I had long been haunted by the Russian conception of the humilated Christ, the lame Christ limping through Russia, begging his bread; the Christ who, all through the ages, might return to the earth and come even to sinners to win their compassion by his need. Now, in the flash of a second, I knew that this dream is a fact; not a dream, not the fantasy of a devout people, not the prerogative of the Russians, but Christ in man…
Although [the vision] did not prevent me from sinning again, it showed me what sin is, especially those sins done in the name of “love,” so often held to be “harmless”–for to sin with one whom you loved was to blaspheme Christ in that person; it was to spit on Him, perhaps to crucify Him. I saw too the reverence that everyone must have for a sinner; instead of condoning his sin, which is in reality his utmost sorrow, one must comfort Christ who is suffering in him. And this reverence must be paid to those sinners whose souls seem to be dead, because it is Christ, who is the life of the soul, who is dead in them; they are his tombs, and Christ in the tomb is potentially the risen Christ. For the same reason, no one of us who has fallen into mortal sin himself must ever lose hope….
I knew too that since Christ is One in all men, as He is One in countless Hosts, everyone is included in Him; there can be no outcasts, no excommunicates, excepting those who excommunicate themselves–and they too may be saved, Christ rising from death in them.
Christ is everywhere; in Him every kind of life has a meaning and has an influence on every other kind of life.
–Caryll Houselander; via