Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Julian of Norwich

Today is the feast day of the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, who died in about the year 1416. There is information about her at this Saints Index, the Luminarium, Umilta's site and the Catholic Encyclopedia. The Episcopalians have lectionary resources but celebrate her feast day on May 8 (see here also) along with the Lutherans. The Episcopal Church has a religious order named for her. There is a shrine in Norwich. Her writings are readily available both in hard copy and online at the Luminarium and at CCEL and other sites.

from Showings (the Classics of Western Spirituality series edition):

And so I saw that God rejoices that he is our Father, and God rejoices that he is our Mother, and God rejoices that he is our true spouse, and that our soul is his beloved wife. (p. 279)

I saw and understood that the high might of the Trinity is our Father, and the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother, and the great love of the Trinity is our Lord; and all these we have in nature and in our substantial creation. (p. 294)

For prayer is a right understanding of that fulness of joy which is to come, with true longing and trust. The savouring or seeing of our bliss, to which we are ordained, by nature makes us to long; true understanding and love, with a sweet recollection in our saviour, by grace makes us to trust. And in these two operations our Lord constantly regards us, for this is our duty, and his goodness cannot assign any less to us than it is our obligation to perform And when we do it, still it will seem to us that is is nothing. And this is true. But let us do what we can, and meekly ask mercy and grace, and everything which is lacking is us we shall find in him. And this is what he means when he says: I am the foundation of your beseeching.

And so in these blessed words with the revelation I saw a complete overcoming of all our weakness and all our doubting fears. (pp. 252-253)

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