Sunday, November 16, 2008


Dear friend,
I know you remember your failures. I know it is hard to start again, to trust once again in the future, to risk that this try will succeed and not fail. This time, no words of mine about failure can possibly outdo those of Dame Julian of Norwich from her Revelations of Divine Love: Julian reminds us that while our own earthly mothers intend the best for us, sometimes they, too, fail. But Jesus is our own true Mother, and when those times of failure come - whether it is failure to love him or failure to love one another, or failure of some project on which we as as Christians or churches pinned so much hope, he never deserts us.

Julian writes, about those times when our failure makes us feel scared or angry or ashamed, "Our patient Mother does not want us to run away...His desire is that to Him for help as fast as we can...with the humility of a child, saying, 'Kind, thoughtful, dearest Mother, do be sorry for me. I have got myself into a filthy mess, and am not a bit like you. I cannot begin to put it right without your special and willing help."

Even then, Julian writes, as a good and loving Mother it may be better for us to mourn and weep a bit before consoling us - "with pity, and sympathy of course...because he loves us...And he wants us to trust his Mother-love...through thick and thin".

Dearest friend, this holds true whether it is a personal failure of the spirit or a failure of the church to manifest God's love. We must trust that Jesus means us only good, learn from what we experience, and return to him, running, as a child to its Mother.

This holds true, as well, for fear and any kind of trouble in which we may find ourselves. Peace be with you.

No comments: