Veni, Sponsa Christi!
Come, Spouse of Christ!

The Kingdom is the presence of the King; and wheresoever the King is, he reigns. He reigns by putting darkness to flight; He reigns by giving a feast for the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. His kingship shines in the eyes of brothers and sisters who know hunger and thirst, who suffer from alienation, rejection and loneliness. His kingship is found in the midst of those who suffer in any way.

The King is the poor Christ. If you would live in the intimacy of the King, if you desire to see his face and hear his voice, if you would learn to recognize his footsteps resounding in the night; even more, if you would await him as a virgin, delight him as a bride, love him as a spouse, and carry him as a mother, then pray to recognize him in the mystery of his hidden Kingship. Martin of Tours saw him in the beggar without a cloak; holy Father Francis kissed him in the leper; Therese mothered him in the criminal condemned to death, and gave him joy in the most exasperating of her sisters.
The Sacred Liturgy gives us two pathways into the splendor of his reign. The first is through the "sacrament" of brothers and sisters in need; the second is through the lowly door of our own weakness. At different moments in a Poor Clare's life, she may find herself led by the Holy Spirit along one or the other or both of these paths. What is clear to those who love and observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is that there is no other way into the mystery of his hidden Kingship. This is why she binds herself by holy vows to live in obedience, without anything of her own, in chastity, and in the observance of enclosure. Obedience obliges her again and again to "come up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved". Dispossession of anything of her own will oblige her to live from the resources of the King. Chastity will free her heart to love her sisters in community, and to assume the awesome and joyful responsibilities of spiritual motherhood in the Church, especially in favor of sinners, of the dying, the lonely, the tempted and the poor. The observance of enclosure anchors her in the reality of the little and poor for whom there is no escape from the daily experience of lowliness and need, no escape from perfect joy!
For the Poor Clare Sister, the Eucharist is prepared as foretaste and pledge of the glorious Kingdom of the poor and exalted Christ. "Come, for all is now ready". And she, responding with all her heart to the invitation of the King, has chosen the lowest place. She remains there, full of joy, so that when the King comes he may say to her not only, "Friend, come up higher," but "Come, 0 bride of Christ, receive the crown prepared for you from all eternity" (antiphon, Rite of Profession); "Sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne" (Rev. 3:21). "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let him who hears say, 'Come.' Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus!"