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Julian of Norwich - Spirituality in times of distress

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

"And thus our good Lord answered all the questions and doubts I could put forward, saying most comfortingly as follows: 'I will make all things well, I shall make all things well, I may make all things well and I can make all things well; and you shall see for yourself that all things shall be well." - Revelations of Divine Love

Julian of Norwich wrote these words lovingly and with confidence so that her visions of the Divine's love and solace might be shared with those around her who were suffering and for the contemplation of future struggling generations. Julian herself had experienced near death through a tragic illness at the age of thirty. During that experience, she had a mystical encounter with Divine Presence that transformed her life. After her surprising recovery, she dedicated her life to prayer, the contemplative life, and spiritually cared for those who sought her out for insights into their own struggles and comfort in their time of need.​

Many people were struggling in Norwich, English where Julian lived as during the fourteenth century, the Black Plague claimed over 25 million lives, approximately 40% of the population. In the midst of this, it was Julian's experience of Transcendent Love during her own near-death experience that opened her up to an unwavering faith in a God that desires wholeness and wellness for all of God's children and desires to be a source of comfort in times of unfathomable suffering. We may not be able to answer the "why" of suffering, however Julian's writings reminds us that God is always present, always at work in the unexpected in our lives and always making all things new. ​Being open to a God of possibility in suffering is key to the spiritual life.

As we continue to live into our own 21st century pandemic that is creating fears and anxiety about the unknown future, let us walk more deeply into a life of prayer as Julian. Through our actions, words and deeds, let us attest to a God that so loved the entire world that God through Jesus gave Gods Self.  Perhaps we can consider that following in the Way is living in loving community nurturing one another during times of pain.​


God, we give you thanks and praise for the witness of your humble servant Julian to your abiding love and presence in the midst of suffering and distress. Guide our hearts and minds during this time of anxiety, confusion and fear of the unknown towards your Divine love and comfort that reminds us that we shall not be overcome. Help us to pay attention to your Word and cling to hope knowing our certainty rests in a God who so loved the world. Amen.

#keepingthefaith #dealingwithtragedy #faith

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