– Dame Julian of Norwich
In October last year at our Churches Together meeting, Rev Stephen Smith of St Mary’s Cardington, one of our members, spoke to us about the life of Dame Julian of Norwich.
He is a Norwich ‘boy’ and has had a great interest in the writings of Julian for many decades. Dame Julian lived in Norwich in the 14th and 15th centuries, turbulent times indeed, and spent much of her life an anchorite ( a vowed religious living by herself in a small room called an anchorhold, attached to the parish church of St. Julian). She is thought to have been the first woman to write a book in English, The Revelations of Divine Love, which is widely acknowledged as one of the great classics of the spiritual life. The revelations she received from God were insights into the love and care in which God holds every part of God’s creation.
He showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut in the palm of my hand – and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with my mind’s eye and I thought ‘what can this be?’ And answer came, ‘it is all that is made.’ I marvelled that it could last, for I thought that it might have crumbled into nothing, it was so small. And answer came into my mind, ‘it lasts, and ever shall, because God loves it.’ And so all things have being through the love of God.
The famous message of Julian is All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. We can see that because all of creation – past, present and future – can be compared with the hazelnut, so great and wonderful is our Creator God, therefore our worries here in this life can be held within this revelation.
Following this inspiring talk at our Churches Together meeting, Rev Stephen led us in a day of pilgrimage to Julian’s shrine in Norwich. And now a monthly meditation group meets in the home of one of our members – a reading from Julian’s book followed by a ½ hour of silent meditation, and final grace - and a cuppa of course. We meet on the second Monday of the month at 1.30 pm., a blessed time.