Since yesterday I linked to the pranks that the Dominicans and Jesuits were playing on each other, I was a little amused to find out that there was a long running squabble about whether St Clare is a saint in the Franciscan or Augustinian tradition. It appears that, when she was younger, she was a third order Franciscan, but, by the time she discerned her vocation as a nun, she joined an Augustinian convent (there were, in fairness, no Franciscan ones nearby).*
Her sister was the first abbess of their convent, and Saint Clare succeeded her. She is best known for building up her convent and the church of the town, and for a vision she had of Christ, struggling to carry His cross. She longed to help Him, and He told her that he had been looking for a place to plant the cross firmly, and had found it in her heart. This is the scene depicted in the image at the top of this post.During this month, I plan to try to ask Saint Clare to help me receive grace as spring begins. (Yes, spring counts as beginning in April when I have multiple snow days in March). I have Augustinian sympathies, so I would like for a saint who was nurtured by Augustinian and Franciscan spirituality to watch over me, and help me to be a little more interested in the natural world around me (as I seldom am).
I would hope that she can teach me to glory in the budding of the natural world and, anagogically, to prepare my heart throughout Lent to receive the glory that is planted at Easter, and to nurture and tend it, so that it grows into a bountiful harvest.
*Look, I managed to get through the whole post without making a joke about April having a Saint that comes in like a Franciscan and goes out like an Augustinian!