Church of St Julian, Norwich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”
—-Julian of Norwich
Julian was an anchoress. An anchoress is one who lives a solitary life, and dedicates that life to getting closer to God. Very little is known of Julian beyond her work, “Revelation of Divine Love.” She is the first woman who wrote a theological work in the English language. Her sufferings and wisdom still speak loudly today.In the coming weeks I will be blogging about the works of Lady Julian now and again. This quote is just the beginning.
Help us, O Lord, never to nurse the grievance that separates us from you and from one another. Grant us grace to forgive those who have wronged us. May we know that no sin is so great that it cannot be confessed; no wound so deep it cannot be healed and no sinner so lost that grace cannot bring them home. Amen.
“The only thing to seek in contemplative prayer is God; and we seek Him successfully when we realize that we cannot find Him unless He shows Himself to us, and yet at the same time that He would not have inspired us to seek Him unless we had already found Him.”
Someone told me that fifty years ago when a book was published only 60% of each page was print in and 40% was margins. The margin was a place where the reader could make notes to himself, ask questions, or jot down points to ponder. Today in the publishing industry, the margins are only 20% of the page, leaving little room to ponder or wonder or think. In similar fashion, we have filled our lives all the way to the edge of the page, leaving little margin in our lives for contemplation or meditation.
Is that a picture of your life? If so, make an effort to change. There are so many of us who just accept things and never reexamine our lives for deeper meaning. Take time to think today, and offer your thoughts to God. Be silent enough, long enough, to let God speak to you. Thomas Merton said, “By meditation I penetrate the inmost ground of my life, seek the full understanding of God’s will for me, of God’s mercy to me, of my absolute dependence upon him.” If each of us would just stop long enough to give God a chance to penetrate our shield of activity, wondrous things would follow.
It was a life changing experience when I began to practice periodic times of meditation and contemplation as part of my journey with God. These times have allowed me to focus on my life and have been both disturbing and illuminating. All in all, I have experienced a great renewal of faith in these times of simple silence and introspection.