The kingdom of mirrors
Avery vain King once declared that in his kingdom, only the king could have mirrors. He took all the mirrors in the kingdom and assessed each one. When his image was not well reflected, he had the mirror destroyed. Anyone discovered owning a mirror was punished and banished from the kingdom.
His obsession for mirrors did not stop there. He sought out the best and biggest mirrors the world over. He bought them and stored them in a special room in his castle where only the King could enter. The King, in fact, was perhaps the only man in the world to own so many mirrors in one place at one time.
One day, news reached the King about a mysterious mirror. It was never clear what it was like. Some said it was bluish in color, while some said it was green or red. Others said it was tall and wide as a house and some said it could be easily pocketed away. Travelers who boasted to have seen it, said it was owned by another King, while others said it was securely kept inside a hermit’s cave.
The King sent his soldiers to search for the mirror. With days trickled into weeks, weeks grew into months and months flowered into years, but his soldiers did not have the slightest clue where to find the mirror. The King was at the point of giving up and even thought that everything said so far about the mirror were only tales.
A merchant from an unknown town one day arrived. News reached the King that the merchant had information about the mirror. He called the man and asked about the mirror. The merchant said that indeed there was such a mirror and it belonged to a hermit living in a cave in the other side of the sea.
The king asked if that hermit was willing to sell the mirror. The merchant replied that he wasn’t sure. It is said that anyone who peered into the mirror was able to perceive the secrets to either great happiness or misfortune. Thus, it was called the heart mirror.
The King immediately left with his troops for the other side of the sea.
He arrived and found the hermit. He led the King to his cave where the mirror was. The cave was very deep and dark that the King had to feel his way inside. Finally, with his hand he felt something cold and smooth. He knew it was the mirror!
The King asked the hermit to light a torch for him to examine the illusive mirror. The hermit replied that light was not necessary to see oneself in this mirror. It was enough to desire to gaze upon it and one will see what he has to see.
The King, found this ridiculous but did as the hermit had instructed. As he tried to discern the familiar features of his face upon the mirror, he began to see not his face but his greed, anger, vanity, lust and unjust ways.
The King was aghast and cried as he became aware of who he really was. But instead of giving in to despair, he once again peered deeper into the “mirror of his sins.” Then he saw another mirror and he realized that it was the mirror he had been seeking ever since.
This was the “mirror of sorrowful love” that reflected what else he could be. The King left the cave a wiser and humbler man. Although he saw his sinful reflection, he was determined to do something about it. He repented and made up for all his had lacked towards his people. Now he always carried the mirror in his heart.
God, unlike the vain King, also sought a mirror. And God found it in Mary’s heart! It was the one heart on earth, forged without sin, whose humility only reflected God’s Goodness and Beauty.
...light was not necessary to see oneself in this mirror. It was enough to desire to gaze upon it and one will see what he has to see.