Constance vs. Julian of Norwich

112671-glowing-purple-neon-icon-alphanumeric-m04-clearWelcome to the Faithful Four. After weeks of learning and deliberating and voting and eschewing chocolate, we have whittled the field of 32 saintly souls down to four spiritual heroes: Constance, Julian of Norwich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Sojourner Truth. All are worthy of the coveted Golden Halo, yet only one will end up with his or her mug on a mug.

Today Constance (Anna Courie) takes on Julian of Norwich (Amber Belldene); tomorrow Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Beth Lewis) battles Sojourner Truth (Megan Castellan). And on Spy Wednesday the championship round will take place with the Golden Halo announced at 8:00 am EST on Maundy Thursday.

In this round, we let our four remaining Celebrity Bloggers loose as they answer the question “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” In other words, they’ve been charged with letting us know why their particular saint is so awesome. We have also invited them to share their two favorite images of their saints.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Constance dispatched Dominic, Helena, and Vida Dutton Scudder with relative ease. Julian snuck past William Wilberforce, before defeating Roch and Albert Schweitzer.

Maybe one of these remaining four will end up on a future Pocket Lent card. What’s that? Well the SEC released two new ones yesterday for your cutting and pasting pleasure.

Let the voting (once) begin!


Saint-Constance-WebInside everyone is a secret desire to be a superhero at a time when the world needs heroes. We want to stand up and be more than we think we are capable. We want to have the passion for great deeds. We want to be the change we want to see in the world. I think this is what St. Paul calls the “Holy Spirit within us.” This spirit-spark calls us all to greater things.

Constance and her Companions had this God-spark within them. They were called as educators, but took on the role as nurses and caregivers during the epidemic of yellow fever that destroyed Memphis, Tennessee in 1878. They took action when great deeds were needed in the town where God planted them. Constance and Her Companions stayed to make a difference. As one avid reader noted in response to my coined term, “Constance would Go,” the appropriate tag-line should be “Constance Would Stay.”

God calls us to stay through many difficult times. We all have the opportunity to bear witness to Christ’s love to others in disease, infirmity, poverty, social ills, and wrongs, during times when humanity seems to bear down on us as a disease rather than a gift. God calls all of us.

Sure, voting for Constance and her Companions is a vote recognizing the wonder of a giving soul during a horrific disease. She not only gave of herimages time, her energy and her passion, but in the end, she also gave of her life. With her last words, she continued to honor her love of God with a joyful, “Alleluia, Hosanna.” Constance understood that even in death, we have the joy of the resurrection. Constance understood at her death that God was there, was a part of her, and a part of both life and death. God was a part of all of Constance.

A vote for Constance is a vote recognizing the God-spark in us all. It is a vote that acknowledges each of us in our own individual ways are saints that are called to honor God with our actions, deeds, words, writings, and lives. “Constance Would Go” may ring a bell with you, but you could easily replace it with your own name: “Anna Would Go;” “Tim Would Go;” “Scott Would Go;” “Joe Would Go;” “Jane Would Go.” We all should Go (or stay) as God calls us. “A faith without works is no faith.”

To “go” means to bear witness to all the actions of the saints. Therefore, whether you are called to the social activism of your saints, or the liturgical writings, or the creative songs, or passionate political stances, remember, a vote with “Constance would Go” is a vote for all the actions of all the saints.

Constance watercolor by Bill Branch. You can see more of his art online at his website,

Anna Fitch Courie

Julian of Norwich

julianIt astonishes me as both a priest and a parent how quickly, even in the twenty-first century children come to think of God as male. I strive to use inclusive language in liturgy, preaching, teaching and our household God talk, and yet all it takes is the occasional male pronoun slipping in for children to make the leap.

Therefore, Julian’s feminist Trinitarian theology born in the fourteenth century is utterly astonishing. She sees Christ in the role of mother alongside God the father. God incarnate is best imagined via the physical nurture and love of a mother—birth, breastfeeding, and boo-boo tending.

And how does she know? Not by rigorous scholarship and systematic inquiry, but divine revelation—God showed her! I am immensely grateful for the education that allowed her to write down these showings, making her the first female author of a book in English.

Though her contributions are not only intellectual or theological, but pastoral. I know of countless people who have taken comfort in her optimistic vision of God, humanity, and eschatology. Many people have a favorite quote or passage they can reference—being clothed in God’s love, or the assurance that all will be well.

Personally, her vision of the hazelnut has brought me great comfort. Years ago, before becoming a mother of twins, I experienced years of Julian-of-Norwich-&-hazelnut-798183infertility, culminating in a miscarriage. My wonderful spiritual director pointed me toward Julian, and I remembered the Bridge Building Images Icon of her that sat in the chapel at CDSP when I was in seminary.

“And in this Christ showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed. And it was as round as any ball. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, ‘What may this be?’ And it was answered generally thus, ‘It is all that is made.’ I marveled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nothing for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it. And so have all things their beginning by the love of God.”

When I thought of the pregnancy I had lost, an embryo about the size of a hazelnut, I was deeply comforted by the idea that it had begun by God’s love and in some mysterious way would always have life in that love. Since that time, I have shared the quote with other grieving women in my pastoral care, and it always brings comfort.

Courageous, compassionate and ahead of her time, Julian is an inspiration and comfort to the modern Christian. She most assuredly deserves the Golden Halo.

Amber Belldene

NOTE: At about 3 p.m. EDT, we blocked an address in Towson, MD. While there were some legitimate votes from this address, there was also a concerted effort to cast extra votes for Constance. We are removing 500 votes for Constance, which is a very conservative number. More that 800 votes were cast for Constance, and we suspect that some of these votes are legitimate votes.

Reminder: Vote once only per person. Lobbying others to vote is fair game. Voting hundreds of times is not.

Constance vs. Julian of Norwich

  • Julian of Norwich (55%, 3,932 Votes)
  • Constance (45%, 3,240 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,172

Loading ... Loading ...


Constance: Window at All Saints’ Church, Duncan, OK
Julian: Statue of Julian of Norwich, Norwich Cathedral, by David Holgate FSDC

229 Comments to "Constance vs. Julian of Norwich"

  1. oliver eight years old's Gravatar oliver eight years old
    March 21, 2016 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    I vote for Julian of Norwich because she meant Margera Kemper and they wrote books in English by women.

    • March 21, 2016 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      These are good reasons!

    • Bridget's Gravatar Bridget
      March 21, 2016 - 9:06 am | Permalink

      Oliver, I’m glad you mentioned Margery Kempe. She is one of my favourite historical people. She used to get embarrassingly loud and passionate about her faith, with lots of tears and fainting. I like to imagine Julian trying to calm her down.

      • Tracey Henley's Gravatar Tracey Henley
        March 21, 2016 - 10:22 am | Permalink


      • Oliver's Mom's Gravatar Oliver's Mom
        March 21, 2016 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Oliver will love this description. I will share it when he gets home from school. Thanks for posting.

    • March 21, 2016 - 9:39 am | Permalink

      You rock Oliver!

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      March 21, 2016 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

      I’m voting for Julian today too! I even had some hazelnut spread on my waffles this morning in honor of her.

  2. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 21, 2016 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Julian went to the “restaurant at the end of time” (Hitchhikers’ guide to the Galaxy) and brought us back a report. Thanks to both the celebrity bloggers for their wonderful write-ups.

  3. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 21, 2016 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    What beautiful essays today. What difficult choices this week. How glad I am for this devotion and its devotees.

    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 21, 2016 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Ms. Courie and Ms. Belldene outdid themselves today. HOw glorious.
      I too would like to express my joy and gratitude for this wonderful ministry.
      THANK YOU SEC! And to all my fellow players, May the Peace of the Lord always be with you.
      And may Gods Spark always shine bright.❤️

      • Brenda J's Gravatar Brenda J
        March 21, 2016 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Well spoken Peg S and Rhonda.

    • Kirk Bonamici's Gravatar Kirk Bonamici
      March 21, 2016 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

      I agree. What a tremendous job in the posts today!

  4. Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
    March 21, 2016 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    In recognition of the God-spark in all of us, I vote for Constance.

