Saturday, August 11, 2012

Say to This Mountain Move

Say to This Mountain Move

August 11, 2012
Memorial of St. Clare, virgin

For the vision is a witness for the appointed time, a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.  If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.  See, the rash have no integrity; but the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live.  Habakkuk 2:3-4

Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?"  He said to them, "Because of your little faith.  Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you."  Matthew 17:19-20


Father, you seek in us faith no larger than a mustard seed in order that your Spirit and your Kingdom may grown in our lives and in our hearts.  Brother Jesus, plant that seed so that its flowering bush will crowd out of our lives all that keeps us distracted from your ideals.  Holy Spirit, cultivate that seed so that we may be inspired like Clare and Francis to do what you desire of us. Amen.


On this Memorial to the incredible faith of St. Clare, our readings concentrate on how opposite mere mortals are from the ideals -- especially the ideal of faith -- sought and taught by the Lord. 
Various Catholic sources tell us that St. Clare of Assisi was the first woman to practice the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis. She was placed by her brother at the head of a few companions in the small convent-church of San Damiano.  The convent sits slightly up the hill of Assisi from the monastery community of St. Francis. 
A visit to the Cathedral community of St. Clare allows the pilgrim to pray in the presence of the actual cross of San Damiano -- the cross which inspired Francis to rebuild the church in more ways than one.   Francis had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the Church of San Damiano just outside of Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins." He took this to mean the ruined church in which he was presently praying. 
On his first interpretation, Francis took the vision and inspiration literally and sought to reconstruct the physical building of the church.  However, he later realized that the Lord wanted him to also spiritually rebuild the Church.  That led him to begin the community of Franciscans which is devoted to voluntary poverty and walking in the ways of the Lord.
Clare governed her "sister community" for forty-two years -- more than two generations -- and founded the Order of Poor Clares.  Clare and Francis exhibited the kind of faith that Jesus lamented was missing from his generation. 


How would Jesus judge our generation?  Faithless? 
The name St. Clare can be literally translated from its Latin origin to mean "make bright or clear."  By her example, Clare clearly teaches us about voluntary poverty while living in our world surrounded by riches.   Yet the examples like Clare do not resonate in our world.  Instead we continue to seek heroes in the movie theaters, stadiums, and hallways of power.  Wealth, however, is as treacherous as fame and pride. 
Let us reject cult of fame epitomized this weekend by the premiere of the latest installment of "The Bourne Legacy" and instead revel in the legacy of a God who allowed himself to be born a humble, lowly, human servant.  Look to Clare and Francis to inspire you today to take a break from shopping for riches and to make a special gift of your time, your talent or your treasury to rebuild the church this weekend.  That "Born Legacy" will help us cultivate the kind of faith that will move mountains.

No comments: