> Commemoration: Dame Julian of Norwich
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Annually on May 8
Dame Julian of Norwich,
Anchoress, c. 1417
"Glad and merry and sweet is the blessed and lovely demeanour of our Lord towards our souls, for he saw us always living in love-longing, and he wants our souls to be gladly disposed toward him . . . by his grace he lifts up and will draw our outer disposition to our inward, and will make us all at unity with him, and each of us with others in the true, lasting joy which is Jesus."
-- Julian of Norwich
PRAYER (traditional language):
Lord God, who in thy compassion didst grant to the Lady Julian Many revelations of thy nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek thee above all things, for in giving us thyself thou givest us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
From Holy Women, Holy Men:
Of Dame Julian’s early life we know little, only the probable date
of her birth (1342). Her own writings in the Revelations of Divine
Love are concerned only with her visions, or “showings,” that she
experienced when she was thirty years old.
She had been gravely ill and was given the last rites; suddenly, on the
seventh day, all pain left her, and she had fifteen visions of the Passion.
These brought her great peace and joy. “From that time I desired
oftentimes to learn what was our Lord’s meaning,” she wrote, “and
fifteen years after I was answered in ghostly understanding: ‘Wouldst
thou learn the Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well. Love was
his meaning. Who showed it thee? Love. What showed he thee? Love.
Wherefore showed it he? For Love. Hold thee therein and thou shalt
learn and know more in the same.’ Thus it was I learned that Love
was our Lord’s meaning.”
Julian had long desired three gifts from God: “the mind of his
passion, bodily sickness in youth, and three wounds—of contrition,
of compassion, of will-full longing toward God.” Her illness brought
her the first two wounds, which then passed from her mind. The third,
“will-full longing” (divinely inspired longing), never left her.
She became a recluse, an anchoress, at Norwich soon after her
recovery from illness, living in a small dwelling attached to the Church
of St. Julian. Even in her lifetime, she was famed as a mystic and
spiritual counselor and was frequently visited by clergymen and lay
persons, including the famous mystic Margery Kempe. Kempe says
of Julian: “This anchoress was expert in knowledge of our Lord and
could give good counsel. I spent much time with her talking of the love
of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Lady Julian’s book is a tender and beautiful exposition of God’s
eternal and all-embracing love, showing how his charity toward the
human race is exhibited in the Passion. Again and again she referred
to Christ as “our courteous Lord.” Many have found strength in the
words the Lord had given her: “I can make all things well; I will make
all things well; I shall make all things well; and thou canst see for
thyself that all manner of things shall be well.”
Click the link below to learn about Dame Julian:
Image source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fqspirit.net%2Fjulian-norwich-mother-jesus%2F&psig=AOvVaw0vi7i_l6n_z0IQBxIaML_v&ust=1588524620943000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAMQjB1qFwoTCIitjcLRlekCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK