Sunday, August 24, 2014


"If ever there was a time when we can not only take the Sermon on the Mount literally if we want to, but can hardly avoid doing so, that time is now. If we believe that whatever we do to the least of His creatures is done to Christ, then now is the time to give to Christ everything that we are capable of. There are people all round us in need of everything; people who, like Him, have literally nowhere to lay their heads, who have no clothes, who have no food. There is not one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy that is not now crying out to be done, not one that is out of our reach to do. The means, too, are at hand; if we cannot do them by ourselves there are organizations for everything, for receiving and giving clothes and money and food, for finding shelters and home and rest, and for all the other things that are needed; these organizations are not affairs of red tape, not that the need is here the response to it has come from human people who are out to spend themselves.

If fear and indignation can generate energy in us which can be turned not to hate of our enemy but to acts of love for those whom he was wounded and robbed, we have already taken a big step towards loving the enemy, too. These acts of love, this putting self last, this giving and serving, brace the strain of compassion and tenderness in us. Instead of becoming hard and acid we shall become gentle and sensitive; instead of inflicting yet another wound on the human race, we shall heal one. If all the energy, the spiritual adrenalin [sic; British spelling], give to us to face the war, is used up in acts of love, there will be nothing left to hate with, and, moreover, we shall cease to have the capacity for hate."

-Caryll Houselander, This War is the Passion



  1. Heather, thanks for this post. I just received some 'book money' and was considering which title of Caryll H's to buy. They all look good, relevant and challenging. With your post in heart and mind, I have decided it will be This War. Oh, and I can also get another Heather K title!

    1. Thank you, Beth! I also like Houselander's The Reed of God, and Guilt. I have her Essential Writings (Orbis) by my bed and often dip in when I've lost my way...

  2. Thanks Heather...I have a LOT of work to do on this particular type of love of enemy! When it comes to the difficult person to deal with at the family business or the terrible driver or annoying family member (and I have well over 100 of them including all the nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters in law!), i' generally do just fine. But when it comes to selfish politicians who have no problem taking lobbying money from the highest bidder, corporate heads who'd love another war or skirmish to use their company to profit by, or supposed people of religion who work against our Lord, - i have a long way to go with trying to love (even) them in my heart...


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