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Lenten Resolutions

  • CARYLL HOUSELANDER

As to your Lent ... I can only tell you my own experience.

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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.

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Acknowledgement

Caryll Houselander. "Lenten Resolutions." excerpt from The Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy (Sheed and Ward, New York, 1965).

Reproduced by kind permission of Continuum International Publishing Group, a Bloomsbury Company. This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in February 2013.

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The Author

house1house2Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) was a British Roman Catholic laywoman; a mystic, writer, artist, visionary and healer. Her first book, This War is the Passion, written during World War II, launched her prolific writing career. She is best known for: A Rocking Horse Catholic, The Reed of God, The Way of the Cross, This War is the Passion, The Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy, and Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus.

Copyright © Caryll Houselander
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