In the wilderness Christ experienced the temptation that faces everyone today.
The temptation to the ideals of materialism, presumption, and power. "Bid these stones turn into loaves of bread."
It is all too easy for us, shocked by the world's hunger, to think that "bread only" — material good — is happiness. Easier because we know that if we do not feed the hungry we will surely hear Christ's voice saying — "I was hungry and you did not give me to eat."…
It is good to work for material bread, to be grateful for it, but bad to be satisfied by it, terrible to be sated by it — not to hunger for the love that gives life, to be content to live without wonder, impotent in the eternal arms.
When Christ looked out over "all the kingdoms of the world," he saw our cities today…in all their splendor and all their squalor, their cinemas and restaurants, their churches and brothels, their luxury flats and their slums, their parks and their docks. He saw the shambles of our bombed cities, "The kingdoms of the world and the glory of them!"…
His limitations were straighter than those of any modern disciple. Poor, unknown, without influential friends, no press, no radio, no speed, no travelling, only one language.
Then as now they convinced no one who did not want to believe; then "worked by Satan," now "a natural explanation or a fake."… Only love can give life.
Only Christ's love can redeem and forgive and illumine.
Only Christ's love can waken the world from apathy to wonder.
Only Christ's love can quicken the world with new life.
Love is given only in man's gift of himself. There is no other way.
Christ had only himself. He has given himself to us, that we may love the world with his love and that the world may live.
Caryll Houselander. "Hungering for Love." from Lift Up Your Hearts (Arena Letters, 1979).
Lift Up Your Hearts is in the public domain.
Caryll 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 Risen Christ, 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 © 1979 Public Domain
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