downloadable PDF file: Women of Faith Resources May 2018
“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
“I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.” ~ Linda Thompsoni
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” ~ Michelle Obama
Featured Day: May 8 ~ Juliana of Norwich
Born: November 8, 1342, Norfolk
Died: 1416, Norwich
Lady Julian or Juliana is considered to be one of the world’s most famous mystics. She spent much of her life in contemplation and received visions that she passed on through her writings: Revelations of Divine Love. Julian was also an anchoress. She lived in a small room in St. Julian Church in Norwich, England. From there, she had 3 windows: one that opened into the Church to hear Mass; one through which she could speak to a woman who saw to her domestic needs; and one from which she could share spiritual advice with people who came to her.
Because of her remarkable imagination, Julian can help us to renew our inner vision. She calls us to consider feminine, maternal images of God. When teaching how to love God here and now in all Creation, she holds a hazelnut in her hand and sees that God made it, God loves it, and God preserves it. God is Creator, lover, and protector. All persons and all Creation have ultimate significance and worth, just like the tiny hazelnut.
Lectio Divina: Reflections for meditation
- Psalm 27:5-11 or 103:1-4,13-18
- Hebrews 10:19-24
- John 4:23-26 (Ep)
Lord God, who in your compassion granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images
Enjoy the following selections and let your heart and soul be touched by their messages.
All Shall Be Well – Julian of Norwich / Moody Blues: This first selection is a short narration from Chapter 27 Of Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love, the earliest written medieval book by a female author. The words we hear are from the oldest Chaucerian-style manuscript.
It Is Well – We can see this hymn as connected to Julian’s understanding of All Is Well. This song is from the album, “Together for the Gospel Live” from Sovereign Grace Music.
Bells of Norwich – Sydney Carter – OHRWURM Folk Orchestra: A fine representation of European Folk Music. We can imagine Julian singing these lyrics.
For Spiritual Reading
“The Optimism of Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Essay on the Showing of Love” by
Don Divo Barsotti
Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation
“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”
(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction. See also Abbey of the Arts.)
(Found at quotefancy)
Reflect on the image of God as Mother. Are you comfortable with this message? How does the image of God as Mother offer you ways of experiencing God?
©1995 Br. R. Lentz, ofm
Pray with this icon of Julian. Ask her what she is teaching you today.
(Found at umilta.net)
Ah the hazelnut … “What is it?” Julian said. “this little fragile thing?” “It is all that is made.” God said. And exists now and forever for I love it.” Consider what the hazelnut teaches you about life … or what some other small, fragile gift of Creation teaches you.
Featured Videos and Movies
Short documentary on Julian of Norwich. Directed, filmed and edited by Britt Robinson.
The Search for the Lost Manuscript Julian of Norwich. A BBC Documentary.
Julian of Norwich Her Secret Scribes. By Sheila Crosse.