Meditations from Caryll Houselander

from Caryll Houselander: Essential Writings


Our Lady of Grace

The fourth beauty ought to be first: the way in which He continues to prepare His Mother for sorrowing, for that preparation began in eternity but now to her supernatural grace He adds the overwhelming appeal of love. Here Her God is, trusting Himself to her, and she sees at one time the God she loves, who made her and the child she loves who was made of her flesh and blood, He opens His eyes for the first time, and they are eyes like her own, He stretches out His arms and He stretches them to her, He is hungry she gives Him food, He is cold, she wraps Him in swaddling clothes, He is weary she puts Him to sleep in her arms, He is absolutely helpless and trusts absolutely in her love. When she sees those arms stretched on the Cross, hears that cry "1 thirst," sees those eyes close in death, and can not do anything to help Him, she will be helpless in His love and trust absolutely in Him.




She was clear and fresh as a springtime morn.

And calm as a great unmoving sea,

The purest flower that the earth has born

Was never so pure and so fair as she.

God loved her, God nestled on her breast.

The God of heaven and earth her Son,

Who found, alone in her purity, rest,

And came to earth as her little one.

(C. Houselander, age 14)



Crucifix 1




Who is this who waits

With arms extended

And wide open hands?

It is Christ, Our Lord.


For ages and ages,

He has been waiting here,

Generations have passed,

He has not folded His wings

Or closed His eyes.


For whom does He wait,

 for whom the invitation,

for whom the inexhaustible patience

of infinite love?


It is for one,

who comes slowly,

hesitating, afraid,

trusting more to chance,

 to perishable things

and the frailties of men,

than to the everlasting arms.


It is for me,

that for two thousand years,

Love has waited here,

with wide wings spread.

It is for me, the courtesy

that will not be importunate,

will not constrain my love

or force the suit.


It is for me,

the silence of the word

wherein the beating heart

alone is audible.


It is for me that God awaits,

with open hands,

a beggar at the locked gates of my soul.

It is for one who doubts,

mistrusts and fears,

who sees the tears

upon the human face of God,

through her own tears, and is not moved.


Of all the world unworthiest to be loved,

driven at last

from self-inflicted harms,

reluctantly, to the Eternal Arms.



Feb. 1937



Crucifix 2


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