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Centering Calmness of a Peacemaker

Painting of young BVM Foundress Mary Frances Clarke by BVM Mary Faith Lautz.

As questions swirl and not knowing grows, I feel myself teetering on the edge these days, asking each morning what will this day bring?

Today on the shared feast of Mary Frances Clarke and St. Francis, I’ll focus on Mary Frances Clarke and why she chose to become a Third Order Franciscan in Ireland before leaving for America. I suspect she wanted to follow in Francis’ footsteps–become a peacemaker, rebuilder of the church, lover of nature. She probably also resonated with Francis’ devotion to the poor and life of simplicity.

In her memory, I’ll thank God for companioning me in my questions even when I don’t feel the divine presence.

I’ll practice the Quaker art of “centering down,” which I understand Mary Frances Clarke embraced. And to honor her and St. Francis, I’ll pray for peace (of mind and heart) and courage to live humbly in this chaotic time.

I wonder friends, will you join me?

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. “…for peace (of mind and heart) and courage to live humbly in this chaotic time.” These words bring comfort and solace at a time that has become surreal for so many. Gratefully, Kathy

  2. Laura, your reflective thoughts and Faith’s portrayal of Mary Frances integrate our double feast meaningfully.
    Your opening question is a realistic lead into the following musings, plans and invitation. Yes, thank you,
    I am joining you, Laura.

  3. Laura, I’ll join you in praying for peace (of mind and heart) and courage to live humbly in this chaotic time. Indeed, we do have a chaotic time! C Jean Hayen, BVM

  4. To wake each morning and deliberately CHOOSE HOPE. We only have the time we are given. This particular time challenges me to the core. I am grateful for this reminder to ‘center down and pray for peace and courage to live in this chaotic time.’

  5. Thank you for reminding us of Mary Frances Clarke’s peace and courage and including Faith’s vision in her picture.

  6. Well done and said, Laura. I remember one shared with us novices decades ago: “The desire to love is love, and so is the desire to desire!” As we center down daily with all creation, we are one with all, centered in love.

  7. Laura,
    Thank you for sharing a part of your understanding of Mary Francis Clarke. Indeed each day dawns with more questions. We are living in the wondering, wandering phase of this global world. Your suggestion of the Quaker art of centering down invites me to practice this beautiful way of being in this time and this place.
    Thank you.

    Rose Mary Meyer

  8. Your reflection is beautiful and inspiring! Thank you, Laura. I join you in your prayer. Let us focus on our joy and gratitude! Blessings to all.

  9. Laura, thank you for this beautiful reflection. Just knowing that you, and so many others, share these deep concerns gives me comfort and courage.

  10. Thank you, Laura, for this beautiful reflection. Just know that you, and so many others, share these concerns gives me great comfort and courage.

  11. Dear friends,

    I’m so touched by your notes and kind words. Special thanks to Kitty Lawlor for her book, “Your Affectionate” which provided inspiration for my own thoughts/prayers.

    May we all go gently this week.


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