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.

Julian’s 12th showing & 13 part 1.

Background              

Chapter 26

The twelfth Revelation is that the Lord our God is al sovereyn beyng. Twenty-sixth chapter.

Then our Lord showed Himself
more glorified to my sight than before.
This taught me our soul shall never have rest
until it comes to Him,
knowing He is fullness of joy,
homely and courteously blissful,
and truly life.

Our Lord Jesus often said,
I AM, I AM,
I AM that that is highest,
I AM that that you love,
I AM that that delights you,
I AM that that you serve,
I AM that that you long for,
I AM that that you desire,
I AM that that gives you meaning,
I AM all that is,
I AM that that Holy Church preaches and teaches you,
I AM that that showed me here to you.

Because of the uses of inversion in Middle English,
this can equally be read as:

I AM, I AM,
I AM that that is highest,
I AM that that loves you,
I AM that that delights in you,
I AM that that serves you,
I AM that that longs for you,
I AM that that desires you,
I AM that that gives you meaning,
I AM all that is,
I AM that that Holy Church preaches and teaches you,
I AM that that showed me here to you.

The number of the words passes my wit,
all my understanding and all my might,
and it is the highest, as to my sight.

For all the meaning in them,
– I cannot tell –
but the joy I saw in the showing of them
passes all the heart may wish and soul desire;
therefore the words are not declared here.
But every man, after the grace God gives him
in understanding and in love,
receives our Lords meaning in them.

Her 13th Sharing – part 1.

In this revelation, one of her longest, Julian treads a careful path. As I wrote in the Background these were dangerous times. The revelations she received during her illness appeared at times to stray from the teaching of the Church, particularly concerning Hell, Purgatory and damnation. How could this be reconciled by Christ’s assurance to her that ‘All manner of thing shall be well’? It was not only strict, inquisition-like suppression and punishment of heresy that she had to fear; in a world in which a quarter or more of the population had died in the Black Death there was strong secular fear with reprisals against any suspected of arousing God’s wrath. e.g. Pope Clement VI spoke out (without success) against the mass murder of Jews by the largely illiterate Christian population.

Chapter 27

The thirteenth Revelation is that our Lord God wil that we have grete regard to all His deds that He hav don in the gret noblyth of al things makyng and of etc; how synne is not knowin but by the peyn. Twenty-seventh chapter.

Then the Lord put in my mind
the longing I had for Him before.
And I saw nothing hindered me but sin,
and so I looked generally at us all.
And thought, if there had been no sin,
we should all have been clean
like our Lord as He made us.

So, before this time, in my folly
I had often wondered why,
in the great foreseeing wisdom of God,
the beginning of sin was not prevented.
For then I thought, all should have been well.
This distress was hard to abandon however;
I made mourning and sorrow of it
without reason and discretion.

But Jesus, in this vision taught me all I need,
and answered:
Sin is necessary,
but all shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.

In this naked word sin,
our Lord brought to my mind, all our failings,
and the shameful despite and utter contempt He suffered
for us in this life, and in His dying,
for all the pains and passions of all His creatures,
spiritual and and bodily – for we are all despised in part,
and we shall be despised for following our Master Jesus
till we be full cleansed,
that is to say, until we are fully freed from our mortal flesh
and all our inner failings –
and seeing this, with all the pains that ever were or shall be,
with all these I understand the passion of Christ
as the greatest pain surpassing all.

Yet all this was shown in a touch,
and readily passed into comfort.
For our good Lord would not frighten
my soul by this ugly sight.

But I did not see sin,
for I believe it has no substance
nor any part of being,
nor can it be be known, but by the pain it causes.
Pain, as I see it, is something for a time,
for it purges us and makes us know ourself
and ask mercy.

For our Lord’s passion is comfort to us
against all this, so is His blessed will.
And for the tender love our good Lord has
to all that shall be saved,
He comforts readily and sweetly,
meaning this:
It is true that sin is the cause of all this pain,
but all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner thing shall be well.

These words were said full tenderly,
showing no manner of blame to me
or to any that shall be saved.
So it were a great unkindness
to blame or wonder at God for my sin,
since He does not blame me for sin.

And in these same words
I saw a marvellous, high secret hid in God,
which He shall make known to us openly in Heaven,
where we shall truly see why He let sin come,
in which sight we shall endlessly delight Him.

Chapter 28

How the children of salvation shal be shakyn in sorowis, but Criste enjoyth wyth compassion; and a remedye agayn tribulation. Twenty-eighth chapter.

Thus I saw how Christ has compassion on us
for the causes of sin.

