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.
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.
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.
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.
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.