In a time of uncertainty we are challenged by much, we are under threat by something we cannot see, feel or identify until, too late, we see the evidence. Growing up in a era when discipline is frequently challenged, where mass protest is taken as a “right” and, moreover a “right” that must be listened to we can all feel rather helpless.
We cannot argue with or threaten an invisible foe. The current “battle” has to be fought, not only by the expertise of medical science, but, most essentially, by our own individual self-discipline. Quite simply we are reminded that our personal defence is “to do what we are told”!
In our “practical” world we are caught up in the invisible, the mysterious. This is demonstrated by two events in the Church Calendar: The Ascension (21st May) and Pentecost, or Whitsun (31st May).
But also this month, on 8th May, we are called to remember a Norwich woman, Mother Julian, the first woman to write a book in English. She was a recluse and mystic and lived in a cell attached to St Julian’s Church in Norwich. In what we today would call a “near-death” experience she experienced an absolute and unshakable certainly that “all shall be well” she does not “argue the case” or attempt to define it, such is her unshakable certainty that to do so is pointless and unnecessary. She is talking of love, that intangible certainty that is the most important part of all our lives. For Julian it is best summed up in her vision of something like a hazel nut. “I marvelled and wondered. It was so small. I saw three truths. The first is that God made it; the second that God loves it; and the third is that God sustains it”.