Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin
St. Clare called Christ the “mirror without cloud.” In His humble birth, and in His humiliating death, Christ is a mirror. The thing about mirrors, though, is that they only show what’s there. If we look at a mirror rightly, we see ourselves and what is around us as they are. What do we see when we look at these events–how Jesus was born, and how He died? We see first of all God’s love for us, that our salvation is worth these events. We see secondly how the things we value–a nice bed, a good name, even life–are not so important that Jesus would not give these up for us.
This was certainly Paul’s own experience. In the reading proper to St. Clare, he speaks about how “everything is a loss” and even “rubbish” now that he knows Jesus. Paul freely admits that he is still striving to attain his salvation, and that he continues his “pursuit in hope that [he] may possess it.” But the first step of that pursuit was to realize the truth of what is around him. He could not go forward to what he was being called to if he was held back by what he had. This is why we need Christ to be a mirror for us–to know the truth about ourselves and the world. Only then can we move forward like St. Clare and St. Paul to the salvation and Resurrection which Christ wishes to give us.