January 8, 2012

On Stardom and Mirrors

Many times in preaching the Epiphany, I have taken as my angle the imitation of the magi. We too, ought to be wise, and true wisdom means seeking Wisdom herself made flesh in Jesus Christ. As the magi followed the star, so too we can realize that the natural world, properly interpreted, leads us to the Word through whom it is created. As St. Bonaventure writes in his famous treatise, The Journey of the Soul into God, we are to see the whole created universe as a scala ad ascendendum in Deum, a ladder or stairway by which we can ascend to the contemplation of God. (I:2)

Maybe I notice this every year and forget, or maybe I never caught it before, but it's interesting that Leo the Great, in the Office of Readings today, recommends for our imitation not the magi but the star. "The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ."

The love of God that shines upon us in Christ doesn't will to terminate in us. Holiness isn't something to be sought and possessed personally like another consumer commodity. On the contrary, we strive to surrender to the sanctity God wills to shine upon us not only so that we ourselves might become shiny, brilliant, and happy, but so that God might find in us a sort of mirror to reflect his love to others.

Our being is meant to be just that, a sort of mirror. When we strive to let go of the dust of our distractions and to let God heal us from the filth of our sins, we are allowing the mirror to become clean and clear once again. The cleaner our mirror, the more fully and purely we can reflect the Light God shines on us to the relationships and situations around us.

Thus, our spiritual life is about letting God make us into stars by which others might find a way to the Light.

1 comment:

Carly said...

I love this. Really, really love it.