Monday, December 15, 2008

The Mirror of God's Radiance

Happy, indeed, is she to whom it is given to share this sacred banquet,
to cling with all her heart to Him
Whose beauty all the heavenly hosts admire unceasingly,
Whose love inflames our love,
Whose contemplation is our refreshment,
Whose graciousness is our joy,
Whose gentleness fills us to overflowing,
Whose remembrance brings a gentle light,
Whose fragrance will revive the dead,
Whose glorious vision will be the happiness
of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Inasmuch as this vision is the splendor of eternal glory,
the brilliance of eternal light and the mirror without blemish,
look upon that mirror every day, O queen and spouse of Jesus Christ,
and continually study your face within it, so that you may adorn yourself
inside and out with beautiful robes and cover yourself
with the flowers and garments of all the virtues...

Look at the parameters of this mirror, that is,
the poverty of Him Who was placed within a manger
and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
O marvelous humility, O astonishing poverty!
The King of the angels,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
is laid in a manger!

St. Clare of Assisi, Fourth Letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague

Francis and Clare: the Complete Works (Paulist, 1982), pp. 204-205.

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