    • Erika T's Gravatar Erika T
      March 21, 2016 - 10:09 am | Permalink

      Same! I thought that was an incredibly powerful connection to both the readers, the greater Christian community, and all the other saints in Heaven.

  5. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 21, 2016 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    These essays were fabulous on a Monday morning. Both inspiring.

  6. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 21, 2016 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Could this round have been any tougher? Hoo boy, talk about wanting to vote for both! Big kudos to the Celebrity Bloggers on a job well done. I ultimately voted for Julian as I know a few folks whose experience makes them swear God is female. But if Constance wins, I may have to get a mug!

    • Lea's Gravatar Lea
      March 21, 2016 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      I’m a long-time Julian fan for so many reasons but I agree, if Constance wins, I can die happily without fear that my favorite has been dissed. And, yes, I will get a cup.

  7. Ann in MI's Gravatar Ann in MI
    March 21, 2016 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I voted for Constance. Reason: I believe that (in this sad century) we need to have role models of people who put others’ needs first. Constance didn’t just “talk the talk,” she walked the walk — even to her own death. Constance is a saint for us and for our own time. #Constancewouldgo

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 21, 2016 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Ann, you have captured my thoughts exactly! I deeply appreciate today’s wonderful write-ups by the celebrity bloggers, and I had to chuckle at the image of Julian trying to calm down Margery Kempe offered in today’s comments. Lady Julian is truly one of God’s saints, but my heart today is called to Constance and her companions for their “walking the walk”. A vote for her is a vote for all the saints, past and present, who answer the call of the God-spark. Constance would go!

      • Ann in MI's Gravatar Ann in MI
        March 21, 2016 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Constance is closing the gap! #Constancewouldgo and she is going!

        • Ann G.'s Gravatar Ann G.
          March 21, 2016 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

          I figured something (shady) was going on when I saw Constance’s vote count growing rapidly. Too bad. 🙁

          • Mary S Hampton's Gravatar Mary S Hampton
            March 22, 2016 - 6:22 am | Permalink

            Very much too bad. Constance is a wonderful Saint. I take comfort in thinking that Constance herself would have subtracted those unfair votes. Constance was/is fair….

  8. Liz Parmalee's Gravatar Liz Parmalee
    March 21, 2016 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Very hard choice, both of them are winners in my book, but I went with Julian in the end. But I love Constance too!!!!

  9. Tom's Gravatar Tom
    March 21, 2016 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Today’s vote has been especially tough. Julian has always been a favorite because I have read deeper into her writings that “All shall be well…” I recommend to all her “Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love”. Although written in the late 14th century I find that it is very relevant to today with her reference to the divine as a mother. On the other hand I really had not know much of Constance, until Lent Madness. The example of her life is astounding and I find the tag line “Constance would go” to be invigorating and pertinent to today. So, I’m going with Constance today, in the spirit of Lent Madness, -to help us learn more of all the saints, who in their labor rest.

    • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
      March 21, 2016 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

      It was a hard choice. I was going to vote for Constance because of her willingness to stay where God put her, even at risk of her life. However, you reminded me of the quote from Julian, “All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” This succinct statement of faith brings peace in the midst of all that is wrong with our world. I suspect that it was only because Constance understood that “All shall be well,” even if she had never read Julian’s writings, that she was able to remain strong in her faith and continue in her ministry even unto death. Good theology explained so that the faithful can hold onto it matters!

      • Karen Gullett's Gravatar Karen Gullett
        March 21, 2016 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Janet expresses my thoughts in her post. Much gratitude for everyone’s insights.

  10. March 21, 2016 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    The tension of Lent Madness is really getting to me! Very overwhelming this year!

    • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
      March 21, 2016 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you sister! So much Lent Madness stress and so little wine and chocolate!

  11. Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
    March 21, 2016 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Beautiful writing and thoughts today. Thanks to both CBs.

  12. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    March 21, 2016 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Another tough choice, but my heart was still with Constance.

  13. Elizabeth Rush's Gravatar Elizabeth Rush
    March 21, 2016 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Thank you Anna Fitch Courie! Your post spoke to me. And influenced my vote!

    • Anna's Gravatar Anna
      March 21, 2016 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you! I see “Elizabeth Would Go!” 🙂

  14. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 21, 2016 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    God-spark, Spirit-spark, Constance-spark — GO-Spark!

  15. linda maumus's Gravatar linda maumus
    March 21, 2016 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Lent is going by quicker than it seemed to in the past……soon i will have to count down the days to LM again.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      I know! It has gone by SO fast! What’s that about??

  16. Amy Jane's Gravatar Amy Jane
    March 21, 2016 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Thought from the beginning of Lent that I would vote all the way for Julian, her impact on my life and faith has been profound. Yet, when it came to choosing which button to click, I chose Constance. Must be that divine spark reaching out to me, igniting a new fire in my journey. I love Julian, but am thrilled that I made Constance’s acquaintance this Lent. Thanks to the CBs! On to the Golden Halo!

  17. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    March 21, 2016 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Before reading the blogs, I was sure I was voting for Constance, but the blogger’s connecting the similarity between the hazelnut and the miscarried embryo being so tenderly regarded by God changed my mind. My mother lost four babies after me and I was old enough to mourn “Little Rufus” with her. We believed that little wisp flew back to a loving Father.

  18. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 21, 2016 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    This contest is an object-lesson in why competition, ultimately, is of the Evil One.

    • Janet Birckhead's Gravatar Janet Birckhead
      March 21, 2016 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. This is the first time I have ever participated and I have learned something about a large number of saints I knew nothing about and received additional information about saints with whom I was familiar. I plan to read more about some of the saints I found the most compelling. The competition is for us to enjoy and learn from. It doesn’t touch the saints, who have already completed their race and enjoy God’s presence forever. As long as we who are voting avoid harboring ill will towards those who vote differently or whose comments we disagree with, I see no harm.

      • Ann in MI's Gravatar Ann in MI
        March 21, 2016 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Of course, and thank you for your comment! Spot on

  19. Ken Albrecht's Gravatar Ken Albrecht
    March 21, 2016 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why but I usually vote for the saint who is an underdog. Before Lent Madness I am sure I never heard of Constance. Jillian gets a lot of press and accolades. Constance , not so much. However, she and her companions put their lives on the line to care for the sick. Thus, I vote for faith in action, Constance.

  20. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 21, 2016 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Wow, tough choice! It’s nice when you can feel good about either contender advancing to that #2 or #1 place (so do we have a silver halo??). But the powerful words of Amber Beldane about her very personal experience with Julian tipped the scales for me. Constance, bless her, is also an example to is all.

    • Bob Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Bob Andrews-Bryant
      March 21, 2016 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Last year, when the Golden Halo went to Francis by a razor-thin margin, the SEC did award the Silver Halo to St. Rigid, whose image graces a pint (beer) glass, still available in the Lentorium!

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 21, 2016 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I think spell-check has struck again, but St. Rigid is definitely a concept . . . .

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 21, 2016 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Well I was a Baptist, I knew a lot about St. Rigid.

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 21, 2016 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

            Should been “WHEN I was a Baptist”.

  21. Brixham Beth's Gravatar Brixham Beth
    March 21, 2016 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Not just the hazelnut and the mothering God,but Julian’s visions of God and the saints all partaking of a heavenly feast and welcoming new arrivals to join them, makes her a special messenger of the joy of Heaven and helps us to look forward to death with excitement rather than fear. Constance is a wonderful role model, Julian gives me the thrill of the future.

  22. Marie Cantrell's Gravatar Marie Cantrell
    March 21, 2016 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Are there any other alums or students of St Mary’s Epis. in Memphis (the school Constance founded) who are playing this game.? I’m voting for her because I am eternally grateful for the Christian formation I received there, but I love Julian too and voted for her in earlier rounds. Thanks be to God for both women.

    • Anne Chenoweth's Gravatar Anne Chenoweth
      March 21, 2016 - 9:53 am | Permalink

      Not a student of St. Mary’s but an associate with the Order of St. Mary’s for
      30 years. #ConstanceWouldGo speaks to me, as does #ConstanceWouldStay!

