The Windex to Our Souls

“Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8)


Jesus Christ is the “Image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), Light from Light: the Light from the Father, and the invisible Light through whom all visible light is made. He is “the Light of the world” (John 8:12), and especially “the Light of men” (John 1:4).

Especially the Light of mankind because we are made to God’s “Image* and Likeness” (Genesis 1:26), and are therefore capable of reflecting His light, that is, Christ, brighter and clearer than any other creature. The Son is called the “Image of the invisible God” because He is the perfect image, not as a reflection, but as the very “brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance” (Hebrews 1:3).** Since Christ is “the Light of men,” without Him, the divine light in us shines only as through a glass in a dark manner (1 Corinthians 13:12), but by being made clean through Him, He is reflected in us with clarity and brightness.


The Saints are the mirrors of Christ’s love in the world. Also, the poor in spirit, who look not to themselves but humbly to others; they are the antithesis of Narcissus, that poor Greek god who thought his beauty was his own and died unable to leave his own reflection. Rather, the poor in spirit reflect the True God by dying to themselves, so that, through their transparency, the beauty of God may be shared.


Most properly, the Virgin Mary is the Mirror of Christ, since she “sends back to her Son all the glory and honor which she receives” (Redemptoris Mater). More perfectly than all other Saints does she reflect Him, “For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God’s majesty, and the image of his goodness” (Wisdom 7:26).


* “The image of a thing may be found in something in two ways. In one way it is found in something of the same specific nature; as the image of the king is found in his son. In another way it is found in something of a different nature, as the king’s image on the coin. In the first sense the Son is the Image of the Father; in the second sense man is called the image of God; and therefore in order to express the imperfect character of the divine image in man, man is not simply called the image, but “to the image,” whereby is expressed a certain movement of tendency to perfection. But it cannot be said that the Son of God is “to the image,” because He is the perfect Image of the Father.” (ST I Q35 A2)


** “Yet have there been men, who, deceived by the vanity of their hearts, maintained that the Father is invisible, the Son visible. Now if they call the Son visible, with respect to His connection with the flesh, we object not; it is the Catholic doctrine. But it is madness in them to say He was so before His incarnation; i.e. if it be true that Christ is the Wisdom of God, and the Power of God. The Wisdom of God cannot be seen by the eye. If the human word cannot be seen by the eye, how can the Word of God?” –St. Augustine (Catena Aurea)

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