Julian last chapters: 83 – 85

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction.

Here I come to the end of ‘The Shewings of Dame Julian of Norwich’, also known as ‘Revelations of Divine Love’, first written after sixteen visions or ‘shewings’ in 1373 during a severe, paralysing illness, so severe that she received the last rites. She first wrote a shorter version, but, reflecting over the years into the mid-fifteenth century she produced this extended commentary. No earlier book in English by a woman has been found.

Eighty-third chapter.

Of three properties in God – Life, Love and Light; and that our reason is in God, accordand. It is heyest gift; and how our feith is a light commeing of the Fadre mesurid to us, and in this night us ledand. And the end of our wo: Sodenly our eye shall be openid in full light and clarity of syte which is our maker, Fader, and Holy Gost, in Jhesus our Savior.

I had partial touch, sight, and feel
of three properties of God
in which the strength and the effect
of all the revelations stand,
and they were seen in every shewing,
but most properly in the twelfth showing
where it says often, I AM.

These properties are life, love, and light.

In life is marvellous homeliness,
and in love is gentle courtesy,
and in light, endless kinship.

These properties were one in goodness,
goodness with which my reason would be one,
cleaving close to it with all its might.

I beheld this with reverent awe,
marvelling in the sight and feel
of the harmony of our reason with God,
the highest gift we have received,
grounded in kinship with God.

Our faith is the light,
the kindred command of God,
our father, our endless day,
by which our Mother Christ,
and our good lord, the Holy Spirit,
lead us in this passing life.

This light is measured with care,
standing by us at need in our night.
The light is the cause of our life,
the night causes our pain and all our woe,
by mercy and grace, we wilfully know
and believe our light,
going into it wisely and mightily,
to deserve God’s reward and thanks.

And at the end of woe,
our eyes shall suddenly be opened,
and see fully in light’s clarity,
which light is God our Maker, and the Holy Spirit,
in Christ Jesus our saviour.

So I saw and understood,
our faith is our light in our night,
which light is God, our endless day.

Eighty-fourth chapter.

Charite is this light which is not so litil but that it is nedefull with travel to deserven endles worshipfull thanke of God. For feith and hope leden us to charite which is in three manners.

The light is Christian love,
measured profitably to us by God’s wisdom,
not strong enough to see our future heaven,
nor concealed from us,
but such that we may deservedly live by,
deserving God’s endless praise.

This was seen in the sixth showing where He said,
I thank you for your service and your travail.

Thus Christian love keeps us in faith and in hope,
and hope leads us in Christian love,
and at the end, all shall be Christian love.

I had three ways of understanding this light,
the light of Christian love.
The first is Christian love unmade.
The second is Christian love made.
The third is Christian love given.

Christian love unmade is God.
Christian love made is our soul in God.
Christian love given is virtue.
And that is a gracious gift working in us
in which we love God for Himself
and ourselves in God,
and that God loves, for God.

Eighty-fifth chapter.

God lovid His chosen fro without begynnyng, and He never suffrith them to be hurte, wherof their bliss might be lessid; and how privities now hidde in Hevyn shall be knowen, wherefore we shall bliss our Lord that everything is so wele ordeynid.

At this sight I marvelled highly,
for our courteous Lord forever delights
to watch over us in our simple life and blindness here,
and of all things we may please Him best
by wisely and truly believing this,
delighting with Him and in Him.

As truly as we shall be in God’s bliss,
endlessly praising and thanking Him,
as truly we have been in God’s foresight,
loved and known in His endless purpose
from without beginning,
in which unbegun love He made us,
and in the same love He keeps us,
never letting us be hurt
which might lessen our bliss.

When the last day is called,
and we are all brought up above,
than we shall clearly see in God
the secrets now hidden to us.

Then none of us need say in any way,
“Lord if it had been thus, then all would be well”;
but we shall all know and say in our hearts,
“Lord, bless you, it is thus, and all is well.”
Now we see truly that all is done
as was ordained before any thing was made.

Eighty-sixth chapter.

The Good Lord shewid this booke shuld be otherwise performid than at the first writing. And for His werking He will we thus prey, Him thankand, trostand, and in Him enjoyand. And how He made this shewing because He will have it knowen, in which knoweing He will give us grace to love Him. For fifteen yeere after it was answerid that the cause of all this shewing was love, which Jhesus mote grant us. Amen.

This booke is begunne be Gods gift and His grace, but it is not yet performid, as to my syte.

