Coronavirus Message – April 12th

Love Revealed – All Shall Be Well


A prayer of Julian of Norwich:


In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.

In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving.

You are our mother, brother, and savior.

In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace.

You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.

You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.

Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well,

and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.



Beloved community,


The beautiful prayer above, attributed to Julian of Norwich, or Dame Julian, is printed in a collection of prayers in our hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  Inspired by Julian’s visions, the prayer is both a creed, a statement of belief, and a petition for spiritual insight.  It serves as a precious historical prayer from the spirituality of the Middle Ages.


Nothing is known for certain about Julian’s actual name, family, education, or life prior to her becoming an anchorite, a religious recluse, in 14th century England.  However, her surviving book, Revelations of Divine Love, is the first book written in English by a woman and the best-known writing of a Middle Ages mystic in the English language.


Remembered as both a mystic and a theologian, Julian lived her whole life in Norwich, an important commercial center in 14th century England and a city with a vibrant religious community.  During her lifetime, the city suffered the devastating effects of the Black Death of 1348-1350 and the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.  At the age of 30, in about 1373, and believing that she was on her deathbed, Julian received a series of visions of the Passion of the Christ.  She called those visions her “showings.”  Julian recovered from her illness and wrote of her spiritual visions and insights, her showings.  The volume Revelations of Divine Love survives from those writings.


In his Tuesday, April 6 writing from the Center for Action and Contemplation, Father Richard Rohr referenced Julian’s’ writings as translated by Mirabai Starr, a contemporary mystic and author.  Under the title “All Will Be Well,” he included this excerpt from Starr’s introduction:


What does Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth-century Catholic anchoress, who spent the majority of her adult life cloistered in a small stone cell attached to a church, have to teach us here and now? She reveals the feminine face of the Divine in all its radiance and reminds us to seek God there. She teaches us that God’s love has nothing to do with rules and retribution and everything to do with mercy and compassion. She shows us that our failings and transgressions are simply an opportunity to learn and grow, and should be honored as such, but not dwelled upon. She translates the sorrows of this life as tastes of Christ’s passion and assures us that all passing pain will be transmuted into endless joy.


Most of all, Julian of Norwich promises that, in spite of appearances to the contrary, all is well. Not just that creation was beautifully made to begin with, and that it will all work out in the end, but that everything is all right at every moment, if we could only look through the eyes of love. Such a perspective is difficult to sustain, Julian would be the first to admit. In rare moments of unitive consciousness—watching the sun rise, maybe, or giving birth, or singing to God in community—we may have fleeting glimpses of the cosmic design and see that it is good. But then the veil drops again and we forget. 1


Rohr then introduced a brief excerpt from Julian herself.  Rohr wrote, “Because of our continual forgetfulness, Julian ends her Long Text with an emphasis on divine love. Note that while Julian here uses male pronouns for God, throughout her work she also shows that God is beyond gender by consistently calling God both Father and Mother.”


He shares Julian’s writing, as translated by Starr:


Throughout the time of my showings, I wished to know what our Beloved meant. More than fifteen years later, the answer came in a spiritual vision. This is what I heard. “Would you like to know our Lord’s meaning in all this? Know it well: love was his meaning. Who revealed this to you? Love. What did he reveal to you? Love. Why did he reveal it to you? For love. Stay with this and you will know more of the same. You will never know anything but love, without end.”


And so what I saw most clearly was that love is his meaning. God wants us to know that he loved us before he even made us, and this love has never diminished and never will. All his actions unfold from this love, and through this love he makes everything that happens of value to us, and in this love we find everlasting life. Our creation has a starting point, but the love in which he made us has no beginning, and this love is our true source. 2


Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well,

and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.



With the voices of mystics who reveal a God of extravagant love, let us embrace that love revelation in this Easter season.  In so doing, we enter into the promise revealed in the Resurrection of Our Lord, the promise of love incarnate.  


By the grace of such love revealed, Julian wrote, “all shall be well.”


Blessings good people of Trinity.  May you be safe, may you be well, and may you be held in love.


It remains a privilege to serve as one of your pastors.


Grace and peace,


Pastor Robert Linstrom



2700 Fulton St. E
Grand Rapids, MI 49506


Our Mission

Trinity Lutheran Church is a dynamic family called by God to nurture each other in our daily journeys of faith and to joyfully increase our response to all people in need, sharing God’s gifts of love and grace.