Near the very end of her book, Julian of Norwich reveals that for many years following her sixteen Revelations, she often wondered why they had been shown to her and what was their deeper meaning. After fifteen years of searching, she heard the answer. It is one we might all reflect on this Christmastime, when we, too, seek the deeper meaning of our daily lives. We often feel Christ’s presence amidst the joys and loves, but we often fail to have faith that he is truly present within the sufferings, the fears, and yes, even the tragedies. Yet throughout her Revelations, Julian is certain that Christ is always at work in everything, coming down to "the lowest part of our need." He is forever transforming what we experience as darkness into light, as suffering into treasure, and as death into new life. We cannot see or understand it, of course, but Julian assures us that “our faith is our light in our night, which light is God, our endless day.”
Prince of Peace
As we contemplate the newborn Prince of Peace this Christmas, let us dare to believe he is truly being born anew within us. Let us prepare a place for him in the crowded Inn of our heart; let us take time to sit and wonder that this blessed Child has come to us for one purpose only: to show us the unconditional love of God. And let us savor Julian’s understanding of the true meaning of everything and everyone in our lives:
And from the time that it was shown, I desired oftentimes to know what was our lord’s meaning And fifteen years after and more, I was answered in spiritual understanding, saying thus: “What wouldest thou know thy lord’s meaning in this thing [the whole revelation]? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who showed it to thee? Love. What showed he to thee? Love. Wherefore showed he it to thee? For love. Hold thee therein, thou shalt know more of the same. But thou shalt never know therein other without end.” Thus was I taught that love is our lord’s meaning.
May you be blessed with Christ’s love and peace this Christmas. And may his peace radiate from your heart to bring healing and hope to our suffering world.
PLEASE NOTE: Quotations above are from Julian's Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich
(Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books), Copyright © 2013 by Veronica Mary Rolf. All rights reserved. This article may not be copied or reprinted without the written permission of the author.
All text copyrighted © 2013-2018 by Veronica Mary Rolf. All rights reserved. No copying or reprints allowed without the express permission of the Author.