Julian’s 13th Showing, part 3

XXXVII
 
      God kepyth His chosen ful sekirly althowe thei synne, for in these is a godly  will that never assayed to synne. Thirty-seventh chapter.

God brought to my mind that I should sin,
but for my pleasure in beholding Him,
I did not readily listen,
but our Lord, mercifully, waited
giving me grace to attend to Him.
This showing I took especially to myself,
but by all the gracious comfort that follows,
as you shall see,
I was taught to take it for all my fellow Christians,
for all in general, and no-one in special.

Though our Lord showed me I should sin,
‘me’ is to be understood as all.
And in this I felt a mild fear;
and to this our Lord answered,
I keep you fully secure.

This word was said with more love,
security and spiritual care
than I can or may tell.
As it was shown that I should sin,
comfort was also shown,
security and care,
for all my fellow Christians.

And could I love my fellow Christians more?
and see that God loves all that shall be saved
as it were all one soul?

For in every soul that shall be saved
is a godly will that never agreed to sin
nor ever shall.
Just as there is a beastly will in the lower part
that may will no good,
just so there is a godly will in the higher part
which will is so good, it may never wish ill,
but always good.

And so we are what He loves,
and always do what pleases him,
and this our Lord showed in the wholeness of the love
that we stand in in His sight.
Yes, that He loves us now
as well while we are here,
as He shall do when we are there
before His blessed face.

Therefore all our trouble
is only failing of love on our part.

XXXVIII
 
      Synne of the chosen shall be turnyd to joye and worship. Exemple of David, Peter, and John of Beverley. Thirty-eighth chapter.

  • Here Julian sees God, like a loving parent of a misbehaving child, following punishment with a hug at the right time.

God showed that sin shall not become shame
but worship to man.
For, as every sin is answered by true pain,
so for every sin to that same soul
is given bliss in love.
Just as serious pains punish serious sins
so shall they be rewarded with many joys in Heaven
as much as they have been painful
and sorrowful to the soul in earth.

For the soul that comes to Heaven is precious to God,
and that place so worshipful,
that God’s goodness never lets that soul sin
that finally comes there
without that sin being regarded,
made known forever,
blissfully restored in surpassing worship.

In this sight my understanding was lifted into Heaven;
and God brought David merrily to my mind
and others in the Old Testament
without number.

First, in the New Testament,
He brought Mary Magdalen to my mind,
and Peter and Paul;
and Thomas who travelled to India.
Then Saint John of Beverly,
and numberless others also,
how, in the church in earth,
they are known with their sins,
and is now no shame to them,
but is all turned to worship in them.
So our courteous Lord shows it,
here in part, there in fullness.
For there the token of sin is turned to worship.

And our Lord showed Saint John of Beverley,
comfortably to us for his homeliness,
how we know him as a gentle neighbour,
and He called him Saint John of Beverley
plainly as we do, with full, glad, sweet cheer,
now a full, high saint in Heaven
and blissful in His sight.

And with this He made mention
that in his youth and tender age
he was a precious servant of God,
loving God greatly in awe.
Nevertheless God allowed him to fall,
protecting him so he did not perish,
nor spend time in sickness.

Then God raised him to far more grace; 
and for his remorse and meekness
gave him greater joys in Heaven
than if he had not fallen,
and God shows continual miracles
about his body on earth,
to make us glad and merry in love.

Chapter thirty-nine
 
      Of the sharpnes of synne and the godenes of contrition, and how our kynd
      Lord will not we dispair for often fallyng. Thirty-ninth chapter.

Sin is the sharpest scourge to any soul.
beating people so low in their sight,
they feel only fit to sink in Hell,
until remorse, the Holy Spirit’s touch,
turns bitterness to hope for God’s mercy.
Then they begin to heal their wounds,
and the soul to quicken,
turned to the life of Holy Church.

Then he undertakes penance for every sin,
prompted by his confessor
who is grounded in Holy Church
by the Holy Spirit’s teaching.
This meekness greatly pleases God.
God also sends bodily sickness,
and sorrow and shame from without,
and reproof and dispite of this world,
with all forms of grievance and temptation,
cast in body and in spirit.

