Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation

 

Image credit: Revelations of Divine Love (detail), mid-15th century, (Add MS 37790) f. 97r from The British Library Manuscript, The British Library, London, England.

 

Julian of Norwich -  A Perennial Wisdom

 

Although Julian of Norwich is an anonymous woman who lived over 600 years ago, seekers and scholars return to her “showings” again and again. Author Veronica Mary Rolf describes why Julian’s wisdom is perennial, valuable, and needed whenever there is confusion and suffering, which is to say, in every time and place. Rolf writes:


Perhaps the best answer to the question “Why Julian now?” is that in our age of uncertainty, inconceivable suffering, and seemingly perpetual violence and war (not unlike fourteenth-century Europe), Julian shows us the way toward contemplative peace. . . .  In a world of deadly diseases and ecological disasters, Julian teaches us how to endure pain in patience and trust that Christ is working to transform every cross into resurrected glory. . . .

Moreover, across six centuries, Julian’s voice speaks to us about love. She communicates personally, as if she were very much with us here and now. Even more than theological explanations, we all hunger for love. Our hearts yearn for someone we can trust absolutely—divine love that can never fail. Julian reveals this love because, like Mary Magdalene, she experienced it firsthand. . . .

 

Precisely because she had the courage of her convictions, Julian of Norwich became the first woman ever to write a book in the English language. . . . Even more, this “unlettered” woman developed a mystical theology that was second to none during the fourteenth century and that continues to break barriers in our own time. . . .

Julian is also emotionally raw, often tempted by self-doubt and discouragement, yet constantly renewed in hope. She does something extremely dangerous for a layperson living in the fourteenth century: she discloses her conflict between the predominant medieval idea of a judgmental and wrathful God and her direct experience of the unconditional love of Christ on the cross. . . .

 

Why is Julian so appealing today? I think because she is totally vulnerable and transparently honest, without any guile. She is “homely”; in medieval terms, that means down-to-earth, familiar, and easily accessible. She is keenly aware of her spiritual brokenness and longs to be healed. So do we. She experiences great suffering of body, mind, and soul. So do we. She has moments of doubt. So do we. She seeks answers to age-old questions. So do we. Then, at a critical turning point in her revelations, she is overwhelmed by joy and “gramercy” (great thanks) for the graces she is receiving. We, too, are suddenly granted graces and filled to overflowing with gratitude. Sometimes, we even experience our own divine revelations.

 

Again, and again, Julian reassures each one of us that we are loved by God, unconditionally. In her writings, we hear Christ telling us, just as he told Julian, “I love you and you love me, and our love shall never be separated in two.” [1]

[1] Julian of Norwich, The Fourteenth Revelation, ch. 58 (Long Text).


DAILY DEVOTIONS Morning Prayer Evening Prayer
     
Wednesday 27 May Ps (2),29 Ps (36),46
  Num 23:13-end Deut 31:30-32:14
  Luke 8:16-25 1 John 3:11-end
     
Thursday 28 May Ps 24,(72) Ps 139
  Num 24 Deut 32:15-47
  Luke 8:26-39 1 John 4:1-6
     
Friday 29 May Ps 28,(30) Ps 147
  Num 27:12-end Deut 33
  Luke 8:40-end 1 John 4:7-end
     
Saturday 30 May Ps (42),43 Ps 48
  Num 32:1-27 Deut 16:9-15
  Luke 9:1-17 John 15:26-16:15
     
Sunday 31 May Refer Lections Below  
     
Monday 01 June Ps 85;150 Ps 122;127;128
  1 Sam 2:1-10 Zech 2:10-13
  Mark 3:31-35 John 3:25-30
     
Tuesday 02 June Ps 132,(133) Ps (134),135
  Josh 2 Job 2
  Luke 9:28-36 Rom 1:18-end
     

 


Sunday Lections

MAY    
Sunday 31 May The Day of Pentecost Heb: Acts 2:1-21
Ps: 104:24-34,35b
Gk: 1 Cor 12:3b-13
Gospel: John 20:19-23


Collects and Prayers

Holy Spirit of God,

blowing through creation:

No door can keep you out.

Unlock our hearts,

breathe on us anew;

that we may speak God's words of life.

With the Father and the Son,

you live and reign,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen

 

 

We pray this week for:

• healing for all those suffering with Coronavirus

• the bereaved, the quarantined and the isolated

• those unable to return home to NZ or from NZ to their own homeland

• our Prime Minister and all in leadership roles

• all essential services

 

Lord of compassion and power,

be with those affected by the Corona Virus as so many suffer 

while others’ lives are disrupted and filled with uncertainty.  

Give your grace and strength to all who minister 

to their needs of body, mind and spirit. 

Heal and help those who are traumatised by what is happening. 

Give peace to the dying. 

Comfort and support the bereaved, broken and confused, 

and to all who are working to bring relief, 

give strength and resilience 

to do their work well;

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen