Saturday, December 20, 2014

Allowed to taste the rim of Christ's cup

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Every generation faces its own struggles.  For Caryll Houselander, it was the horrors of war and the realization that it would lead from "suffering to suffering in every way."  Yet, out of these struggles the clarity of one's vocation often begins to emerge as it otherwise never would or could have.  It has been said that "knowledge of the cross is found in the cross."  Sufferings can lead to pessimism and despair but they can also lead us more deeply into the heart of Christ.  Our vocation is to "keep alive a deep and constant awareness of the living love of God," and to find the manner in our own day to carry Christ into a faithless world.  If Christ allows us to taste the rim of His cup it is that we might bear witness in our very selves and sufferings the Love of the Cross.  

My dear daughters, we must pray for one another - for my part I am a great coward and know I am going to be more and more afraid - but with our trust in God - with our hands in His - all will be well . . .

When the first days of this agony are over, it is going to lead on from suffering to suffering in every way, fear, loss, death - one can't bear to think of it.  Our work is to keep alive a deep constant awareness of the living love of God, to be as never before contemplatives of Christ in ourselves and one another.  To keep His passion before us and to keep our faith in His love, never allowing the despair and pessimism which must sweep many hearts.

The way of teaching, telling, and helping people to believe will have to be different . . . Pray for me that in this great chance of proving our Christhood I may not fail too bitterly. . .

The atmosphere is incredibly unspiritual - it's almost frightening, no outward recognition of God at all.  It makes me feel how necessary it is for Catholics to carry Christ into these places through their own Holy Communions.

Real contact, real communion with anyone now seems to depend on whether or not both realize the Passion of Christ in the same way, and whether there is a strong love to make this realization understood without much talk about it.

I have had some very, very bad moments, with a sheer physical desire to weep - but never so far, any desire to get out of any of it - or of what may come.  At last it seems to me I have been allowed to taste the rim of the cup of Christ's Passion - only the rim it is true, but even that goes very deep.  Just the fact of having to do some completely against my own will in everything, it seems to contain the very essence of love.
 
Caryll Houselander