Sunday, January 19, 2014

All Shall Be Well

I saw this at the Nickel Diner this weekend, and I need this message. I had only heard the name Julian of Norwich but I didn't know who she was.  14th century Christian mystic.  Very interesting stuff, at least in a theological sense. It's good to remember that people have been thinking these things for a long time, even though they don't always make it through -

"Julian believed that it was inaccurate to speak of God's granting forgiveness for sins, because forgiving would mean that committing the sin was wrong. She preached that sin should be seen as a part of the learning process of life, not a malice that needed forgiveness. She wrote that God sees us as perfect and waits for the day when human souls mature so that evil and sin will no longer hinder us."

Wow, that seems way beyond the 14th century.  From this page, one theory is that because she was a woman the Catholic church did not bother to refute her ideas.  Because of that, they live on today.  She even refers to Christ as mother. Kind of radical.  I'm not into Christian theology, but it would be interesting to read her "Revelations of Divine Love."  Sounds like it would be as valid as anything else. 

What more interests me is that the revelations were dreams during an illness. She wrote on them for the rest of her life.  I wonder how that would be treated today. So many prophets had visions, but they were living in completely devout worlds, surrounded by religion. It's not surprising it filled their dreams. I wonder what we'd say to a divinely revealed text today, or if there could even be one that does not seem full of dogma and personal interest (see Joseph Smith).

People reach for something. We all do. It's a frightening world. Some days are very hard.  When it comes down to it, we just want someone to say it's going to be all right, all will be well.


Elizabeth said...

I think during the worst times in my own life, that simple phrase, uttered by various people close to me, has meant the world. "Everything will be all right." "All will be well."

I read once -- perhaps it was a book by Alan Watts? -- that the word "sin" in the original language (Aramaic?) meant "miss the mark." Why and how it was warped and changed over the centuries is so interesting -- and damaging.

Criticlasm said...

Yes. I think that same thing - missing the mark is so much more compassionate than what 'sin' has come to mean and be used as.