December 20, 2011

Advent with Houselander (II)

"No man should ever make anything except in the spirit in which a woman bears a child, in the spirit in which Christ was formed in Mary's womb, in the love with which God created the world.

The integral goodness and fittingness of the work of a man's hands or mind is sacred.

He must have it in his heart to make it.

His imagination must see it, and its purpose, before it exists in material.

His whole life must be disciplined to gain and keep the skill to make it.

He must, having conceived it, allow it to grow within him, until at last it flows from him and is woven of his life and is visible proof that he has uttered his fiat: 'Be it done unto me according to thy word!'


Every work that we do should be a part of the Christ forming in us which is the meaning of our life, to it we must bring the patience, the self-giving, the time of secrecy, the gradual growth of Advent.

This Advent in work applies to all work, not only that which produces something permanent in time but equally to the making of a carving in wood or stone or of a loaf of bread. It applies equally to the making of a poem and to the sweeping of a floor.

The permanency in it is in the generation of Christ-life. That outlasts time itself. It is eternal."

--Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God, (via Miss Hale)

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