~ from Chapter 4: Fix your gaze on Christ ~
I can't tell you how beautiful this chapter is. Her description here of the way an infant changes us articulates perfectly the radical change that motherhood (and fatherhood) bring: and all this from a woman who never married! Sometimes those outside can best see. The description is meant to show us how our openness to the gift of life and willingness to serve our children brings us a real experience of Christ, who came as the Infant King.
"The first giving of this [Christ] love to a newly born child is the reshaping of our whole life, in its large essentials and in its every detail, in our environment, our habits, ourselves. The infant demands everything and, trivial though everything may seem when set out and tabulated, the demand is all the more searching because it seizes upon our daily lives and every detail of which they are built up.
"The sound of our voice must be modulated -- the words that we use considered, our movements restrained, slowed down, and trained to be both decisive and gentle.
"Our rooms must be rearranged; everything that is superfluous and of no use to the infant must be thrown out; only what is simple and necessary to him must remain, and what remains must be placed in the best position, not for us, but for him...
"There must be a new timing of our lives, a more holy ordering of our time, which is no longer to be ruled by our impulses and caprice, but by the rhythm of the little child.
"We must learn to sleep lightly, aware of the moonlight and the stars, conscious even in our deepest sleep of a whimper from the infant and ready to respond to it. We must learn the saving habit of rising with, or a little before, dawn. The rhythm of our bodies must be brought into harmony with his. They must become part of the ordered procession of his day and night, his waking and feeding and sleeping. Our lives, because of his and life his, must include periods of silence and rest. We must return with him and through him to the lost rhythm of the stars and the seed."
~Caryll Houselander, The Little Way of the Infant Jesus