Recently this 2012 Season of Advent, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity pondered Women of Faith in a Year of Faith: Mary, Clare, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Sister Anne Marie Lom facilitated the Saturday of recollection offering 3 introductions to prayer. Find here a small snapshot of the day and a few notes for your own reflection.
Mary, Woman of Faith
- The Church sees Mary as the most complete example of our faith. She is Christ-centered.
- Mary holds the highest position in the Church but is closest to us.
- Mary is our way because she goes before us and shows us the way of faith.
- She has already experienced everything that happens to us.
- True understanding of Mary comes from Gospels more so than from devotions or hagiographers.
Clare, Woman of Faith
The Santa Chiara Dossal at Assisi was the first thirteenth-century painting dedicated to a female monastic; its depiction of Clare as an active and determined woman stands in marked contrast to images of humble and submissive brides of Christ. Painting depicts Saint Clare of Assisi dressed in the plain habit of the order she founded. The painting also features eight episodes from the life of Clare, taken from the “Legenda Sanctae Clarae” by Thomas of Celano:
- Clare’s conversion,
- Clare’s secret flight to join the friars,
- Clare’s investiture,
- Clare’s refusal to return to her family,
- Clare’s sister Agnes professing her vows,
- Clare’s miracles, and Clare’s obsequies (2) (funeral/burial rites)
Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Women of Faith: Sister Henrielda Courtier
The very possibility of living a religious life comes from the gift of faith. Sister Henrielda, Community director from 1969-1977, expresses with great widom, sentiments that are true in every age. She said, “Faith lived in community is expressed in practical action that looks beyond works and activities. It involves fidelity to God and on-going conversion, the proclamation of his word in a true evangelization and the testimony of a joyful living witness. This commitment of faith is the heart of the whole religious life. The intensity and maturity of one’s life as a Christian can only be measured against the absoluteness of its “yes.” God’s work is absolute; it asks for everything. It is the intensity of one’s faith, trust and love that allows the person who has pronounced a “yes” to discover humbly, inexorably, and sometimes painfully, the unexpected consequences of the gift.” (Founders Day Program script, Sister Regina Rose)
Our Sisters who participated in the day promised to share their own ponderings on what this day meant to them. Watch for their postings.