For Lent (and part of Easter) 2023, I read The Cloud of Unknowing at about a chapter a day (a few exceptional surprises for super short chapters) aloud, and sometimes gave a bit of commentary on the selection.
Since it’s a work of devotional instruction, I didn’t find it often needed a lot of elucidation. You may agree or disagree with the author’s advice, but it is the most helpful volume I’ve come across on Christian contemplation. I love that this work, from the Middle Ages, shows us that meditation isn’t just for Eastern religions, and isn’t New Age-y at all. It’s very old-agey, in actuality.
For the Lent and Easter seasons of 2022 (March 2 – June 4), I read one chapter per day of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love (click the link for the version I’m using) aloud and provided a bit of reflection or a question to ponder as a podcast offering. To find the podcast, click the image above.
I’m no Julian of Norwich expert, but she lived through a similar combination of public health crisis (the Black Death), political upheaval (The Peasants’ Revolt), and religious transition (the beginning of the Reformation) in the Middle Ages (1300s & 1400s). She continues to speak with clarity and urgency to people today — wikipedia even attests to her recent popularity, given her life experience in isolation as an anchoress, and the forced isolation of many since the pandemic began in March 2020.
For me, her accounts of conversations and revelations by God remind me of my own experiences in prayer and meditation, often fueled by yoga; I find kinship with her in her anxieties and struggles with bearing suffering well.
Join the Conversation
Over on my patreon website, I’ve created a space for connection and reflection on each chapter of the long text of Julian’s Revelations. Click below to join the conversation there!