Ensouling Our Lives: The Gospel of Love according to Julian of Norwich (Mark Burrows)

G. K. Chesterton once suggested that “each generation seeks its saint by instinct; and [she] is not what the people want, but rather what the people need.” Julian of Norwich seems a saint for our times. An “anchoress” living in a cell adjoined to the small parish church of St. Julian’s in Norwich, England, she received sixteen “showings”—or “revelations of divine love”—in midlife, devoting the remainder of her days to interpreting them. Her musings produced a book at once profound and accessible, as startling as it is comforting. It reads like a theological exploration, chronicling her adventurous discoveries concerning love, divine and human. While this might sound simple, what Julian offers is a remarkable vision of the immensity of divine generosity and the radical compassion this calls us to embrace—for ourselves and others. Hers is a vision rooted in the apostle Paul’s conviction that nothing can separate us from divine love, and in Jesus’ radical notion that everything finds a place in God’s keeping.

Schedule – this event is online only

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021          8 pm (Bonnevaux) / 2 pm EST (recorded)

  • Session I: Introduction: Julian’s world and the view from her monastic cell

Thursday, Feb. 4             

  • Session 2:  “He is to us everything. . .” (LT, chs. 4 – 9)
  • Session 3:  “Nothing shall separate [us]” – On laughter, suffering, and delight (LT, chs. 13 – 15)                      

Friday, Feb. 5

  • Session 4: “Sin is behovely. . .and all will be well” – living beyond guilt and blame (LT, chs. 27 – 32) 
  • Session 5: “I am the ground.” The oneing of prayer and living into the likeness of Christ (LT, chs. 41 – 44)         

Saturday, Feb. 6                                   

  • Session 6: “Christ is our Mother. . .in whom we are endlessly born” – our “enclosure” in God (LT, chs. 52 – 59)
  • Session 7: “Performing Julian’s Book” (LT, ch. 86)

Sessions Friday through Sunday would be offered “live” at 3 pm in Bonnevaux, 9 am in EST, and at 8 pm (Bonnevaux) and 2 pm in EST. All sessions will be recorded to accommodate persons’ varied time zones. For those participating “live,” there will be a breakout group after the opening session and a 15 minute “Q & A” at the close of the second talk.

Recordings of all sessions will be available for a month.

To reap the full benefits the retreat offers, we recommend that you meditate 2-3 times per day. 

How to Create Your Own Retreat

This online retreat is designed to be flexible around your daily life and time zone. Please visit here where we provide support on creating a rhythm and structure to your retreat: how much silence you would like, meditation times, reading of sacred texts, practicing yoga and more, plus other suggestions to help you embody the retreat and stay off-line as much as possible. 

Dr. Mark S. Burrows is well-known and much in demand as a retreat leader and lecturer in Europe, Australia, and the United States. A poet, scholar of historical theology with a keen interest in mystical literature, and award-winning translator of modern German literature, he currently lives between Bochum, Germany, where he teaches theology and literature at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences, and Camden, Maine. His recent publications, which accompany this retreat, include Meister Eckhart’s Book of Secrets: Meditations on Letting Go and Finding True Freedom (2019) and Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart: Meditations for the Restless Soul (2017), both with Jon M. Sweeney. He has also published a recent collection of poems, The Chance of Home (2018). Widely acclaimed as an interpreter and translator of Rainer Maria Rilke, he is the recent recipient of the Witter Bynner Prize in Poetry and is a member of the “Bochumer Literaten,” a circle of professional writers in the Ruhr Region of Germany. www.msburrows.com


Feb 03 - 06 2021


Suggested contribution range: €40 - €120 (€12 - €34 per day) 3.5 days
Mark Burrows


Mark Burrows