Julian of Norwich: Medicine for a Fractured World

We have been meditating for over a week on the sad and dangerous happenings in the nation’s capital on January 6, Epiphany, 2021.  We have talked of the power of lies and the dangers inherent when  politicians, presidents and media spread them.  Big lies such as who won or did not win a presidential election are especially egregious and can confuse many people, some of whom are already singularly confused.

The twice-impeached executive and the men who enabled his election denial and promulgated his lies: Senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz; Attorney General Bill Barr; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and Rudy Giuliani (at rear). Poster by OuttaContext on Flickr.

We have contrasted this with the power of Truth, so often a name for the Divine.  How there can be no  justice without truth; injustice builds itself on lies. 

When truth is tossed.

there is a cost

justice lost.

We have talked of the reptilian energy visible when a mob beat up police with American flags and flagpoles and eventually caused the death of five people and put 58 policemen in the hospital.  Our congressional representatives barely escaped being captured or killed or maimed. 

Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola of The Young Turks discuss the preliminary groundwork set up inside the Capitol for the 1/6 coup attempt, and the involvement of police officers and lawmakers in the terrorist attack. Uploaded to YouTube by The Young Turks.

While in hiding, a small group of them—all deniers of the seriousness of coronavirus–refused to wear masks.  The result was that several persons hiding in that room got the virus.  That deniers of climate change are also deniers of the seriousness of a disease derived from climate change that is on a rampage and refuse to mask themselves when hiding with others in a closed space perhaps should come as no surprise.  The same people like to call themselves “pro-life.”  Strange people, these politicians. 

We will be learning more about this event as the weeks and months unfold, but already, and with new video emerging regularly, the event was as historic as it was wretched to behold.  What it reveals about the rage and unshackled reptilian brain energy among many in our country cannot go unnoticed.

Icon of Julian of Norwich, with her cat. Icon by Br. Robert Lentz OFM.

It would not hurt at this time to turn to a more uplifting story about humanity.  And for that, Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth century writer (the first woman writer in English), has much to teach us—as do so many of the mystics.  I came out with a book on Julian a couple months ago and my friend and co-worker, Andrew Harvey, urged me to make parts of the book available on line.  He told me he read the book three times because he found it so rich and exciting and so needed at this difficult time.  So I think I will take him up on his suggestion. 

Julian, being the strong feminist she is, and deep lover of life and visionary about the love that permeates the world, offers a strong counterpoint to the patriarchal and reptilian-brain energy that is so in the news these days.

Julian lived through Europe’s most dangerous pandemic, the Black Death, which hit when she was only seven years old and returned in waves throughout her lifetime.  Julian was, among other things, a hunter-gatherer for goodness.  She says: “The first good thing is the goodness of nature.” And, “God is the goodness in nature.”

To be continued

See Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond.

Banner Image: Medicinal herb garden, U.K. Photo by Sirada Worasarn on Unsplash

Let Julian’s words speak to you at this time.  Try to sit in silence, breathe peace in and breathe peace out; and be with Julian’s focus on goodness and the goodness in nature, the sacred in nature, God in nature.  Be reminded of your own goodness and that of all that is around you.

Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.
“What an utterly magnificent book. The work of Julian of Norwich, lovingly supported by the genius of Matthew Fox, is a roadmap into the heart of the eco-spiritual truth that all life breathes together.”  –Caroline Myss
Now also available as an audiobook HERE.

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2 thoughts on “Julian of Norwich: Medicine for a Fractured World”

  1. Avatar

    Message from an English woman in receipt of Matthew Fox’s daily meditations.
    I say ‘Yes’ to everything outlined and brought to light through reading the book ‘Julian of Norwich’… now into my second reading. Here is the most truly essential message, that we must never stop searching for the Goodness
    in all things.
    Bless you all for helping to keep us operating from a balanced mind, whilst the world spins in its own madness.

  2. Avatar

    “Goodness gracious!” denotes surprise. There was little goodness or graciousness in what happened on January 6, but it certainly was an unwelcome surprise to most people.

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