Communications associate Anna Robinson reflects on walking in the footsteps of Clare in Assisi.

In one of my speech classes I had heard how St. Clare (Clara) was a leader, an initiator, how she took things upon herself to see them done, and how she was confidant in her faith. This resonated with me and was the focus of my application for the 2010 Franciscan Pilgrimage offered by my university.

The whole pilgrimage was wondrous and there were many stories, memories, lessons, and values that came home with me, but one of the highlights that has further inspired me upon return was an activity we called The St. Clare Walk.

The walk began at the home of Clare. It was evening and the streets were lit with lanterns warmly glowing on brick and cobblestone. We wove through the streets, following the path Clare would have taken the night she ran away from home to join Francis at the city gate. We sang a spiritual song as we walked, stopping periodically to say a prayer, and at the city gate we finished with a group reflection.

I’m fairly imaginative and as we walked along the route I could see the ghost of a small, young woman running down the streets, looking back every now and then to see if anyone was following her. I could imagine how determined she must have been to follow a way of life she knew was right, how scared she must have been that her father would come charging around the corner to take her back. Indeed she was confidant, indeed she was brave. Life beyond the city gate held no certainty and the only way for her to keep moving forward was to trust that God was guiding her steps.

That example of trust and courage stuck with me when all the good-byes were said and the last pictures were taken. She influenced one of my biggest hobbies and I wrote a piano song based on the St. Clare Walk titled “Clara’s Twilight”. Twilight is defined as the transition time between day and night, the time in which Clare made her final decision to join St. Francis. It can also be defined as a time of uncertainty. Clare was walking into uncertainty on pure and complete faith. I still can’t imagine what that is like, but thanks to her a lot of the world is inspired to try.

While you listen to the music, reflect on the life God is calling you toward. Like Clare, what fears or obstacles do you have?

Photos by Anna Robinson. Featured image by José Benlliure y Gil -Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons