12 March 2017

Caryll Houselander: "Christ, You Bear the Wounds of the Whole World"


Finding myself contending with an enormous burden the Lord God has been pleased to place upon my back, I have once again been guided to the writings of Frances Caryll Houselander, an English Catholic mystic and writer of the 20th century.  

From Caryll Houselander's marvellous little book on the Holy Rosary containing Rosary prayers that she wrote in the bomb shelters of London during World War II -- prayers  originally commissioned by Maisie Ward for her wonderful book The Splendour of the Rosary -- I would like to share with you, dear Reader, an example from her poetic prayer from the Second Glorious Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 
ascended into Heaven,
You bear the wounds
of the whole world
in Your hands and feet
and in Your heart.

They plead for us,
shining like stars
before the secret face of God.

By Your five wounds
purify our five senses;
lift up our hearts into Heaven.

While You draw down
God's mercy to us,
showing our wounds
in Your glorified Body,
let us draw men up to You,
showing Your wounds to the world,
scored on our grey dust
in the bright crimson
of Your love.

Caryll Houselander

Frances Caryll Houselander, pray for us.