In her final letter to Saint Agnes of Prague, Clare encouraged her friend to
look deeper than the surface level of the mirror.
Everlasting God, thank you for the model of the faithful Clare,
hidden from the world at San Damiano.
She understood that what we see on the outside
is not nearly as important as the image that we are called to project from
within our hearts and souls.
Help us to project an outward image that is in line with
Christ’s mission and Gospel message for the benefit of all.
How many times do we look into a mirror to check things such as our clothes and hair? Mirrors are great for checking surface-level things like that. But in her final letter to Agnes of Prague, Clare encouraged Agnes to look deeper than the surface level of the mirror. The mirror, she wrote, is a tool for understanding the spiritual life. Using the different aspects of the mirrors, such as the outside edges, Clare tells Agnes to reflect on the “poverty of Him who was placed in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes.”
This type of everyday evangelization was a hallmark of Clare’s ministry to others.
Are we reflecting the type of person we would like to be on the inside as opposed to how we look? Of course, we can’t see those more spiritual things in a mirror, but the idea is a powerful one, one with which we can all relate. Take a minute to reflect on your gaze. Look deeper into your soul. Are your actions reflecting your intentions? If not, how can you change your spiritual appearance?
- Physical characteristics aside, what makes you beautiful? What makes you shine? Is it a spirit of altruism? Is it a robust prayer life? How are you beautiful?
- With age brings wisdom. And sometimes wisdom can come with certain regrets. If you could write your younger self a letter about beauty, what would you say?
- There’s too much emphasis on our outward appearance. But sometimes we are to blame. What ways do you contribute to society’s obsession with physical appearance?
In Clare’s Own Words
“Gaze upon the mirror each day, O Queen and Spouse of Jesus Christ, and continually study your face within it.”