Caryll Houselander

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Caryll Houselander (29 September 1901 – 12 October 1954) was a lay Roman Catholic ecclesiastical artist, mystic, popular religious writer and poet.



Eleven Modern Mystics (2011)


Victor M. Parachin, Eleven Modern Mystics, Pasadena, CA: Hope Publishing House, 2011.

  • Love is most likely to spring from another's need for us, and the fact of spending ourselves for another always generates new life in us. To give life is the purpose of love, and we love those people most of all whose needs waken a response in us that floods us with creative energy, causing us to put out new green shoots of life.
  • Christ is among us
    His heart like a rose
    expanding within us . . .
  • God's will for you is to serve him, in his way, as he chooses now. It is only a want of humility to think of extreme vocations, like being a nun or a nurse, while you try to by-pass your present obvious vocation . . . Today you have to use what you have today, and do not look beyond it.
  • We go through life with dark forces within us and around us, haunted by the ghosts of repudiated terrors and embarrassments, assailed by devils, but we are also continually guided by invisible hands; our darkness is lit by many little flames, from night-lights to the stars. Those who are afraid to look into their own hearts know nothing of the light that shines in the darkness.
  • Prayer alone can teach us to concentrate again, can lead us to absolute trust in God, and make our minds ready for other essential things . . . for the contemplation (not mere observation) of beauty.
  • It seems a law of fallen nature that life must always come to its being through darkness, and this makes us even more aware of its beauty. Dawn is lovelier because it comes after night, spring because it follows winter.
  • To surrender all that we are, as we are, to the spirit of love in order that our lives may bear Christ into the world – that is what we shall be asked.
  • The beginning of human happiness, and even of human sanity, is to begin to know God . . . Goodness draws the human soul as a tide is drawn by light.
  • Lift up your eyes and see the star!
  • The one essential for sanctity is the capacity to love.
  • The one thing she [Mary] did and does is the one thing that we all have to do, namely, to bear Christ into the world.
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