We don't know a great deal about Julian of Norwich. We don't know her real name or family background; thanks to a clue she provides we know roughly when she was born but not when she died. But there is one date we all know about, and Julian would probably say it is the one that matters most: May 8th 1373, the night when she received her "shewings" or revelations of divine love.
Julian's account of those revelations focuses on what she saw and what God or Jesus said to her. Sometimes she gives us her reaction, her questions to God, her reflections and insights; mostly, though, she stands aside, allowing God to occupy centre stage and reveal his love for all humanity, his compassion, mercy and delight in us, unmediated by her. It occurs to me that in this she is a mediaeval, female version of John the Baptist, who not only said of Jesus he must increase, but I must decrease (John 3.30) but actually lived this ideal too!
And really, isn't this what we're all called to do? To allow God to take centre stage, to "decrease" ourselves precisely so that Christ can "increase": not necessarily through our preaching or writing, but simply through how we live in and for him; how our words, actions, our way of relating and being proclaims the One who has called and sent us.
This, I realise, is a natural follow-on from my last post (here). Because I know that like Julian and John, I too want to keep Jesus centre-stage, see his tender, limitless love and message known, and be able to say as John did and as I'm sure Julian would For this reason my joy has been fulfilled...