Introduction to the Letters to Agnes of Prague - 42 

Thus this third letter presents marvelous insights into Clare's understanding of the enclosure, a life of extremely demanding poverty, and her mission in the Church.

Fourth Letter

Almost fifteen years had passed since the composition of the third letter when Clare began this last letter to Agnes. Her own blood-sister, Agnes, who had been in the monastery of Monticelli, had returned to San Damiano to be with her sister, no doubt, during her last days. Thus the letter was written sometime during those days in 1253 when the two sisters were again reunited.

Of these four letters, many consider this as the most beautiful, no only because of its powerful affective expressions, but also because of the uplifting eschatological tone that permeates nearly every paragraph. Moreover, this letter offers us some insights into Clare's life of contemplative prayer by returning to that "formula of prayer" suggested in her second letter to Agnes of Prague and the image of the mirror found in the third letter.




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 42