Tuesday, April 3, 2012

This War is the Passion

Here we are...the last week in Lent. Is it just me, or did lent go by really, really fast this year? I've been meaning to do a post on "This War is the Passion," by Caryll Houselander ever since I first read it, and for some reason, I just haven't found a good time. This seems like a good time.
I read it the first time...about a year and a half ago, I guess. Maybe longer. It is one of the best spiritual reading books I've ever read. It's just brilliant. The author, Caryll Houselander, wrote it during WWII, hence the title of the book, and she focuses primarily on 'seeing Christ' in everyone.
Caryll Houselander sounded like an amazing women from everything I've read about here. During and after the War, she worked as a councilor and therapist for those children that were emotionally shattered by the war. She did this dispite a complete lack of formal training and her success was commented on by a well-know psychologist who remarked that she simply 'loved them into health.'
'This War is the Passion' is a very beautifully written, some parts are so poigant that I cry, but it still is very real, very applicable to normal, everyday lives. Sometimes it's hard, when we read a spiritual book, to take what is said and imitate it. It seems beyond us. But this book is especially written for the average person and takes into consideration the hectic days that most people have for a life and how to still pray, still grow closer to God and most importantly, to remember that what we do to any person in the world, we do to God.
It goes through the Passion of our Lord in a 'Then and Now' way, which is very good. It is easy to forget that the Passion wasn't just an event that happened two thousand years ago, but it is a living thing that goes on an on in the Church. It is beautiful. And it's not a sad, depressing book as you might think from the title. It's almost more a 'battle cry' type book, a rally for Catholics. It's was written to give consolation and help to all the people confused and frightened durning the war. It helps gives depth and value to suffering. She finishes the book with the Resurrection of Our Lord. Here's a section from the end that I love:
"Easter then is truly the resurrection of the children of God, because they are to live His life, the life that has overcome sorrow and death. There is no longer anything in life that can over defeat the joy of the human heart, not even sin, for sin it is that wounds the world as the nails wounded Christ. And when the sharpest grief of all wounds a man- sorrow for sin- that evil thin falls away as the ugliness and torment of death fell away from Christ; the but wound remains as his wounds remained when, alone with His Father in that secret daybreak of Easter, He lifted His hands as they had been lifted upon the cross, and God saw the Light of the world in five stars, two that shone from Christ's feet in the dust, two that shone from His hands in supplication, one that burnt from the heart of the risen world."
*Sniff* Isn't that lovely?
So there. I know that not everyone is moved by the same things, and what is inspiration for one person may not be for another, but I can't recommend 'This War is the Passion' enough. There truly seems to be something in it for everyone.
God Bless. I hope you all have a good rest of Lent. I am not planning on doing any Easter themed posts like I did last year, but if you want to take a look at that old stuff, here is the page. :-)
Oh and one more thing. This song seems very Lent-ish to me. I think it's suppose to be a Christmas song, actually, but it always reminds me of Lent. Anyway. It's beautiful and I hope you enjoy it.


  1. I LOVE Caryll Houselander. I'm reading her right now, and I just love the way she brings Christ to life. She was such a true Catholic.

    Oh, and why did you post THAT song? Are you TRYING to make me cry? LOL

  2. Nice post, Panda. :)

    But that song! Man, it never fails to make me cry. *sniff*

  3. Thank you both for commenting...I was sort of hoping to make you tear up!