Jan 23

Perspective and Hope

On Sunday, January 22, I lit the chalice as part of the opening of worship at the UU church I attend. Here is what I shared.

When I was contemplating a chalice lighting for today, one spiritual writer came to mind immediately: Julian of Norwich.

all shall be wellFor those who don’t know her: Julian – not her real name – lived in England during the time of the Hundred Years War and the Bubonic Plague. There was a scarcity of food, a high level of unemployment, and – it almost goes without saying, a huge amount of fear. Julian was a Christian who received a series of visions from God and wrote them down.

Whenever I am feeling uneasy about whatever is happening in my own world, I find that Julian gives me some perspective.

So I’d like to share a few of her meditations here today:

God showed me in my palm / a little thing round as a ball / about the size of a hazelnut. / I looked at it with the eye of my / understanding and asked myself: / “What is this thing?” / And I was answered: “It is everything that is created.” / I wondered how it could survive since / it seemed so little it could suddenly / disintegrate into nothing. / The answer came: “It endures and ever will / endure, because God loves it.” / And so everything has being / because of God’s love. (p 25)

God did not say: “You will not be tempested. You will not labor hard. You will not be troubled.” But God did say: “You will not be overcome.” (p 115)

God said: “It is necessary that sin should exist. / But
all will be well, and all will be well, and every manner of thing will be well.” (p 48)

I light the chalice today in honor of long-term perspective and hope.

All quotes are from ‘Meditations with Julian of Norwich’ by Brendan Doyle.

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