Julian (12)

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction. She continues here a remarkably interwoven, almost triple-plaited, study of the nature and relationship between the soul and its Creator which she began in chapter 52 .

Sixty-first chapter

 Jesus usith more tenderness in our gostly bringing forth; thow He suffrith us to fallyn in knowing of our wretchidness, He hastily resysith us, not rekyng His love for our trespass, for He may not suffre His Child to perish. For He will that we have the prop-erte of a Child fleing to Him alway in our necessite.

And in our spiritual birth,
He uses more tenderness of keeping,
with no physical likeness,
as our soul is of more price in His sight.

He kindles our understanding, He directs our ways,
He eases our conscience, He comforts our soul,
He lights our heart, and gives us, in part,
knowledge and love of His blissful Godhead,
graciously showing His sweet Manhood, His blessed passion,
with the courtly marvel of His high, surpassing goodness,
making us love all that He loves for His love,
and be satisfied with Him and all His works.

If we fall, He raises us hastily
by His lovely caring, and gracious touch;
Then strengthened by His sweet work,
we willingly choose Him, by His sweet grace,
to be His servants, His lovers,
lastingly, without end.

After this He suffers some of us to fall,
harder, more grievously, than we ever thought before;
then we, who are not altogether wise,
think all we had begun was worthless;
but it is no so.

For we need to fall, we need to see it.
Without falling we should not know
how feeble, how wretched, we are alone;
nor fully know our maker’s marvellous love.

For we shall see truly in Heaven, without end,
that though we have grievously sinned in this life,
yet we were never hurt in His love,
nor ever less prized in His sight.

By the trial of this falling we shall have high,
marvellous, endless knowledge of God’s love
which may not, will not, be broken for our sin.
It is powerful, enduring, and marvellous.

This is one valuable understanding.

Another is the humility,
the meekness we shall get from seeing our fall,
without which we might never be raised in Heaven;
we must see it or gain nothing from our fall.
First we fall and then we see it,
both by God’s mercy.

For love a mother may let her child fall ,
or be distressed so it may learn,
but not let any peril come to it.

Though an earthly mother might let her child perish,
our heavenly Mother, Jesus,
shall not let us, His own children, perish.
For He is almighty, all wisdom, all love,
as is none but He – Blessed may He be.

Often when we see our falling, our wretchedness,
we are so sore afraid, so greatly ashamed,
we hardly know where to put ourselves.
But our courteous Mother will not let us flee,
for nothing is worse for Him than that.

But He would rather we be like a child,
that, when it is distressed or afraid,
runs hastily to its Mother for help
with all its might.

He wishes us to be like a meek child,
saying, “Kind Mother, gracious Mother,
precious Mother, have mercy on me.
I have made myself foul, unlike you,
and I cannot put it right
without your own help and grace.”

We do not feel eased at once,
we may be sure He uses the way of a wise mother.
If it is better for us to mourn and weep,
He suffers it with sadness and pity,
until a better time, for love,
wanting us to have that child’s nature
trusting always in its Mother’s love
in weal and in woe.

He wants us to hold strongly
to the faith of Holy Church,
finding there our precious Mother,
in solace of true understanding,
with the whole blessed community.

For a single person may often be broken,
as it seems to itself,
but the whole body of Holy Church
was never broken, nor ever shall be.

Therefore it is a sure thing, good and a gracious,
to desire, meekly and mightily,
to be sustained and united in our Mother,
Holy Church, that is Jesus Christ.
For His precious blood and precious water
is the plentiful food of mercy
to make us fair and clean.

Our Saviour blessed wounds are open
and treasured for our healing.
The sweet gracious hands of our Mother
are ready and diligently about us.
For in all this work He fills the office
of a kind nurse, with nothing at all to do
but attend to the salvation of her Child.

It is His service to save us.
It is His worship to do it.
It is His will that we know it,
for He wants us to love Him sweetly
and trust in Him meekly, and mightily.

And this He showed in these gracious words:
I keep thee full securely.

Julian’s Comments (11)

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction. She continues here a remarkably interwoven, almost triple-plaited, study of the nature and relationship between the soul and its Creator which she began in chapter 52 .

Chapter 60

How we be bowte ageyn and forthspred be mercy and grace of our swete, kynde, and ever lovyng Moder Jesus; and of the propertes of Moderhede. But Jesus is our very Moder, not fedyng us with mylke but with Himselfe, opening His syde onto us and chalengyng al our love.

Now more must be said of this growing,
as I understand our Lord’s meaning,
how, in the Motherhood’s mercy and grace,
by Motherly, kindred love which never leaves us,
we are brought again to our natural state
in which we were made.

Our kind Mother, our gracious Mother –
who would be our holy Mother in everything –
took the ground of His work
full low and mildly in the maiden’s womb
as He showed in the first revelation
when he brought that meek maid to my mind’s eye
in the simple stature she had when she conceived.

Our high God is sovereign wisdom of all.
In this low place He dressed and made Himself
full ready in our poor flesh,
to do the service and office of Motherhood
in everything.

The Mother’s service is nearest,
readiest, and securest, for it is truest.
No-one might or could do this to the full
but He alone.

We know that all our mothers bear us
to a life of pain and dying,
but what of our true Mother Jesus?
He, all love, bears us to joy and endless life,
blessed may He be.

Thus He sustains us within Himself in love;
He travailed until the full time
that He suffered the sharpest throes,
the most grievous pains that ever were,
or ever shall be – and died at the last.

When He had done all this, and so borne us to bliss,
yet all this might not satisfy His marvellous love in full.
He showed that in these high, surpassing words of love:
If I might suffer more, I would suffer more.

He may die no more, but works no less hard,
because it befits Him to feed us,
precious motherlove has indebted Him to us.

A mother may feed her child with her milk,
but Mother Jesus feeds us with Himself,
fully, courteously, tenderly,
the blessed sacrament,
the precious food of true life.

With all the sweet sacraments He sustains us
fully, mercifully, graciously.
So He meant in these blessed words when He said,
I AM that that Holy Church preaches and teaches.

That is to say,
All the health and life of sacraments,
all the virtue and grace of my word,
all that goodness ordained in Holy Church,

A mother leans her child tenderly to her breast,
but our tender Mother Jesus may lead us
comfortably into His blessed breast
by His sweet open side, showing therein
part of the Godhead and the joys of Heaven
with certainty of endless spiritual bliss.

He showed that in the tenth vision,
in that same sense, in those sweet words,
Lo, how I loved thee,
looking into, treasuring, the wound in His side.

This fair, lovely word Mother,
so sweet, so kind in itself,
may be truly be said of none but Him
and of her, the true Mother of Him
and of all.

True Motherhood is kindred love,
it is wisdom and understanding, it is good;
our bodily birthing is little, low, simple
compared to our higher spiritual birthing,
yet He has undergone it in us by whom it is done.

The natural, Loving Mother
understands and knows her child’s needs,
keeping it most tenderly
as is the nature of motherhood.
changing her care as it grows older,
but not her love.
When it grows older she lets it be disciplined,
breaking down vices to teach virtue and grace.

This, with all that is fair and good,
our Lord does in those for whom it is needed.

Thus He is our kindred Mother,
working by grace in our lower part
for love of our higher part,
and He wants us to know it,
for He wants all our love fastened in Him.

I saw that all our debt, all that we owe,
is in God’s fatherhood and Motherhood,
for God’s fatherhood and Motherhood
is repaid by our true love of God.
Christ works this blessed love in us;
as was shown in all these visions,
and in those high, plentiful words He said,
I AM that that you love.