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St Clare of Assisi - Light From the Cloister
By Bret Thomas, OFS
I recently completed reading the new book by author Bret Thoman, OFS, titled “Saint Clare, Light From the Cloister.”
As you know there have been many books written about St. Clare and I have definitely not read them all. Still, I am ready to tell you that I think you would find, as I did, that the style of Thoman’s writing is such that Clare’s life comes alive and present to you. This is unlike many other biographies which tend to be a bit dry and focused only on the history. Bret skillfully weaves the known facts of Clare’s life with imaginative passages that bring you directly into the profoundly spiritual world of the founder of the Second Order of Francis. Yes, Clare wrote her own rule which was not approved until just before her death. It took a lifetime of dialogue between her and Church authorities.
Clare was a strong, brave woman who pulled up her aristocratic roots and planted them in the soil of humility. Clare may have lived in a cloister but she lived a dangerous and heroic existence, fighting off angry knight relatives at the beginning of her journey with St. Francis and later a horde of Saracens who were attacking the area around Assisi. These warriors were stopped by St. Clare when they found she and her sisters prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament. Reading this I asked myself: “Could I have been that brave and have that much faith in Jesus?”
I would highly recommend this book to all Franciscans and those inspired by the lives of saints.
Reviewed by Debbie Richard, OFS, August 13, 2018