A little before the fourteenth century, the word for our species, ‘Man’, had begun to be used also for the male of our species. Even ‘he’ and ‘she’ had once been different local accent words for person with no gender significance until ‘she’ shifted to mean a female person (for more see here). I have differentiated between man meaning a male person, and Man meaning a member of the species of either gender, by using a capital M for the species term.
“The second Revelation is of His discolouryng etc; of our redemption, and the discolouring of the vernacle; and how it plesith God we seke Him besily, abiding Him stedfastly and trusting Hym mightily. Tenth chapter.”
Then I saw with my own eyes,
the crucifix continually before me,
part of His passion –
spite, spitting, sullying, buffetting
and many languishing pains, more than I can tell,
with often changing colour.
Once I saw half the face, beginning at the ear,
covered with dry blood to the centre.
Then the other half similarly,
while the first vanished as it came.
I saw this with my own eyes, dimly,
straining to see more clearly.
It was put in my mind,
if God would show me more
He must be my light;
I needed none but Him,
for Him I sought.
So I had seen Him and sought Him,
for we are so blind and unwise
that we never seek God
until He shows Himself to us in His goodness.
When we glimpse Him by His grace,
we are stirred, by that same grace,
to seek with great desire to see Him more.
So I saw Him, I sought Him; I had Him and wanted Him.
This is and should be, our common purpose.
Once, in my mind, I was led down to the deep sea bed.
There I saw green hills and dales,
moss-grown with sea-wrack and gravel.
Then I understood.
if a man or woman could keep sight of God,
who is with Man continually,
even under the sea he would be safe,
in body and soul, taking no harm.
Above all, he would have more solace and comfort
than all this world can tell.
God wants us to know we see Him always
though we think it is but little,
and in this belief He gives us everlasting grace.
For He wishes to be seen,
He wishes to be sought,
He wishes us to wait for Him,
and trust Him.
This second shewing,
so low, so little, so simple,
made my spirits mourn.
It filled them with dread and longing,
and I doubted it was a showing.
Little by little our good Lord
gave me true understanding.
It was a showing –
an image of our foul mortal flesh
that our fair, bright, blessed Lord
bore for our sins.
There is a holy kerchief in Rome,
on which is portrayed His blessed face in His hard Passion,
going with steadfast will to death,
and often changing colour.
The holy vernacle of Rome. According to the legend of the vernicle, St. Veronica’s kerchief became impressed with an exact image of the face of the suffering Christ when she compassionately wiped His face as He carried the cross to Calvary. Preserved at St. Peter’s in Rome, the cloth became an object of pilgrimage.
Many marvel how brown and black,
how rueful and wasted this image might be,
since He portrayed it with His blessed face,
who is the fairness of heaven, flower of the earth,
and the fruit of the Maiden’s womb.
How can this image be so darkening in colour
and so far from fair?
I desire to tell it as I have understood by God’s grace:
We know in our faith,
and believe by Holy Church’s teaching,
that the blessed Trinity made Mankind in His image.
In the same manner we know
that when Man fell so deep,
so wretchedly by sin,
there was no other to restore him
but He that made Man.
He that made Man for love,
would restore him by that same love
to the same or greater bliss,
in the image of the Trinity
seen in our first creation.
Like Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
in heaven without end, in our remaking.
Between our creation and remaking,
He would, for love and worship of man,
make Himself as a man in this mortal life,
in our foulness, and our wretchedness,
as a man might be without guilt.
This is the meaning of that written above:
it was an image of our foul, black, mortal flesh
wherein our fair, bright, blessed Lord God is hid.
But I dare to say, fully and surely,
that never was so fair a man as He,
until His fair colour was changed
with travail and sorrow and passion,
More of this is in the Eighth Showing,
where it says the vernacle of Rome moves,
changing colour and expression,
sometimes more comfortable and lifelike,
sometimes more rueful and deathly.
And in this vision I learned
the soul’s continual search pleases God greatly,
for it can only seek, suffer, and trust.
In the soul that has it,
this is the work of the Holy Spirit, finding clarity
when He wills it by His special grace.
Our seeking, with faith, hope, and love,
pleases our Lord.
Our finding pleases the soul,
filling it with joy.
So I was taught, in my mind,
that seeking is as good as seeing
while He allows the soul to be in travail.
God wishes us to seek to see Him.
By this He shall show Himself to us,
by His special grace, when He wills it.
And how a soul shall be, beholding Him,
He, Himself, shall teach.
That is most worshipful to Him,
most profitable to you,
and receives greatest meekness and virtues
with the Holy Spirit’s grace and leading.
For a soul fastening onto God
by seeking or beholding,
with nothing but true trust,
does the greatest worship possible to Him,
as to my sight.
Two workings may be seen in this vision:
seeking and seeing.
Seeking is available to all.
Every soul may have the discretion
and teaching of Holy Church;
and ought to have,
with God’s grace.
God wishes us three things in our seeking.
First, that we seek wilfully, through His grace,
busily, without sloth,
without senseless heaviness,
without vain sorrow.
Second, that we wait for His love,
steadfast, without grumbling,
without striving against Him, to our life’s end,
for it shall be but for a while;
We know He shall appear suddenly, blissfully to all His lovers,
He works secretly but we shall see Him,
He shall appear suddenly, and He will be believed,
for He is fully courteous and homely.
Third, that we trust Him greatly
in full, secure faith,
for this is His will.
Blessed may He be.
Julian’s third showing will follow in the beginning of May.