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





Poor Clares are the progeny of a song of joy:
 
a song that stole the nocturnes
out of the soul of 13th century Europe
and poured out sunlight into its heart:
 
a song that St. Francis of Assisi
and the lovely Clare,
sang in exhuberance of their youth
and in the simplicity of their hearts:
 
a song which they were still singing
when amid pain and poverty
they passed from this mortal life
into Eternal Joy.
 
Their joy was the joy of Jesus:
a joy of Love made real...
and it is still so.
 
The vocation of every Poor Clare
is born of that same song:
a song she hears in the quiet recesses of her soul
inviting her to arise and be free -
a song that is both the desire to dream
and the courage to respond:
a vision and a reply.
 
"Come apart," Jesus has said.
"Come apart by yourselves to a lonely place and
  and rest awhile." - Mark 6:31

 
This is the prelude and pinnacle,
the whole motif,
of the Poor Clare song of Gospel living.
It is the same startling invitation
  which made St. Francis and St. Clare  -
leave everything in order to embrace the All whom they sensed was calling them.   -->


This same desire to seek more in life
than wealth and fame, comfort and propriety,
resonates in the soul of every
would-be Poor Clare.
 
It is a desire to step aside from self
and the emptiness of earthly things
in order to let the experience of God
resound within her being in wonder,
in freedom and in love.
 
It is a desire that can come anytime, anywhere, through others, or in a moment of aloneness.
Like Francis and like Clare, the Poor Clare is called to sink deeply into the reality of all that is true and lovely and good,
into God; and in God she will arise filled with His Love and filled with His Spirit which will sing of Joy to the world.
 
"The Son of God has become our Way."
 
These are the words St. Clare never tired of telling her daughters.
It is with Jesus thath the Poor Clare withdraws into the desert to fast and pray.
It is with Him that she ascends the mountains where He prays to the father;
it is with Him that she dies to self so that she may live more fully in Him,
and with Him draw all things to the Father.

It is in Jesus that the Poor Clare
  becomes a symbol of hope to humanity.