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The Pearl of Great Price


It was during the London blitz [in World War II] that the glory of the ceaseless elevation of the Host came home to me as never before.

AdorationIt was often difficult then to go to Mass, or to be able to receive Communion. Of course Mass was offered daily, but there were many things to hinder and sometimes to frustrate our efforts to get to it. Fantastic hours of duty, day and night, sirens and bombing that forced one to take cover again and again on the way, and finally the possibility, too often realised, of finding a ruin where last night there was a church. In those days I learned forever how thankful one should be for being able to go to Mass easily, even when easily means a long country walk on a dark winter's morning.

Now more than a year after the end of the war I still experience a sense of relief like a load falling from the heart every time I go to Mass, and over and over again on the way I think of those others who still have, and may always have, dangers and hardships to face in order to go to Mass—of martyrs and potential martyrs in persecuted countries, of missionaries who endure any privation, any risk, to take Christ to the ends of the earth to be adored, to give him, as the bread of life, to any little spiritual starveling in pagan lands, who but for the Church would count for nothing in the world's eyes, but who in the eyes of the Church is worth the shedding of Christ's blood on the cross, and the lives of the martyrs given that his blood should flow for them in the chalice.

If someone with the knowledge to do it would write a book about the price that gallant men and women have paid gladly to go to Mass all through the ages, from the time of the catacombs until now in all the countries of the world, what an inspiration that would be!

This is Meaghen Gonzalez, Editor of CERC. I hope you appreciated this piece. We curate these articles especially for believers like you.

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CaryllHouselanderCaryll Houselander. "The Pearl of Great Price," excerpt from Lift Up Your Hearts. Arena Letters (1979).

Reprinted under fair use. Image credit: Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash.

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 © 1979 Arena Letters

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