Friday, 19 February 2010
Lenten Spiritual Reading
We are reviving the resolution we had last Lent of including each day on the blog an excerpt from our Lenten spiritual reading. Last year the seminary community read St Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life. This year we are reading, as Simon has already pointed out, Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love. I hope some of you find it helpful to follow our our reading of it here! This is the excerpt for today, written by Julian as a reflection upon seeing a vision of Our Lord crowned with thorns:
"We are able to pray to God because of his holy incarnation, his precious blood, his holy Passion, his beloved death and wounds. And all our holy kinship with him, the eternal life that is the result of this, springs from his goodness. We pray to him because of the love of his sweet mother who bore him, and all the help that she gives us from his goodness. We pray by his holy cross on which he died, and all the help and strength that that cross gives us, comes from his goodness. In the same way, all the help that we have from special saints and all the holy company of heaven, the dear love, the holy and never-failing friendship that they give us, all stem from God's goodness. For God in his goodness has chosen many wonderful ways to help us to approach him. But the principle way is the holy nature which he took from the virgin Mary, with all the resulting means of grace which are part of out redemption and endless salvation. So it pleases him that we should seek him and praise him in these ways, knowing that he is the goodness behind it all.
To focus on the goodness of God is the highest form of prayer, and God's goodness comes down to meet us at our most basic need. It gives life to the soul and makes it live and grow in grace and virtue. God's goodness is closest to our human nature, and the most ready to bring us grace. It is that same grace which we seek now and will always seek until we know for certain that our God had completely enfolded us in himself."