The Vocation of a Poor Clare is to be a Bride of Christ
What is the Way of Life (forma vita) of the Poor Clares today? The way of life of the Poor Ladies is to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ – a gospel which is timeless! The accidentals of that way of life have changed a great deal from those early days of Clare and her sisters at San Damiano, but the life of consecration to the Most High God in highest poverty, contemplation and community remains unchanged.
Enclosure: One of the distinctive marks of our way of life is our choice of enclosure. Saint Clare chose to live an enclosed life before it became a canonical requirement for contemplative women religious. It allows us sacred space that is both limited by specific boundaries and unlimited as the Mystical Body. After a sister enters the monastery, she will not leave except for “a useful, reasonable, evident, and approved purpose.” We each choose enclosure as a way of expressing our desire to love totally and to live totally for God and God’s people.
The Evangelical Counsels: Living “in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity” the sisters live the Gospel and allow themselves to be formed by Jesus.
Liturgical Prayer: The life of the community is organized around the liturgical life of the Church as expressed in the Eucharistic Liturgy and the Liturgy of the Hours. Eucharistic Adoration is deeply imbedded in our charism.
Work: We all share in the daily work of the community. The work of our hands remains the major source of income for us. We design and make vestments and have enrollment cards.
Daily Schedule: The daily schedule is a good illustration of activities woven around prayer:
5:55 a.m. Morning Offering, Angelus in chapel; Meditation
7:05 a.m. Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours
7:30 a.m. Liturgy of the Eucharist (Mass) followed by Midmorning Prayer
8:30 a.m. Community work & Adoration
11:30 a.m. Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours
12:00 p.m. Dinner with recreation
1:00 p.m. Free time for personal prayer, study, leisure, rest
2:30 p.m. Midday and Mid-afternoon Prayer followed by the Rosary
3:00 p.m. Community work, meetings, or class (ongoing formation)
4:30 p.m. Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, Meditation, Supper
6:15 p.m. Night Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours
Our Calling: Among all the gifts which we have received and continue to receive daily from our Benefactor, the Father of compassion, and for which we must express the deepest thanks to our glorious, God, our Vocation is a great gift since it is the more perfect and greater, we should be so much more thankful to Him for it. For this reason, the Apostle writes: Consider Your calling (Art. 164.)