April -- 2020
Hear the words from Herbert 0. Driscoll, our first speaker, sponsored by our Speakership Series, years ago. This came from him last week with permission to quote. He uses as his text, Julian of Norwich's masterpiece, Revelations of Divine Love.
Dame Julian was an English Anchorite [circa 1342-1416]
This revelation is "...an exchange between Julian and our Lord in which he shows her the outstretched palm of God's hand in which she sees a hazelnut lying. Puzzled, Julian asks our Lord what the hazelnut means. He tells her that it is a symbol of everything God has created. In this Julian is to see three things of God's Creation, that God is its Maker, its Lover and its Keeper.
That short exchange in Julian's manuscript seemed to speak eloquently to a late 20th world that was becoming aware of the all-important responsibility humanity bears to its own natural environment.
That exchange between Julian and her Lord has attached to it a promise that continues to echo down the centuries, a promise that has become overwhelmingly important in this present time of world-wide anxiety and fear. Julian recalls our Lord's words precisely. She is told that "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
Those utterly simple words, promising a sublime hope for Creation and History, can be heard quoted again and again in our own deeply shadowed time of viral infection and its threatening consequences. We quote them because they promise a divine hope. We also owe a huge debt to a woman who, even though her life was surrounded by plague and fear, handed on that divine promise to future generations.
A final thought. There is a debt we owe that is all too easily forgotten, a debt to the treasures of Jewish wisdom. Somewhere in that great treasure house, there is the remark of some sage about Moses and the Exodus Journey. Moses, it is said, was not a person of fear. He did not fear the burdens of leadership, nor fear enemies nor the dangers of the wilderness. There was only one thing he feared that the people would lose Hope. Then and only then would the great journey end.
So, let's join one another in remaining a people of Hope."
Easter blessings of Resurrected Life.