Claire Gilbert is a theologian, writer, and founding director of Westminster Abbey Institute. When she discovered that she had Myeloma – terminal cancer in the blood – she began her way by writing letters to a circle of trusted friends. The journey drew her home to nature, to her body, and to her long love for the mystic, Julian of Norwich. The letters are now published in the book Miles to Go Before I Sleep.
After the interview, Nomad hosts Tim Nash and David Blower chat about how Claire’s experiences might inform their own faith journeys.
Interview starts at 16m 15s
“The thing I always come back to – and why I think I do call myself ‘Christian,’ although with some tentativeness – is the love.”
“Contemplative prayer – really from the age of ten when I was taught to meditate – has always been very, very important. And that has stayed. But it changed; the nature of it changed. So, I became much less somebody who sought, if you like, to transcend the body and go to some ‘spiritual’ place other than my body, and the contemplation became very much more almost physically interior.”
“You have to go through the pain to find the joy. You can’t avoid the pain. You can’t avoid the suffering.”
“This understanding that I have had to learn about putting my body first is the understanding we all have to learn about putting the Earth first.”