Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt6

This session covered aspects of Julian’s positive and pastoral theology.

“I saw Everlasting certainty powerfully sustained without any fear… at peace and rest… then my mind turned and I was disgusted with myself.  I could go on in faith, hope and charity, but feel them so little.”

“God keeps us safe in sorrow and joy. . . and sin is not always the cause . . . but both came from one love.”

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Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt5

It was suggested that where Julian is positive about curiosity, Thomas Aquinas wasn’t (I think this thought does not ring true and needs a lot more work on it to justify it).  If one can’t see the Summa as an exercise in curiosity from one of the greatest minds ever to exist in the universe, then I don’t know what to say!

Julian:  “Fullness of joy is to see God in everything.”

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Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt4

Marjorie Kempe was a contemporary of Julian and visited her and wrote to her.

In one letter Marjorie laments at the end of a thought about sin:  “Alas that I ever did sin. It is full merry in heaven.”

This is insightful because of the way this perspective compares with Julian.

Julian said there are Three Knowledges:

  1. To know God
  2. To know ourselves (that we are through Him in nature and grace).
  3. To know our sin and weakness

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Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt3

Julian of Norwich (1342-1430)  ‘Love was His meaning’

The metaphors flood the imagination as Julian describes the blood flowing/pouring from Christ’s head as He hung on the Cross.

Beads; Herring scales; Rain drops.

What are we to make of this?

Does Julian revel or even enjoy seeing/describing this event?

Julian asks a question after reflection, that is meant to take one by surprise:  ‘What is sin?’

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Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt2

Julian of Norwich (1342-1430)  ‘Love was His meaning’

Julian of Norwich has a shorter and a longer text, written 20 years apart.

These texts cover both the cognitive (ideas) and the visual (pictorial), showing she doesn’t just “paint” a picture, she develops its meaning.

She prayed for three graces:

  1. To relive the Passion of Christ
  2. For bodily graces
  3. To receive three wounds (not necessarily bodily, but spiritual).
      1. Contrition
      2. Purposefulness
      3. Compassion

She gets sick aged 30 and genuinely believes that she will die…  When her priest comes in, she sees “the light of the crucifix for all mankind.”

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Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt1

Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt1

Julian of Norwich (1342-1430)  ‘Love was His meaning’

Three encounters:

  1. With myself: Insightful and integrated encounter
  2. God:  The holiness beyond me and my availability to God
  3. Julian of Norwich:
    • Childhood in bustling city devastated by the ‘The Great Pestilence’ – so familiar with death
    • Visions were received and processed over 20 year period.

Pastoral ministry is not “helping people”, but attending to what matters most to people.

 

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