Vintage Reflections: Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich (1343-1413) Today's Vintage discussion focused on the life and writings of Julian of Norwich, a theologian, anchorite, and daughter of the Lord who lived in England in the 14th century. Apart from her life's commitment to God's work and her intimate understanding of his grace, Julian of Norwich was an example of a godly life in a time of great suffering. Julian was moved by God's goodness and how that translated into his loving care for us, his children, and as we consider her profound thoughts today, I cannot help but smile at the simplicity of them all. It took the tiny object of a hazelnut to remind Julian of God's creating, loving, and preserving power. Because she understood that God loves even the smallest of and seemingly insignificant things, she clung to God's life giving goodness. How trivial is one life in a million? It's small, but made valuable and powerful through the goodness of God.

"For the highest form of prayer is to the goodness of God. It comes down to us to meet our humblest needs. It gives life to our souls and makes them live and grow in grace and virtue. It is near and swift in grace, for it is the same grace which our souls seek and always will."

Students in today's discussion were encouraged by the idea that all goodness in life comes from God's goodness, and we were struck by the fact that a "vintage thinker" from the 1300s would have such insights into the things that concern us today. To understand the immense love of God, to Julian of Norwich, was to find rest and purpose in Him alone. As she wrote, "never can we stop the desiring and longing until he is ours in the fullness of bliss."

Click here for the Julian of Norwich reading from this week.

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Sarah Salinas, UVa 2014