Mirror, mirror, on the wall: The Mirror of Faith

Mirror of faith

We all are familiar with the evil queen’s character from the Snow White fairytale. Every day, the queen stood before her magic mirror and asked it, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” She expected the mirror to complement and validate that it is indeed her the fairest of them all. And that is precisely what happened every single day. But then, one day, when the evil queen asked the same exact question, the mirror reflected and showed a reality that the queen did not expect and agree with at all. 

We might not have magic mirrors on our walls, but we do rely on mirrors every day. We expect and trust them unconditionally to reflect and show our true resemblance and likeness every single time. Mirrors play a vital role in our day-to-day lives. What about our spiritual likeness? To whom we turn and rely on to show our true spiritual image and resemblance? What would a spiritual mirror show and reveal to us? How would we feel about it?

Having a spiritual mirror, seeing our spiritual resemblance, being comfortable and at peace with it is crucial and absolutely necessary for seeing and feeling the presence of God in our lives. The Church Fathers both from the east and the west wrote and preached extensively about the importance of knowing ourselves intimately and closely so that we can find God and be able to hear his voice. St. Isaac the Syrian makes the point rather strongly. He writes, “He who sees himself as he is, is greater than the one who raises the dead.” And St. Augustine echoes this when he writes, “Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know You.”

Our faith is a divine gift that also functions as a spiritual mirror.  The spiritual mirror of faith never lies. It always truthfully shows us the true resemblance and reflections of our souls. It reveals and helps us to discover dimensions and layers of lives and identity that we might not be aware of. Yes, faith encourages, strengthens and gives us hope when we need it. It shows us the way when we are lost, it lifts us and carries us when we are alone and helpless. But at times, faith also challenges us by revealing deep and dark corners of our souls and realities that we might feel uncomfortable with. We can always trust what the spiritual mirror of faith shows us. Its only goal and function in life is to help us to find ourselves so that we can also find God.

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