(This article originally appeared in the TAU-USA Winter 2019 Issue 99 and the Power Point presentation can be found at Our Father Hail Mary ppt )

St. Clare — painting on glass by M. Lorin of Chartres, France, created in 1878.   



Layna and Francine led this session on Clare, and her powerful method of prayer which she shared in her letter to St. Agnes. Layna quoted: “Most Nobel Queen, gaze, consider, contemplate, desiring to imitate Your Spouse.”

Layna reminded everyone of the components of Clare’s prayer: gaze, consider, contemplate and imitate, and invited then to share their thoughts on the hallmarks of Clare’s Prayer.  Some responded: “Contemplative. Vivid. Passionate. Draws Close to Jesus. Feels His Embrace. Relational.”

They would experience it for themselves during the final session when Francine walked them through an intensely spiritual journey in prayer as they reflected on the painting of Francis embracing Christ on the Cross.

In quiet, personal solitude, she asked them to:

  • Gaze – “To gaze is not simply to see. Rather gaze is to be drawn into the object one sees. Open arms are a gesture of the body reaching for the other…I want the other to be a part of who I am and I want to be a part of the other… Reflect upon the surface of the mirror. Are you drawn into his suffering? Look into yourself. Can you unite yourself to Jesus’ suffering? His humility? See Jesus’ love for others amidst His own suffering. See His love for you. How do you respond?”
  • Consider – “Consider, which means to look at something whole to see it in its entirety, in my personal context and that of the Incarnate Word.”
  • Contemplate — “With love which cannot be put into words. Soak in this love. You are face to face with the mystery and above all, with holiness.”
  • Imitate – “We imitate because we share in the love of Christ and as Bonaventure describes it, as a fountain of love overflowing and never ending.”

The final prayer ended with Clare’s message to Agnes: “Totally love him who gave himself totally for your love.”