Some terms with my personal definitions:
Mystic – a person that communes with the Divine
Mystery – that which is usually only known to God, but sometimes is revealed to and through creation
Many of you have asked for more information of mystic and church renewer, Julian of Norwich after our commemorative recognition in worship several weeks ago. There is so much to learn about the faithful of our past but there are special insights about mystics like Julian.
One of my favorite mystics is Hildegard of Bingen who lived about 30 years earlier than Julian. However, their lives were very similar. They both had a lifelong service to the church, experienced visions and were respected for their creation spirituality.
Yet, mystics and mystery are not only from the past. I believe that there are mystics that are helping to clarify God’s mysteries today. in fact, I believe that ordinary believers like you and I – ca have visions and can see through the veil of mystery to come closer and closer to God.
It starts with prayer. Prayer is not only talking but listening. Prayer is not only informal but sometimes very formal. Prayer is not only petition (asking for things) but also praise! Prayer is questioning and discerning. Questions we can ask… “God, what are you calling me to?” “God, how will you show up today?” “God, for whom and for what shall I pray?” After prayer, I think we need relationship. Hildegard and Julian cultivated close and personal relationships with people despite their confinement and sequestering. They wrote letters, songs, and spent hours in conversation about the Divine.
If we want to grow into the mystery that is now, then now is the time for us at Hope to pray and to ask questions and to foster relationships. Join me as we seek mystery.
Resources for further study:
Julian of Norwich: Annotated by Mary C Earle
Illuminations (about Hildegard of Bingen) a Novel by Mary Sharratt
Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations by Matthew Fox