Poor Clares are called "Contemplatives", not because we are the only ones who practice "contemplation", but because our whole lifestyle is designed to foster contemplative prayer. Our silence helps us to listen to God who speaks in our hearts. Our poverty, simplicity of life and the discipline of self-denial serve to remove those desires which are obstacles to union with our true Beloved. The daily schedule, which calls us again and again to the temple for prayer, does not allow us to forget the "one thing necessary". Even our religious habit as well as the sparse decor of the monastic rooms remind us of who we are as worshipers of God.
Pope John Paul II says that one draws close to the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, "above all by letting oneself be taught an adoring silence. At the culmination of the knowledge and experience of God, says the Holy Father, is his absolute transcendence." This is reached, he goes on to say, through "the prayerful assimilation of Scripture and the liturgy." This adoring silence is absolutely essential to our reading of Scripture, absolutely essential to our celebration of the sacred liturgy, absolutely essential to theology and to preaching, to our commitments in society and in family, and to the wholeness and authenticity of our lives as human beings.
This is the Christian pilgrimage: from the noisy pride of our sinfulness to the adoring silence of faith, hope and love, and from the adoring silence of faith, hope, and love to the divinizing glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of our faith. It is the radiant core of what we believe as Christians. It is the 'complete truth' into which we are led by the Holy Spirit, according to the promise of Jesus. The Holy Spirit teaches us the way of adoring silence, whispering to us like a gentle breeze, drawing us to the Father, like the Son, with the Son and through the Son.
  We have been baptized into a relationship with the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. The Three Divine Persons dwell within us. We are inhabited by their glory. We are never left alone, even in the moments of our greatest solitude. We carry within ourselves the adorable mystery of the Trinity. God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is present within our hearts, present to us, present for us. It is we who fail to be present to the Presence within us, because we are alienated from our deepest selves, afraid to descend into the depths of our own mystery, ever escaping into noise and feverish activity, so as to avoid interior silence at all costs.
For St. Clare, contemplation of God begins with the God-man, Christ Jesus. In a letter to one of her followers, St. Agnes of Prague, she writes, "As a poor virgin, embrace the poor Christ. Look upon Him who became contemptible for you, and follow Him, making yourself contemptible in the world for Him. Your Spouse, though more beautiful than the children of men became, for your salvation, the lowest of men, despised, struck, scourged untold times throughout His whole body, and then died amid the sufferings of the Cross. O most noble Queen, gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him." Christian contemplation, and especially Clarian contemplation, is always personal, leading to an intimate, loving relationship with the Divine Persons. After experiencing divine love, the daughter of Clare must then follow the exhortation of her Mother: "Show forth in your actions the love which you have
within you".
There is a way back to our own deepest selves. There is a way back to the presence of the indwelling Trinity. The way back is the way of adoring silence. "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps 45:11).