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Important Message from Prison

All shall be well

Red background. Pot shaped like face, eyes lowered, benign smile, containing a small hairy-headed cactus.
A reminder that all shall be well - cactus in pot at Evergreen

Would you choose to be sealed in a cell for fifty years?

Julian of Norwich was born in 1341 in Norwich, England, 160 kms north-east of London. For most of her adult life she was an anchoress, imprisoned for fifty years in a tiny cell attached to St Julian’s Church.

The cell didn’t have a door, only three windows. The most important one opened into the church so she could see the alter, join in divine services, and occasionally dispense godly wisdom to those who came to seek her advice. A second small window allowed her to receive meagre food rations and pass through her chamber pot to be emptied. The third window provided a source of muted light, covered with translucent material so no details of everyday life in the town were clear to her, no faces distinguishable.

In her seclusion she wrote Revelations of Divine Love. Although it contains thousands of words, the ones that have become famous are contained in a phrase she claimed was said to her by Jesus Christ during one of her many meditations:

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing[s] shall be well.

How do you feel when you read these words? Encouraged? Sceptical?

Most of us are drawn to them because they contain a comforting promise. They steady our nerves and calm our hassled minds.

We like to feel that - despite what may be happening - all will be well.

Mindfulness and Julian of Norwich

What does the word well mean?

In modern vernacular it means okay, alright, things will sort themselves out.

So, if Christ was sending this thought message to you today, he might say:

Everything will be okay.


Things will sort themselves out.

These phrases don’t carry the mystical ring of the words recorded by Julian of Norwich, but they cover the same ground.

So, if life chucks you a wobbly today, or seems unbearable, say either of these two phrases aloud, at least twice:

All shall be well, or Things will sort themselves out.

Their power lies in the fact that when we say these words, we begin to fulfill them.

These words can bring us to a state of mindfulness.

We become the instruments to make all things well.

With love, Marlane

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