‘He Has Become All Things’

February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

This reflection by Caryll Houselander was in my Magnificat a few days ago.

“As to your Lent … I can only tell you my own experience.  A mass of good resolutions, I think, are apt to end up in disappointment and to make one depressed.  Also direct fault-uprooting:  it makes one concentrate too much on self and that can be so depressing.  The only resolution I have ever found works is: “Whenever I want to think of myself, I will think of God.”  

Now, this does not mean, “I will make a long meditation on God,” but just some short sharp answer, so to speak, to my thought of self, in God.
For example: “I am lonely, misunderstood, etc.”  “The loneliness of Christ at his trial; the misunderstanding even of his closest friends.” 

Or: “I have made a fool of myself.”
“Christ mocked — he felt it;  he put the mocking first in foretelling his Passion — ‘The Son of Man shall be mocked, etc.’ — made a fool of, before all whom he loved.”

Or: “I can’t go on, unhelped.”
Christ couldn’t.  He couldn’t carry the cross without help; he was grateful for human sympathy — Mary Magdalene — his words on that occasion — other examples as they suggest themselves — just pictures that flash through the mind.” 

This practice becomes a habit and it is the habit which has saved me from despair! …  Different people have different approaches to Christ.  He has become all things — infant, child, man — so that we all can approach him in the way easiest for us.  The best is to use that way to our heart’s content, and not to trouble about any other.”
-Caryll Houselander


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