To introduce ourselves, perhaps we need to give a little history?
1906 opened the page of St. Damian’s story. Eight sisters moved out of their beloved Poor Clare Mother-House in Carlow, en route to Dublin, to begin a new foundation there.
Some two years later, the Le Puy community of Poor Clares fled the Religious persecution in France and established themselves in Southampton, in the Diocese of Portsmouth. By 1932, it was safe for them to return to their own monastery. The Bishop of Portsmouth asked the Galway community if they could possibly send sisters to ensure a Poor Clare presence in his Diocese. Six sisters were duly sent.
2008 saw new beginnings for both these communities, when the Dublin monastery had the unprecedented joy of welcoming the Southampton community, to amalgamate with them. It is this, happy, united community, which now forms the Dublin Poor Clares.
Lk 15:17 tells us the young prodigal son “came to himself”. Doesn’t it happen to everyone of us, at some point in life? Then life can begin in real earnest. “Look into your heart”, the Holy Father exhorted the young people in Britain. It is there we discover ourselves – and allow ourselves to be discovered by the Lord. The rich young man met Jesus. He did not allow Jesus to encounter him. Mk 10:21. “Hands off”, we can almost hear him say, when he hears Jesus’ blueprint for His followers. “Go, sell what you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in Heaven. Then, come, follow Me”. The young Prodigal really “came to himself” when he experienced the crazy love of his father. When we look into our hearts, heart to Heart with Jesus, we can discover His incredible, personal love for us, and our true path in life, the one that leads to “life in all its fullness.”
It was the blueprint, rejected by the rich young man, which fired the heart and soul of Clare of Assisi. She did not lack the one thing necessary. The poor Jesus, in the crib, naked on the cross, the ciborium, ravished her heart to the exclusion of any other “Forma Vitae” (Form of Life). How appropriate that the Eucharistic Congress in Ireland, coincides with the celebration of the 8th centenary of Clare’s Form of Life! The Blessed Eucharist was her passion. Does her ideal find an echo in your heart?
Clare states unambiguously, that the form of life in the order of the Poor Sisters (as they were known in her life-time), is to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity. Every choice and decision was made in the light of the holy Gospel. This life-style has the potential of leading to union with God, the goal of every human life. It initiates an adventure of change, conversion, that lasts a life-time.
“To use the words of the Apostle himself in their proper sense”, says Clare, “I consider you a co-worker of God Himself (1Cor 3:9; Rom16:3) and a support of the weak members of His ineffable Body”. The life and prayer of Clare and her sisters, reaches out to every human person and entrusts each one to the loving embrace of God.
“The form of Gospel contemplative life, embraced by Clare and her Sisters, following the example of Francis, is the logical response to the madness of the love of God, revealed in the Incarnation, passion and death of JESUS.” Fr. José Rodtiguez Carballo OFM.
We invite you to visit us, (by appointment) at:
Poor Clares, St. Damian’s, Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 - or - visit our website: www.pccdamians.ie
The scent of a flower goes but with the wind; the perfume of a holy life goes even against the wind.