  23. Mildred Rugger's Gravatar Mildred Rugger
    March 21, 2016 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Both of these essays are beautiful, as is the faith of each of these saints. A truly difficult choice. In the end I stuck with my earlier decision to support Julian and her vision of our loving God despite my desire to follow Constance’s example and go meet the needs of my world.

  24. John of Concord's Gravatar John of Concord
    March 21, 2016 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    The Mystic and the Doer. Prayer and Action. A holy polarity. Can’t we have both?

    • Gloria's Gravatar Gloria
      March 21, 2016 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Ahh..but they were both…both…Constance revealed mystical qualities in hearing her call and in her dying words. Writing is one of the things Julian DID that qualifies her as a doer. So in the end it was a hazelnut that, “is all that is made”. Everything is related.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 21, 2016 - 2:00 pm | Permalink


        • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
          March 21, 2016 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

          What Davis said!

  25. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 21, 2016 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Definitely influenced by Tom’s comments. This was really tough because Julian has always been a favorite of mine.

  26. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 21, 2016 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    If Julian advances, may I suggest her stained glass window in St. George’s in Dayton, OH for your graphics.

  27. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    March 21, 2016 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Today’s vote was made difficult indeed by the loving gifts given to us by the CB’s essays. Thank you Anna and Amber.

    I voted for Julian because with her writings she passed on her revelations. The meaning of all that IS is contained in a humble hazelnut is the foundation upon which Constance and her Companions stood when they stayed – and upon which all who give of themselves stand, or go, when they choose to be God’s hands and feet in our world.

  28. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    March 21, 2016 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    The writings today where so wonderful. So nice after the commercialism of last week. ” A faith without works is no faith.” and “Being clothed in God’s love”. I chose Constance but I will be happy with whomever wins.

  29. Debra Gee's Gravatar Debra Gee
    March 21, 2016 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Yes, a tough choice today. I voted for Constance because I was reminded that I want to be a giving soul. In the “busy” of preparing for Easter with hands I was reminded to prepare for Easter with my soul.

  30. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    March 21, 2016 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Faith without works is dead. Constance is admirable. So are all the doctors, nurses and other health care providers who put their lives on the line caring for contagious patients. I hope and fear that my daughter in med school will someday do the same. However, I find Julian’s showings deeply moving. She also ministered to people during times of plague by talking to them through her window. Her mystical visions appeal to the eye of the mind that opens when we are still, and know that God is God. Her showings are fuel to go out and do works, even at the risk of death. All manner of thing shall be well, in this life and the next. Julian gets my vote.

  31. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 21, 2016 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Wow. This is the toughest matchup yet, for me. And both write-ups were fantastic, so for the first time in this year’s Madness I’m unable to figure it out.

    I love Lady Julian – but everybody knows her, and few know about Constance; it would be great to have an Episcopal nun win the Golden Halo. (I guess Constance is this year’s Cinderella?) Don’t know what I’m going to do once I post this, but I do know I’ll be happy with either woman in the last round…..

  32. Jack G.'s Gravatar Jack G.
    March 21, 2016 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    Lets go Constance!!

  33. Pat Floerke's Gravatar Pat Floerke
    March 21, 2016 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Julian, with her whole being and her whole life, knew and experienced God’s amazing love for us, and she shared that certainty with all of us. She’s been a favorite of mine most of my life. I voted for God’s tender, endless love.

  34. David Shaw's Gravatar David Shaw
    March 21, 2016 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Both ladies are truly awesome but I stick with Constance. Action speaks louder than words every time for me personally. Great write-ups on the two Saints today-THANK YOU!

  35. Yoga Heidi's Gravatar Yoga Heidi
    March 21, 2016 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Julian all the way says this small nut.

  36. March 21, 2016 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Probably gonna be a close one. Julian all the way for me.

    I understand that some prefer action over contemplation–some like red wine, some white, they’re both a matter of preference–but, for me, I know that Lady Julian and her writings have transformed the lives of countless people of faith over the centuries and she still inspires. I have been deeply indebted to her, since my days at Nashotah House back in the late 80s, when women’s voices were oftentimes discounted and images of a masculine, patriarchal God prevailed. Her “Revelations” changed me and, with the friendship of my female student colleagues, helped to make me a a better person and one who has come to appreciate more fully the feminine in the Divine. Jesus as Mother? Certainly! The world in a hazelnut? Of course!

    Thank you Lady Julian. This priest owes you a great debt of gratitude.

  37. Jack Zamboni's Gravatar Jack Zamboni
    March 21, 2016 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Constance’s ministry was exemplary and well worthy of imitation. But Julian has had a deep place in my heart for many years. I once wrote these word to a friend going through a difficult and painful time in life: “The best I can do is to repeat that somehow in the end it will be all right. That statement is for me the bottom line of faith: that somehow, in the end, it will be all right.” I realized, then, that I was paraphrasing Julian, who said it much better than I: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

    • Donna Scarfe's Gravatar Donna Scarfe
      March 21, 2016 - 9:57 am | Permalink

      Or as put by Maggie Smith in the “Most Exotic Marigold Hotel” (a delightful film)
      “Things will be all right in the end. If they’re not all right, it means it’s not yet the end.”

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 21, 2016 - 10:21 am | Permalink


      • March 21, 2016 - 10:22 am | Permalink

        I love that. Thank you for that extra bit of spirit today!

  38. Dutton Morehouse's Gravatar Dutton Morehouse
    March 21, 2016 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Two wonderful and moving essays! Again, a tough choice; however, I have to go with action in the real and messy world over contemplation. I guess it’s the deacon thing.

  39. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 21, 2016 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    The blogs were great. I thought I would vote for Julian, but something in in lowly servant description of Constance made me want her to get a halo this year.

  40. SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
    March 21, 2016 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    Beautiful summations, Anna and Amber. Thank you so much. Amber, I’ve been down that road of being conception-challenged, and it was during that time that Julian spoke to me as well. Maybe she lived a long, long time ago, and maybe she lived in a tiny room in England and never left it. Yet she travelled across six centuries with her revelation which I took to heart: “All shall be well.” And if that ain’t faith in action, I don’t know what is. And don’t even get me started on the God-as-Mother concept. This has been a life-saving revelation for me as well. Thank God for Mother Julian!

  41. Yoga Heidi's Gravatar Yoga Heidi
    March 21, 2016 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    I teach Godly Play to 5th and 6th graders and I continually struggle to search for ways to include the female voice in our Godly Play stories. (shoutout to Godly Play–updates to the stories is long overdue) Julian’s vision of God as Mother is such an important concept for the spiritual development of our young woman in the Church today that I’m supporting her all the way to the Golden Halo. In the name of the MOTHER, the son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

  42. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    March 21, 2016 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    While Constance’s action is admirable and inspiring, I have to go with Julian. She wrote words that became a knot for me to hang on to when I was at the end of my rope; she gave me hope through showing God as present and active.

  43. Sue's Gravatar Sue
    March 21, 2016 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    Really tough this morning. We all want to be like Constance and “do” jumping in with both feet but sometimes that isn’t possible. Julian has been teaching us to think for centuries so I vote for her as we all can to that and often thought leads to action too.

  44. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 21, 2016 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Beautifully written bios. Thank you. I voted for Julian because, while Constance made a tremendous difference in her time and place, Julian has guided people through centuries and into the future, helping us realized that all truly shall be well.

    • Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
      March 21, 2016 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Exactly my thoughts Ann!

  45. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 21, 2016 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    At the moment, this is quite the nail-biter–except I know Constance would just smile kindly and chuckle, and Julian would pat my hand and pour us all a cup of tea. This year’s Faithful Four is impossibly admirable, and I ask the SEC to add an honor for whichever two are left behind in the final round. How about bronze wings for third place and St. Congeniality for fourth place?

  46. March 21, 2016 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    A comforting thought concerning strong allegiances to particular favorites – and one Golden Halo: All will be well!

  47. Eileen C. Fisher's Gravatar Eileen C. Fisher
    March 21, 2016 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Note to Reverend Amber Belldene: When you mentioned you went to CDSP, I wanted you to know that my husband’s father, also an Episcopal priest, was Dr. Samuel M. Garrett, Professor of Church History there. There is even a chair named after him. He probably taught before your time there and more’s the pity. He was a superb instructor. I have been fortunate to have listened to tapes of some of his lectures.
    The touching words you wrote today about Julian and how her words related to your own life’s experience influenced me to vote for Julian. Thank you for writing such a befitting metaphor.

