Monday, 10 December 2012

The tender time of Advent

When a woman is carrying a child she develops a certain instinct of self-defence. It is not selfishness; it is not egotism. It is absorption into the life within, a folding of self, like a little tent around the child's frailty, a God-like instinct to cherish, and some day bring forth, the life. A closing upon it like petals of a flower closing upon the dew that shines in its heart. This is precisely the attitude we must have to Christ, the life within us, in the Advent of our contemplation.
By his own will Christ was dependent on Mary during Advent: he was absolutely helpless; he could go nowhere but where she chose to take him; he could not speak; her breathing was his breath; his heart beat in the beating of her heart. Today Christ is dependent upon us.
This dependence of Christ lays a great trust upon us. During this tender time of Advent we must carry him in our hearts to wherever he wants to go, and there are many places to which he may never go unless we take him to them.
The Road of God - Caryll Houselander, 2006

I thought of this reading the moment a friend of mine posted a striking and completely absorbing image of the visitation on her Facebook page. It has taken me this long to dig it out. I love these words - I love their tenderness, and their femininity. I love the gentle grace of which they speak.

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