Sometimes people say when arguing about the Church’s stance on various issues that “Jesus was a product of His times, ergo, if He were on the earth today, we would have women priests, gay marriage, democratic elections for Pope,” etc. etc. etc…..
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., in her classic book, A Right to be Merry, says that one thing that makes the daughters of St. Clare bristle is the notion that Saint Clare, with her missionary heart, became a cloistered contemplative simply because it was the only form of religious life available to women in her day.
If Saint Francis had wanted his Second Order to be a missionary order, he was just the man to have made that a fait accompli in no time at all. No one was ever more “original” than the saint who walked at right angles to everything characteristic of his age.
What he founded was was a Second Order of enclosed, praying nuns, because that is what he wished to found. Saint Clare, on her part, did indeed have a missionary heart. That is why she entered the cloister; to be a missionary to all the world.
Any daughter of hers who is not a missionary at heart is in danger of hearing hard words from her Seraphic Mother when she meets her after death: Nescio te!-I know you not!