Posted by: jevcat | May 8, 2012

On Celebrating Julian of Norwich

May 8th is the feast day of Julian of Norwich, and it is the one “lesser feast” I never fail to celebrate.

From the moment I first discovered her in a medieval history class, Julian took possession of my heart and spirit as no other spiritual writer and teacher ever has. I don’t think anyone except perhaps the author of the Johanine epistles (who is most definitely not the same person who wrote the Revelation to John!), has ever placed love so centrally in their theology. And so I love her.

But with Julian, it’s not just what she says but how she says it.  Julian’s approach is thoughtful, down-to-earth, intelligent, curious, open, and, of course, loving. She is also not afraid to ask God questions or express her own bafflement at the reply.

The idea that Julian is most known for, other than the primacy of love, is that ultimately “all shall be well” – it runs as a refrain through her “showings”:  “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well” – that was God’s other message to her. It has been of infinite comfort to me in the hardest of times, but perhaps even more comfort has been that, like me, she, herself, saw no way that this could be so.  But unlike me, she could accept this, albeit with a serenity that appears to have been hard-won.

With her help – and God’s – perhaps I will find my way there one day, too.  Meanwhile, since chocolate is almost universally connected with love, and Julian, in one of the “showings” she received, perceived all of creation as something the size of a hazelnut, held together only by God’s love, I think it entirely appropriate to celebrate this year with a piece of Trader Joe’s new Swiss dark chocolate 30% whole hazelnuts bar.

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Responses

  1. I too place Love as the central pin to my writings as a mystic. I was born in Norwich and lived there for many years. I am now starting a new blog dedicated to Julian as well…which I hope you may like to follow and enjoy. Link to Julian blog is:
    http://julianofnorwichblog.wordpress.com/
    and you will get the other address where my mystical writings are from this post. PS: from what I know of Julian she would thoroughy approve of chocolate!

    • I love the thought of Julian and chocolate!


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