Friday, 8 May 2009

Julian of Norwich

In the Church of England calendar, today commemorates Julian of Norwich, Spiritual Writer,. She died about 1417 and is said to be the first woman to write a book in English.

Her book 'Revelations of Divine Love' are meditations on her visions of Christ's passion that she experienced during her severe illness. They acknowledge the reality of suffering and express deep trust in the power of God's love to transform.

The Julian Centre website has a photo of the 'Julian Door'. I think it is the entrance to her hermitage cell which was destroyed at the Reformation but later rebuilt. The door is half open, giving a glimpse into the cell.

I've always been attracted to pictures of doors or gates half-open, especially when looking from darkness to light. I think they evoke a sense of possibilities beyond where I now stand.

Half-open doors also represent choice. Should I step through this entrance or not? What might happen if I do? Will I step aside from busyness and enter the place of stillness and silence in the presence of God? This is a state I sometimes long for and sometimes avoid. 

Here is a contemporary translation of one of Mother Julian's prayers:

"God, of your goodness give me yourself,
for you are enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing which is less
which can pay you full worship.
And if I ask anything which is less,
always I am in want,
but only in you do I have everything."

Image Credit: Flickr, CC License


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