August 11, 2009
"Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he that created you has sanctified you, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be God, for having created me." Clare of Assisi, last words as she lay dying, to those gathered around her.
Today I am celebrating the feast day of Saint Clare of Assisi, friend and co-worker of Saint Francis from the same famous region. What both Francis and Clare understood as they worked to rebuild the Church of their day was that spirituality and social justice are not opposite ends of a spectrum but are in fact two sides to one coin.
I hear in this benediction her self-awareness, humility and gratitude - even fortifying those around her and honoring the difficult work of integrating social justice with spirituality. I think this is kind of like hospital chaplaincy.
Today I presented my final evaluation to my chaplain colleagues of what the last 10 weeks has been like. What each of my chaplain-mates have meant to me, what theological questions continue to challenge me, what incident summarizes a key learning for me. In presenting my reflection, I felt held by my colleagues and loved. I hear them telling me, "Go forth without fear, for Love has sanctified you, protects you and loves you as a mother."
Blessed be God, who has created me.
How are you experiencing Love today?