BY ST CATHERINE OF SIENA
Those who see themselves not selfishly but for God, and who see God for God (as he is supreme eternal Goodness and is deserving of our love) when they contemplate God in blazing, consumed love discover the image of the human person in God. And they discover themselves, God’s image in God. I mean the love they see God having for us, that same love they extend to everyone else. For when they look at their reflection in the fountain, the sea of the divine being, they feel at once compelled to love their neighbours as they love themselves, because they see that God loves them supremely. Desire then disposes them to love themselves in God, and God in themselves, just as we, when we look into a fountain and see our image, take pleasure in it and love ourselves. But if we are wise, we are moved to love the fountain before we love ourselves. For if we hadn’t seen ourselves we wouldn’t have loved ourselves or taken pleasure in ourselves. Nor would we have corrected what was faulty about the face we saw in the fountain!
So think…there is no other way we can see either our dignity or the faults that mar our soul’s beauty except by going to look into the quiet sea of the divine Being. There, in that Being, we see our reflection. Why? Because we came forth from there when God’s wisdom created us in God’s image and likeness. There we discover the union of the Word engrafted into our humanity; we discover and see and experience the blazing furnace of his charity, the means by which God gave us to ourselves and later united the Word with us and us with the Word when he took on our human nature. That charity was the strong bond that held him nailed fast to the cross. And all this we will see when we see ourselves in God’s goodness.