This section begins with a lovely meditation on the life of Christ imagined as a musical composition. It's much better just read or heard than talked about though, so I'm not going to talk about it, but just recommend that if you haven't read it, you find a quiet place and sit down and do so. Or better yet, I have been meaning to mention that Reed of God is available as an audio book and it's well worth listening to, especially for meditative sections like this one.
The main passage that I wanted to write about was this one.
Experience has taught us that war simplifies life. Every individual would experience some equivalent of the Passion even if there were no war; but war makes it visible and even simple, and shows us how the Passion of Christ can be each one's individual secret and at the same time something shared by the whole world.
It is a moment in which the world needs great draughts of supernatural life, needs the Christ-life to be poured into it, as truly and as urgently as a wounded soldier drained of his blood needs a blood transfusion.
In many souls, for this very reason, Christ will say: "It was for this hour that I came into this world."Although we are not living in the middle of the kind of war that Caryll Houselander was enduring in the 1940s in England, we are certainly surrounded by wars and the threat of violence. And, of course, there is a great ideological war being waged against our culture and our faith, and we, just as much as people in during WWII, need those "great draughts of supernatural life."
It is the last sentence that strikes me though. Just as Christ said that he came into the world for this hour, he would say to us that we--each one of us--came into the world for this hour--December of 2015.
Whether you are a young mother, a teacher, an electrician, a retired person--whoever and wherever you are--you are here to give birth to Christ in the world, and as Miss Houselander says, you can only do this by unity with the Holy Spirit. That is why it is so important to find some kind of space in our days to create that emptiness in our souls.
Yesterday's gospel was from Matthew 11, the chapter that says, "...the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force." That is such an enigmatic passage, but it is increasingly clear to me that unless we confront the busyness of our lives with violence, we will never be able to reclaim even a moment's silence. I know that it is much easier for me than for many of you, especially those of you who have small children. I'm pretty sure that if, when my children were young, someone who had just told me they were going to spend the next to last weekend before Christmas in a hermitage had told me I needed to find a quiet space in my day, I would have been either terribly amused or terribly angry, but unexpected quiet moments can open up even in the busiest lives, and even a small victory here can make a huge difference.
All of the posts in this series can be found by clicking HERE.
Unfortunately they are in reverse order, so you have to scroll down to get to the beginning.