St. Clare, Scandal, & Why Saints Are Often Foolish

by Family, Love and Relationships, Saints, Testimonies

People do foolish things for love. Consider a wonderful Catholic girl I know who creeped away from her loving parents one night to join some neighborhood dude who had shamed his family by stealing from his own father, and then scandalized the whole town by flashing naked on the steps of the cathedral.

Yes people like these two, Saints Clare and Francis, do foolish things for love because they follow a God Who does foolish things for love. God’s love is foolish if we accept the definition that foolishness is doing the same thing over and over again while always expecting different results.

Because Scripture is the never-ending story of God making a covenant in love over and over again with His chosen people while always awaiting different results. God never seems to learn, which by any definition, is foolish.

So saints who follow our Savior believe foolish things– like that a child who is tiny is actually great. That is foolish because children are not only small of stature, they’re also easily deceived.

Who but a fool wants to be as small, weak and easily victimized as a child? How can we explain Jesus’s insane insistence that small is great, weak is strong, and gullible is good?

Well back in 1980 another Catholic girl, also named Clare, explained to me how it is great in heaven to be like a tiny child on earth.

When that Clare was a child, she was sexually victimized by her uncle and impregnated at 13. Her parents presumed she had shamed them with some neighborhood dude, and threw her on the streets.

That is how her story began, but she explains how it ends: “To support my baby, I first sold my hair and then my blood, and finally I had nothing left to sell except my body. Every morning I walk back to my room where my boy waits with his babysitter. And every morning all the men whistle and wink while all the women cross the street so as not to be soiled by my shadow. To every adult, I’m a shame and a scandal. However, when I open my door, my little boy dances and shakes his tiny fists shouting: ‘Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!’ To him, I’m not a shame or a scandal because he loves me just as I am. He has no judgement in his heart, which is always a stumbling block to adults. Without any words of wisdom, he reveals to me the folly of the Cross where Christ lavishes that love on me which is always a stumbling block to the judgmental, a scandal to the self-righteous, and foolishness to those who think themselves greater than others. So Father Ken, please explain to all your seminarians about my toddler demonstrating Jesus’ desire that we all become like little children so that together everyone may enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

Article Written By Fr. Kenneth G. Davis, OFM, Conv.

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/5402432166

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