Julian’s 14th Showing

Chapter 41

 The fourteenth Revelation is as afornseyd … It is impossible we shuld pray
for mercy and want it; and how God will we alway pray thow we be drey and barryn, for that prayer is to Him acceptabil and plesante.

After this, our Lord’s showing was for prayer,
to show me rightfulness and secure trust.
but often our trust is not full,
for we are not sure God hears us,
we think we are unworthy, valueless,
for we are often as barren and dry
after our prayers as we were before.
This feeling is our own folly;
it is the cause of our weakness
I have felt this in myself.

Our Lord brought these words suddenly to my mind:
I am the ground of your prayer.
First I want you to pray,
then I make you want to pray,
then I make you pray,
and you pray.
How could I not grant your prayer?

In the first reason and three that follow,
our good Lord’s words show powerful comfort.
After those first reasons He says, And you pray.
There He shows that He will grant us
great pleasure and endless reward
for our prayer.

And in the sixth reason He said,
How could I not grant your prayer?
because it is impossible for us
to pray for mercy and grace and not have it.
Everything our good Lord makes us pray for,
He ordained to us out-with all beginning.

Here we see prayer does not cause God’s goodness.
He showed this truly in all these sweet words
when He says, I am the ground.
our Lord wants all who love Him to know this,
and the more we know, the more we should pray.

Prayer is the soul’s fresh, gracious, lasting desire
united and fastened into our Lord’s desire
by the Holy spirit’s sweet hidden work.
Our Lord is first to receive our prayers,
taking them thankfully in high delight.
He sends them above to be treasured
where they shall never perish before God
in all His holiness, ever received,
ever speeding our needs.
And when we shall receive our bliss
it shall be given us as a measure of joy
endless worshipful thanks from Him.

Glad and merry is our Lord with our prayers,
and He looks for them, and He will have them.
For with His grace He makes us like Him
in condition as we are in nature,
and so is His blissful will, for He says,
Pray earnestly though you think it does not satisfy you. For it is profitable though you feel nothing, though you see nothing, yes, even if you think you might not, For in dryness and in barrenness, in sickness and in feebleness, your prayers are very pleasing to me, though you think it satisfies you only little; and so are all your believing prayers in my sight.

For the reward and the endless thanks He will give us,
He wants us to pray continually in His sight.

God accepts His servant’s goodwill and effort,
however we feel.
It pleases Him when we work at our prayers,
and in good living,
with His help and grace, reasonably with discretion,
holding to Him with all our strength,
until we have Him that we seek
in fullness of joy – that is, Jesus.
He showed that in the fifteenth Revelation
before this word,
You shall have Me as your reward.

Thanks also belong to prayers.
Thanking is fresh, inward knowing,
with great reverence and lovely awe,
turning ourself with all our might
to the work our good Lord stirs us,
enjoying and thanking inwardly.

Sometimes it is so full it breaks out aloud,
“Good Lord, grant mercy. May You be blessed .”
Sometimes when the heart is dry and feels nothing,
or else by temptation of our enemy,
then it is driven by reason and grace
to cry to our Lord aloud,
and recall His blessed passion
and His great goodness.
And the virtue of our Lord’s word turns to the soul,
and quickens the heart, entering it by His grace
in true working, and making it pray
blissfully and truly to enjoy our Lord;
a full, blissful thanks in His sight.

  Ch. 42
 
      Off three thyngs that longyn to prayor, and how we shuld pray; and of the goodnes of God that supplyeth alway our imperfection and febilnes whan we do that longyth to us to do. Forty-second chapter.

Our Lord God wants us to have a true understanding
of three things belonging to our prayers.

First, by whom and how our prayers spring.
He showed by whom, saying, I am the ground;
He showed how by His goodness,
when He said, It is my will.

Second is how we should use our prayers,
to turn our will joyfully into His;
which He meant in saying, I make you want it.

Third, to know the fruit and end of our prayers:
to be like and one with Him in everything.

To this meaning and for this end
was all this lovely lesson shown;
He will help us, and we shall make it so –
as He said Himself.
May He be blessed.

He desires our prayers and trust equally.
For if we do not trust as much as we pray,
our prayers do not fully worship Him,
and we delay and pain ourselves,
because we do not truly know our Lord
as the soil on whom our prayers spring,
or that it is given us by His love’s grace.

If we knew this, we would trust to have,
by our Lord’s gift, all that we desire.
For I am sure no man asks mercy and grace
with true intent,
without mercy and grace having first been given him.

Sometimes we feel we have prayed long,
but still do not have our desire.
We should not be heavy-hearted
for I am sure of our Lord’s intent;
we either await a better time,
or more grace, or a better gift.
He wants us to know He is truly there;
with our understanding grounded
in what this means, with all our might.
On this ground He wants us to make our stand
and our dwelling. In His gracious light
He wants us to understand the things that follow.

