Motto of the Order of Julian of Norwich (4)

Fourth in a series of four reflections from Richard Norton CJN ObJN


We come to the last part of the motto of the Order of Julian. Of course, all four parts are not sequential or linear. They’re all bound up with each other in a circle of Divine Love.  Being attentive to things of God and other people is, for me at any rate, both obvious and obscure. How can this be? How can something obvious hide itself so I do not see it in plain sight? Well, attention is obvious in our devotion, prayer, and liturgical practice. As Friends, Companions and Oblates of Julian we have committed to put these things at the core of our lives. The trick if there is one, is to make sure that this does not become a façade of mere piety, an ideology, a lived but false relationship to God and the world. It is here that we most need a stability of life, or as I now call it ‘Stable-ity of life.’  Everything depends on our taking the Incarnation absolutely seriously with its virtues of humility and meekness, not in some ‘uriah heep’ way but really and truly. We take the passion, cross and resurrection seriously, for they are all the same things; the work of God for our salvation, the showing of divine love towards all things and all people. And that is where things become obscure. It is very hard to practice this.  Because it is so hard, we return to where we began (what was that about a circle!) with listening – listening to what we know to be true, listening to God, listening to the authentic faith of the Church, and listening to those we love, respect and care for. However, listening in and for itself is never enough. It must combine with our doing, becoming nothing less than the servant of those in God’s temple and the world through His grace alone.


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