A Scandalous, Tumultuous Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday was the day chosen by Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) when Francis' beloved Clare of Assisi (1192 - 1258) would sneak out at night, run the fields below the town, leaving her family forever to follow Francis till the day she died. Both Francis and Clare were revolutionaries in this regard: he, by championing the first monastic order for women; she, by running through the fields to claim it. Rather than marry into wealth and royalty, as was her destiny as part of the house of … [Read more...]