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(Jesus Christ) is the brightness of eternal glory, the splendour of eternal light, the mirror without spot.

Look into that mirror daily, O queen and spouse of Jesus Christ, and ever study therein your countenance, that within and without you may adorn yourself with all manner of virtues, and clothe yourself with the flowers and garments that become the daughter and chaste spouse of the most high King. In that mirror are reflected poverty, holy humility and ineffable charity, as, with the grace of God, you may perceive.

From a letter of St. Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague

In the above quote from St. Clare of Assisi we have an interesting analogy presented to us. Here she likens Christ to a mirror. I have seen analogies similar to this one, but only in reverse: that Christians are to be a mirror that reflects Christ back to the world. So, when I first read this from St. Clare I was a little puzzled at what she could mean. Then it occurred to me: what do we usually see in a mirror? The answer is ourselves. And yet to truly be a follower of Christ we cannot be turned in on ourselves in such a manner. And that is why she tells Blessed Agnes, as well as us, to “look into that mirror (that is Christ) daily.” It is through the daily acquiring of virtues that we must seek to become more conformed to the image of Christ.

But, we tend to fight against this idea of conforming to any image other than our own. In fact, too often we want the image of Christ to conform to our own idea of what He is supposed to look like. Sure, we want to become better people and be more Christ-like but we don't want it to be too hard and so we force Christ into the mold we have made for Him. We do this because we are scared that we will lose ourselves if we give ourselves over completely to Christ. And yet, that is what He has demanded of us. (“For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt 16:25)

It is our own pride and willfulness that keeps us from conforming ourselves to Christ. But we must remember that God created our souls to be perfectly aligned with His own Divine Will and, therefore, if we hand our wills over to Him then it is impossible to lose ourselves. In fact, to hand ourselves over to God is the only way to become perfectly who we are and who God has always intended for us to be. It is only then that we will be able to look in the mirror and see ourselves transformed into the likeness of Christ.

 

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