First, our noble and excellent making;
second, our precious and dearworthy redemption;
third, everything He has made beneath us to serve us,
which He keeps for our love.
He means this, as if He said:
Look and see that I have done all this, before your prayers,
and now you are here praying to me.

He means we need to know and be thankful,
those greatest deeds are as Holy Church teaches,
we should pray thankfully for what He does now,
ruling and guiding us to His worship in this life
to bring us to His bliss.
He has done everything for this.

He means us to pray because we see He does it,
for just one thing is not enough;
if we pray and do not see He does it,
it makes us heavy and doubtful,
which is not true worship.

And if we see what He does but do not pray,
we are in debt – which should not be –
that is to say, He sees no response.
But to see what He does, and to pray at once,
then He is worshipped and we are helped along.

Our Lord wants us to pray for all He ordains,
either in particular or in general;
and the joy and bliss it is to Him,
and the thanks and worship we gain by it,
passes the understanding of all creatures,
as to my sight.

For prayer is true understanding
of the full joy that is coming,
with strong desire and secure trust.
Lack of that bliss sown in our nature
plants the desire for it in us.
Its true understanding and love,
with sweet thoughts of our Saviour,
graciously grows our trust in Him.
In planting our desire, and in our prayer,
our Lord watches over us forever.

For it is our debt,
His goodness implants no less in us.
So we must be diligent,
yet we shall still think it nothing;
and so it is.

But we must do what we can,
truly asking mercy and grace.
All we lack we shall find in Him,
which is what He meant in saying,
I am the ground of your prayer.
And so in the bliss of this word
I saw all our weakness
and all our doubtful fears
fully overcome.

Chapter 43
 
What prayor doth, ordeynyd to God will; and how the goodnes of God hath gret lekyng in the deds that He doth be us, as He wer beholden to us, werkyng althyng ful swetely. Forty-third chapter.

Prayer unites the soul to God;
for though the soul is always like God
in its physical nature in the world,
in its eternal nature in God,
restored by grace,
it’s condition is often unlike Him
from sin on man’s part.
Then prayer bears witness for the soul
that it’s will is God’s will,
comforting the conscience,
enabling man to grace.

So He teaches us to pray,
trusting strongly to have what we ask.
He watches over us in love,
as partners in His good work.
stirring us to pray
for that which pleases Him to do;
for those prayers and good will
He will have for His gift,
He will reward us eternally.

And this was shown in these words,
And you beseech it.
In this God showed so great pleasure,
so great delight,
as if He were much indebted to us
for every good deed we do,
and yet it is He that does it.

So we pray Him, mightily,
to do whatever pleases Him,
as if He said,
What then might please Me more,
than to pray mightily, wisely, wilfully
to do what I shall do?

And so the soul by prayer accords to God.

But when our courteous Lord by His grace
shows Himself to our soul,
we have what we desire,
and then we cannot see at the time
what more we should pray,
but all our intent, all our might
is set wholly on beholding Him.
As I see it, this is high, unperceivable prayer.

For all the causes of our prayer,
are united in the sight and regard
of Him to whom we pray,
marvellously enjoying, with reverent fear,
and such great sweetness and delight in Him,
that we can only pray as He stirs us at the time.

Well I know, the more the soul sees of God,
the more it desires Him by His grace.
But when we do not see Him,
then we feel our need and cause to pray
for our failing – to fit ourself to Jesus.
For when the soul is tested,
troubled, and left to itself by unrest,
than it is time to pray,
to become supple, obedient to God.

But by no manner of prayer
does he make God obedient to him,
for God is forever constant in love.
I saw that when we see the need to pray,
our good Lord follows us, helping our desire.
And when we, by His special grace,
seek only Him, seeing no other need,
then we follow Him,
and He draws us into Him by love.

I saw and felt His marvellous, fulsome goodness
fulfilling all our powers,
then I saw His continuous work
in everything done so well,
so wisely, so powerfully
that it surpasses all our imagining,
all we can know and think;
then we can do no more but look to Him,
enjoying with a high, mighty desire
to be all one in Him,
entered into His dwelling,
enjoying His loving,
delighting in in His goodness.

And then, with His sweet grace, we shall
in our own meek, continual prayers,
come to Him in this life
with many private touches
of sweet spiritual sight and feeling,
measured by the Holy Spirit’s grace,
as much as our simplicity can bear,
until we die in longing for love.

Then we shall all come to our Lord,
clearly knowing ourself, having Him fully;
forever dwelling in God,
seeing Him truly, feeling Him fully,
hearing Him spiritually,
smelling Him delectably,
sweetly swallowing Him;
then we shall see God face to face,
homely and totally.

Every created soul shall see
and behold God his maker forever.
Though no soul may see God and live,
that is only in this mortal life,
but if He shows Himself here
by His own special grace
He strengthens the creature beyond itself,
and measures the showing as He will,
to the soul’s profit at that time.

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