If you have never read The Reed of God, by British mystic, artist, and philospher, Caryll Houselander, you have missed one of the most profoundly moving spiritual meditations I’ve ever read. I picked up the book this Advent and it has significantly helped me through the season.
The book is broken into four sections that emphasize the humanity of Jesus’ mother, Mary, through four of the major mysteries of her life: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of Jesus, and the Finding of the Child, Jesus in the Temple. In these meditations are woven poetic tributes to both the human body and soul, and the beautiful significance of the environment, nature, and art. There is also much reflection on the benefits of silence, simplicity, and patience, especially with ourselves and God through all the seasons of mood, enlightenment, and life, itself.
Most important is Houselander’s contemplation on human restlessness and unease. She attributes this to the God in us seeking its source, and emphasizes all the idols we build to fill the emptiness when there is but one way to fill it and complete ourselves.