August 9, Eighth day of the Novena to St. Clare

Today we pray that we will trust in God’s voice and promises, even when it is not convenient for us.


Sr. Mary Anthony Nelson, OSC

Like many people, I do not always deal with stress well, especially when my stress is related to health issues and other concerns. I always want to be the “helper” and not the person needing help. Often, the only thing I can do is turn over my worries and concerns to God and trust that all will be well. I find comfort in Psalm 32:9 that says: “Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding; with bit and bridle their temper is curbed, else they will not come to you.”

I finally relax when I pray for guidance and hear Jesus whispering in my ear: Relax, go and listen, heed what you’re being told, and I will take care of the rest.

As a young woman, St. Clare was already living a life of prayer and service to the poor in the family household run by her mother, Ortolana. She was already a holy woman doing God’s work. It was NOT convenient for her to “run away” from her commitments to the family and be the first woman to join St. Francis. Her Uncle Monaldo was furious and forcibly tried to take her back home, even though he faced possible excommunication from the Church. (St. Clare had claimed sanctuary in the Benedictine nuns’ chapel at San Paolo, near Bastia.)

During her 40 years at San Damiano, St. Clare faced many health issues and other concerns, but she trusted in the Lord. She heeded the pope’s and St. Francis’ appeals for her to moderate her fasting so that she could regain some of her strength and continue to be a servant-leader to her sisters.

Life does not always go the way that we plan. Sometimes, all we can do is pray to Jesus for the strength and courage to continue, even on the inconvenient path, and listen to Jesus say: Relax, go and listen, heed what you’re being told, and I will take care of the rest.

Sr. Mary Anthony Nelson, 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 8