St. Clare of Assisi – Christ is “King of the Angels”

From St. Clare’s 4th letter to St. Agnes of Prague:
“Marvel greatly at the poverty of Him who was placed in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. O marvelous humility and stupendous poverty! The King of the Angels, the Lord of Heaven and earth is laid in a manger!”

As we celebrate 800 years since St. Clare of Assisi made her consecration to God in the Portiuncula Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, we rejoice in 800 years of contemplation of Jesus poor, humble and crucified within Poor Clare cloisters throughout the ages and throughout the world.

In the citation above, St. Clare invites her sisters to contemplate in awe Jesus Christ, the King of the Angels, laid in a manger. The thought of the Babe of Bethlehem being the King of the Angels should cause one to reflect: Is Jesus the King of the Angels, and more generally the King of all creation, by a divine, immutable decree (sin or no sin)? Or is His Kingship contingent upon man’s sin and need for Redemption (no sin, no Incarnation, and therefore no Christ the King)?

The title “King of the Angels” helps us to see that the God-Man, Jesus Christ, was willed first as King, then all of creation was willed for Him. His Kingship over the Angels as the Word Incarnate, laid in a manger, is essential and central to God’s creative plan and not accidental, a sort of “since God has to come to redeem man, well, you Angels should come under Christ’s Kingship, even though He is only coming to redeem men and be their mediator.”

This whole discourse is developed at length on this website under the section 6. Col 1:15-20 (scroll down to verses 15 and 18).

St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

Fr. Maximilian M. Dean