Food for Thought from Julian of Norwich



As we approach All Saints Day, I want to pass along some wisdom from Julian of Norwich, an anchoress* who lived in 14th century England. Julian is most known for these powerful words of assurance that have echoed through the centuries:


All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.


Here are some further thoughts from this saint (not officially canonized, but nonetheless a saint), taken from her only known writing, Showings:

“And in this he showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, and I thought: What can this be? And I was given this general answer: It is everything which is made. I was amazed that it could last, for I thought that it was so little that it could suddenly fall into nothing. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and always will, because God loves it; and thus everything has being through the love of God.”

“And this is what [God] means when [God] says: Every kind of thing will be well. For [God] wants us to know that the smallest thing will not be forgotten.”


*An anchoress was a woman who withdrew herself from the world for a life of prayer and meditation. An anchoress lived in an enclosure that was attached to a church. She received the sacrament through a window to the church, and parishioners could ask for her help and prayers through another window that opened to the world.

2 thoughts on “Food for Thought from Julian of Norwich

  1. One can’t help but wonder if Julian of Norwich inspired William Blake’s:

    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour . . .

    Sometimes when I peer into the face of my little runt cattie, Scout, I swear I see a curmudgeonly angel saying: “How many times do I have to tell you that all will be well? Seriously.”


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