Julian of Norwich wrote in the Divine Revelation of Love that “God did not say, you will never have a rough passage, you will never be over-strained, you will never feel uncomfortable, but God did say you will never be overcome.” Today is her feast day in the church. In 1393 she wrote her visions in the Divine Revelations of Love. Speculation is that this was the first book written in the English language by a woman. She was a Mystic who was anchored at St. Julian’s church in Norwich.
In all of her writings it is clear that God is a God of compassion and love and mercy. I look to the words above fairly often. It is fair to say that into all of our lives comes a great deal of challenge and turmoil from time to time. It is heartening for me to look back to one of the wise mothers of our faith and hear these words. Indeed God did not say that it would be easy. God did not suggest that I would not face death, pain, loss, loneliness and despair. In baptism in the Anglican rite we use the words “I sign you with the sign of the cross and mark you as Christ’s own forever.” This communicates the same sentiment. There are days that are very uncomfortable. There are days that I am strained. But there is never a day when I am overcome. God is with me through it! God is all Love, all Compassion and all Mercy. God is there – even when it hurts.
JULIAN’S CELL IN NORWICH
Julian was utterly optimistic, even when facing what she thought would be her early death, she was optimistic. I think that we all need a good dose of Julian’s theology and her attitude. God is Love and God is with us. We will prevail because ‘God did say [we] will never be overcome.’
Julian said that ‘Prayer unites the soul to God.’ Today I pray in her name for all who are facing struggle, pain, sorrow and discomfort that they might know that they will not be overcome, but God will be there.