Too many anxious Christians today think that their efforts to preach and teach and enter into outward activities....
...can do more to save the world than the surrender of their souls to God, to become Christ-bearers.
They believe that they can do more than our Lady did, and they have not time to stop to consider the absurdity of this. They fear that if the world goes on hurling itself into disaster, as it seems to be doing now, Christ's kingdom may be defeated. This is not so; Christ has given his word that he will be with and in his little flock until the end of the world. However dark our days seem to be for Christianity, they are not so dark as the night following the crucifixion must have seemed to the apostles.
For that night Christ had already prepared them. He told them to wait: to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. He told them that he was going away, that they would no longer see him and know the consolation of his presence with them, but that it was better for them that he should go, and that the condition for the coming of the Holy Spirit, through whom he would live on in them, was his going (Jn 16:7-8). Christ himself prepared for his Resurrection by resting in the tomb, just as he had prepared for his birth by resting in his Mother's womb. He did not call the legions of angels he could have called to fight back the forces of evil that had crucified him; he simply lay in the tomb at rest and, at the appointed moment in time, rose from death to renew the life of the whole world. The apostles, like the modern apostles, were afraid, and with good cause....
They, with the Mother of Christ, alone stood for Christ's kingdom, and the murderous hatred of Christ's enemies pointed straight at them. But Christ told them simply to wait in the city until the Holy Spirit came to them; not to run away, not to make plans of their own, not to be troubled, with either their own recent failure and sin or concerning the danger that fenced them all around, but only to wait, with his Mother among them, for the coming of the Comforter who would make them strong, heal their wounds, wash the stains from their souls, and be their joy. Christ does not change, the preparation for the coming of the Spirit is the same today as two thousand years ago, whether it be for the rebirth of Christ in one soul that is in the hard winter, or for the return of Christ from the grave, whose blood is shed again by the martyrs. The preparation is the same: the still, quiet mind, acceptance, and remaining close to the Mother of God, resting in her rest while the life of the world grew within her towards the flowering of everlasting joy.
Caryll Houselander. "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." excerpt from The Risen Christ (London, U.K.: Bloomsbury Continuum, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. , 1959).
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Bloomsbury Continuum.
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 © 1959 Continuum International
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