    • Irene Lawrence's Gravatar Irene Lawrence
      March 21, 2016 - 11:49 am | Permalink

      Just to say that I knew Sam Garrett at CDSP and remember him with fondness. Doesn’t help me decide how to vote, though!

  48. March 21, 2016 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Wow. A tight race for sure. I needed the conversation of all to decide, and I agree, either would be noble participants in the final round! I ended with Julian, who has so much to say to a nation in which – as I’ve been reading – not only one in five college women but one in five female high school students experiences sexual assault. And that doesn’t even consider post-school women. We need the feminine in God for those of us who carry this pain.

  49. Alethea Eason's Gravatar Alethea Eason
    March 21, 2016 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    A friend mentioned yesterday that our culture is losing more and more contact with the feminine and the pequilar aspects of our political life is reflecting this. Listen to the FreshbAir program about how hypermasculine values are affecting the lives of teens. I have had two friends who have their cars keyed and their Hillary bumper stickers torn off. So, voting for Julian though Constance will likely be my favorite in another year.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the link, Alethea!

    • Slugger's Gravatar Slugger
      March 21, 2016 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Constance for her acts. I think Constance was the more impressive role model.

  50. Kim Morse's Gravatar Kim Morse
    March 21, 2016 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Julian for me today, though I without them both faith makes little sense. Constance could go because of Julian, and so it is she today.

  51. Lynne Walton's Gravatar Lynne Walton
    March 21, 2016 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I love the hazelnut story about Julian, but Constance is my superhero God spark! I have to vote for Constance so I can get a mug with her name for my sister in law, Sister Constance, who prays so diligently in Boulder Junction, WI.

  52. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 21, 2016 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    The God-spark in me casts my vote for Constance. Anna’s essay is beautifully written and inspiring to read this Holy Monday. Constance embodies all the actions of all the saints.

    • Anna's Gravatar Anna
      March 21, 2016 - 10:14 am | Permalink

      Thank you!

  53. March 21, 2016 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    “The God spark,” gets my vote today. Constance reminds me of the things I can do to be God centered in my life and listen to his call. Julian’s hazelnut almost won my vote. It took a long time to decide this year. Go or stay is the question. I am not sure what I would have done. I hope I would have stayed.

  54. Paula's Gravatar Paula
    March 21, 2016 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    This was the hardest choice for me – both Constance and Julian have a special role in my understanding of God, and of living faith.

  55. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 21, 2016 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Two women who embodied the best kinds of active and contemplative Christian faith. I had to go for Julian because I love her, but they would both wear the halo well!

  56. Rick's Gravatar Rick
    March 21, 2016 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing our Constance window at All Saints’ here in Duncan, OK.

  57. March 21, 2016 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    This was tough, I had to look up eschatology, but in the end it was the “God Spark” that lead me, Constance it must be.

  58. Rev. Cynthia, Deacon Dio Mass's Gravatar Rev. Cynthia, Deacon Dio Mass
    March 21, 2016 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Julian of Norwich. Just think. Her astonishing revelations offered to all who came to speak with her thirsting for God. She showed so many how God thinks of creation made with loving hands. She showed so many that God made us, loves, cares for us. She lived in a cell and imparted to so many from a small window the way to live and walk with God.

  59. Jeannine's Gravatar Jeannine
    March 21, 2016 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Thank you to both our essayists for speaking from the heart of Christ about these two splendid love songs from the Holy One. My tendency is to go with Julian, simply because, without carving out time for the contemplative life and its felt experience of God’s love, we can become burned out and duty bound in our active life in service to the world. As our secular world continues to worship the gods of efficiency and speed instead of the God of Love and soul, I believe it is crucial that we return to our contemplative roots and act from this place in the world. Julian is a great soul who can point the way. Indeed, when one has a felt experience of God’s love, one doesn’t really “act” anymore. One is “propelled” by that love to serve from the sheer gratitude of it all. Like Constance so clearly did.

  60. BettyinCV's Gravatar BettyinCV
    March 21, 2016 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    My nurse colleague and I are getting ready to leave for our fifth trip to Haiti the week after Easter. Although we will take Julian’s admonition that all shall be well with us, it will be Constance’s hands and heart that serve. Pray for all of us meeting at the Haiti Connection of the Episcopal church that we may have the mind of Julian and the hands and heart of Constance. The world needs both.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 21, 2016 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Betty: as a fellow nurse I send blessings and prayers for you and your colleague as you travel and for your work in Haiti. May Julian guide you and may Constance support you as God leads you in holy work

  61. L Hildrey's Gravatar L Hildrey
    March 21, 2016 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    My best friend and I, separated by the Atlantic these days, have “invented” the text abbreviation of Julian’s famous reassurances:
    AWBW! Feel free to share ! No contest in my mind

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 10:40 am | Permalink

      AWBW–love it!

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 21, 2016 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Love it!

    • Margot's Gravatar Margot
      March 21, 2016 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

      AWBW is a Great idea, and I will use it too. Julian’s words have been of comfort often in tough situations.

  62. L. Norris's Gravatar L. Norris
    March 21, 2016 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    There’s never a wrong vote in Lent Madness; they’re saints after all! “Constance would go” made me go with Constance. I appreciate Julian but, lately, I’ve been touched and awed by the doers in my life, so Constance gets my vote.

  63. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    March 21, 2016 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    With my fellow deacon, Dutton M. I tend more toward “action in the real and messy world over contemplation…..”. Therefore, my vote is for Constance, her companions, and the lone prostitute. As learned women, they taught and encouraged their students but laid aside books for medicine and bedpans and bandages and finally gave their lives to save the sick and dying. Today’s bloggers are nearing sainthood…just hope they don’t lose their mischievous natures…BE LIKE THE SEC !!!

  64. March 21, 2016 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    The comments today are as wonderful as both blogs. Powerfully written summaries pulling for each saint. And each pulled me in her direction, but in the end, I went with Constance because I didn’t know of her, loved the God-spark understanding, and know that knowing her now challenges me to go places when I struggle to do so. And, yet, I must thank Amber for her beautiful personal story. I can imagine how very comforting that would be in the loss of a child, and truly, in all losses of our lives. Thank you. Beautiful work.

  65. Rebecca Owsley's Gravatar Rebecca Owsley
    March 21, 2016 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    One of my first theology class assignments was a paper on how to decide between two “goods”, which very nearly persuaded me to withdraw from the program. Instead, I put in an emergency call to the teacher, who helped me choose instead to reflect and write about my lifelong difficulty in making choices. In the end, for me, contemplation only takes me so far; I must do in order to be. So, I choose Constance.

  66. MegN's Gravatar MegN
    March 21, 2016 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    I would hope to live the life that Constance showed the world, but it’s a small book of some of the writings of Julian of Norwich that I read when “the world is too much with me” and I need to go to sleep at night. TOUGH CHOICE!!!!

  67. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 21, 2016 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    I just spent a three day retreat at St. Mary’s Convent and retreat center in Sewanee, Tennessee. The Benedictine chapel there is dedicated to Constance and her companions. I would have loved to vote for Julian, but not this time. Constance it is!

  68. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 21, 2016 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    the dreaded match-up. I literally flipped a coin. Heads Constance, tails Julian… heads.

  69. Mama J's Gravatar Mama J
    March 21, 2016 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    I have used Constance’s ‘God-spark’ approach in many a religion class and seek it in all I meet, but I do not think the idea originated with her. As dear to me as the thought is, it is Julian’s spirituality that speaks to my heart. AWBW. (with kudo’s to L Hildrey!)

  70. John E's Gravatar John E
    March 21, 2016 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    I just wish I could vote for both!

  71. Carter's Gravatar Carter
    March 21, 2016 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    Constance- a modern day saint caring physically for those in great distress and giving her life to service and losing it in the great yellow fever epidemic- I will vote for a life lived for others today.

