Letters from 9
to 15 April 2007
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All manner of things
In the late 1970's there was a sudden explosion of interest in the
work of Julian of Norwich – much of it fueled by the Paulist Press publication of her "Showings". (Curiously, in their
first brochure advertising their exhaustive "Classics of Western Spirituality" series, they listed Julian as a Protestant mystic,
so closely had she come to be seen as "Anglican".)
A few years later, also taken by the optimism and loving gentleness
of her writing, I fell quite in love with the 14th century anchoress – so much so that in 1982 I founded the Order
of Julian of Norwich as the only religious order in the Episcopal Church which (a) was a statedly "contemplative" order, and (b)
had both monks and nuns in the same order, under the same vows, and with equal status.
For several years, interest in Julian's unique work rose world-wide.
Dozens – even hundreds – of books and articles appeared, new translations of her Middle English were made (including
my own: "A Lesson of Love"). And then interest seemed to level off for awhile.
Now, suddenly, in very high-profile locales, she has begun once
more to appear: in the Presiding Bishop's address's mention of "our Mother Jesus", in Dean Jeffrey John's controversial BBC
address, and now on Anglicans Online.
I am convinced (as are several others, apparently) that this single
small voice of a 14th century English recluse can speak very convincingly to many of the conflicting issues in today's Church
(as she spoke to a torn and conflicted Church and world in her day). My deep hope is that she will now be read by any who have
not known her, and re-read by those who have.
And I would be happy to show her way to any who have interest.
And all SHALL be well!
John-Julian Swanson, OJN
The Order of Julian of Norwich
Hartland, Wisconsin, USA
9 April 2007
Happy Easter. While
being in Iraq has its ups and downs, it is comforting, even in this land where the evil is palpable, to be able to know and
say - The Lord is risen indeed.
May you and all of your readers feel the blessings of a Risen Saviour
throughout the year.
Ch Steven Rindahl
Camp Liberty Anglican Community
Camp Liberty (Baghdad), IRAQ
10 April 2007
(Ed: and a Happy Easter to you, too, Steven)
Your essay this week wisely
states that, "The way, the truth, and
the life: if we hold to that, then surely whatever separates us from each other, from other Anglicans, from other Christians,
can be put aside for a time." I completely agree. So long as we (as Anglicans of whatever stripe) hold to that, we can work
through the other stuff. But what happens when we don't hold to that? I dare say that the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal
Church would not hold to that statement at all - unless you change "the" to "a."
The Church of the Apostles
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
10 April 2007
(Ed: why don't you ask her? She seems to make herself quite accessible.
Her contact information is on this page.)
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