Use a Mirror for Franciscan Discernment

by Sister Julie Ann on November 6, 2011

During the November 4-6, 2011 Vocation Discernment Retreat at the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse, young women were encouraged to use the image of a mirror as they reflected on their relationship with God and explored their life’s vocation. 

Looking to Clare

This very feminine ‘mirror’ idea comes from St. Clare who was not a woman who wrote extensively on her own prayer. However, she  was a woman who responded to letters with deep sincerity, freely sharing her own way of relating to God. Retreatants prayed with a letter that she wrote to St. Agnes of Praque in which the image of the mirror is strongly emphasized: Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance and transform your whole being into the image of the Godhead itself through contemplation…”

Retreatants’ Own Reflections

In case you are considering a future discernment retreat, here’s  how the weekend’s retreatants responded to the question: How did this retreat touch your life?

  • It helped me make space for Christ in my heart, it affirmed me in my search for God’s will in my life, showed me possibilities I never considered and revealed to me His love through time spent with His daughters, in adoration, music ministry, learning and prayer.
  • I am touched by the Sisters and how they mirror Christ. It has helped me think more about Francis and Clare’s life and if I am called to live a life similar to theirs.

    Retreatants admired Francisan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Mariella Erdmann's 'Chiara' designed and then sandblasted on Chiara Convent, Manitowoc, WI.

  • It has helped me to realize I am not alone in the desires I have.
  • It helped me see more clearly what religious life is all about and it helped me in starting to decide whether I want to be a Sister or Poor Clare or pink nun.
  • I’m a little less scared to tell my parents.
  • It was amazing to see how the Franciscan Sisters live. It has touched me in so many ways. I love to sit in silence and pray.

And yet a few more comments:

  • time to get away from the chaos of the everyday and have time just to truly listen to God.
  • time to learn about Clare and her strong journey of faith
  • visiting variety of chapels and worship spaces; interacting with novices and postulant to hear their stories

Click here to register for our next vocation weekend opportunity.

9 thoughts on “Use a Mirror for Franciscan Discernment”

  1. I love the strength of Chiara that Sr. Mariella designed for our Chiara convent. The group gathered below seems like they are being “gazed upon” by St. Clare and her strength and power are being “blessed” upon them. Thanks for posting these insightful reflections.

  2. Thanks for your observations Sister Anne Marie! One of the young women asked us if it was possible for a saint to choose someone to mentor and guide, like we choose patron saints to emulate. I think that St. Clare chose to walk  with these young women and us this weekend! There were many times that Jesus' love was reflected through the light of sharing, prayer, hiking, singing, meals, and genuine desire to get closer to Him!

  3. Regina. says:

    It was great to have the women here this weekend to have a taste of Franciscan life! Know you are all in our thoughts and prayers! May God bless you in your discernment!

  4. Regina says:

    minus that extra “thoughts” 🙂

  5. Sr. Leslie says:

    The retretants were wonderful. It was fantastic sharing part of the weekend with all of them.

  6. Sr. Leslie says:

    Ditto!

  7. Chelsea says:

    Thank you for your prayers and it was awesome to be able to spend time with you too!

  8. Chelsea says:

    I agree!

  9. Kay Klackner says:

    I, too, love the image of Clare on our home.  She is a wonderful reminder of the fire of love  each time I enter our home.  I'm happy that the retreatants and leaders shared our home on their retreat.

Leave a Reply

Previous post:

Next post: