Sunday, February 22, 2009

All shall be well

When I learned that I was going on our Province's Lenten Retreat at St. Dorothy's Rest, and that we would be reading the Showings of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, I felt inspired to bring this great English mystic "home" to our parish as well.

Hence, the Parish Lenten Reading I have selected for this year is A 40-Day Journey with Julian of Norwich, edited and arranged by Lisa Dahill. This book consists of material from Julian's Showings, as well as passages of scripture to meditate upon and prayers to be said, for each day [of Lent].

I really look forward to going on our Retreat, and hearing what Canon David Rodier has to say on Julian of Norwich. I think I might know a couple of reasons why she was selected for us to read at this time. She recieved her revelations of Divine Love while looking at the crucifix. Thus, the focal point of Showings of Divine Love is our Lord's Passion, and that is great for us to mediate on during these weeks leading up to Easter. There is another reason it is appropriate to read Julian right now, and that is that she lived, as we do, during a time of social upheaval, plague, war, economic recession, and...(you guessed it!)...climate change. Northern Europe had a spell of very cold winters and very short, rainy Summers in the mid-1300's. This devastated the agrarian economy, caused widespread malnuitrition, and paved the way for the Black Death, which subsequently destroyed anywhere from 30%-60% of the population of Europe.

Given these grim statistics, it is amazing that our Lord's revelations to Julian consisted of such words of hope and comfort for her, for her contemporaries: the revelations can basically be summarized as "Behold, how much I love you", and "All shall be well".

Here is a brief statement from Julian's Showings, a passage made famous by T. S. Elliot in his Four Quartets. I think it is a 'Showing' if you will, of the deep Love of the Most Holy Trinity, and that it is much needed in a society which is wracked with sickness, division and anxiety:
All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Proverbs
During Epiphany Season, our Scripture Study class is studying The Proverbs from the Holy Bible: a collection of aphorisms by Solomon and others.

I encouraged the class to do some Bible Memory work. Here's mine (if I can do it from memory) from the 3rd Chapter:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him; and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy winepresses shall burst out with new wine.

Ok, I had a little trouble with the "navel" part, because that's a little different. Otherwise, learning Proverbs is really easy because of the parallel structure of each verse. Try it?