"To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." ~ Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.101
Everything is grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love.Everything is grace because everything is God's gift.Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events -- to the heart that loves, all is well.
"Thank you Jean, you are a beautiful soldier for the cause. I appreciate your superb work. Keep it up!"
Amazing Catechists and Catholic Mom Puppet Show Ministry
" I’m amazed at your blog. I can barely get out one post a day and sometimes you have a few (and I now know how much work it takes to do that). You do a great job! "
Michelle, Unborn Word of the Day
"When I read your blog, I just want to comment on everything, your insights are just so on-key!" Leticia, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae and Cause of Our Joy.
"I enjoy your blog every day. It is the best Catholic blog out there. Thank you so much for all the work you put into it!"
Ellen Gable, author, "Emily's Hope"
"I love the zeal Jean puts into her posts, especially when it comes to the prolife movement." Esther, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.
"Jean of Catholic Fire...provides so much informative content. She posts about pro-life issues and events, what happened 'on this day', biographies of saints, prayer intentions, and lots more each day. No matter what she's posting about, I can always come away each day feeling uplifted...and that's saying a lot for me, as I'm someone who often tries to avoid thinking about some of the political and other issues that she posts about. It must be her strong faith and trust in God, as well as her love, shining through her posts, that inspire me." Margaret Mary Myers , Reflections, Catholic BVI Readers, VIP Homeschooler.
Today is the memorial of St. Clare of Assisi. the first woman to follow the life of radical poverty practiced by St. Francis of Assisi and co-founder of the Poor Clares. The Contemplative Life
When Clare heard St. Francis of Assisi preach his Lenten homilies at the Church of San Giorgo, she felt a fire stir within her soul and became determined to live the gospel in a radical way. On the evening of Palm Sunday, at the age of 18, she secretly left her paternal home with her cousin Pacifica, never to return. In the dead of night lit only by torches, Clare met Francis and his friars at the ‘Portiuncola’. There, in the little chapel of ‘Mary of the Angels’, Francis cut her long blond hair and Clare laid aside her fine clothes, clothing herself in a simple dress of sackcloth and a thick veil. She vowed from that moment on to give herself totally to God, her eternal spouse.
Clare was placed by Francis temporarily with the Benedictine nuns until Francis built with his own hands a cloister for her and her community, the Order of Poor Ladies, later known as the Poor Clares. The Poor Ladies lived apart from the world and supported Francis and his followers through their hidden life of prayer and sacrifice.
At San Damiano, Clare lived an austere life. She slept on a straw mattress, fasted three days a week, never ate meat, often did penance, and awoke in the middle of the night to pray the Divine Office. Year round she wore a coarse habit and went barefoot on stone floors.
In the beginning, most of the young girls who joined her in this life of radical poverty were from the noble families of Assisi and the surrounding area. At first they had no written rule to follow except for a very short rudimentary rule drawn up by Francis. Over the years, prelates tried to draw up a rule for the Poor Ladies based largely on the Rule of St. Benedict, however, Clare would reject these attempts in favor of the ‘privilege of poverty’, wishing to own nothing in this world and depending entirely on the providence of God and the generosity of the people for their livelihood.
St. Clare's advice on contemplation:
“Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation."
Although she is not normally thought of as a "miracle worker", through Clare's persistent prayers, God often intervened on her behalf.
Twice God saved San Damiano through the intercession of St. Clare. In September 1240, hoards of Saracen mercenaries attacked the walls of the monastery on their way to the city. Clare prayed before the Blessed Sacrament and suddenly for no explainable reason the Saracens retreated. A similar situation occurred when the troops of Vitalis d’Aversa attacked Assisi in June of 1241. Again her deep devotion to the Eucharist brought her before the Blessed Sacrament and again the city was spared.
Olive Jars were filled with oil after she blessed them. St. Clare experienced her own "multiplication of the loaves" when on another occasion, she fed 50 sisters and all the Franciscan friars with a single loaf of bread. Once a very heavy door came off its hinges and fell on top of her, but when a number of sisters in a panic rushed to lift it off, instead of finding her crushed, she was not harmed at all and said it felt no heavier than a blanket. The sick were cured when she made the sign of the cross over them. At times when she meditated, the sisters saw a rainbow aura surrounding her.
One Christmas Eve Clare was too ill to rise from her bed to attend Mass at the new Basilica of St. Francis. Although she was more than a mile away she saw Mass on the wall of her dormitory. So clear was the vision that the next day she could name the friars at the celebration. It was for this last miracle that she has been named patroness of television. Lover of the Eucharist
Clare was "an ardent seraph" before the most Blessed Sacrament -- she looked to the Lord in the Eucharist as her dearest Love. She received Jesus in Holy Communion as often as she was permitted. One day after she had received Holy Communion, the Child Jesus came to visit her. He lay in her arms and covered her with kisses.
In speaking of Eucharistic Adoration, St. Clare said, "Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him."
And, imitate Him she did. Due to her great zeal and deep devotion for the Holy Eucharist, Clare came to resemble that which she consumed and gazed upon so frequently during her life. Pope John Paul II said of St. Clare: "her whole life was a Eucharist because … from her cloister she raised up a continual ‘thanksgiving' to God in her prayer, praise, supplication, intercession, weeping, offering and sacrifice. She accepted everything from the Father in union with the infinite ‘thanks' of the only begotten Son." ~ copyright Jean M. Heimann August, 2008, Updated August 2014 Powerful Prayer to St. Clare of Assisi
O glorious Saint Clare!
God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress; we beseech you, obtain for us from Jesus, through Mary, His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.
Saint Clare Pray For Us