St. Clare – a prophet for our times
Today’s first reading, Ezekiel 12:1-11, gives us a picture of the prophetic action Ezekiel was told to act out. It sounds crazy.
I have tended to domesticate the great saints in order to ward off the impact of their prophetic deeds and saying. St. Clare, I realized today, is one of them. With Francis, Clare maybe the most terrifying.
It is their embrace of poverty that scares me. Her prophetic action involved renouncing all that the world offered young persons in the 13th century – riches, honor, and pride (as Ignatius of Loyola put it) – seems way too challenging. Give up my efforts to dwell in the illusion of security? Hand over my “stuff,” guitars, Macs, & such?
Effectively, Clare said, “It’s all baloney. Letting go of it all is what’s true.” Well, kind of effectively. Though Francis and Clare influenced Ignatius, our Jesuit path does not always reflect the path of renunciation. (Can I get an ‘Amen!’) I’m left considering the invitation to surrender all as well as my unwillingness to let go. Ezekiel tells me how I live as part of the rebellious house. Yikes. It’s so much easier to domesticate Clare today.
The beginning of Ezekiel 12:
The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house;
they have eyes to see but do not see,
and ears to hear but do not hear,
for they are a rebellious house.
Now, son of man, during the day while they are looking on,
prepare your baggage as though for exile,
and again while they are looking on,
migrate from where you live to another place;
perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house.
You shall bring out your baggage like an exile in the daytime
while they are looking on;
in the evening, again while they are looking on,
you shall go out like one of those driven into exile;