For Christian love we all pray to God,
with God’s working, thanking, trusting, treasuring.
For thus our good Lord wishes our prayers,
as by all I understood in all He meant
and in the sweet words where He says,
full merrily, I am the soil your prayers grow in.

For I truly saw and understood our Lords meaning:
He showed it to have it known more than it is,
in which knowledge He will give us grace
to love Him and cleave to Him.

For He watches over His heavenly treasure
with such great love on earth, to give us more light,
more solace in heavenly joy, drawing our hearts
from the sorrow and darkness we are in.

 From the time it was shown I often desired to know our Lords meaning.
And fifteen years after, and more, I was answered in spiritual understanding,
Would you know your Lord’s meaning in this thing?
Know it well, love was His meaning.

Who shewid it you? Love.
What did He show you? Love.
Why did He show it? For love.

Hold yourself therein, and you shall understand,
you shall know more of the same.
But you shalt never know nor understand any other thing without end.

Thus was I taught that love was our Lord’s meaning.
And I saw fully, securely, in this and in all,
that before God made us, He loved us,
which love was never slaked, nor ever shall be.

And in this love He has done all his works,
and in this love He hath made all things profitable to us;
and in this love our life is everlasting.
In our making we had our beginning.
The love wherein He made us was in Him from without beginning,
and in that love we have our beginning.
All this shall be seen in God without end,
which Jesus will grant us.

Thus ends the blessed Trinity’s Revelation of love
shown by our Saviour, Christ Jesu,
for our endless comfort, and our endless solace,
to be treasured in Him in the passing journey of this life.

Amen. Jesu. Amen.

I pray Almighty God that this book comes not but to the hands of them that will be His faithful lovers, and to those that will submit them to the faith of Holy Church, and obey the wholesome understanding and teaching of the men that are of virtuous life, dignified age, and profound learning.

For this Revelation is high Divinity and high wisdom, wherefore it may not dwell with him that is in thrall to sin and to the Devil.

And beware you take not one thing after your affection and liking and leave another, for that is the condition of a heretic.

But take everything with every other, and truly understand all is according to holy scripture and grounded in the same, and that Jesus, our very love, light, and truth, shall show to all clean souls that ask with meekness, perseveringly, this wisdom of Him.

And you to whom this book shall come, thank our Saviour Christ Jesus highly and heartily, that He made these showings and revelations for you, and to you, in His endless love, mercy, and goodness, for your and our safe guide and conduct to everlasting bliss; which Jesus can grant us.


Julian Ch. 80 – 82

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction.

Eightieth chapter.

By three thyngs God is worshippid and we savid; and how our knowing now is but as an ABC. And swete Jhesus doith all, abyding and monyng with us, but whan we arn in synne, Christ monyth alone. Than it longith to us for kindness and reverens hastily to turne agen to Him.

Man stands by three things in this life by which:
God is worshiped;
we achieve our hopes;
we are kept and saved.

First is the use of man’s natural reason.
Second, the common teaching of Holy Church.
Third, the Holy Spirit’s inward, gracious work.

And these three are all of one God:
God is the ground of our kindred reason,
God is the teaching of Holy Church,
and God is the Holy Spirit.

He wants us to regard these gifts greatly
attending closely to them, for these things
work us continually toward God.
He wants us to know them like an ABC,
giving us a little knowledge and help,
which shall be fulfilled in Heaven.

By faith we know none but God took our nature,
Christ alone did all for our salvation,
and none but He, as He alone does still
in these latter days, dwelling here with us,
ruling and governing us, in this life,
to bring us to His bliss, which He shall do
while any soul in earth may come to Heaven;
so that if there only one such soul,
He would remain alone, to bring it to bliss.

 I believe and understand angels
and their ministration, as we are told,
but it was not shown me.
He Himself is nearest, meekest, highest,
and lowest, and does all;
not only all our needs, but also all
that is worshipful for our joy in Heaven.

When I said he waits sorrowing and mourning,
it means all that true feeling we have in ourself,
contrition, compassion, sorrow and mourning
that we are not one with our Lord.

All like that, that is helpful, is Christ in us.
And though some of us may feel it seldom,
it never leaves Christ until He has brought us
out of all our woe – for love and pity are one.

When we fallen into sin and forget Him,
and our soul’s care, then Christ keeps charge of us,
and so stands sorrowfully, mourning.
Then we should turn hastily to our Lord
in reverence and kindness and not leave Him alone.

He is only here for us,
and when, by sin, despair or sloth
I am strange to Him, then all my effort
makes my Lord stand alone.
And so it is with us all who are sinners.

