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The Reed of God

4.54  ·  Rating Details ·  350 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
'The Reed of God' depicts the intimately human side of Mary, Mother of God, as an empty reed waiting for God's music to be played through her.
Paperback, 187 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Christian Classics (first published April 13th 1944)
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Richard Grebenc
Jul 07, 2013 Richard Grebenc rated it it was amazing
It seems to me that one of the best things a person can say about a book upon completing it is that he wishes it was longer. This is my experience with "The Reed of God." Not simply a journey with the Virgin Mary from the Annunciation to the Assumption, it is one long prayer with her. Spiritual insights into her life as Mother of Jesus evolve into spiritual insights into how we are called to live our lives as Christians. A real, human Mary becomes a real, human exemplar for us as we walk along o ...more
AMAZING! BEAUTIFUL! Reads like poetry!

Have put ALL the rest of her works on my wishlist--as money and time permit.
Mar 07, 2008 Carlos rated it it was amazing
Through the words and illustrations of this book what shines through is the beautiful love of a woman for Christ and His Church. It is a devotional work, interspersed with Houselander's poetry. She writes from an early twentieth century English outlook and thus her chapters are interspersed with examples from the war. She doesn't get stuck in this contemporary setting though, but rather effectively uses it to bring the life of the Christian to greater clarity. In the course of the book she accom ...more
Webster Bull
Feb 20, 2015 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This meditation on Mary humanizes the Mother of God with soaring poetry and a down-to-earth image: Mary is every Christian who "carries Christ" into the World. Based on Scripture and keyed to the liturgical year, Houselander's little book has opened up Mary for me—to study, exploration, contemplation, devotion. I confess: I didn't really "get" Mary before reading "The Reed of God." I know I don't fully get her now, but I appreciate how much there is to get. So I've done the only reasonable thing ...more
Jun 16, 2012 Rick rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books, and certainly my favorite inspirational book! This book, written in 1944 (I believe) is just wonderful. It, more than anything I have read, has brought me closer to Our Blessed Mother, and hence, to Christ Himself. Filled with lyrical prose and touching analogies, Houselander shows how Mary was the "Reed of God" waiting to be filled (with her maternity)...and that we are ALL vessels waiting to do God's work, and carrying Christ within us. Just remarkable.
Dhanaraj Rajan
Jul 27, 2013 Dhanaraj Rajan rated it it was amazing
A Fantastic book for the season of Advent and Christmas.

The reflections on the passages of the Infancy narratives of the Holy Bible are often viewed as very little and hardly adequate. Yet, Houselander's reflections on them reveal more than what a true Christian can expect. Her reflections on Finding of Child Jesus and the Pre-natal Jesus in the womb of Mary are just the examples. Besides just formulating reflections, Houselander also applies to the common situation and analyses the same feature
May 09, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing
Was prompted by another review to add these thoughts: I thought this was a profoundly beautiful poetic meditation on the way that Mary models "the whole offering of soul and body to be consumed in the fire of love and changed into the flame of its glory...the wholeness of Love through which our own humanity has become the bride of the Spirit of Life" (Introduction xi). Beautiful. But this is not the book I would recommend if someone is wondering what Catholics really believe about Mary. It is no ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic
What a little gem of a book. What a tribute to Mother Mary. What a powerful and poetic look at Life and Love. I found myself so moved at times that tears came to my eyes and my heart fluttered. If you can get past the dogma, you will find underlying, a deep and rich treasure of mystical, prayerful, powerful, Divine Truth, lighting the way Home. I can't wait to read her other works. Utterly and breathtakingly beautiful.
Andrew Plasom-Scott
May 13, 2015 Andrew Plasom-Scott rated it it was amazing
I read this book for my May (month of Mary) reading, and it was truly inspiring. Not the typical, slightly gooey-eyed devotional book about Mary - in fact Houselander starts by saying how off-putting she found such an other-worldly approach to her - but a series of profound reflections and meditations firmly grounded in reality. Christianity is, above all, a religion of the incarnation. And of course, any meditation concerning Our Lady should be about the Incarnation, or it is rather missing the ...more
Amy Hendrickson
Feb 27, 2012 Amy Hendrickson rated it it was amazing
I started this book for Lenten reading, so I am obviously behind. It wasn't that the book was boring. It was more like the book had so much depth that I had to read a little and digest it for a few days before going back.