  72. Anne M..........'s Gravatar Anne M..........
    March 21, 2016 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    “Constance would Go,” the appropriate tag-line should be “Constance Would Stay?” It was my understanding that Constance and 1 other Companion had just arrived at the Mothers House when word of the outbreak reached them and that they immediately got back on the train to RETURN to Memphis to help !!! Go ? Stay ? Return ? She and all her Companions get my vote !

  73. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 21, 2016 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Wow! This is the hardest decision for me yet. Both write ups are superb and both moved me. All the comments still have me vacillating between the 2. I will decide as I scroll up the comments back to the vote box.

    • Luri Owen's Gravatar Luri Owen
      March 21, 2016 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Me, too.

  74. Carol G's Gravatar Carol G
    March 21, 2016 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Amber,for sharing from your vulnerability for I too was there. Your blog today also brought echoes of the rose in Le Petit Prince.

    For those who are drawn to action yet want to vote for Julian, remember “the pen is mightier than the sword.”

    That said, “Constance will stay” with me as a guide and inspiration for caregivers as I go forward after Lent. Thank you both, Anna and Amber for bringing the essence of these godly women to us. All manner of things shall be well.

  75. March 21, 2016 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    As several others have mentioned, this year the choices we have had to make have been really difficult. I have loved the writings of Julian for many years, but this time I had to vote for Constance. We are encouraged to go outside the Church walls and spread The Word. That is exactly what these women of Faith did for a community is crisis.

  76. Rev. David Strommen (@motstraumen)'s Gravatar Rev. David Strommen (@motstraumen)
    March 21, 2016 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    As a Lutheran, fun or not, this is not helpful…..because in Christ is in Christ and the view of us or by us on a given Saint and Sinner from this side of the Mirror ever so dim of the deeds of any of them is imperfect and the Golden Halo in the end is the Glory of God’s goodness not ours whether you wrote wonderful Theology, wrote devotionals, sat in trance, were martyred or you didn’t even get an obituary written about you because the world forgot you…BUT GOD DID NOT! Again In Christ is In Christ.

    • March 21, 2016 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      You’re in luck! Lent Madness is OPTIONAL.

      • March 21, 2016 - 11:11 am | Permalink

        Can I change my vote? Tim gets it this round!

    • Rev. David Strommen (@motstraumen)'s Gravatar Rev. David Strommen (@motstraumen)
      March 21, 2016 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is optional. And I should not disparage a tool that gets people looking at these people of faith…although the Golden Halo and mug on a mug got me as in my mind it can push towards “I’ve earned this mentality”. The saints would not stand for that. Please, study on, vote on keep at it… And yes, I know you don’t need my permission. lol

  77. Lane's Gravatar Lane
    March 21, 2016 - 10:59 am | Permalink

    Constance has been on my heart since the beginning of this year’s Madness. A worthy candidate for the Golden Halo. Constance did go.

  78. Dawn's Gravatar Dawn
    March 21, 2016 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    When I started this, my first year of LM, little did I know how much I would learn and how difficult this would become! Both of these women were spectacular in their time and each can inspire us, still. I had to vote for Julian – I have voted for her from the Round of 32 and would love to see her with a golden halo. I’m certain that tomorrow will be just as difficult. Blast you and thank you SEC!! (Please don’t take the “blast you” to heart…)

  79. Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
    March 21, 2016 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    I expect Lent Madness to make me laugh appreciatively. I don’t expect you to make me cry. Tough choice this morning, but the hazelnut embryo in God’s love made my decision. Thanks to both writers for beautiful testimonies to God’s grace in human lives.

  80. tonip1's Gravatar tonip1
    March 21, 2016 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Really tough choice today. I thought I was going to go with Constance but both CB’s were so wonderful and moving. In the end I went with Julian because I have so often been inspired by her writing.

  81. Dwight's Gravatar Dwight
    March 21, 2016 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks Anna and Amber. Your words made this round special.

  82. Marjorie Lewis's Gravatar Marjorie Lewis
    March 21, 2016 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    I was conflicted about my vote today. I have been trying to go for those saints who bore witness to their faith by action for the helpless and hopeless people in their own time. So I voted for Constance. I was also very drawn to Julian whose mystical theology has guided so many. Both giants of faith.

  83. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 21, 2016 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    Julian! Matron Saint of all manner of thing!

  84. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 21, 2016 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    Both saints recognized that God cares about all of Her creation, even in the midst of our losses and trials. Constance cared for orphans who were ostracized, and Julian gave us the powerful image of the universe as a fragile hazelnut protected by God.

    Constance wins my vote today, but both saints inspire me.

  85. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    March 21, 2016 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    By far, the hardest vote this year. But descending through a line of brave nurses in my family, Constance gets the vote.

  86. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 21, 2016 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I love Lent Madness but I so hate the use of the non-word “snuck.”

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 21, 2016 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Please note: “snuck” isn’t a “non-word” but a non-standard verb form a little over a century old, and dictionaries mark it as such, noting that it is more common in the US than in the UK and marking it as non-standard but acceptable. Most people (and you are not alone on this one) will identify it as originating with whoever they were reading when they first encountered it, but this is not a good guide as to its age. Many Americans will tell you that “booze” originated during Prohibition and even tell you the name of the speakeasy proprietor who invented it, but the OED will tell you that it dates from the 13th century, hence was at least a century old when Julian was in her cell. You are free, Amy, to retain your hate (I myself retain many of mine), but as a teacher I am obligated to state facts when they need stating. Peace and joy be yours in this Lent and the Eastertide about to follow it!

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 23, 2016 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

      As my linguistics professor would have put it, “If ‘snuck’ isn’t a word, what is it?”

  87. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 21, 2016 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Joining in on the “tough choice!” chorus, I’ve decided to vote for Julian. In this busy, often scary world, we need those who remind us to reflect, abide in God’s presence (even for just a little while), and remember Who’s really and ultimately in charge.
    Besides, the next two were also “doers” and I’d like to give the contemplative one last chance.

  88. March 21, 2016 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The most challenging vote thus far…. thanks for that. I voted for Constance…. a true servant leader….

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 21, 2016 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

      By the way, what is your homunculus icon? It has fascinated me.

  89. Luri Owen's Gravatar Luri Owen
    March 21, 2016 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    The choice between Constance and Julian has brought me to tears. This evening, I will go to one of the most important Vestry meetings I have ever attended in two terms on the Vestry. We will choose to bring in priest candidates for site visits to our parish as we continue the process of calling a new rector. One of the candidates is very like Constance and another is very like Julian. The question I am now asking myself is which of these choices do I personally want to be more like, and which do I want to guide my parish through the next decade? The pairing of these two women in the Faithful Four is not just a fun vote for me today, but a clear outlining of the task before our Vestry in the next 24 hours. Please hold us in your prayers this day.

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 21, 2016 - 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Praying for you and your fellow Vestry members, Luri Owen. We went through something like this last year.

    • Amy Jane's Gravatar Amy Jane
      March 21, 2016 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Been praying all day for you and your vestry, Luri. May the Spirit be present in your deliberations and votes.

  90. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 21, 2016 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I just cannot resist Julian. She was such an early feminist and besides that I can go buy some Nutella to celebrate with on Easter.

  91. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 21, 2016 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    How tiny a hazelnut and how beautiful!

  92. Deacon Carol's Gravatar Deacon Carol
    March 21, 2016 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I tend to be a “do-er” but recognize that it is important to have a reason for the “do-ing”. I will vote for Constance as a saint I can relate to on a very human level.

  93. Lisa Sargent's Gravatar Lisa Sargent
    March 21, 2016 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Amber and Anna – you have made this decision really hard! You both touched my heart and your reasoning was excellent.

    • March 21, 2016 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, a hard choice. So my vote goes to Roch. I still think he can make a comeback. Let’s go San Rocco!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 21, 2016 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

        “Like.” He will come back, in a few years. Your miracle is just down the road . . . a few years.

  94. Christian's Gravatar Christian
    March 21, 2016 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Vote Constance!!! Our class will get 25 extra credit points if she wins!