And just as I was filled before
with pain and compassion for Christ’s passion,
so also in this I was filled in part
with compassion for all my fellow Christians,
for that well, well beloved people that shall be saved.
That is to say, God’s servants, Holy Church,
who shall be shaken in sorrows and anguish
and in tribulation in this world,
as men shake a cloth in the wind.

To this our Lord answered,
I shall make a great thing of this in Heaven,
of endless worship and everlasting joys.

Yes, I saw that our Lord delights so much in His servants,
in their tribulations, with pity and compassion
for each person He loves and longs to bring to His bliss.
He holds them in no blame in His sight,
though in this world they are blamed,
despised, scorned, abused, outcast.

He does this to lessen the harm they should have
from the pomp and vainglory of this wretched life,
and make their way ready to come to Heaven,
and raise them in His everlasting bliss.

For He says,
I shall break you from your vain affections,
and from your vicious pride,
then I shall gather you together,
making you mild and meek,
clean and holy,
as one with me.

Then I saw each kindred compassionate love,
that a man has for his fellow Christians
is Christ in him.

That same humiliation shown in His passion,
was shown again here in this compassion,
in which I saw two meanings.
One, the bliss that we are bought to,
in which He wills us to delight.

That other is for comfort in our pain.
For He wishes us to know it shall all be turned
to worship and profit by virtue of His passion;
and to know we do not suffer alone, but with Him,
and see in Him our ground.

We see His pains and His humiliation
pass so far beyond all we may suffer,
so far beyond all thought;
and seeing this will save us
from grudging despair in our pains.

If we truly see our sin deserves it,
yet His love excuses us;
in His great courtesy He removes all our blame,
and He holds us with sorrow and pity,
willing, innocent children.

Chapter 29

Adam synne was gretest, but the satisfaction for it is more plesyng to God than ever was the synne harmfull. Twenty-ninth chapter.

All this time I stayed watching everything
sadly mourning,
saying to our Lord in my mind
with a full great dread:
“Ah, good Lord, how might all be well
for the great hurt sin has done to your creatures?”

I dared to desire a more open teaching
so I might be eased in this.
Our blisfull Lord answered
most meekly, with full lovely cheer,
showing Adam’s sin as the greatest harm
that was ever, or ever shall be,
done until the world’s end.
And He showed that this is openly known
in Holy Church in all the earth.

He showed me the glorious atonement,
whose making is more pleasing to God
and more worshipful for man’s salvation,
without comparison,
than Adam’s sin was ever harmful.

In this teaching, it is our blessed Lord’s wish
that we should understand this:
Since I have made the greatest harm well,
then it is My will that you know
I shall make well all that is less.

Adam was originally not a name;
it came from Hebrew: ‘a-am-man’
a creature of the genus Man,
a species word not gender.
The male was hus-band-man: Husband-man,
bound to the hus or ham, the house or farm,
the heavy working gender of Man.

Woman came from wo-man, Short for wif-man,
the female of the species Man.
Hus-wif-man, the lighter weight female,
with the care and keeping of the hus or ham.

Living in small hunter-gatherer families,
each took the other’s role in emergency.

Human comes from humus : soil.

Chapter 30

Her thirteenth vision was difficult and dangerous.  In those horrific times in which up to a third of humanity died,  fear and suspicion were more infectious than the plague. Heresy was harshly and fataly punished, the harshest punishment inducing greater penitence,  was thought a merciful alternative to eternal damnation. It begins a series of visions which show doctrines of damnation, as held by the church of the day,  and by some today, in a completely different light – the light of God’s love for all mankind. It becomes increasingly plain that she treads a careful path between fears of heresy,  magnified as they were by the horrors of the Black Death and its aftermath, and her desire to speak faithfully of what she as seen.

How we shuld joye and trusten in our Savior Jesus not presumyng to know His privy counsell. Thirtieth chapter.

He gave me to understand two things:
the first, our Saviour and our salvation,
open and clear, fair, light and plenteous,
for all mankind of goodwill,
that are and shall be,
is understood in this first part.
In which we are bound to God,
drawn and counselled,
taught inwardly by the Holy Spirit,
outwardly by the Holy Church,
in the same grace.

Our Lord wishes us to know this first part,
delighting in Him for He delights in us.
The more plentifully we take to this
with reverence and meekness,
the more thanks we deserve from Him
and the more profit to ourselves,
in this way, may we say,
enjoying our part in our Lord.

The second part is hid and shut from us,
all except our salvation;
it is private to our Lord.
It is the right of God’s royal lordship
to have His private counsel in peace,
not for us to learn.
Our Lord has pity and compassion for us,
though some busy themselves therein greatly.
If we knew how much we would please Him by leaving it,
we would.

