Peace is Christ’s culminating gift.
At his birth the angels' song mingled with the first bleating of the Lamb of God, promising peace to God's friends. On the night before he died his own promise comforted his Apostles; when he had risen from the dead his first words to them were Peace be upon you.
How is it then that peace is so rare, even in our soul? It may be because we lack the courage without which true peace is unattainable, and with or without which the pseudo-peace we have built up in our imagination is unattainable.... The condition of peace is courage, but the moments in which we most long for it are those when courage seems most difficult. When all that we want is to loosen our hold, to throw off responsibility, to rest. We want not a sword, but a lap big enough to bury our head on.
It is comforting then to realize that the courage peace demands is in fact to relax, to throw all our care into the lap of God. It means that we must take the risk of trusting God's love, believing Christ's word, loving one another... A child knows no anxiety, if he knows himself to be loved, no mistrust or suspicion. His values are true. He loves things, but he loves them not for what they cost, but for what they are... Poverty may come, the child knows his father will provide his happiness; pain may come, his mother's hand will take it away. He is not worldly because he lives in a secret world of his own. No one can take his kingdom from him because it is not of this world....
Advent is closing and the longing of the Church for light and for the spring, the budding forth of the Savior, is culminating in the mystery of Christmas, and we can put aside our cares to make the house of our soul ready for the Child, with prayer as simple as a folk song, rocking the cradle of peace to the beating of the human heart.
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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