Wisdom During Difficult Times from Evelyn Underhill and Julian of Norwich

Today I led a day of reflection for the Mary Brewster Committee of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgfield, CT. This committee is tasked with creating a retreat each year for the purpose of supporting women’s spirituality in their community. When they approached me about the retreat we decided on the theme “Wisdom During Difficult Times” to acknowledge what a challenging year 2020 has been, and we selected the fourteenth century mystic Julian of Norwich and the 20th century mystic Evelyn Underhill as two women who could particularly speak to the challenges of our time, since both lived through pandemics of their own: the plague during Julian’s lifetime, and the Spanish Influenza pandemic during Underhill’s.

Here are the slides I created for the retreat, which took place virtually. I’m sharing the slides because I thought you might enjoy reading the many quotes from these two amazing women.

The retreat also included two meditations, based on the teachings of Underhill and Julian. In the morning, we had a “Recollection Meditation” based on the teachings of Underhill as found in her book Practical Mysticism. I also recommended that the participants read Underhill’s Letters.

In the afternoon our meditation was based on the “Hazelnut Vision” found in Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love.

I hope you enjoy the slides (and the meditations)!

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Carl McColman
Soul Friend and Storyteller. Lay Cistercian, Catechist, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, Teacher, Retreat Leader.