Clare allowed herself to be transformed by the love of Christ she experienced in her life and she advised Agnes and other women to want nothing to hold them back from embracing Christ. When she tells Agnes to go forward “securely” she means for Agnes to be rooted in Christ, to be unencumbered; therein lies her security. And the going forward is to be with joy. No matter what Agnes will encounter on the journey, she is to persevere. Christ, the focus of her life, is her joy. Finally, she tells Agnes that the going forward is to be done “swiftly,” that is with inner freedom and confidence in the God who is the giver of all gifts. Clare and Agnes were women who loved Christ come what may. Brave, yes. Passionate, yes. Convinced, yes, that their perseverance carries a wisdom that will bear the test of time even or especially in adverse circumstances.
Clare of Assisi provides us with the insight that we are able to persevere on the journey we have set out through contemplation of the Poor Christ. What we may have thought would be our security that is, buildings, ministries, or beloved places is being transformed. In essence only Christ is our security. All else pales. May we gain a heart of wisdom in this moment of challenge. What we may have thought would be the source of our joy, perhaps is not. For all one knows, our communal moment of transformation as we persevere in spite of difficulty may give us a quiet joy that is more than we could ever have imagined. And how ought we to journey? Clare says, “swiftly,” freely, confidently in Christ who promises always to be with us . . .