While St. Clare was sick in bed, soldiers attacked the monastery and all the sisters were really terrified. St. Clare feared for the safety of her sisters and asked for the Blessed Sacrament to be brought to her.
She prostrated herself on the ground in humble prayer. Begging the Lord she said, "Lord, look upon these servants of yours, because I cannot protect them". A voice was heard coming from the Blessed Sacrament, "I will always defend you".
St. Clare also prayed for the city saying: "Lord, please defend the city as well". The same voice resounded and said "The city will endure many dangers, but it will be defended." The soldiers left in such a way that they did not do any harm or damage.
St Clare pray for us, that we too may always turn with great faith to Jesus and trust in Him who is really present in the Eucharist. May we sincerely believe that He is always taking care of us. Amen.
Preparation and thanksgiving for Eucharistic celebration. Holy Communion the primary and supreme source of divine love and an anticipation of its heavenly reality.
1. “Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ preserves, increases and renews the life of grace - participation in the Life and Love of the Blessed Trinity - received at Baptism; it cleanses us from past sins and preserves us from future sins, it wipes away venial sins and breaks our disordered attachment to creatures”. (1)
2. Communion renews, strengthens and deepens our incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body(2). The Eucharist fulfils this call .(3)(4)
3 “The Sacrament... is truly Emmanuel, ‘God with us’.... For day and night He is in our midst, dwelling among us full of grace and truth(5). He is giving formation to morals, sustenance to virtue, comforting the sad, strengthening the weak. He stimulates all who approach Him, so that they may learn from His example to be gentle and lowly of heart, to seek not their own will but God’s. Anyone, therefore, who bestows a singular devotion to the worshipful Eucharist, and makes the effort to return a prompt and generous love to Christ, Who has infinite love for us, gains delight of heart and enjoyment to no small degree; he/she learns by experience, and fully comprehends the great value of the life hidden with God(6). Nothing on this earth holds more delight, nothing is more effective for achieving holiness”. (7)
Clare assures her community, benefactors and the city, or world, that the Eucharist is Emmanuel, “God-with-us” Who is ever desirous and capable of defending and caring for them.(8)
Holy Communion is all about change. The Eucharist is Christ changing the world. He changes us. He changes our worship and He changes our gifts. At the beginning of Mass our gifts are simply bread and wine, the signs of our ordinary life which we wish to give to God. By the Communion of the Mass these gifts have become Christ’s Body and Blood, and all this is part of God’s plan that through these gifts we be changed, so that we in turn might change the world.
The divine action of the Holy Spirit overflows heaven, and is at work here below. He can change the course of real events, if providence so requires it. He can change us, too, from within, changing not simply our ideas, but our hearts, our habits and our inmost selves. In the Eucharist Christ changes bread and wine into His own Body and Blood, because part of His ultimate purpose is to change us. This same deep-reaching action of God, which changes our gifts, is going to change our hearts, which the gifts represent. There is an organic link between the Eucharistic Consecration and Communion or better still, a unity of action of the Holy Spirit consecrating the offering for the congregation and the congregation into the Body of Christ. The ancient epiclesis, like the new Eucharistic Prayers often contain the invocation that God should send His Holy Spirit on the congregation as well as on the gifts presented at the altar. “Let Your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy... May we all be brought into unity by the Holy Spirit... and become one body, one spirit in Christ... a living sacrifice of praise.(9) This ecclesial and communitarian aspect of the Eucharistic consecration is its ultimate purpose and fulfilment.
The Eucharistic celebration thus becomes a perpetual Pentecost animating and perfecting, building up Christ’s Mystical Body by the participation in His sacramental Body and Blood. The Church and the Eucharist are inseparable. They form a unique and total mystery. In the Eucharistic celebration the consecration of the elements and the sanctification of the faithful are mutually related, without mixture or confusion, yet also without division.
“In reality”, according to Pope John Paul 11 (10), “Clare’s whole life was a Eucharist because like Francis, from her cloister she raised up a continual ‘thanksgiving’ to God in her prayers, praise, supplication, intercession, incessant weeping, offering and sacrifice. She accepted everything and offered it to the Father in union with the infinite ‘thanks’ of the only-begotten Son, the Child, the Crucified, the Risen One Who lives at the right hand of the Father”. The grace and blessings flowing from the Eucharist are to fill the whole of our lives.
Of Clare it could be said (11) that "when she returned with joy from holy prayer she brought with her burning words from the fire of the altar of the Lord, which enkindled the hearts of the Sisters... Thus in this changing world Clare was joined unchangingly to her noble Spouse, and found constant joy in spiritual things". And to her spiritual daughter, Agnes of Prague she recommended: "always rejoice in the Lord. May neither bitterness nor sadness overwhelm you".(12)
1.The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1392
4.The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1396
7.Paul V1, “Mysterium Fidei”, 1965, N. 67
9.Eucharistic Prayers 1, 2 and 3
10.Apostolic Letter for Jubilee of St. Clare, 1993, N. 7