Poor Clare Colettine Nuns of Cleveland, Ohio
First Permanent Foundation in the United States


 
   The Poor Clare is called to participate in that eternal drama of deep calling unto deep. The voice of God calls forth in the deep unbroken constancy of His Word to the heart of His chosen one, seeking a response in love and in faith.
 
  She for whom the fountains of earth have ceased to flow hears but one question burning within her, “Master, where do you live?”
 
  And, as He did to the disciples, Jesus replies with the same enigmatic and compelling invitation: “Come and see.” Come, you who are searching, you who hunger and thirst, you who are burdened.
 
  It is a reply that at once delights and dazzles you. It is the voice of God summoning you forth from the shadows of things into the full light of His Presence.
 
  From this initial exposure you are invited to enter more intimately into the pure form of His Presence, beyond which nothing else can beckon.
 
  For those who embrace a life of contemplation there will be renouncements and departures permeated with the pain and anguish which are an inevitable part of our nature.

  The soul learns to listen to and affirm the voice of the Spirit as it speaks to her in the claustral depths of her soul. With the aid of her spiritual guide she is taught the most delicate of all arts: how to be a disciple.
 
  With a new depth of vision and awareness she receives the goodness and beauty surrounding her, and with an attitude of wonder and reverence she responds to and expresses the mystery of the Son of God as it unfolds within her.

   Contemplative growth in love and faith is always fundamentally a gift of God and an illumination granted by the Holy Spirit. It is a gift that is given insofar as it is sought; a gift that is discovered to the extent that it is extracted by the disciplined labors of unselfish love.
 
   For the normal woman, the promptings of the Spirit negate nothing of her womanhood. The invitation of Jesus to “come and see” is an invitation to live in intimate union with Him, a union which is both bridal and maternal. In this relationship, she finds her own womanly fulfillment realized in a profound and fruitful way, and her life ‘like that of the Church after the Easter vigil and of Mary after the Resurrection, becomes a quiet Alleluia, a gentle song of joy which meets the rise of day in the suffering night which we call time.’ -Charles Schleck, C.S.C.
 
  This Alleluia, this ‘new song‘ that has become HER song, rises like morning over the land, bringing healing and gladness to the hearts of men. This song of the Spirit that is born in the silence of every Poor Clare heart grows and resounds and enters like spring into the winters of the world echoing His eternal Ephpheta.