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Hearts of Joy and Gladness

The Grace of Work

For Saint Francis and Saint Clare work was a grace, as long as it " did not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer and devotion to which all temporal things should be subservient ". Thus, Poor Clares do not engage in external activity or work of too involved a nature which would require prolonged consentration. Our work in community is of set purporse, simple and not absorbing so that our minds are left free for God in all the activities of the day in an awareness that becomes second nature, thus carrying over the official time for prayer into every moment. We all take part in the ordinary work of the house. Some communities accept remunerative work such as the baking of altar-breads, vestment making, printing and artwork. In fact every God-given skill or talent is sure to be put to good use!


Saint Clare abhorred " idleness, the enemy of the soul ", and even though afflicted with a severe long ilness she insisted on being propped up in a sitting position so that she could spin and weave fine linen into corporals and other altar cloths for poor priests of the surrounding neighbourhood. Poor people must work, and so Poor Clares willingly work in solidarity with all those everywhere who bear the burden of hard work.

Letter writing and meeting people

Several Sisters answer letters throughout the day. At certain times it is possible to speak to the Sisters in the reception rooms. People constantly say how much it helps to have somebody to tell their troubles to and know they are being remembered in prayer.

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