But though we do this often,
His goodness never leaves us alone.
He is always with us, tenderly excusing,
forever shielding us from blame in His sight.

Eighty-first chapter.

This blissid woman saw God in divers manners, but she saw Him take no resting place but in manys soule. And He will we enjoyen more in His love then sorowen for often falling, remembring reward everlasting and liveing gladly in penance; and why God suffrith synne.

Our good Lord showed Himself in various ways,
in Heaven and in earth;
but I only saw Him take His place in man’s soul.

In earth, in His sweet incarnation,
and again in His blessed passion.
In another way He showed Himself in earth,
where I saw God focussed in creation.

He showed Himself another way in earth,
as though in pilgrimage, that is to say,
He is here with us, leading us, and shall be
until He brings us to His bliss in Heaven.

He showed Himself reigning many times,
as above, but principally in man’s soul.
He has taken His resting place there
as His worshipful city, His see,
from which He shall never rise nor leave.

Marvellous and solemn is the Lord’s dwelling,
He wants us to feel His gracious touch,
treasuring His whole love more than sorrow
in our frequent fallings.

The greatest worship to Him of all
is to live gladly, merrily, for His love,
and in penance for our failings.
For He beholds us so tenderly
seeing our whole life here as penance.

Our kindred love for Him is lasting penance
which His mercy works in us, and helps us bear.
For His love makes Him long for us,
allowing us to abide here in His wisdom,
in His truth and His righteousness;
desiring that same response in us to Him.

This kindred penance which surpasses all,
never leaves us until we are fulfilled
when we shall have Him as our reward.
He would have us set our hearts in this,
from the pain we feel into the bliss we trust.

Eighty-second chapter.

God beholdith the monyng of the soule with pite and not with blame, and yet we do nowte but synne, in the which we arn kept in solace and in drede. For He will we turne us to Him, redy clevand to His love, seand that He is our medicyne. And so we must love in longing and in enjoyeing, and whatsover is contrarie to this is not of God but of enmity.

But here our courteous Lord showed the moaning
and the mourning of the soul, meaning thus:
I know well you will live for My love, merrily and gladly suffering all the penance that may come to you. But inasmuch as you do not live without sin, you will suffer for My love all the woe, all the tribulation, and disease that may come to you. This is true, but do not be greatly aggrieved with sin that falls to you against your will.

Here I understood,
the Lord looks on the servant with pity, not blame;
this passing life is not lived wholly without blame,
nor without sin.
He loves us endlessly, but we sin by habit.

He instructs us quite mildly;
and then we sorrow and mourn discreetly,
turning to look on His mercy,
cleaving to His love and goodness,
seeing He is our medicine,
understanding that we do naught but sin.

by our meekness at the sight of our sin,
faithfully knowing His eternal love,
thanking and praising Him, we please Him.
I love you and you love Me, and our love shall not be separated, and I suffer for your profit.
This was shown in spiritual understanding,
in these blessed words:
I keep you fully secure.

Our blessed Lord’s great desire that we live,
longing, enjoying, as this love-lesson shows,
understanding all contrary to us
is not of Him but of enmity.
and He wants us to understand this by
His kindred love’s sweet gracious light.

I do not know if any such lover in earth
is continually kept from falling,
for it was not shown me.
But this was shown, we are preciously kept,
falling and rising, in one love.
For in beholding God we do not fall;
in beholding ourself we do not stand;
and these are both true, as to my sight.
But beholding our Lord God is the highest truth.

Then we are greatly indebted to God,
who wants to show this high truth in this life.
I understood that while we are in this life,
seeing these truths together helps greatly.
The higher vision calms our spirit,
truly enjoying God.

The lower beholding keeps us in dread,
making us feel ashamed of ourself.
He wants us to behold the higher more,
and yet not leave knowing the lower,
until we are brought up above to Him
where we shall have Lord Jesus for our reward,
and be filled with endless joy and bliss.

Julian 78 – 79

To read Julian’s Revelations in order, which is far better, begin at the Introduction.

Seventy-eighth chapter.

Our Lord will we know four manner of goodnes that He doith to us; and how we neede the lyte of grace to knowen our synne and febilnes, for we arn nothing of ourselfe but writchidnes, and we may not know the horribilnes of synne as it is. And how our enemy would we should never know our synne til the last day, wherfore we arn mekil bowndend to God that shewith it now.

Our Lord in His mercy shows us our sin
and feebleness by His sweet gracious light,
for our sin is so vile and so horrible
that He, in courtesy, will not show it,
except in the light of His grace and mercy.

