'Stations of the Cross' devotion on YouTube
Sheila Upjohn writes: Given three wishes, most of us might choose health, wealth and happiness. Julian of Norwich chose longing for God, an illness, and to be present at the crucifixion. It’s an unusual choice. In Holy Week many of us, as we walk with Jesus on the way leading from his show trial to his dreadful death, may sometimes wish, as Peter once did, that it simply hadn’t had to happen. Or we may see Jesus as the victim of the Father, who wreaks vengeance on his Son instead of visiting his wrath on us. Or we may wallow in guilt, as we hold ourselves responsible for this disaster. But Julian wanted to share Christ’s suffering, and to help him bear it. And as she stood by the cross Julian was shown crucifixion is a cause for rejoicing:
“All that he has done for us, and is doing, and shall do, was never a charge or burden to him, nor could it be. He paid a price only for the deeds he did while he wore our flesh—that is to say, beginning from his precious incarnation and lasting until his joyful rising from the dead on Easter Day. Jesus wills we understand the joy of the blessed Trinity has in our salvation, and that we open our hearts and rejoice just as much—so that our joy should be as much like Christ’s own joy as it can be while we are still here on earth. The whole Trinity was at work in the Passion of Christ, bringing overflowing virtue and grace to us through him. But it was the Virgin’s son alone who suffered. And so the whole Trinity is filled with joy through this.” [Chapter 23]
The Stations of the Cross, painted by the artist Irene Ogden, were given to St Julian's church by the Reverend Marigold Hall.
A devotional booklet including copies of the paintings, and Julian's text translated by Sheila Upjohn is available from the Friends of Julian eBay shop. Click here to order.
Watch the meditation on the Stations explored through Julian's words and the paintings in St Julian's church on Sheila's YouTube channel below: