Poor Clare Colettine Nuns of Cleveland, Ohio
First Permanent Foundation in the United States
Prayer is the heart of the Poor Clare way of life.
 
Prayer is life with Jesus;
it is Jesus reliving the Gospel message in us.
 
Prayer is growing accustomed to that
  Nazareth-place within us,
learning the quiet of its twilight hours,
feeling the silent ordinariness of its daily toil,
loving its simple fare and homespunness,
breathing the silent innocence of His Being there.
 
Prayer is a desert space within us:
a place where the Spirit can come and brood.
Prayer is hearing our name called -
      not once, but twice, three times - eternally -
in every bell, in every duty, in every detail of our day
until every moment of our existence
becomes a departure point,
a "leaving everything to follow Him".
 
The Poor Clare becomes, though  ever unknown to
    herself, a mountain which Jesus ascends;
a mountain from which He pours out the beatitudes again
upon the Spirit-starving multitudes of the world;
a mountain to which He goes in the lonely hours of night;
a mountain, apart, where He can pray to the Father.
 


The Poor Clare's life of prayer is union with Jesus
   as He is present in His Church.
St. Clare knew this.
She knew that the Church is the real and the first contemplative.

It is the Church, the Bride of Christ,
who as virgin and mother opens her heart
to receive and bear the Word of God.
It is the Church who sits at the Lord's feet
listening attentively and lovingly to His every Word.
 
The Poor Clare continues and instensifies this
contemplative mission of the Church in her daily singing of the prayer of the Church,

the Liturgy of the Hours.

This is her solemn obligation as a canonical contemplative; it is also one of her greatest joys and privleges, for, in reciting the psalms and prayers of the Hours, she realizes that she renders to the Father, "an outstanding sacrifice of praise."
-Perfectae Caritatis


 

 
 



 

The Poor Clare is one with the Church as it carries salvation to the multitiudes.  Her voice, united with Christ in His Church, becomes a powerful force and intercessor on behalf of her brothers and sisters.
 
With Jesus she leads them out of their loneliness and anguish into the life-giving Heart of the Church - to

  the Sacrifice of the Mass.

It is here, in the celebration of the Eucharist, where her wanderings cease and her sowing bears fruit. Conscious of the Love which envelops her and ignited by its Fire, she yearns to fan it forth and enkindle the universe with its ardent and healing warmth.
 
She hears His members cry and hearing them, she brings them into the Presence of the Lord to be cleansed and to be loved and to be restored to life. Confined in her cloister, as He is in the Bread, she senses and imbibes the Mystery of His desire to have all that is scattered and separate become one and in One grow deeply into the wholeness of His Love.
 
In her solitude and in her love, the Poor Clare calls to her brothers and sisters to rise from their darkness and to be illumined by the light which is the love of Christ.