Being Christ

A Mary Moment Monday post

I’ve been reading The Reed of God, by Caryll Houselander. I don’t know what I expected it to be, but it wasn’t what it is.

I was expecting either poetry that was way over my head or theology on Mary that bored me to pieces.

What I’m finding is poetic prose that touches on Mary as a person. I’m experiencing Mary in relationship with Jesus in a modern sort of take.

Which is a lame attempt to explain a book everyone should probably just read for themselves. I haven’t finished Reed of God yet, but I’m savoring it. I’m learning a lot: about myself and about Mary.

Here’s a gem I read recently:

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.

How often do I wish to be somewhere else, doing something more important? Why can’t I accept where I am and what I’m doing?

When–and how–do I bring Christ to those around me? If they look at me and see Christ, what are they seeing? (In other words, what sort of representation am I for Christ?)

Houselander continues, in that chapter (Chapter 3, “Advent,” if you’re curious), with a thought that grabs me just as much:

If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, “in haste,” to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love. And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.

The devil would love for us to think what we’re doing isn’t important, for us to not take serious the work of our lives. It plays right up his alley when we compare ourselves to the great and grand work of other people, instead of focusing on doing what we are called to do.

image credit: MorgueFile

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  • Sarah

    I absolutely LOVE this book – it’s one I read over and over. Thanks for this.

    • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

      Sarah, I think it will be a book I read over and over, too. And I tend to not reread much. :) Just fabulous writing.

      • Sarah

        It is fabulous writing, isn’t it? It’s got so much depth that often during prayer I will just open the book randomly, and the passage always speaks to me. I’ve practically memorized the book. LOL.

  • Maryann Faro

    I discovered Caryll Houselander from The Magnificat missalette; sometimes they excerpt her writings in their daily meditations. The Houselander excerpts are the ones I highlight the most. Thanks for spreading the word about her. I think she’s not quoted as much as she should be.

    • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

      Maryann, I think that’s where I first came across Houselander too.

      And it took me YEARS to pick up this book. And oh! What did I think it would be? IT’S WONDERFUL. Truly.

  • http://twitter.com/PatGohn Pat Gohn

    I’ve read this book a few times… both alone, and in a group. I’ve given it as a gift a bazillion times. Everyone should read it once. It is fast-becoming a spiritual classic… I think, as important as tomes written by saints. Keep reading! It’s a gem!

  • Kathryn H

    Sarah—I know I will have to read this, as I often wonder how my simple life can make a difference to God. Thank you.