THIS return after an absence of three months to the house which is consecrated to Thee, O Lord, has been the occasion of two experiences. The first is that in my outer being, my surface consciousness, I no longer have the least feeling of being in my own home and the owner of anything there: I am a stranger in a strange land, much more of a stranger here than in the open countryside
among the trees; and I smile, now that I have learnt what l did not know, I smile at the idea of having felt myself “mistress of the house”, an idea I had before my departure; it was necessary for all pride to be broken, crushed, trampled down definitively so that I could at last understand, see and feel things as they are. I used to offer to Thee this dwelling, O Lord, as though it were possible that l should possess something and consequently be able to make an offering of it to Thee. All is Thine, O Lord, it is Thou who placest all things at our disposal; but how blind we are when we imagine that we can be owners of any one of these! I am a visitor here as elsewhere, as everywhere, Thy messenger and Thy servant upon earth, a stranger among men, and yet the very soul of their life, the love of their heart. . . .
Secondly, the whole atmosphere of the house is charged with a religious solemnity; one immediately goes down into the depths; the meditations here are more ingathered and serious; dispersion vanishes to give place to concentration; and I feel this concentration literally descending from my head and entering into my heart; and the heart seems to attain a depth more profound than the head. It is as though for three months I had been loving with my head and that now I were beginning to love with my heart; and this brings me an incomparable solemnity and sweetness of feeling.
A new door has opened in my being and an immensity has appeared before me.
I cross the threshold with devotion, feeling hardly worthy yet of entering upon this hidden path, veiled to the sight and as though invisibly luminous within.
All is changed, all is new; the old wrappings have fallen off and the new-born child half-opens its eyes to the shining dawn.