Treading lightly

Do not depart from your course….
Let no dust gather on your feet.
Letter of St. Clare of Assisi to St. Agnes of Prague

Today the Franciscans remember a thirteenth century Poor Clare nun who lived many years in a convent in Bohemia. Agnes was born to a noble family but refused marriage – even from the Emperor – to devote herself to God.

St. Clare considered St. Agnes her spiritual daughter and wrote some beautiful letters to her. A part of one of these is used in today’s Vigils in the Franciscan Liturgy of the Hours.

With swift pace, light tread, and unswerving fidelity
proceed safely with joy and gladness
along the way that leads to salvation.

How do we tread lightly?

I’ve not run for several years, but in Ames I would occasionally run around a field on the Iowa State University campus near where the Towers used to be.

When I ran I didn’t feel as if I were marching along with a heavy step. I guess that sometimes I felt as if I were gliding along, over the earth.

Of course, I had no baggage with me – just a key to the house in my pocket.

Does treading lightly mean living with little, at least with few things to burden me, to weigh me down?

Does treading lightly mean that I do not get too settled and let myself move on – when God calls?

Does treading lightly mean keeping my eyes on the prize – the Reign of God – and letting myself me led there by God’s love?

Lord, help me tread lightly and run swiftly – in your love and by your grace, as I walk the way.

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