The Rector’s Ramblings

This week I’ve been following a little book of meditations based on the writings of Julian of Norwich, the 14th century mystic. The meditations are based on her book ‘Revelations of Divine Love’, the first book ever published by a woman. The first meditation reflected on Julian’s three wishes, or as she referred to them ‘the three graces’. She firstly wished to experience, as though present, Christ’s Passion (His death on the cross), the second was to experience a bodily sickness (so that she could understand the pain and suffering he experienced) and thirdly she wished for three wounds (to carry the marks of the nails). Now even in the 14th century these were extreme and unusual wishes, which Julian herself acknowledged, but she did, in her lifetime, experience all of them.

Reading the meditation got me thinking about what my three wishes would be, in my faith and in my life, and also wondering what others would wish for. Now Google is a wonderful thing, and after much searching, I found a piece about a small radio station in America which had run a survey amongst its listeners as to what they would wish for if they found Aladdin’s Lamp. Once they had taken out some of the very specific wishes, for a particular car or holiday, the wishes fell into three categories – personal wealth, personal/family health, and world peace. More in-depth analysis found that the majority of people who had wished for wealth had actually wished for ‘enough money to retire/buy a house/send the kids to University’. Only a few people had actually wanted huge wealth, had wanted to win the Lottery, or to become a millionaire. Those who had wished for personal/family health had done so wishing for a long and fulfilled life, for them, their children, and grandchildren. The wish for world peace speaks for itself, and I’m sure is one we all agree with.

In reading the results of a survey done amongst people I don’t know, on the other side of the world, I was surprised but also heartened by the fact that they wished for what I would call a contented life. They didn’t want the wealth it is imagined we all desire, they didn’t want huge success for their children, they wanted enough. Enough money to not have to worry about the next bill, and enough good health, for them and their family, to be able to enjoy all that life has to offer. I don’t know about you, but I have to say I agree with them, to a point. A contented life, with enough money, good health, and world peace, would fulfil most people’s wishes for their life, but not for their faith. To have a fulfilled life in faith I need to turn to our own saint, St Richard of Chichester, and the quote at the top of this ramble, containing his three wishes, his three prayers, and make them my own.

‘O Dear Lord, three things I pray, to see thee more clearly, to love thee more dearly, to follow thee more nearly, day by day. Amen’.

Rev Sarah Manouch
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Please note that I am part-time. My principal working days are Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday. I am not available on a Thursday