Love is the answer. What was the question? – John Lennon
One of my spiritual guides is Julian of Norwich from the 14th century. Actually, we don’t know her real name. She was an anchoress. An anchoress is someone who withdraws from society to lead a life of intense prayer. Julian of Norwich lived in a cell connected to the St. Julian’s Church in Norwich, England. We know her by the name of her church and town. Once Julian was inside the cell, it was bricked up so she could never leave. Her role was prayer and mediation on behalf of the church.
When she was 30 years old she became quite ill, but just when she was at the point of death, the pain left. In its wake, Julian received 15 visions she called “showings.” You can read about her visions and what they taught her in her book, Revelations of the Divine Love. One of those showings was a conversation with Jesus in which he said to her, “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
In the final chapter of her book she writes these words:
And from the time that it was revealed, I desired to know in what was our Lord’s meaning. And fifteen years after and more, I was answered in spiritual understanding, and it was said: What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who reveals it to you? Love. What did he reveal to you? Love. Why does he reveal it to you? For love. Remain in this, and you will know more of the same. But you will never know different, without end.
The answer to every question she was asked was love. I actually have found that answer to be true in my own life. I don’t always act well on the answer, but I have learned that if you dig down deep enough the answer is always love.