Week One: Clinging to God’s Goodness
In the late 14th century, the English anchoress Julian of Norwich wrote her influential book, The Revelations of Divine Love. The book is based on a series of visions Julian received, and its stated purpose is to reveal the divine will, which is to love and know God. The Revelations has become a Christian classic for its unique theological and spiritual insights into God’s love.
In her book, Julian has many things to say about prayer. In the first revelation, Julian writes that prayer is more of an attitude than a set of techniques. I find this encouraging, because it means that we don’t have to approach prayer with a lot of bells and whistles. Clinging to the fullness of God is, Julian says, the “truest form of prayer.”
What came to mind next was the way we pray: in our ignorance and incomprehension of love, we use many methods for asking God what we want. But I realized now that God is worshiped—and delighted—when we simply turn to the Divine One, trusting totally in that Unity* and clinging to Divine grace.
Even if we were to practice all the prayer techniques ever used, they would never be enough to connect our souls to God with utter wholeness and fullness, for God’s goodness is the entire whole of reality, a unity that lacks absolutely nothing. By focusing our attention here—on the absolute Unity that never fails—we achieve the truest form of prayer.
Resting in this Unity is the highest prayer, and it reaches down to our deepest needs. It brings our souls to life; it brings us more of life’s fullness; and our lives expand with grace and strength.
*Note: In this edition of the Revelations, Julian’s word “goodness” is translated as “unity” to express the idea of the fullness of God, the way he encompasses every part of creation.
Julian of Norwich (1342 – c. 1416) was an English visionary, mystic, anchoress, and writer. Read about her here.
I’ve been enjoying the Divine Revelations in a modern translation entitled All Shall Be Well.