The Vows

Religious profession is an act of adoration of God
impelling us to lose our life that we may find it.
– Poor Clare Constitutions

Deus Ego

Poverty  

By the profession of this kind of poverty, our Order is called to give corporate witness to the things of eternity.
-Poor Clare Constitutions

The vow of poverty encompasses the life of a Poor Clare in a very particular way as a daughter of Ss. Francis and Clare.  She desires to be poor because Jesus was poor—in the crib in Bethlehem, on the cross and in the holy Eucharist.  She claims nothing as her own in order that she may be filled with eternal riches; she is set free from slavery to materialism and consumerism.   Her life bears testimony to the Scriptures:  as having nothing and yet possessing all things (2 Cor 6:10).  This vow deepens the baptismal gift of hope, for she trusts God to provide for her every need, both spiritual and material.

Chastity

Perfect chastity in virginal consecration is a precious gift of God which infuses into our hearts an unparalleled freedom to love.
-Poor Clare Constitutions

The vow of chastity is a Poor Clare’s response to God who has first loved her.  When lived with generosity, this commitment brings fulfillment and joy, despite the sacrifices involved, because it unites her forever to Christ her Bridegroom.  Through that union, she becomes a spiritual mother of countless souls.  This vows deepens the baptismal gift of charity, endowing our life with fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God.

Obedience

Religious obedience exalts the dignity of human nature, for it demands the highest exercise of personal responsibility in the use of our free will…
-Poor Clare Constitutions

Through the vow of obedience, the Poor Clare shares in the redemptive mission of Christ, who was obedient to the Father in all things, even to His death on the Cross.  She lives surrendered to His will for her as expressed through the Rule, her superiors and the needs of her sisters.  This vow deepens the baptismal gift of faith, setting her free from self-centeredness and willfulness in order to live in a spirit of loving service.

Enclosure

The liberating gift of enclosure leads those who receive it over that threshold which opens upon a life of profound union with God.
-Poor Clare Constitutions

Papal enclosure is a Poor Clare’s very particular way of living and expressing the Paschal mystery of Christ which is death ordained toward resurrection.  This vow, which is a significant aspect of the Poor Clare charism, intensifies all the other vows.  In a paradoxical way enclosure is a source of incredible freedom; giving up space, contacts and so many other precious gifts allows a Poor Clare to find all things anew in the Heart of Christ.

In her solitude and silence which Clare chooses…
communion with God becomes a reality.
– St. John Paul II