The story of Clare's abandonment of wealth and position to follow Francis into poverty and to become co-foundress of the female version of his brotherhood is well known. Her intelligence, strength and importance in the world of the 13th century are less well known. . . . We are given brief excerpts of the actual letters, but we do have a feel for the times and the women concerned.
Christian History Institute
Joan Mueller's book provides a clear and concise introduction to the world of Clare of Assisi. Weaving together history and spirituality, Mueller leads the reader into the God-centered world of Clare. By sifting out the kernels of Clare's spirituality through her letters to Agnes of Prague, Mueller explores her legacy for us today. This is a fine introduction to the saint who fought for the privilege of poverty - and won.
Ilia Delio, O.S.F., Washington Theological Union
. . . this is a unique attempt to make the correspondence of St. Clare of Assisi into a resource for contemporary spirituality. . . . It may challenge some to address their own relationship to the material world and to the search for spiritual meaning, which was so focal a topic for Clare and Agnes.
In a time of growing disparity between rich and poor, Joan Mueller, O.S.F., has written an engaging and compelling account of the importance of poverty in the lives of early Franciscan women, Clare of Assisi and Agnes of Prague. In an historically astute and prayerfully written text, Mueller locates the four letters Clare writes to Agnes in their ecclesial and political context and explores the depths of their Franciscan spirituality based in the Privilege of Poverty. Writing in an accessible and direct style, Mueller challenges readers to reflect on how Clare and Agnes' fidelity to their particular vocation can inspire today's Christians - who follow very different spiritual paths - to follow the poor Christ 'by living simply so that others can simply live.'
Elizabeth Dreyer, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
Mueller has woven a fine and well-developed book around four brief letters of encouragement and comfort sent by Clare of Assisi . . . Mueller's translations are simple and flowing, and she surrounds Clare's texts with equally accessible treatments of their contemporary context and modern application. . . . Highly recommended.