Vocation Retreat Notes: Gaze Upon Christ

"The ultimate focus of all Christian contemplation is always Jesus. Clare shows us that we can only know the meaning of our lives as human beings when we look at the life of Jesus."
-Illia Delio

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity focused their November Vocation Discernment Retreat on the theme 'Gaze Upon Christ'. With the inspired artistic works of Stephen B. Whatley's portrait of St. Clare and our own Community's San Damiano's Crucifix painted by Sister Mariella Erdmann, retreatants were free to pray in Motherhouse chapels and in nature during personal prayer time.

Prayer Sources

Scripture, St. Clare's own Letters to Agnes, The Classics of Western Spirituality, Francis and Clare The Complete Works and Illia Delio's Franciscan Prayer were important prayer sources.

Here are some quotes from these sources that were used as suggestions for contemplation:

  • But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.. -Phil: 3:3-4

  • Gaze upon Christ; Consider Christ; Contemplate Christ; as you desire to imitate Him. -St. Clare's Letter to Agnes

  • Gazing is of the heart by which the heart opens its arms...to allow the Spirit of God's love to enter. Gazing requires a space within the heart to receive what we see and to embrace what we see. -Franciscan Prayer, Illia Delio

  • Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Phil. 2:5-11 

  • O Clare, endowed with so many titles of clarity! Clear even before your conversion, clearer in your manner of living, exceedingly clear in your enclosed life, and brilliant in splendor after the course of your mortal life. In Clare, a clear mirror is given to the entire world. -Pope Alexander IV
 We invite you to register for our February 17-19, 2012 retreat. Click here.


Anonymous said…
I've never done adoration before. It was very nice. I also really like the painting of St. Clare in St. Francis Chapel.
Anonymous said…
It helped me make space for Christ in my heart, it affirmed me in my search for God's will in my life, showed me possibilities I never considered and revealed to me His love through time spent with His daughters, in adoration, in music ministry, learning and prayer.
Anonymous said…
I really appreciated time with the Novices/postulant in the green hut (and prior to the retreat.)
Anonymous said…
I am touched by the Sisers and how they mirror Christ. It helped me think more about Francis and Clare's life and if I am called to live a life similar to theirs. It has helped me to realize I am not alone in the desires I have.
Anonymous said…
At this point, I can see myself as a Sister and I already live a simple life and it brings me joy. I am just trying to discover the right fit.
Anonymous said…
I loved meeting other young women who are discerning. It was amazing to see how the Franciscan Sisters live. It has touched me in so many ways.
Anonymous said…
Time to get away from the chaos fo the everyday and have time just to pray and truly listen to god. Learned more about Clare and her strong journey of faith.