“In the beginning was the Word; the Word was made Flesh and dwells among us.”
All of created reality is intertwined. This ending of the old year and the beginning of the new, with celebrations of life, love and our longing for happiness are inbuilt into our persons and our communities.
There are so many ways to share ourselves with one another. Here at Assisi Heights some of the Sisters share their love by joining the Salvation Army in their Christmas bell ringing to raise money for those most in need at this time. The Sisters add special “notes” to the ringing of the bells, they sing Christmas Carols. You can pass by the “bell” but it is hard to resist the singing. And most wonderful of all is that young people are joining their choir.
May we all find our special note to add to the Christmas symphony of people in love.
On the cover of his letter he has a painting on wood by a Spanish Friar, Fra Miguel Angel. It is interesting because Clare, as a mature, fully garbed nun, is kneeling on one knee outside the monastery at night gazing at a crescent moon and stars. This makes me chuckle because I would put Francis in this picture and Clare inside the Chapel gazing at the 12th century San Damiano Cross, the resurrection cross, with Christ’s arms out-stretched to embrace all God’s people.
This next part of the story is personal to me. I remembered the visit about 13 years ago of a young woman from St. Paul, MN, who was commissioned to carve a statue of St. Clare for St. Mary’s Peace Garden. We met in one of the parlors in our monastery in Bloomington. One of her questions was about symbols appropriate to St. Clare. I suggested that Clare was known for washing the feet of her Sisters when they returned from their ministry outside the monastery. What I remember most clearly of the encounter is that I took the young woman to our sacristy and showed her the bowls and pitchers crafted by the fine potter, Warren McKensie, of Stillwater, MN, the pottery which we used at the liturgy of the foot washing every Holy Thursday. I think that I showed her the towels also. When I saw the archival photos this all came back to me. The name of the sculptress is Caprice Kueffner Glaser. And here is the Clare she gave us.
Sister Caroline Berres took these beautiful photos shortly after Clare was placed in the Peace Garden.