We do not need much space when we have God.
Without God the whole universe is crowded and cramped.
When the spirit is at home in God, we do not require things or space in which to roam, for the greatest expanse on this earth and in heaven too, is the Heart of God.
The enclosure is a special way of “being with the Lord”, participating in his self-emptying in a form of radical poverty. God is chosen as “the one thing needful”. By loving him exclusively the dimensions of the monastery extend over immense horizons. They open to the love of God that embraces everyone.
Enclosure is not only a means of immense value for achieving recollection but a sublime way of participating in Christ’s Paschal mystery. The vocation to the cloister is rooted in the Eucharistic mystery, encouraging participation in Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice for the Salvation al all.
(Pope John Paul 11. to Poor Clare’s Bologna 1997)
The enclosure is not four walls protecting us from the outside world. Its value exists in what goes on within this confined space. For us the enclosure becomes an opening to the whole universe, the whole of humanity.
Our real enclosure is within our hearts where we find Christ and his power and love.
Each one of us made a free decision to live out our lives within the enclosure.
We fulfil and follow the very deep yearning that God placed within our hearts.
We give our whole lives in loving and adoring Our Eucharistic Lord….
Simple as our lives are, they become very deep as we live in intimate contact with the deep mysteries of God’s love. Very like Our Lady at Nazareth, in whom we take our model and inspiration
“Stay close to this sweetest Mother, who gave birth to such a Son as the heavens cannot contain, but whom she held in the little enclosure of her holy womb and had carried on her lap”(St. Clare)
This quotation of St. Clare gives us insight into Clare’s understanding of “enclosure”. Physical enclosure was not the end in itself; it was a means towards interior union with Christ, living within her heart and being.
Christ absorbed her whole mind and thought and love and attention. Nothing could disturb or distract her undivided attention to him.
We need the help of physical enclosure, of silence, of detachment, to attain this inner union with the “still point” within, where Christ is, in the midst of this restless and noisy world.
“Mary, who kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” is our great model and teacher.