May is a month of prayer with the National Day of Prayer last week and Thy Kingdom come in two weeks Not to be forgotten is Julian of Norwich who was one of the first women authors.
“Pray, even if you feel nothing, see nothing. For when you are dry, empty, sick or weak, at such a time is your prayer most pleasing to God, even though you may find little joy in it. This is true of all believing prayer.” Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich (1342-c.1416) is known to us almost only through her book, The Revelations of Divine Love, which is widely acknowledged as one of the great classics of the spiritual life. She is thought to have been the first woman to write a book in English which has survived.
We also know her by her famous quote “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” We celebrate her day on May 8, 2023.
Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love is based on a series of sixteen visions she received on the 8th of May 1373. In her 30th year she was expected to die from an illness. “Then, on the seventh day, the medical crisis passed, and she had a series of fifteen visions, or “showings,” in which she was led to contemplate the Passion of Christ. These brought her great peace and joy. She became an anchoress, living in a small hut near to the church in Norwich, where she devoted the rest of her life to prayer and contemplation of the meaning of her visions.”
Here is a podcast about her from Christianity Today – “In this episode of Prayer amid Pandemic, Amy Laura Hall, the author of Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich and a Christian ethics professor at Duke Divinity School, tell us why we know so little about Julian’s identity but why we still read her writings on the vision she received while sick today.”