“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.”
For most people, love carries some sort of romantic connotation. Love, though, is much broader than that. A shining example of that is Clare’s love for Christ. She and Francis also had very loving relationship. Yet neither of those fit the traditional definition to which we often default. Lent is a perfect time for us to delve into the deeper meaning of this emotion.
The challenge we face is to seek out that deeper meaning and the ways in which we can manifest it in our lives.
Gaze | Consider | Contemplate | Imitate
Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance!
And transform your entire being into the image
of the Godhead Itself through contemplation.
Clare’s words remind us of Jesus’ command: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). What Clare indicates is that to love God with your whole mind, soul and heart is to contemplate God, and contemplation cannot take place apart from transformation: Thus, Agnes is to place her mind, soul, and heart in the “mirror of eternity.”
I wonder how many of us look on the cross as the “mirror of eternity”—a reflection of eternity in the crucified Christ. We rarely think of eternity hanging on a cross unless of course we understand that eternity is God, God is love and God’s love is expressed in the crucified Christ. For that is what Clare says: The mirror of eternity is the crucified Christ. God is revealed as all-embracing, outpouring love in the figure of the crucified Christ who is the splendor of eternal glory, the brilliance of eternal light and the mirror without blemish. In the cross, we see a reflection of the eternal God who is the fullness of love. –from Clare of Assisi: A Heart Full of Love
Help us to go deeper into
the true meaning of what it means to love and be loved.
Out of that reflection, may we discover ways
to share that love with others.