Eight hundred years ago, Clare of Assisi advised a correspondent to gaze into the mirror of the crucified Christ and study her own face within it. One hundred years ago, sociologist Charles Horton Cooley said we can know our self only as it is reflected to us by others. Contemplation is the choice to find our reflection in the divine Mirror. In The Sacred Gaze, Susan Pitchford explores how a false self is created by distortions in the mirrors around us. Drawing from the mystical and sociological traditions, and with practical suggestions for how to begin, Pitchford shows how gazing into the face of Christ can reveal to us who we really are. When the true self is known, and known as God's beloved, the way is opened to radical freedom and joy.
Susan R. Pitchford is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Washington and a professed member of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis. She is the author of God in the Dark: Suffering and Desire in the Spiritual Life (Liturgical Press) and Following Francis: The Franciscan Way for Everyone. Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, Bob Crutchfield.