In her second letter to Agnes of Prague, Clare of Assisi has a lovely blessing that speaks of her faith in God’s ability to support, love and guide believers in their journeys. Offering advice to Agnes, Clare remarks that the Spirit of God has called Agnes — as God’s Spirit calls each of us — to follow a path toward perfection. This path, what I would like to call each person’s vocation, is perhaps different for each person. Yet, the journey of every Christian bears some resemblance to that of each other journey.
Before she offers this blessing, Clare reminds Agnes to never lose sight of “how she began,” how she started this path of conversion and Christian living. In other words, not only do we have to strive to always recall those more explicit moments in our lives when we’ve made a decision to follow Christ, but we should recall that in Baptism we were all joined to one another in Christ in a special relationship. This relationship draws us ever closer to God and, in the process, to one another.
How do we respond to that call? How do we understand God’s expectations for us and for the world? How is it that we are able to remember how we began on this journey and remain on the path?
May Clare’s blessing for Agnes be our blessing today. May we recall how we got to where we are, while never losing sight of where we are going. And may that recollection and focus change our lives as we journey with one another and all of creation toward God.
What you hold, may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step, and unswerving feet,
so that even you steps stir up no dust,
go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,
believing nothing, agreeing with nothing which would
dissuade you from this resolution or
which would place a stumbling block
for you on the way, so that you may offer
your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection to which
the Spirit of the Lord has called you.