Our Lord keeps us preciously
when we seem quite forsaken,
cast aside as deserved, for our sin.
For the meekness we get by it
for our great contrition,
and true longing for God,
we are raised high in God’s sight
by His grace and compassion.

Suddenly we are delivered from sin and pain,
taken to bliss, even made high saints.
We are made clean by contrition;
we are made ready by compassion;
and we are made worthy
by our true longing for God.
These are three ways, as I understand,
whereby all souls come to Heaven,
that have sinned on earth and shall be saved,
For each soul must be healed by these medicines.

Though healed, their wounds are seen by God,
not as wounds, but as worship.
And so as we are punished here
with sorrow and with penance,
we shall have reward in Heaven
by God Almighty’s courteous love
who wants none there to lose his travail.
He sees sin as sorrow and pain to His lovers,
to whom His love assigns no blame.

The reward we shall receive shall not be small,
but high, glorious, and worshipful;
and so shame shall be turned to worship
and more joy.

Our courteous Lord does not want us to despair,
neither for frequent nor grievous falling.
Our falling does not stop Him loving us.
Peace and love are always there,
always working in us,
though we are not always in peace and love.

But He wishes us to be aware of this:
He is the ground, the foundation,
of our whole life in love;
and more –
He is our everlasting keeper, defending us mightily
against fully evil and fierce enemies;
and the greater our need, the more we must know,
our falling is why He does this.

Chapter 40
 
Us nedyth to longyn in love with Jesus, eschewyng synne for love; the vyleness of synne passith al peynes; and God lovith wol tenderly us while we be in synne, and so us nedyth to doe our neybor.

This is our courteous Lord’s sovereign friendship,
He keeps us tenderly while we are in sin.
He touches us inwardly, showing us our sin
by the sweet light of mercy and grace.

But when we see ourself so foul,
we think God is wrathful for our sin;
and we are stirred by the Holy Spirit
by contrition into prayers
desiring to amend our life with all our might,
to slake God’s wrath,
until we find a rest in soul,
and softness in conscience,
and then we hope God has forgiven us.
And it is so.

And then our courteous Lord shows Himself to the soul
merrily and with glad cheer with friendly welcoming,
as if He had been in pain and in prison,
saying sweetly thus:
“My darling, I am glad you have come to me;
in all your woe I have always been with you.
Now you see my loving and we are united in bliss.”

Thus are sins forgiven by mercy and grace,
and our soul worshipfully received in joy,
as it shall be when it comes to Heaven,
by the gracious working of the Holy Spirit
and the virtue of Christ’s passion.

Here I understand truly
all manner of thing is made ready for us
by God’s great goodness;
so much that when we are in peace and charity
we are truly safe.

We may not have this fully while on earth,
so we must always fill our lives with prayer
and lovely longing with Jesus our Lord,
Who always longs to bring us to full joy,
as He said where He showed His spiritual thirst.

But now if any are stirred by folly
because of all this spiritual comfort,
to say or think, “If this be so
then it is good to sin for more reward,”
or else consider sin as less –
beware of this; for truly if it comes
it is untrue, and from the enemy
of that true love from which all comfort comes.

That same blest love that teaches us
that we should only hate sin for love.
And I am sure, by my own feeling,
the more that every kind soul sees this
in the courteous love of our Lord God,
the more loath is he to sin,
and the more he is ashamed.

For if before us were laid all the pains
in Hell and Purgatory and in the earth
– death and other – and sin,
we should rather choose all that pain than sin.

Sin is so vile, and is so much to hate,
that it can be likened to no pain,
except the pain of sin.
No harder hell was shown to me than sin;
for a natural soul there is no hell but sin.

And we give ourselves to love and meekness
by the work of mercy and grace
we are all made fair and clean.
And, mighty and wise as God is
to save man, willing as He is,
for Christ is the ground of all Christian laws,
Who taught us to do good against ill.
Here we can see, He is this charity,
He does to us all He teaches us to do.

For He wants us to be like Him
with whole endless love for ourselves
and for all our fellow Christians.
Just as His love for us is not broken
by our sin, neither does He want our love
broken to ourselves or fellow Christians.

But nakedly hate sin,
and endlessly love the soul as God loves it;
then shall we hate sin as God hates it,
and love the soul as God loves it.
For this, God’s word, is endless comfort:
I keep you securely.

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