Our human relationships with one another are a giving of Christ to one another, and a receiving of Christ from one another.
Christ gave us his life by means of his body. He is the Word of God, the word telling God's love. As means, he used — and uses — his body. It was by the helplessness of his infant body that Christ first won human love, by his necessities that he bound his first lovers to him. The means he used were the most ordinary, the most natural: his voice, the words that he spoke, the expression on his face, the glance of his eyes. For two thousand years those who compromise have been haunted by the expression of Christ's face showing that he loved a certain young man: Then Jesus fastened his eyes on him, and conceived a love for him (Mk 10:21).…
He healed by the touch of his hands, by his journeys on foot. He redeemed not only by pain and weariness and the sharp anguish of temptation experienced in mind and body, but by the delight he felt in the loveliness of the earth and sky, the birds, the fields, the movement of water and waves. He gave us the life of his body in dying; and when he had risen from the dead, his ordinariness was almost more astonishing than his Resurrection. He would not let his glory blind us to the way that his risen life was to be lived in us. We must not imagine that now he was only a spirit and that his life in us was to be only spiritual, the "living bread" only a memorial or a symbol. He made the doubter, Thomas, feel the wounds in his body; he warned the still emotional Magdalene that his was still a real body and not yet ascended to heaven; he still used words, ordinary human words, to teach the things that men had not learned, even from his Resurrection; he still ate and drank.
In this life we cannot separate our souls from our bodies. They are so interrelated that for all practical purposes they are one. We live our Christ-life through our bodies. Just as his body was the means by which he offered himself as a sacrifice to his Father, and gave himself as our life to us, so by means of our bodies we can offer Christ to the Father and give him to one another.
Caryll Houselander. "Loving with All Our Being." 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 December, 2017 issue of Magnificat.
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 © 1995 Sophia Press
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