Letter of Agnes of Assisi to Her Sister Clare (1230) - 405 

very little. It is always with me and never wants to leave me. I believed that our life and death would be one, just as our manner of life in heaven would be one, and that we who have one and the same flesh and blood would be buried in the same grave. But I see that I have been deceived. I have been restrained; I have been abandoned; I have been afflicted on every side.

3My dearest sisters, sympathize with me, I beg you, and mourn with me so that you may never suffer such things and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering. Lam 1:12 This sorrow is always afflicting me; this emotional tenderness is always torturing me; this ardent desire is always consuming me. As a result, distress utterly possesses me and I do not know what to do, Phil 1:22 what I should say, since I do not expect to see you and my sisters again in this life.

4O, if only I could lay bare for you on this page the continuing sorrow that I anticipate and that is always before me. My soul burns within me, and I am tormented by the fires of innumerable tribulations. My heart groans within me, and my eyes do not cease to pour out a flood of tears. Filled with every kind of sorrow and spiritless, I am pining away entirely. Even though I seek consolation, I do not find it. Lam 1:2 I conceive sorrow upon sorrow, when I ponder within me with fear that I will never see you and my sisters again. Under such distress I am totally disheartened.

5On the one hand there is no one of all my dear ones to console me; but on the other hand I am very much consoled and you can congratulate me for this: I have found great harmony and no factions here, which is beyond belief. Everyone has received me with great happiness and joy, and has very devoutly promised me obedience and reverence. They all commend themselves to God, to you, and to your community, and I commend myself—and them—to you in all things and in every way, that you may have a solicitous concern for me and for them as you have for your own sisters and daughters. Know that I and my sisters wish to observe inviolate for all the days of our lives your admonitions and precepts.

6As far as the precepts are concerned, be assured that the Lord Pope has satisfied me, as I have said, and has satisfied you too, in all things and in every way according to your intention and mine regarding, as you know, our position on the ownership of property. I beseech you to ask Brother Elias to visit me more often to console me in the Lord.




Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 405