This book is a wonderful reflection on Mary and how her willingness to say yes to God serves all Christians today. I hadn't ever read any of Houselander's other books, but she is an excellent writer and provides powerful contemplation.
Bridget Blanton
Sep 29, 2014 Bridget Blanton rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: spiritual seekers
Prolific writer, Caryll Houselander explores the role of the Virgin Mary as Christ bearer in this beautifully written book. It is a blend of mysticism and scripture combined with a look at human nature. Houselander's lyrical style provides the reader with meditation-worthy material. I found it beneficial to reflect between chapters on the beauty of Houselander's words. It is a book that you will delve into repeatedly
May 19, 2013 Cathy rated it it was ok
Just too Biblical and sin-oriented for me... I'm sure the writing is good and some get much out of it. Recommended by a good and very Catholic friend. I am not Catholic, but told her I seek to understand Mary better.
Jun 23, 2013 Maureen rated it it was amazing
I love Caryll Houselander and this book is one of her best. She writes very eloquently and mystically and reading her books always gives me so much to think about. She is a true contemplative. I loved it!
Jun 23, 2008 Andrew rated it really liked it
A great dedication to the lives of Mary and Jesus. Her exhortations are extremely Catholic in language, written with obvious joy and love for the subject. Only there was nothing in this book that I believe will make it stand out. It's a great love story but it wont stick with you.
Laurie Tilton
May 07, 2013 Laurie Tilton rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by Caryll Houselander that I've read. I have always heard that her books are excellent. This book is a case in point. Caryll speaks eloquently about our Blessed Mother's role and provides great insight to her readers about "seeking the lost Child." A definite "must read."
Jun 05, 2016 John rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on Mary that I have read. It is profoundly Christ-centered, incarnational, Eucharistic, contemplative, and mystical. It places Mary and Jesus among the poor and excluded. It is a gem.
Feb 12, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing
I just came across this book at just the right time spiritually. I devoured it and even carried it around in my purse for awhile in case I found myself with a spare moment.
Jean Seah
Sep 28, 2016 Jean Seah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, catholic
Beautiful, spot-on imagery distilling and instilling profound spiritual and human truths.
Jan 13, 2015 Stef rated it it was amazing
so much richness and beauty in this book. need to reread, maybe once a year, especially portions during advent, lent, Easter, and other feast days that correspond to the chapters. highly recommend.
Dec 30, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
Tremendously beautiful, moving book. Everyone should read it.
Marjorie Campbell
May 30, 2010 Marjorie Campbell rated it it was amazing
For anyone interested in mystical, feminine spiritual - from the vantage point of a reverted Catholic, this is a must read. I visit and revisit my marked up copy of this book.
Jeff Miller
Feb 18, 2015 Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
I remember that this book was very good, wow just forgot how good. Such an excellent meditation on Mary and Jesus. Really brings out the truth of the phrase "To Jesus through Mary."
Oct 04, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
What a quiet, joyful read. I don't know why, but I've avoided this book for years. I'm really glad I picked it up. Pretty great stuff here.
Mar 04, 2013 Kat rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, lucid, warm and thought-provoking. Also, a wonderful sort of mysticism for theological neophytes, the kind (like me, ha!) who struggle to comprehend even a sentence of St Teresa of Avila.
May 14, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Emotive but clear.
Caitlin Stamm
Sep 04, 2011 Caitlin Stamm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely loved this; it completely solidified how I thought about Mary and expanded my understanding of her faith and importance.
Dan Yingst
Nov 20, 2013 Dan Yingst rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Moving, a book I'd like to return to and which I feel contains great depth in a small package (a description that I think would appeal to the author quite a bit).

Dec 31, 2012 LuAnn rated it it was amazing
I read this several years ago on an advent retreat and found it life-changing in the way I perceived the Incarnation in my own heart.
Sep 17, 2010 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Jim Janknegt
Jul 29, 2013 Jim Janknegt rated it it was amazing
A terrific devotional book; its prose is often like poetry. Deep, deep contemplation I find very profound. Highly recommend.
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Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) was a British Roman Catholic laywoman; a mystic, writer, artist, visionary and healer. Born in London in 1901, Caryll was the second of two daughters born to Willmott and Gertrude (nee Provis) Houselander. Her first book, This War is the Passion. written during World War II, launched her prolific writing career. Houselander's talents included painting and many woodca ...more
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“Most people know the sheer wonder that goes with falling in love, how not only does everything in heaven and earth become new, but the lover himself becomes new. It is literally like the sap rising in the tree, putting forth new green shoots of life.” 27 likes
“The sense of the joy in anything is the sense of Christ.” 10 likes
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