And all manner of things
OK, I don't want my fellow bloggers especially those two whose names start with "M," to get all cranky with me. No, not MadPriest this time. Mimi and Mickey, my confreres in saint-listing.
It's Dame Julian's feast day, you know, and you know she's my fav, right up there with Mary Magdalene. I feel her spirit poking around in my psyche, sometimes, trying to find something saintly. Trying to pull Christian love out of the mishmash that passes for my mind.
Sometimes she succeeds, with teachings such as:
"This blessed friend is Jesus; it is his will and plan that we hang on to him, and hold tight always, in whatever circumstances; for whether we are filthy or clean is all the same to his love."
"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."
When things get tough, as they are wont to do, I quote Julian under my breath: "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." I say it like a breath prayer, over and over, and it's incredibly comforting.
On days when it all just seems too hard, Julian reminds me about God's will, not mine, and that I'm supposed to hang on tight to him, "in whatever circumstances."
One of Julian's writings I first read was her vision of God holding the Earth in his (or her) hand, and it was something as small as a hazelnut ("a small, brown nut") held in his mighty palm. Yet he would never, ever lose it, but would treat it tenderly.
It takes my breath away how well this mystic of the Middle Ages understood the fragility of our island home, this fragile Earth.
Thank you, Mother Julian. I love you.
Julian is probably the best-loved of all the English mystics. She was born around 1342, and her feast day is observed May 8. She's believed to have died on that date around 1417.
Presiding Bishop Katharine was called a heretic after her election at GC 2006 for quoting a Julian passage referring to "Mother" God. Apparently, the accusing bishops aren't up on their saints of the church.
For James Kiefer's bio and more samples of Julian's writings, go here.