And certainly a lot more than the latest CNN headlines or Facebook entries or Twitter comments on the world scene.
A woman like Julian of Norwich hits home to the heart where it hurts. She doesn’t mince words. And she was the first woman to dare write about her mystical experiences in the as-yet unformulated Middle English language.
A consummate writer and a contemporary of Chaucer, Julian’s texts were all but forgotten until the twentieth century.
One of greatest of mystics of all time, she has never been officially canonized as a saint.
A brilliant theologian, she has never been declared a Doctor of the Church.
Yet during the last century, people all over the globe have been flocking to read Julian’s Revelations, precisely because they impart a profound way of thinking about life’s most burning issues. She speaks to us of God’s unconditional love in a voice that is fresh, vibrant, and timelessly relevant. She conveys the answers she received from Christ about sin, suffering, and salvation in terms of her direct life experience. She writes to
us as a deeply concerned friend who devoted her last twenty-five years to the art of contemplative prayer and the daily counseling of anyone who came to seek her help.
Julian cuts through “official” or “pious” ways of speaking about God, argues with wrong views of how God “thinks” about us, and fights for her right even to write in mystical language. She challenges us to confront the very doubts that plague our own minds, just as she did. And she reassures us that God will answer, reveal his inordinate love to us, comfort, be with us, and keep us “most securely.”
But we have to take the plunge and dare to ask the tough
questions that have been lurking in the backs of our minds for so long. Then we have to be willing to sit very still and wait and listen for our own Revelations to arise.