As sisters illuminating peace, we seek to live a simple, selfless life after the example of our brother St. Francis of Assisi in order that we may become lights to the world. This life is exemplified in the Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
In seeking to live according to these words and in accord with God’s particular plan for each of our lives, we will eventually, with His grace, embody the four qualities so much needed in the world today: peace, humility, joy, and prayerfulness.
We ask that Christ may write His Peace so deeply in our hearts that it may never be blotted out. We wish to attain peace of mind and spirit by allowing Christ to fully establish His reign in us. This fruit of the Holy Spirit is the work of justice and the effect of charity. Through knowing, trusting, and serving Him, we seek to radiate this Peace that it may illuminate Christ to others and attract them to Him like lost moths unto an eternal and beautiful flame. Through reaching out to the wounded and broken we will announce peace with our tongues because it resides in our hearts.
Through asking and allowing our Lord to move in us, we grow in Humility as St. Francis did in his emulation of the life of Christ. We strive to be like the sparrows of the air and the wildflowers of the fields; they sing and look to the Father who has fed and clothed them in beautiful simplicity. By committing to a simple life, we shed off the garments of selfishness and the weight of pride, that we may don humility and feel the freedom of Christ. We give everything to Christ, asking that our frail merits may be multiplied and purified by Our Lady before they are presented to Our Lord. We ask God to see ourselves as He does – no more, no less – with all of our present faults and the talents He has given us for His glory.
We seek true Joy in life through our simplicity and our total abandonment to God. In the words of Chesterton, each of us aims to be a “Jongleur de Dieu,” or a juggler for the Lord, giving all our actions, sufferings, and happiness to Him as a sacrifice of praise. We seek to take delight in the life that God has given us, whether it is pleasant or not at the time. Thus, the glow of divine joy shines out from our eyes, hearts, and souls. This is the joy that lies beyond superficial happiness, the joy that is divinely inspired, and the joy that raises the mind and heart to give glory to God.
Like our patrons St. Francis and St. Claire, we seek to allow our Prayer to inform our daily lives. The sparrow needs but a few seeds in order to sing and soar to the heavens; prayer is the sustaining food for our souls. Prayer is our most personal link to our beloved Master and we wish to cultivate this link to its utmost through both traditional and charismatic prayer. These two forms of prayer will be our lungs, allowing God to infuse us with His breath of life that empowers our ongoing conversion to be transformed into Christ’s image and likeness.
The example of St. Francis and St. Claire guides us in our everyday lives. Like them, we are intensely Eucharistic and devoted to the sacraments. Like them, we run joyfully towards God with all the irresistible passion of a lover. Like them, we seek to be Troubadours delighting in our songs of praise and repressing nothing that comes from the Lord. Our Lady of Czestochowa is our mother, our guardian, and our persevering hope through trial and temptation. She tunes and refines us that we may play more beautifully our song of Illuminating Peace for God.
Living in peace, humility, joy, and prayer changes us inwardly so that outwardly we may spread the ripples of peace and harmony throughout the Body of Christ. Our household strives to continuously make that conversion as we search for the simplicity and wonder of youth with the wisdom of age. Nothing great was achieved through mediocrity. Francis’ life is a testament to how small deeds can, and do, change everything.