Motto of the Order of Julian of Norwich (1)
First in a series of four reflections from Richard Norton CJN ObJN
It was lovely to see so many Friends and Companions supporting me as I made my Solemn Profession as an Oblate at the Mass in St Julian’s Church in February. You can find out more about the order at https://orderofjulian.org
The motto of the order is ‘Await, Allow, Accept and Attend.’ I will reflect on these words which the Lady Julian calls on us to practice in the Showings, and how they are the same virtues we live by as Friends and Companions of Julian, and indeed as faithful disciples of Christ.
It goes without saying these days that waiting for things is not high on our agenda, either culturally or as individuals. Almost every email I receive expects an instant and unconsidered answer. It is as if the quicker our reactions, the quicker our ability to change a situation or ourselves will be. In my opinion this is total nonsense. To await is the call to slow down to reflect, consider and pray. Awaiting takes the focus away from us where the need to publicise ourselves in a competitive and egotistical way disappears. Waiting patiently gives a different sense of time, place, and purpose. It creates the space and silence where contemplative prayer and the discernment of God’s will for us becomes vital – literally life giving. To wait patiently allows us to be honest about all our relationships, with others and with God. This is often challenging as it can involve us in an encounter with our shadow side, which we hardly admit to ourselves, let alone God. However, it is also the place where beautiful and ultimately ineffable things happen too, if only we wait for them.