Letter of Pope Gregory IX - 132 

soft and what is rough will become smooth, so that you will exult, if you merit to suffer these things for Christ Who endured for us the passion of an infamous death.

Truly, because you are our consolation among the innumera- ble, bitter, and endless trials by which we are constantly being afflicted, we ask you all and we encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ and, what is more, we command by this Apostolic Letter that, walking and living in the Spirit and forgetting the past as you have learned from us, you be like the Apostle always intent on what is ahead by striving after better gifts, so that abounding more and more in virtue you may cause God to be glorified in you and fill up our joy, as we embrace you in intimate love as our special daughters—or ladies, if it is right to say this, because you are the spouses of the Lord.

Because you have been made, we are confident, one spirit with Christ, we ask you to remember us always in your prayers by rais- ing your pious hands in incessant supplication to God, Who knows that, surrounded as we are by so many dangers, we cannot prevail because of human frailty. But with God strengthening us with His power, may He enable us to fulfill so worthily the minis- try entrusted to us by Him, so that it will bring glory to Him, joy to the angels, and salvation to us and to those entrusted to our care.

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Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 132

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