Poor Clares of New Orleans (OSC)
St. Clare Monastery
Gaze upon Him,
as you desire to imitate Him.
- 2nd letter of St. Clare to Agnes of Prague
Our life of prayer is meant to bring us to a closer union with Jesus Christ, our spouse. Just as a married couple needs to invest quality time with one another to nurture their spousal relationship, a Poor Clare nun makes it a priority to develop a deep relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Personal prayer, especially contemplative prayer, is the ultimate way to do this.
Contemplative prayer is, in essence, a wordless communication with God, a lifting up of one's heart to God. In the words of St. Francis de Sales, "heart speaks to heart." St. Clare often gazed upon the figure of Christ in the San Damiano Crucifix, considering the poverty of his life on earth as she was wrapped in contemplation of her Divine Spouse. As her life of prayer developed, she became a living image of the poor Christ and his holy Mother.
Our life of prayer is nutrured by our liturgical prayer together each day, monthly community days of prayer, and our annual retreat. Each sister may also take a personal retreat day each month. An atmosphere of recollection in the monastery helps each sister to find her own rhythm of prayer, whether it is in the chapel, choir, or outside in our garden.