Caryll Houselander: A Mystic’s Understanding of Advent


Christ never goes away, never forgets, 
all day long, 
however you are, 
whoever you are, 
whatever you are doing. 

His whole heart is concentrated on you.

He watches you with the eye of a mother 
watching an only child.
He sees not the surface things, 
not the imperfections inevitable to human frailty,
but the truly lovable in you,
your dependence on him,
your need of him.

Does a mother love her child less 
because it fallen and bruised herself?
No, indeed; only (if that is possible) more!

What then must we do?

Be silent.

Let Christ speak to you.

Forget yourself,
do not be self-centered,
let him tell you how he loves you,
show you what he is like,
prove to you that he is real.

Silence in your soul
means a gentle attention to Christ,
it means turning away from self to him,
it means looking at him,
listening to him.

God speaks silently.

God speaks in your heart;
if your heart is noisy, chattering,
you will not hear.

Every ordinary thing in your life is a word of God’s love:
your home, your work, the clothes you wear,
the air you breathe, the food you eat,
the friends you delight in, the flowers under your feet 
are all the courtesy of God’s heart flung down on you!
All these things say one thing only:
“See how I love you.”

God asks only one thing,
that you will let God tell you this, directly, simply;
that you will treat God as someone real,
not as someone who does not really exist.
— Caryll Houselander


[ART courtesy of pugar777 on]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to Caryll Houselander: A Mystic’s Understanding of Advent

  1. Sharon says:

    This is beautiful!!

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