Today is the feast day of Julian of Norwich, a 14th century mystic who kept herself in almost total isolation in a small room attached to a cathedral. For more about her place in church history and her theology, see this post on my theology blog.
You may be asking why I would mention a 14th century mystic on my creativity blog. Here are some reasons:
--Julian of Norwich wasn't just a mystic; she actually wrote down her visions. She is likely the first woman to write a book-length work in English.
--She might see herself as unworthy of being thought of as a writer. After all, she was only writing the visions that God sent her (in her eyes). However, those of us who write know that one can utilize any number of techniques to write down a vision, even if one gives credit for the vision to someone else. Julian of Norwich wrote those visions with amazing craft and art.
----And what a series of visions! She gives God a distinctly feminine face, although it might not be the kind of face that attracts modern feminists. She's groundbreaking in that way too, although I'm fairly sure she didn't set out to be groundbreaking.
--Even more daringly, she wrote about Christ as a mother--what a bold move! After all, Christ is the only one of the Trinity with a definite gender. She also stressed God is both mother and father. Her visions showed her that God is love and compassion, an important message during the time of the Black Death.
--She is probably most famous for this quote, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well," which she claimed that God said to her. It certainly sounds like the God that I know too. It's a mantra I have used through the years to calm myself. It works beautifully.
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