Imagine you have a daughter who just finished high school. You have taken care of her for 18 years and have invested your life into her. You have fed her, educated her, and taught her how to live as a mature person in the world. You have saved money for years so that she might go off to college and then become a productive member of society. Then, one night, she sneaks out of your house and joins a cult-live group of men (only men!) who, by all accounts, are religious fanatics.
Congratulations! You may be the parent of St. Clare (whose feast day is today).
When reading the stories of the saints, we can sometimes mitigate the radical nature of their lives, because we already know the end of the story: that they gave their lives to Christ and were following his will. But imagine if you were Clare’s father and your daughter behaved as she did. You don’t know if these “friars minor” are legitimate, and frankly, it looks doubtful that they are anything other than crazy men following a cult leader. Do you really want your (respectable) daughter to join them?
But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a radical calling, one that supersedes familial ties. If Christ calls you, it does not matter what your parents or anyone else may think – you must respond. Following Christ may be simple, but it is not easy.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life – Matthew 19:29.