Submitted by Jacquie Jessup
On Saturday, March 12th 2016 Maureen Wild welcomed the 20 people gathered to the 5th program in 2015-2016 “A Walk on the Mystical Side” series, Julian Of Norwich.
As the sun filtered through the windows of the United Church, Marilyn Smith played soft inspirational music which guided us into a reflective mode. Daffodils blooming on a table highlighted one of Julian’s songs.
Elaine Biollo introduced us to a 14th century Mystic whose profound wisdom speaks to us today.
A God Almost Too Good to Believe In
A God Almost Too Good to Beleive In was a focus of Elaine’s talk as she introduced us to the world and times in which Julian lived. Basically, what Julian heard in sermons of her day is that God is furious with humanity. However, when Julian thought she was on her deathbed she experienced a series of supernatural “Showings”. She was given a vision of Christ as the unconditionally loving Mother and the cosmos itself as an entirely benevolent reality, devoid of sin and informed by ‘friendliness, courtesy, and tender forgiveness. As she focused on a crucifix and she encountered the Trinity and was filled with joy and life.
One of the most often referred to in Julian’s writing is the passage of The Hazelnut.
Then he showed me a small thing; the size of the hazelnut, nestled in the palm of my hand. It was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eyes of my understanding and thought, “What can this be?” And the answer came to me: “It is all that is created” I was amazed that it could continue to exist. It seemed to me to be so little that it was on the verge of dissolving into nothingness. And these words came to my understanding: “It lasts, and will last forever, because God loves it. Everything that is has its being through the love of God.”
Three attributes of this small thing: The first is God made it The second is that he loves it The third is he sustains it . Julian sees God as creator, lover and sustainer – this is her Trinity.
Loving All That Is
Another of Julian’s revelations about God – as expressed in ‘The Showings’ can be summarized in Loving All That Is – God is all that is good. God has created all that is made, God loves all that he created. And so anyone who, in loving God, loves all his fellow creatures. All those on the spiritual path contain the whole of creation and the Creator.
That is because God is inside us and inside God is everything. And whoever loves God loves all that is.
This insight transforms the way we see creation including how we see our fellow human beings. In this worldview there is no place for judgement of the other. There is no place for discrimination of persons. There is no place for consciously inflicting pain on another or for war on a global level.
And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well
One of Julian’s famous quotes: “And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well” has been set to music and after a most enjoyable lunch of soup with cheese scones and fellowship we heard a rendition of this song by a friend of Elaine’s.
The Motherhood of God.
The afternoon found us exploring The Motherhood of God. Christian tradition has consistently viewed God as the eternal Father. It is important to remember that Julian who was living in the time of the feudal system recognized that it was not always so. Wisdom in Hebrew is the word for Sophia; a feminine noun and in the Hebrew text Divine Wisdom is also feminine.
Julian’s showings revealed Christ Jesus, as our true Mother. He is the source of all motherhood, and we have our being from him, protected by all the sweet love that endlessly accompanies motherhood.
What this means is,
I am the Power and Goodness of the Fatherhood. I am the Wisdom and Loving-kindness of the Motherhood. I am the Light and Grace of all blessed Love. I am the Threefold nature of the Divine. I am unity. I am supreme goodness in every kind of thing. I am the one who causes you to love. I am the one who causes you to yearn. It is I, the endless fulfillment of all true desire.
(The Showings; Chapter 59).
The retreat day certainly gave those who attended both food for nourishment and food for thought. The information expressed in the spirituality of Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century woman, gives us a new perspective as we continue to journey on our mystical walk on the spiritual side.
We thank Elaine for giving us her own well researched understanding of the complex insight of this spiritual mystic.