"I, together with my Sisters…" So does St. Clare express her spiritual journey: not as a solitary walk toward God, but a pilgrimage to our heavenly homeland made in the company of others. There is a certain "togetherness" in the Poor Clare form of monastic life. We are together for meals, together for prayer, our work is often done together too. Of course, we also have our times of solitude, and our silence ensures that our togetherness does not disturb our communion with the One who dwells within our hearts. The cloister creates an intensity in our relationships with one another, for even in our solitary moments, we are never far from each other. We learn to bear our sister's physical and emotional burdens, to heal the inevitable conflicts with words of love. When St. Clare exhorted us to keep silence, she added that we may always say what is necessary. Thus, asking and receiving forgiveness never breaks silence, nor the needed gift of encouragement or comfort in times of sorrow.

Who is my Sister?
She is the reflection of the Love that never fails. The mirror wherein I can contemplate the expanse of God's desire for mankind, for each person, for me. She is my staff on the long pilgrimage through life.

Clare of Assisi knew Christ was calling her to solitude; she knew he was calling her to sisterhood. These are not contradictories. Rather they are the two indispensable doorposts leading into the mystery that is the raison d'etre of all solitude and sisterhood: the living and true God is a Father, our Father.

This God, who is the creative source of all that exists, is eternally a source within the Trinity itself. There the Father is the source of the Word which he speaks and the Breath which he breathes. He is the source of communion, for his Son is wholly "toward" him, offering in his reflected glory all that he is and all that the Father has "begotten" in him; the Father's Spirit is wholly "from" him, and by his acceptance gives back the gift which he is. In the communion of the Blessed Trinity no person is named for himself. There is neither "in itself" nor "for itself". In the communion of the living God the mystery of each person is to be for the other: "O! Thou!" Each person is gift and acceptance of gift; each is an élan that is enamored of the Other but in pure transparency; each is joy given gratuitously and accepted freely.
This is the fount of Franciscan sisterhood. This is the mystery that is our foundation and our joy. Clare cast it in a feminine mold when she wrote: If a mother love and nurture her daughter according to the flesh, how much more ought a sister to love and nurture her sister according to the Spirit!