Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the reading by Julian of Norwich, I thought that the idea that she wanted "to be one of them and suffer with them" was very interesting. She wanted to be one of his friends who witnessed his pain and suffering so that she would feel she was more deeply connected to God. This idea is not one that many I have heard before, but I found it interesting that so often we hear in church about what God did for us, and should devote ourselves to him, but not how we should try to experience what he went through to allow us to see the world more clearly. She desired to be so close to death in order to better allow her to know what Jesus experienced and allow her to have a closer relationship. I thought that she was a good example of someone who had completely dedicated her self to the pursuance of God and heaven.


ejmcneeley said...

It does seem like the zeal of Julian and those in her time has been lost. I wonder why that is the case. To say that no Christian in the world wishes to suffer as Jesus did or share the same pain would be incorrect. A quick search can find examples of these sort of acts of 'devotion'. (
So it exists out there in certain places. I wonder if in Julian's day, faith played a much more important role in a person's life. It has to be that either The Faith has changed, or people have changed. Could it be that it has lost some of its power? Why aren't more people wishing like Julian did? Was she seen as extreme back then as those who get nailed to a cross in the Philipines are today? It is a good point you bring up. What has changed?

Andrew Fitch said...

I would have to say that a lot has changed since then. Julian was living during the days of the "Black Death" when a third of Europe's population came victim to this disease. So it is not necessarily a wild stretch to imagine that she would become sick, especially because she lived in such desperate poverty. There have been massive advances in medicine and we live in a much more health oriented society. That doesn't seem like a desirable thing to do, and certainly not mentally sound, to wish deathly sickness upon oneself. And God being the benevolent being as he is supposed to be, would he really wish/allow for any of his followers to endure such suffering? And after God giving his followers the gift of "life," how respectful is it to Him that this lady wished to throw away all of the things He had bestowed upon her? Was Jesus not suffering so that his followers would not have to? Personally, I feel that such a desire is ludicrous and for a religion (a thing which is supposed to be the most positive of forces) to inspire and support such dark wishes is quite the opposite of positive.