In a letter to a spiritual daughter, Saint Clare wrote of Christ as the "unclouded mirror." and urged her daughter thus: "Look into that mirror daily and study well your reflection, that you may adorn yourself, mind and body, with an enveloping garment of every virtue... In this mirror blessed poverty, holy humility, and ineffable love are also reflected. With the grace of God the whole mirror will be your source of contemplation."
We grow to resemble the object of our love and contemplation. The saints themselves reflect Christ, by looking at Him and finding their true humanity. It strikes me that artists bear a grave responsibility. Images can mold people for good or ill, and the artist is reflected in the work. The peaceful, grave rhythms that animate this painting of Saint Clare had to live first in the soul of the artist. A Florentine Renaissance proverb held that "every artist paints himself well," which is why Michelangelo said that an artist who undertakes to represent Christ or the saints must strive to be a saint. We can all be transformed by daily attending to Christ in the Scriptures and the Liturgy, so that we too may reflect the Image in Whom we are created.