These few weeks in August contain some of my favorite saints’ days– St. Dominic, St. Lawrence, the martyrs of Auschwitz, St. Edith Stein and St. Maximillian Kolbe, and St. John Vianney. Yesterday I heard a homily on St. Clare on her feast which was simply based on her last words: “Blessed be You, my God, for having created me.”
I’d argue that this is the most pro-life prayer I have ever heard. It goes much deeper than saying “thank you” for her life, which, perhaps, is a prayer that many of us are able to say. It also says, “thank you for making me, you are blessed because, in my small beauty, you are shown to be an almighty Creator.” There are many of us who struggle with loving ourselves, and by this I don’t mean the vanity or pride that can lead to sin, but rather, a feeling that we are unable to be loved. These can be caused by wounds, sin, our upbringing… whatever hurt we bring to the table, however, God still offers us the same thing he offers our brothers and sisters: life and freedom in Him.
If I am honest with myself, I know there are days when I cannot pray St. Clare’s prayer. But as Christians I think we should strive to say it, to thank God for our creation and for making us exactly who we are, rather than wondering why we are not as good as/as holy as/as successful as the next person. Holiness is a choice, and you’ve got to work with what you’ve got, trusting that God gave you the capacity to reach the heights. Because He certainly did, He who said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10).