Julian of Norwich was an anchoress, which meant she took a vow of stability to remain and live out her life in a particular monastic community. She lived without much human connection in a tiny cell instead of a larger convent, answering only to the bishop. She prayed constantly, and like many mystics, she received visions, which she wrote down.
In everyday situations, we can declare anchoress times for ourselves by being intentional about seeking out solitude and quiet. Most people I know lead increasingly noisy lives. If we’re constantly listening to our devices that keep us connected, when do we find time to listen for God?
Starting with 15 minutes, we could work our way up to an hour—and perhaps like it so much that we take a day during the week to be unplugged. Let us return to the lives of medieval monastics for guidance.
This message is an excerpt from “Praying with medieval mystics” by Kristin Berkey-Abbott in the November 2018 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Julian of Norwich, renewer of the church, who died around 1416.
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