  95. Fr. Bill Loring's Gravatar Fr. Bill Loring
    March 21, 2016 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    As a former chaplain with CSM, I hve supported Constance; as an ailurophile I have supported Julian. Now that they are up against each other, well I support them both but have to pick one and wind up with Julian. Her Revelations and her assurance that All will be well speak to me directly, and I’m not sure I could come close to following Constance’s example without that kind of underlying encouragement.

  96. sarah- 15 years old's Gravatar sarah- 15 years old
    March 21, 2016 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Julian of Norwich, because I just loved how she thought about smallest things, and how even though something is very small, god still loves it for what its worth.

    • Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
      March 21, 2016 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

      A true and great idea, and perfectly said!

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 21, 2016 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Sarah, yours is one of the best summaries of Julian I have read. Thank you for your insight.

      • sarah- 15 years old's Gravatar sarah- 15 years old
        March 21, 2016 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

        thank you, you just made my day. 🙂

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 21, 2016 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

        I’m glad to see Sarah 15 years old is back. I’ve missed her comments.

        • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
          March 21, 2016 - 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Ditto for me! Hi Sarah!

  97. Allan in Augusta's Gravatar Allan in Augusta
    March 21, 2016 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Constance would go!

  98. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    March 21, 2016 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Constance would go (or stay)! She epitomizes what we all should be. It was a hard choice but Constance gets my vote today!

  99. Cath Fenton's Gravatar Cath Fenton
    March 21, 2016 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    This one is so close, there have been other matches where I have had no hesitation in voting for one or the other. I had never heard of Constance before – a truly saintly person, but Julian’s words won my vote.
    Thank you for bringing such people to our attention.

  100. Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
    March 21, 2016 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Anna and Amber:
    Thanks and blessings to you both for your inspirational writings today. I enjoy all the CBs, but you both reached new heights today. Thank you (and all the wonderful commentators) for making my Lent a truly spiritual time this year.

  101. Marilyn's Gravatar Marilyn
    March 21, 2016 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This was a difficult choice, but not as hard as tomorrow’s match up will be. I went with Julian and have hope of her going all the way to the Golden Halo this year.

  102. Richard Asmussen's Gravatar Richard Asmussen
    March 21, 2016 - 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Both in my book of saints our friend constance is equal with both St.the three have been my, teachers God bless us all.

  103. Simon Jackson's Gravatar Simon Jackson
    March 21, 2016 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    As I read today’s post regarding Julian of Norwich, the following struck me: “She sees Christ in the role of mother alongside God the father. God incarnate is best imagined via the physical nurture and love of a mother—birth, breastfeeding, and boo-boo tending.”

    First, I have great difficulty with the idea of ascribing a gender to God — male of female. For me, I feel that to do so somehow limits my understanding of God. God to me is beyond gender and hence the importance of using neutral language.

    I also have great difficulty with the idea of traditional parental gender roles implicit in this post. The reality is that people and families are incredibly diverse. I feel the idea that there are natural or normal parental roles does a disservice to people who don’t fit in those roles; it implies they are somehow “abnormal”. It also does a disservice to those families who do not have a traditional mother/father set-up: many families are single parent households, same-sex parent households, etc.

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 KJV

    • March 21, 2016 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Writing in the fourteenth century of Christ as Mother was quite a profound thing to do, especially when, at that time, imagery of God was specifically masculine. True, God is genderless, but we nonetheless need these images in order to understand and appreciate the depth and limitlessness of God and to expand our understandings of who God is. We see through a glass darkly and do the best we can given our cultural epochal differences.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 21, 2016 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

      What continues to recommend “mother” and “father” to those of us who understand God to be gender less is their immediacy. If we were remotely as touched by “parent,” we’d switch to it in a heartbeat, I think; but it leaves us cold, and English has no other word.

      (An interesting little department of linguistics deals with the involuntary conveyance of information that is irrelevant to what is being said, because the structure or vocabulary of the language requires it. In western languages where all nouns have grammatical gender it’s often impossible to mention something without disclosing its physical gender, if it has one. In English, where nouns no longer have gender, we get one free pass before normal usage demands the use of a pronoun, which is why the repetition of nouns such as “God” to avoid choosing a pronoun sounds odd. The pattern is so firmly fixed in our Anglophone minds that many of us are surprised to learn that in Turkish, for instance, where neither nouns nor pronouns have gender, the introduction of physical gender into a discourse is usually voluntary and occurs only if and when gender becomes relevant. That difference isn’t because Turkish culture is any less sexist than ours; it’s purely a grammatical accident that nonetheless has a certain effect on how one thinks and imagines.)

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 21, 2016 - 4:36 pm | Permalink

      You spoke my thoughts and feeling so well. I have a great deal of trouble with “Father ” image because of personal experience and so it seems to follow that “Mother” is also skewed. God is God. Or more succinctly — God IS.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Good for you, Simon. As much as my head and heart believes that, there are still decades of habit that I fight all the time. I applaud you; I do have a hard time conceiving of any being that is genderless. But I’m always working on it. And joyfully!

  104. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 21, 2016 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Julian. It turned out to be not at all knee-jerk as I had thought. The essays were inspiring and led to my reflecting on my vote. In the end it was the teeny, “insignificant” hazelnut that solidified my vote for Julian. Constance did enormous good works in the name of the Lord. Many of us can’t live up to that and we feel very small, but God loves us all the same. now … GO JULIAN!

  105. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 21, 2016 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I miscarried my only pregnancy, when my child was too tiny to be discerned. A hazelnut indeed! She is in heaven with her heavenly father/mother, who never ceased to love her, and I will someday know her there! Thank you both for your wonderful writing. I keep on voting for Lady Julian.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 21, 2016 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 5:35 pm | Permalink


  106. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 21, 2016 - 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with Julian of hazelnut fame this round. I can’t explain why I experience this sureness of vision, but when we reach the Final Four round, voting suddenly becomes clear, as though I were being Spirit-led. And yes, Margery Kempe had a hand in this, as I’ve been teaching her lately in one of my classes.

  107. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 21, 2016 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    It was a hard choice…could the saints who lost in really close contests be on next year’s list??

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 22, 2016 - 2:22 am | Permalink

      Saints can return, but they have to sit on the bench for a couple of years. Both Dietrich and Julian were contenders in previous years.

  108. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    March 21, 2016 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Julian for the Halo!

  109. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 21, 2016 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I do wish this weren’t so widely regarded as a choice, or contest, between the vita activa and the vita contemplativa. As John of Concord and Gloria have suggested above the dichotomy, useful as far as it goes, becomes problematic when applied across the board or to individuals. Sister Constance may or may not have been a contemplative or a mystic, but her wonderful works were surely grounded in a deep inner spirituality. Nor is it likely that Lady Julian lacked appreciation of, and gratitude for, the active Christians to whose life she herself had not been called.

    In fact — though I’m far from expert — I don’t know of a single mystic of whom that could be said, and my impression is that they see their prayer as supporting the work of their active counterparts; not to mention that prayer, especially the pure kind, is terribly hard work, as has also been pointed out. Certainly this paragon of neither finds elementary good works much easier than focused prayer.

    My vote today will go to Julian because she is unique: Without her witness the Church, and especially the Anglican corner of it, would be spiritually depleted without ever recognizing its own impoverishment. Constance is a truly glorious example but not unique, thanks be to God as to both; and a vote for Julian is in no sense a vote against her.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 21, 2016 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

      (Please restore the comma I so rashly deleted at the last minute after “above” in the second sentence.)

  110. Randall's Gravatar Randall
    March 21, 2016 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Julian for me , and a tip of my hat to the SEC for catching the cheaters. Cast them into the outer darkness (till Easter Vigil) until they repent and learn to vote only once!

  111. Mary-Eileen's Gravatar Mary-Eileen
    March 21, 2016 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Constance has certainly earned her place in Heaven and the communion of saints. But Julian won her place in my heart years ago. So it’s Team Julian today and always.