He wants us to know four things.
First, He is the soil in which our whole life and being grow.

Second, He keeps us strongly and mercifully,
when we are in sin with our enemies
so very evilly upon us;
so much that we are in more peril,
for we gave them that chance, not knowing our danger.

Third, how courteously He keeps us,
showing us when we go astray.

Fourth, how He constantly awaits us,
keeping His loving regard, willing us
to turn and unite with Him in love,
as He does us.

In this gracious knowledge we may see our sin
profitably, and without despair.
For we need to see it, and be shamed,
breaking down our pride and presumption.
For we must see truly that we are nothing
but sin and wretchedness.

So by the lesser sight our Lord shows us,
more is broken down than we see.
In his courtesy He limits the sight,
for it is so vile and so horrible
that we could not endure it in full.

Meekly understanding, through contrition,
and through grace, we shall be broken away
from all things that are not of our Lord.
Our blessed Saviour shall perfectly heal us
and unite us to Himself.

Our Lord intends this breaking and healing
for all mankind. God’s highest and nearest
may see himself sinful and needy as me;
and I, the least and lowest that shall be saved,
may be comforted with him that is highest.

So our Lord united us in charity
when He showed me that I should sin.
but for my joy in beholding Him,
I did not attend readily to that showing,
so then our courteous Lord stopped,
and would teach me no further
until He gave me grace and will to attend.

I learned by this; though our Lord’s special gift
may lift us high in contemplation,
we must know and see our sin and weakness.

Without this we cannot be truly meek,
and without this we cannot be saved.
I also saw we may not know this by ourself,
nor of all our spiritual enemies
who wish us little good.
If they had their way we should not see it
until our dying day.

So we are much in debt to God
that, for love, He will, in time,
show us Himself in mercy and grace.

Seventy-ninth chapter.

We are lernyd to our synne, and not to our neighbors, but for their helpe; and God will we know whatsomever stering we have contrary to this shewing, it comith of our enemy. For the gret love of God knowen, we should not ben the more reckles to fallen, and if we fallen, we must hastily risen or ell we are gretly onkind to God.

I also had further understanding in this.

In showing me that I should sin,
I took it nakedly, singularly to myself,
for I was not otherwise stirred at that time.

But by our Lord’s high, gracious comfort,
I saw His meaning was for all mankind,
that is to say, all mankind which is sinful
and shall be until the last day,
of which mankind I hope I am a member,
by God’s mercy.
For the blessed comfort I saw,
is large enough for us all.

Here I learned I should see my own sin,
not other men’s sins, except for the comfort
and help of my fellow Christians.

Also in that same showing,
where I saw that I would sin,
I learned to dread my own uncertainty,
for I knew not how I might fall,
nor the measure nor greatness of that sin.
For that I fearfully wished to have known;
and to that I had no answer.

But our courteous Lord, at that same time,
showed, safely and mightily,
the endless unchangeability of His love.
And, by His great goodness and His grace,
and their keeping within us,
the love between Him and our soul
shall never be parted.
so from this dread I have the meekness
that saves me from presumption.

In this blessed love I have true comfort
and a joy that saves me from despair.  
This homely showing of our courteous Lord,
is a lovely lesson, a sweet, gracious teaching,
of Himself comforting our soul.

For He wants us to know by His sweetness,
and homely loving, that all we see or feel,
within or without, which is contrary to this
is of the enemy, not of God.
So if we are stirred to be more reckless
in our living or our desires through knowing
of this plenteous love, then we must greatly beware.

For this stirring, if it comes, is untrue.
We should hate it greatly,
for it has no likeness to God’s will.
And when we fall by frailty or blindness,
then our courteous Lord touches us, stirs us,
keeps us, wants us to see our wretchedness
and meekly acknowledge it.

But He does not want us not to stay this way,
nor spend time greatly accusing ourselves,
nor to think too wretchedly of ourselves.
But He wants us to eagerly attend to Him,
for He stands all apart*, awaiting us
piteously, lamenting ’til we come,
impatient for us, for we are His joy
and His delight, and He, our balm, our life.

Although I say He stands alone,
I do not speak of Heaven’s blessed company,
but His purpose and work here on earth
upon the condition of the showing.

* apart – interestingly the word Julian used was alufe, which although our 21st century equivalent, aloof, seems to fit well it did not truly become this until about the 16th century. At the time Julian wrote it still had its 14th century meaning of a-luff, the position a ship takes to the luff, or windward, standing off from a dangerous shore.