Monday, August 20, 2012
The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander - Starting Point
This book is available in print, as an e-book or an audiobook.
Here are a few favorite quotes to give a little sense of its flavor:
"Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile."
"We must be swift to obey the winged impulses of His Love, carrying Him to wherever He longs to be; and those who recognize His presence will be stirred, like Elizabeth with new life. They will know His presence, not by any special beauty or power shown by us, but in the way that the bud knows the presence of the light, by an unfolding in themselves, a putting forth of their own beauty.
It seems that this is Christ's favorite way of being recognized, that He prefers to be known, not by His own human features, but by the quickening of His own life in the heart, which is the response to His coming."
"Each work of her hands prepared His hands a little more for the nails; each breath that she drew counted one more to His last.
In giving life to Him she was giving Him death.
All other children born must inevitably die; death belongs to fallen nature; the mother's gift to the child is life.
But Christ is life; death did not belong to Him.
In fact, unless Mary would give Him death, He could not die.
Unless she would give Him the capacity for suffering, He could not suffer.
He could only feel cold and hunger and thirst if she gave Him her vulnerability to cold and hunger and thirst.
He could not know the indifference of friends or treachery or the bitterness of being betrayed unless she gave Him a human mind and a human heart.
That is what it meant to Mary to give human nature to God.
He was invulnerable; He asked her for a body to be wounded.
He was joy itself; He asked her to give Him tears.
He was God; He asked her to make Him man.
He asked for hands and feet to be nailed.
He asked for flesh to be scourged.
He asked for blood to be shed.
He asked for a heart to be broken."