Thursday, September 02, 2010

Caryll Houselander - On the Passion of the Infant Christ

He gave His body to be our bread. From the moment when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she conceived the Son of God, His body was given to us. Given in the first instance, just as the seed of bread is given by being buried in the earth, the seed of Christ, the Bread of Life, was hidden in the darkness, buried in the dust of human nature.... From the moment of His conception Christ was earning the bread of life for us, in His acceptance of suffering in infancy, in His own necessity, His hunger and thirst, His need for sleep. As a small child learning slowly and painstakingly to use His hands, refusing to turn stones to bread, that the Living Bread might be sifted and threshed for us. In long journeys on foot and long days, meeting the incessant demands of the crowds, in the agony before His passion when the sweat of His face ran down to the ground in drops of blood, and in the consummation of His labours on the Cross.

When, at the Last Supper, Christ took the bread into His hands, and gave it to us, changed into His Body, He gave us His Flesh and Blood, His Divinity and Humanity, for these are inseparable in Him, He gave us Himself. He gave us Himself - that is what the Christ-life means; it means that Christ is the life of our souls. Our souls are alive because Christ is in them...

Because Christ has given Himself to us, our lives have the redemptive quality of His, and our relationships with one another are a communion in Him. They are a meeting and a one-ing of Christ with Christ, the never-ceasing generation and increase of Eternal Love on Earth, the fulfillment of Christ's words: 'I came that they should have life and have it more abundantly'.

We give our Christ-life, offer our Christ to God, and give Christ to one another by the means that Christ used on Earth: by natural means; we give Him with our hands and eyes and ears, with the words we speak, the journeys we make, by our human friendships and human loves.

C. Houselander, "The Passion of the Infant Christ'.


Thanks to Sue Cifelli for sharing.


Anne said...

I love Caryll Houselander! This is wonderful!

EC Gefroh said...

Glad to know you like her too Anne.