What Julian Prayed For
‘three graces by the gift of God’
Julian describes asking for three things of God
To have recollection of Christ’s passion – as if she had been with Mary Magdalen and the others who had loved him
To have bodily sickness – to come close to death – to be close to God
To have three wounds – (wound of contrition, wound of compassion, wound of longing for God)
Julian articulated her longings:
To know Christ’s passion as if she had been there as one who loved him. This leads us straight to the heart of Holy Week. The point of marking Holy Week is to enable us to enter into the realities of Jesus’s suffering and death. To let ourselves be touched, moved – in our compassion – and so to know, to be touched and moved by his resurrection.
This compassion is costly love. It involves us letting go of our defences, our avoidances of harsh realities and be open to being moved to self-giving.
The illness that Julian desired, may well have been based on her understanding that it would break down her defences that hindered her whole hearted response to the God of love shown in Jesus.
So I invite you as you enter into this Holy Week journey to look to your own heart and notice what it is that you are praying for. What effect do you desire this journey to have on you, on your relationship with God, with Jesus, with others.
So I leave you with some points to ponder, based on Julian’s prayers.
Sit with your longing for God. Find ways to describe this ‘wound’ – it may be words, there may be images, there may be music that help you sense it and hold it tenderly in your heart.
Thinking of Jesus’ journey in Holy Week, the injustice, abuse, suffering and death that he endured – notice the way in which you wish to be com-passionate – to be alongside him in his compassion.
Then to bring what emerges into prayerful conversation with God, with Jesus. Expressing what has emerged and asking for God’s grace to give you, or meet you in your desires for Holy Week.