Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Julian of Norwich

I missed posting on the feast of Julian of Norwich yesterday, and I hope it doesn't make me a tea-sipping librarian to post something now. Not that there's anything wrong with being a tea-sipping librarian; it's more the image thing.

Because there seems to be something sissy about a saint with a cat, and a girl saint at that. Especially one who says "All things shall all be very well." How Pollyanna can you get?

Also, I don't know, it's something about her being British. It adds to the tea-sippingness. I mean, Therese of Lisieux was particularly genteel, but at least she was French.

And then, finally, the problem is that so many of the people who appropriate Julian seem so very tea-sipping themselves. Julian seems to me to be tamed, much in the way that Jesus gets tamed, except that Julian doesn't have many contemporary Christian songs aimed at her. I mean, this icon, lovely as it is, does not suggest a woman who lived during the Plague, does it?

Point being, I like Julian. I don't think she's a wuss with a cat. I don't think she's a girly saint. And when she says "All will be well," that's not a cop-out. That's hard won belief.


Paula A said...

I enjoyed your notes on Julian of Norwich. How good it is to see the association of the noble housecat (too often labelled an agent for witches and the devil) with this fascinating holy woman.

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