August 8, Seventh day of the Novena to St. Clare

Today we pray for Pope Francis and all our spiritual leaders.


Day 7 – Sr. Ann

St. Clare, who was dearly loved by more than one pope, had a vision of how she would lead her Franciscan journey with St. Francis. Because of the time in which she lived, she had to acquiesce to the Pope’s mandate of how she would live as a Poor Clare; however, because she knew the art of dialogue, she was able to blend her vision with that of the Pope’s vision. We also recognize this art of dialogue in how the Poor Ladies lived at San Damiano. Think about it—fifty women living together in very close quarters. These women had a variety of backgrounds and economic statuses. They were not all the same. There were many differences, yet these women made it work. They talked things out, dialogued with one another, made amends with one another, sought the common good of all the sisters, and loved one another.

In his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis devotes a chapter to dialogue. I quote from chapter six:

“Some people attempt to flee from reality, taking refuge in their own little world; others react to it with destructive violence. Yet, between selfish indifference and violent protest there is always another possible option: that of dialogue. Dialogue between generations; dialogue among our people, for we are that people; readiness to give and receive, while remaining open to the truth. A country flourishes when constructive dialogue occurs between its many rich cultural components: popular culture, university culture, youth culture, artistic culture, technological culture, economic culture, family culture and media culture.”

I feel it is clear that dialogue has a prominent place in Pope Francis’ vision for the times in which we live. We might ask ourselves how we can live a life of dialogue that brings forth peace, unity, and harmony to our families, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, etc.

Let us pray for our Holy Father and all our spiritual leaders, asking that the Holy Spirit fill them with the wisdom and graces they need to bring dialogue, unity, and harmony into our Church and our world.

Sr. Ann Bartko, OSC

Ask the Poor Clares to pray for your intentions on their website: Poor Clares Cincinnati

Visit their Facebook page: Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare of Cincinnati, Ohio

Click here to pray the Novena to St. Clare – Day 7

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