Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dame Julian of Norwich: 8 May 2012 Dame Julian of Norwich was an anchoress who lived from about 1343 to 1442. An anchoress basically lived in a cell attached to a church. There would be windows into the church and sometimes on the outside for communication. When Julian was about 30 years old she received revelations from God, during or just after some sickness. She reflected on these visions for some twenty years and wrote a book based on these reflections. One important thing that Julian gives us is that to know God, we must know ourselves. We are told that Julian desired three things in life, to have in mind the passion of Christ, to have bodily sickness at the age of 30, and to receive wounds of sincere contrition. This happened when she had a severe illness at the age of thirty. Julian offers a counter thought to the times in which she lived. In popular thought, society was suffering because of its great sin. Julian though, saw the black plague as a device used by God to bring us back to him. In Julian’s visions and interpretations, we see more of God’s love for us and a reflection of his father like (and mother like attributes). In fact Julian sees sin as something necessary to bring us to God, and that God’s desire is for all to be saved. In her last vision she is told: …All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well,” Julian tells us in her own words: “And from the time that [the vision] was shown, I desired often to know what our Lord's meaning was. And fifteen years and more afterward I was answered in my spiritual understanding, thus: 'Would you know your Lord's meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love. What did he show you? Love. Why did he show it? For love. Keep yourself therein and you shall know and understand more in the same. But you shall never know nor understand any other thing, forever.' Thus I was taught that love was our Lord's meaning. And I saw quite clearly in this and in all, that before God made us, he loved us, which love was never slaked nor ever shall be. And in this love he has done all his work, and in this love he has made all things profitable to us. And in this love our life is everlasting. In our creation we had a beginning. But the love wherein he made us was in him with no beginning. And all this shall be seen in God without end ...” Her book is believed to be the first book written by a woman in English. Psalm 27:5-11 Isaiah 46:3-5 Hebrews 10:19-24 John 4:23-26 Dear Lord, you granted to Dame Juilian visions of unspeakable things and gave her a grace to guide others in their spiritual lives. Raise up in this and every generation people who are willing to share their gifts and build up others in the spiritual life. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Prophet, Jeremaiah: 3 May Jeremiah or Yirmeyahu was a prophet who lived in the 7th Century, B.C. The books of Jeremiah, III and IV Kings (I and II Kings), and Lamentations are attributed to him and his secretary, Baruch. He is known as one of the major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel because their books were longer than the “minor prophets”) While being happy when he was younger, Yirmeyahu was know a the weeping prophet. Yirmeyahu resisted God’s call, but still went out, condemning idolatry, greed among the priests and false prophets. He was commanded to stay away from celebrations and feasting, and to call the people to repentance. His basic message was that the temple, king, and the priesthood were good for nothing as long as human hearts were idolatrous and full of deception. His basic message was that the people needed to return to full worship, and that God would give a new covenant, one that would include the whole world, not just the Hebrews. Naturally, his message was not popular and his own people threatened his life (Yahweh warned him) and he suffered persecution. Like Isaiah, Yirmeyahu often had to act out his prophesies. As he predicted, Babylon (Bavel) conquered Judah, and many Jews were carried into captivity. The new governor allowed Yirmeyahu to select his dwelling place, but after Yohanan came into power, he forced Yirmeyahu and Baruch to go into Egypt, where he was probably murdered. Very little of what is attributed to Yirmeyahu was written by him. Most of it was written by his friend and disciple, Baruch. The so called letter of Jeremiah is probably not his work. Jeremiah had a tumultuous relationship with his God. While proclaiming God’s faithfulness, and telling the people that if they repent they can still be saved, he denounces them at the same time, being told not even to pray for them because of their sins. He tells the people that their worship is nothing in God’s sight as long as people did not practice social justice and did not truly turn to God. Heavenly Father, you raised up Jeremiah to warn of your judgment and to challenge people to repent and follow you. Raise up men and women to challenge us when we are in sin and to help us return to you. This we ask in the name of Yeshua who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach ha Kodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.

St. Athanasius: 2 May 2012

A champion of the Trinitarian faith. Exiled five times, he continued to fight against emperor's bishops and others to preserve the faith against the Arians.