  112. Stephen Nelson's Gravatar Stephen Nelson
    March 21, 2016 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Today, Memphis is famous for its #gritgrind attitude, largely due to the Grizzlies Team and my man Tony Allen. But 140 years ago, the healing work and dedication of Sister Constance and those she led was its own #gritgrind story. I have been to the annual Martyrs’ service; I’ve heard the letters from the nuns and others at the time. From their words, you hear that Constance made her choice, a hard but definite choice, to do the work of Christ in our city that was not her home by birth or upbringing. She and the others who stayed, like recently ordained Fr. Schuyler, gave their life into God’s hands for his use, believing in the cause of Christ’s work and in “the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” She saw the city around her change. She saw people around her change, the faces of her friends and colleagues struck in turn by the fatal illness. So we remember them and honor their faithful sacrifice. Our baptismal covenant asks, “Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?” In life, Constance answered, “I do.” In death, she met God with “Alleluia” on her lips. She was not yet 30 years old.

  113. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 21, 2016 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I saw the vote suddenly rise to 50/50 and th0ught that was very odd. I remember last year when Brigid “magically” caught up and surpassed Francis. The problem with voter fraud with respect to saints (there are SO MANY problems with that) is that it breaks the hearts of that saint’s supporters, who fervently hope that their saint will win honestly. And surely the saint herself (whether Brigid or Constance) would want that. Voter fraud hurts the hearts of the people who most want that saint to win. And that’s unsaintly. It’s thoughtless and unkind.

    • Anne's Gravatar Anne
      March 21, 2016 - 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Voter fraud !!!! How sad when this should all be in fun !!! ALL our Saints were remarkable and my prayer is that I even though I will never reach their heights, perhaps I will be able to make some small impact while on this earth.

  114. Andrea Feist's Gravatar Andrea Feist
    March 21, 2016 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Lent Madness for introducing me to these two beautiful saints. Still pondering my vote – it’s too hard to choose.

  115. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 21, 2016 - 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The essays are especially beautiful today! Thank you so much!
    Julian’s image of the hazelnut encompassing God’s “view” of the world—including the universe— is stunning. Our 21st century view of all things: quarks, Hubble photos, gravity waves,…cell phones…, doesn’t change the hazelnut metaphor. Our God is an AWEsome God. The more we learn about the “stuff of the hazelnut”, the more amazing God seems.

    Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of him! Psalm 96:9

  116. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    March 21, 2016 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Julian gave up on life and walled herself away from having to deal with the everyday struggles people face. She made others care and provide for her, rather than having to fend for herself. Constance got into the thick of life and worked to the end, not only to support herself, but to support her entire community. Why is everyone so enthralled with Julian?

    • March 21, 2016 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Might I suggest you read Veronica Mary Roth’s fine biography on Lady Julian? “Julian’s Gospel” is a great in depth study of Julian and her times. Very inspiring companion to Lady Julian’s Revelations.

      • March 21, 2016 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

        That would be Veronica Mary Rolf.

        • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
          March 21, 2016 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for the suggestion. I look forward to reading it.

        • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
          March 21, 2016 - 9:36 pm | Permalink

          Thank you also. I read “Amazing Grace” (about William Wilberforce and his battle against the slave trade) as a result of the discussion back when he was in contention. Very interesting and informative!

    • Constance Santana's Gravatar Constance Santana
      March 21, 2016 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

      I so agree with you. Wonderful woman, Julian. When plague hit, one of these saints walled herself in and was fed, clothed and cared for by the people around her; the other fed, cleaned, dressed, and died for the people she and her companions cared for unstintingly, even unto death. Go CONSTANCE!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 21, 2016 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

      No exactly the Julian story, to be sure. She was given by her parents, probably because she was an extra outh to feed. The way I heard the accout, way bck when, was that she asked to walled off from the community so she wouldn’t be “bothered” by the monks and brothers. I dunno, I wasn’t there but that’s the way I heard it.

  117. Tony Lubong's Gravatar Tony Lubong
    March 21, 2016 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Casting my vote for Constance for she did go (or stay) and contributed to realizing that which Julian wrote… in the making if all things well.

  118. Robert Corey's Gravatar Robert Corey
    March 21, 2016 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Voted my one vote for the martyrs Constance and Companions. I would have wished for a yellow-fever final between her and Absalom Jones. I guess it will be between two prisoners — one voluntary, the other valorous. Which of these four is not like the other. Which of these four doesn’t belong. Can you tell which saint is not like the others, the one for whom a win would be wrong?

  119. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 21, 2016 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t dare reply in kind, but it did occur to me that this year each of the Four really, really deserved to be there.

  120. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 21, 2016 - 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I missed it in previous comments, but I’d love to know more about the second work of art in Constance’s write-up.
    Also, for the second time, I have been knocked off the fence by the ethereal stained glass depicting a LM contestant, though the sculpture of St. Julian conveys great benevolence, too. I am just sucker for tender portraits of good people swathed in heaven’s blue light.

  121. Barbara MacR's Gravatar Barbara MacR
    March 21, 2016 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

    The pain, the anguish of this round….Much though I love Julian, I was all set to vote for Constance, but Amber’s essay tipped the balance, because of the many personal levels on which it touched me. As Amber writes, 700 years later we still desperately need Julian’s inclusive vision of God. I’m reminded of a recent sermon I heard in which a priest described how some Episcopalian responses to a scholarly questionnaire she sent out asking simply if people had ever considered God as a mother ranged from “I consider this to be pandering to militant feminism” to “This just makes me disgusted.” But I am so happy to know about Constance! What a great woman! Too bad LM can’t have an absolutely equal tie!

  122. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 21, 2016 - 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Super hard choice but had to go with Constance

  123. Michelle Jackson, ObJN's Gravatar Michelle Jackson, ObJN
    March 21, 2016 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite quotes, ” Our Faith is a light, naturally coming from our Endless Day–that is our Father God; in this light our Mother, Christ, and our good Lord the Holy Spirit lead us in this passing life. This light is meted out prudently, faithfully remaining with us as we need it in the night.” Revelation of Divine Love, chapter 82

  124. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 21, 2016 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Julian as I am currently involved in supporting a group of lay people leading worship services and our next but one service will be on the feast day of Julian. I am sure that hazel nuts will be involved. I am also voting for Julian in thankfulness for the education that she received, enabling her to inspire us today through her words. (I did attempt o vote on my mobile but nothing happened when I pressed vote so I am hoping that I haven’t inadvertently voted more than once – if so, apologies it was unintentional.)

  125. March 21, 2016 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    HELP! I tried voting on my iPad from home WIFI and never saw if my vote was cast. The Loading spinner kept spinning, while my router’s Internet light blinked like mad. I thought about trying again from my PC, and then thought I might be cast into the outer darkness for voting twice. Thed is NO way I can see to contact Scott or Tim about this issue, so I hope one of them can tell if my one vote went in. If this happens again tomorrow I am sunk! Can’t get to another hotspot to be sure, due to my home workload.

    • March 21, 2016 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

      If it’s not too late: my iPad has done this too. Since, when it does record my vote, it does not let me vote again, I assume the spinning ball means ‘the LentMadness server isn’t answering me’, and proceed thus: reload the page, and vote if the buttons are there for you to touch. If there are no ‘vote’ buttons, your vote was counted.

  126. david's Gravatar david
    March 21, 2016 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

    hardest vote i’ve had to cast. I hope it’s a tie….

    • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
      March 21, 2016 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

      And who casts the tie breaker? Tim or Scott?

  127. Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
    March 21, 2016 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Constance gets my vote. She was a woman of faith and works. We need more like Constance and Her Companions in today’s world: “Loud and long the Master calleth…Who will answer gladly saying, ‘Here am I, send me, send me?'”

  128. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 21, 2016 - 7:20 pm | Permalink

    It looks like everybody is having trouble choosing between these two–a choice, as someone said, between the vita activa and the vita contempliva. (I’m probably quoting that wrong; maybe it was “via,” way, rather than “vita,” life; my Latin is very sinful.) I decided to support the contemplative life because I’m too lazy to be very active, particularly in healing diseases.

  129. March 21, 2016 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Both lovely write-ups. I live in Kansas, where it is now legal to carry weapons of destruction anywhere, including into my classroom. So we are not staying, with Constance; we are going, away, soon. And I feel I need the hazelnut, and the feminine of God, and the comfort from the miscarriages, more than the will to stay here where the worst of (political) humanity seems to be on display. Julian it is, but not for thinking Constance is any less worthy!

