Julian Prayer at Home
A note from Tony and Liz concerning the Julian group.
Though we may be physically isolated on Monday there is no reason why we should not be joined together in our usual time of Contemplative prayer by joining with each other at the appointed hour of 10 a.m. in the spiritual realm. With this in mind, and in case anyone else chooses to join us on this occasion here are a few pointers as to what we might share together as we “Listen to God listening to us” (per Theresa of Avila).To do this we enter into that personal room of inner silence and wordlessness where we are more likely to hear “the still small voice” of Our Father God.
Find a quiet corner to devote a half hour or so to the contemplative sharing.Do not try to blot out external noises or distractions. Just ignore them during this time.Harder to ignore are the inevitable chattering of our own distraction thoughts that will keep trying to muscle in for our attention. To divert and immobilise them breathe rhythmically and deeply and try using a Mantra prayer or Word such as “Lord have mercy; Christ have mercy” or simply “Yahweh” or “Maranatha”(“Come Lord”) emphasising each syllable. Use this to anchor your mind on being in the silent presence of God whenever the monkey thoughts try to distract you.
The first five minutes or so are entering down into the deep Silence before we begin the contemplation of the mystery , love and wonder of the Godhead. After about twenty to twenty five minutes ,or such time as seems natural to you ,begin, very slowly to come out of the Silence by returning to the present, refreshed and revived by the encounter shared, with one another , with the Great Silence which is God himself.
We meet as a Julian Group for contemplation in the name of the Fourteenth century mystic Mother Julian, an anchoress in Norwich at the time of the Great Plague that ravaged the City and the wider world. She spent nearly two decades of her mature adult life in her cell attached to the Church now named after her , contemplating the mystery of her near-death experience of what she called her “showings”. She had sixteen revelations of divine love by Christ on the Cross. She then contemplated over two prolonged periods of time the significance of these showings and wrote the most amazing treatise about them, reputed to be the first ever book in English by a woman.
Some prayers to aid your “going in” and “ coming out” or generally, but do not let them interfere with the wordlessness of contemplating and delighting in being in your “Inner Room” of silent encounter with Father God.
But first a reference to something Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and writer said,
“God is hidden within me.I find him by hiding in the silence in which he is conceived”.
This is my prayer ,That ,though I may not see, I be aware of the Silent God who stands by me.
That ,though I may not feel,I be aware of the Mighty Love which doggedly follows me.
That ,though I may not respond, I be aware that God- my Silent, Mighty God, waits each day. Quietly, hopefully, persistently. Waits each day and through each night for me. For me- alone.
- Edwina Gateley
At this time of Covid 19 - an anonymous prayer called “Nurse’s Prayer” let us pray this for all nurses and careers everywhere:
Lord, help me to bring comfort where there is pain, courage where there is fear, hope where there is despair, acceptance when the end is near, and a touch gentle with tenderness, patience and love.
And finally a thought from Joni Eareckson Tada, herself a paraplegic after a tragic diving accident as a young woman:
The best we can hope for in this life is a knothole-peek at the shining realities ahead.Yet a glimpse is enough to convince our hearts that whatever sufferings and sorrows assail us aren’t worthy of comparison to that which over the horizon.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen
THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU
Tony & Liz
Burnham Area Julian Meeting