A+ A A-

Humbling Ourselves


To accept oneself as one is to accept life as it is: these are the two basic elements of childhood's simplicity and humility.

bessetteSaint Andre Bessette, C.S.C.
But it is one thing to say this and another to do it.  What is involved?  First of all, it involves the abandoning of all unreality in ourselves.  But even granted that we have the courage to face ourselves and to root out every trace of pretense, how shall we then tolerate the emptiness, the insignificance, that we built up our elaborate pretense to cover?

The answer is simple.  If we are afraid to know ourselves for what we are, it is because we have not the least idea of what that is.  It is because we have not the least idea of the miracle of life-giving love that we are.  There is no pretense that can approach the wonder of the truth about us, no unreality that comes anywhere near the reality.

We are "other Christs."  Our destiny is to live the Christ-life: to bring Christ's life into the world; to increase Christ's love in the world; to give Christ's peace to the world....

The acceptance of life as it is must teach us trust and humility.  This is because every real experience of life is an experience of God.  Every experience of God makes us realize our littleness, our need, our nothingness, but at the same time the miracle of Christ in us.  Not only are we one of God's creatures — which is in itself a guarantee of his eternal creating love — but we are also his Christ, his only Son, the sole object of his whole love.

These two facts balance the scales of trust: our nothingness and our allness.



houselander Caryll Houselander. "Humbling Ourselves." from Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus (Sophia Institute Press, 1995).

Reproduced by kind permission of Sophia Press.  This excerpt appeared in the February, 2015 issue of Magnificat.

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 Risen ChristThe Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy, and Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross: The Little Way of the Infant Jesus.

Copyright © 1995 Sophia Press
back to top