Thursday, May 05, 2005

the name of the blog

I've been waiting until I had time to make a grand intro post, full of profound spiritual observations, but time and focus have eluded me. Whatever the date on this post says, it's actually June 20th - a month and a half after I set this thing up. So here goes. Expect brief posts until I get my feet wet enough to feel comfortable wading into deeper waters.

The name of the blog, obviously, is from Dame Julian. I love Julian of Norwich although I readily admit I don't always understand her.

Julian's writings contain two of my very favorite spiritual observations: her famous vision of a little thing, the quantity of a hazelnut, containing all that is made and existing only through God's love, and her revelation that "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." The latter is quoted all the time--I heard it two sermons in a row this spring (granted, two different people were preaching.) It can sound bubbly and facile, if used in the wrong context. Got problems? Hey, all manner of thing shall be well!

But Julian has this revelation in the context of wrestling with the reality of sin, suffering, and ignorance. How can they coexist with the absolute love of God?

It seemed to me that if there had been no sin, we should all have been pure and as like our Lord as he created us. And so in my folly before this time I often wondered why, through the great prescient wisdom of God, the beginning of sin was not prevented. For then it seemed to me that all would have been well.

The answer she receives is reassuring, but mysterious:

Sin is necessary, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing will be well.

I sometimes find myself asking similar questions, and like Julian, receiving no direct answer (and no visions, either!) Her revelation is, like God himself, both comfort and yet more mystery. And I believe it to be true.


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