  130. Susan Gillespie's Gravatar Susan Gillespie
    March 21, 2016 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Julian as she has saved me so many times with her philosophy that G-d is LOVE in capital letters.

  131. March 21, 2016 - 8:04 pm | Permalink

    The patron saint of cat ladies will always have my vote. (She’s also my confirmation saint, so, there’s that too.)

  132. Robert C's Gravatar Robert C
    March 21, 2016 - 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m still angry about Albert Schweitzer. I voted for Constance out of spite.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 21, 2016 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

      I feel very sorry for you. You must be sad. I will say a special prayer for you tonight.

  133. Diane Rhodes's Gravatar Diane Rhodes
    March 21, 2016 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I usually vote early in the AM, when comments are few. What a treat to revel in all the wisdom set out by the bloggers and by the faithful! I have read them all, delighting in your deep and abiding faith and the wondrous sense of humor that is God’s gift to many. I give thanks for all of you. (As for my vote–I was born on Julian’s feast day — lucky me! That made a difficult decision a bit easier.)

  134. james lodwick's Gravatar james lodwick
    March 21, 2016 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    In this impossible choice I voted for Julian for the very personal reasons that I have made a pilgrimage to Norwich, have been deeply affected by Julian’s writings and have made retreats at the monastery of the Order of St. Julian.

    I also share the Anna Courie’s enthusiasm for the noble martyr Constance. Nevertheless I found her write-up theologically muddled and deficient, even for someone who is not a trained theologian. I don’t believe St. Paul would agree that the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit within the believer is simply a metaphor for a “secret desire to be a super hero” or a “passion for great deeds.” Those may perhaps be fruits of the Spirit’s indwelling. I don’t think talk about “spirit-spark” or “the God-spark within us all” has any warrant in Scripture or traditional Christian theology. It sounds more like New Age speak. And it’s sloppy, vaguely pantheist speaking to say “God was a part of all of Constance.” No doubt God’s Spirit inspired Constance to do what she did and God’s grace made it possible.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Gee, James, that’s pretty unkind.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 21, 2016 - 11:44 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think Anna was trying to rival Thomas Aquinas here. Nor was she transmitting Paul. That’s more Luther’s job. I do think she was operating within a specific rhetorical context: to enthuse the voters. She was speaking in the language of the people to reach them. Paul himself would “get it”: “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him” (I Corinthians 14:2). Anna was speakething in a “known tongue.” And as for being theologically “correct,” “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (13:1). I believe that the spirit is among us, and therefore I am willing to accept the image of a spark. Perhaps it is igniting our interest; perhaps it will catch a wick and illuminate our way. Possibly it will warm our hands and hearts a bit; we have journeyed a long way and “Canterbury” is close. We are all tired; our passions are aroused. Peace be among us.

    • Pam Payne's Gravatar Pam Payne
      March 22, 2016 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

      As someone who is not a theologian, I appreciate the use of word-images which help me to envision the deeper truth. The “God-spark” and the “hazelnut” are perfect examples. May the peace of the Lord, which passes all understanding, be with all of us this holy season.

  135. Katie Skrmetta's Gravatar Katie Skrmetta
    March 21, 2016 - 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Constance by Anna Courie

  136. March 21, 2016 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    You have my original watercolor artwork of Sister Constance in this article.
    You did not ask my permission, nor do you have any credit given.

    • March 21, 2016 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Branch, I have just been in touch by email. I apologize for this oversight, which I very much hope we can correct to your satisfaction. It was not our intention to use your work without your permission and without attribution. Please check your email for a note from me with some suggestions and a longer apology. Peace, Scott Gunn

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 21, 2016 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

      We’re sorry, Mr. Branch. If it is any consolation, you will probably never have as big or as appreciative a viewing public as you do here. Your artwork if inadvertently uncredited at least has undoubtedly been much loved today.

  137. Carmen Fairley's Gravatar Carmen Fairley
    March 21, 2016 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

    While I like the idea of having a life of almost complete isolation for the sake of being able to focus on the job of devoting oneself to a life of solitary prayer, study, and writing, I am troubled by the knowledge that Julian of Norwich lived during a period of rampant epidemic of the Black Plague but she wasn’t one of those caring for the sick. It seems outrageous that it was somebody else’s duty to empty her chamber pot. To me this is an example of a person who is too heavenly minded to be any earthly good, although she did write some admirable books on theology and did a lot of praying, etc. I have more admiration for Constance who rolled up her sleeves and got on with the job of leading a group of caregivers for victims of yellow fever with heroic nursing efforts that resulted the deaths of very few of their patients during the first epidemic in Memphis in 1873. She was there in the trenches with doctors, Catholics, Protestants and common folk such as a prostitute, all of them having one common goal, that of caring for the sick. It saddened me to learn that she died as a result of caring for the victims of a later yellow fever epidemic in 1878. Constance gets my vote today.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 21, 2016 - 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Romans 12:4-8. Many gifts, one spirit.

  138. March 21, 2016 - 9:58 pm | Permalink

    While I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the saintly personages which have come to us during this season of “Madness” I find I am in need of much further education as to the lives these people have led. Short snippets of information from our Celebrity Bloggers, as wonderful as they are, leave me wanting more. And reading the posts from us viewers leads me to the conclusion that there is a lot of misinformation being bandied about. I wonder if there might be a final Lent Madness post–after all is said and done and Golden Haloes awarded and mugs fired up–which would provide a useful bibliography of the saints considered? Seems like this might be a nice edition to the Forward Movement library of offerings. No?

  139. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 21, 2016 - 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Isnt cheating a sin? Hard to believe that this is happening…Arent we as Christians supposed to avoid such nonsense?

  140. Frances's Gravatar Frances
    March 21, 2016 - 11:09 pm | Permalink

    David Holgate, the sculptor of the statue of Julian at Norwich Cathedral, was photographed outside the building with his other statue there (St. Benedict). The picture appeared in the Guardian in 2014 with Holgate’s obituary.

  141. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    March 22, 2016 - 12:45 am | Permalink

    For me, Amber Belldene certainly wins the Battle of the Celebrity Bloggers for this round, and her saint wins it for her lasting contribution handed down over the centuries. So Julian it is. And her icon is lovely, I might add.

    I’ve got a theory about the folks who commit voter fraud. They’re trolls who are not and never were participating in this as a Lenten devotion. They merely want to see if they can “beat the system” and outsmart the SEC, or simply play around and give the SEC more work to do. I often see commenters puzzling over how a Christian could do such a thing, but the fraudsters are not necessarily even Christians…just random trolls. Of course, I am not in the business of questioning the sincerity of anyone’s faith, so if any of the fraudsters sees this comment and would like to defend himself/herself, feel free…. 😉

  142. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    March 22, 2016 - 1:10 am | Permalink

    Such beautiful writing today, and such insightful comments. All of you educate and inspire me. Doer or mystic thoughtfulness? Not a choice really, as both kinds of folk make such incredible contributions in the world. We need both, yet few, if any, can be both. I voted for Constance, but will happily accept whichever “wins”, since both are winners already. Thanks, SEC for my continuing edcation.

  143. Brian O'Shea's Gravatar Brian O'Shea
    March 22, 2016 - 6:07 am | Permalink

    Constance gets my vote
    Led there to consider this and am
    attracted to the life of diligent quiet service exemplified

  144. March 22, 2016 - 7:07 am | Permalink

    “And so have all things their beginning by the love of God.” If only everyone could remember this, how transformed the world would be! Blessed be all of the knowledge we have gained throughout this Lent Madness. AWBW 🙂

  145. Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
    March 22, 2016 - 7:57 am | Permalink

    I voted for Constance, so I’m disappointed that she’s not doing better at the polls. Perversely, I’m glad that Julian is doing so well. It seems to me that contemplatives usually lose in LM.

  146. Kristin Lensch's Gravatar Kristin Lensch
    March 22, 2016 - 8:32 pm | Permalink

    A vote for Constance, of course! I’m a Memphian!

  147. Catherine's Gravatar Catherine
    March 22, 2016 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

    there are no vote buttons 🙁

Comments are closed.