The saints in Heaven desire to know
no more than our Lord will show them.
Their love and desire is ruled by His will,
and as we are all alike in God’s sight
we should do likewise.
Then we shall wish and desire
nothing but our Lord’s will ,
as they do.

For we are all one in God’s mind.
And here was I taught that we shall trust
delighting only in our Saviour,
blissful Jesus, for everything.

Chapter 31
 
Off the longyng and the spiritual threst of Criste which lestyth and shall lesten til domys day. And be the reason of His body, He is not yet full gloryfyed ne al unpassible. Thirty-first chapter.
  

And thus our good Lord answered
all the questions and doubts I might make,
saying very comfortably,

I may make all things well,
I can make all thing well,
and I will make all things well,
and I shall make all things well,
and you shall see yourself that all manner of things shall be well.

When He says, I may,
I understand for the Father,
When He says, I can,
I understand it as the Son,
and when He says, I will,
I understand the Holy Spirit,
and when He says, I shall,
I understand three persons, one truth;
the unity of the blessed Trinity.
and where He says, You shall see yourself,
I understand all mankind that shall be saved,
united in the blissful Trinity.

And in these five sayings
God will be enfolded in rest and in peace,
and Christ’s spiritual thirst shall have an end.

For this is Christ’s spiritual thirst,
the love-longing that lasts, and ever shall,
until we see it on Doomsday.
For of us that shall be saved
and shall be Christ’s joy and His bliss,
some are now here, some are to come,
and so some shall be until that day.

This therefore is how I see His thirst:
a love, longing to have us all together,
whole in Him,
for His bliss.

For we are not as fully whole in Him now
as we shall be then.
For we know in our faith,
and in all I was shown,
that Jesus Christ is both God and man.

Concerning His Godhead,
in Him is highest bliss,
from beyond the beginning,
and beyond the end;
endless bliss that can neither be increased
nor lessened in itself.

This was seen fully in every showing,
particularly the twelfth, where He said,
I am that that is highest.

Concerning Christ’s manhood,
it is known in our faith, and was shown to me,
that He, for love, with the virtue of Godhead,
suffered pains and passions and died,
to bring us to His bliss,

And these are the works of Christ’s manhood
in which He delights,
and which He showed in the ninth Revelation,
where He said,
It is a joy, a bliss, an endless liking to me that ever I suffered passion for you.

And this is the bliss of Christ’s works,
this is what He means,
where He says in this showing,
we are His bliss, we are His reward,
we are His worship, we are His crown.

For as Christ is our head,
He is glorified, and cannot suffer pain,
yet His in His earthly body,
in which all His members are knit,
He is not yet fully glorified or incapable of pain.

For that desire and thirst
He had upon the Cross,
which, as I saw, was in Him
from outside the beginning,
He still has, and shall have,
until the last soul to be saved
comes to His bliss.

For as in God there is true sorrow
and true pity,
so there is in Him
true thirst and longing.

Because of Christ’s longing for us
we must long for Him in return,
without this longing none of us finds Heaven.

This longing and thirst
come from God’s endless goodness,
just as pity comes from His endless goodness.

But longing and pity are separate properties.
And the point of the spiritual thirst stands in this:
it lasts in Him as long as we need it,
drawing us to His bliss.

All this was seen in His showing of compassion
that shall last until Doomsday,.
He has pity and compassion for us,
and longs to have us,
but in His wisdom and love
will not let the end come
until the best time.

Chapter 32

How al thyng shal be wele and Scripture fulfillid, and we must stedfastly holdyn us in the faith of Holy Chirch as is Crists wille. Thirty-second chapter.

One time our good Lord said,
All things shall be well,
and another time He said,
You shall see yourself that all manner of things shall be well.

And in these two, the soul understood more than one meaning.
One was this:
He wishes us to know He not only heeds noble things and great,
but also to little and to small,
to low and to simple,
to one and to another.

And so He meant when He said,
All manner of things shall be well.
He wants us to know the least thing shall not be forgotten.

Another meaning is this:
we see such evil deeds done
and such great harms taken,
that a good end seems impossible.
We look on this, sorrowing and mourning,
unable to rest as we should,
or blissfully behold God.

And the cause is this,
our reason is now so blind, low and simple,
we cannot know that high, marvellous wisdom,
the might and goodness of the blissful Trinity.
This is what He means, where He says,
You shall see yourself, that all manner of thing shall be well
as if He had said,
“Take heed now, faithfully and trustfully,
and at the last end you shall see it
in true fulness of joy.”

And thus in these same five words above,
I may make all things well,
I can make all thing well,
and I will make all things well,
and I shall make all things well,
and you shall see yourself that all manner of things shall be well.
I understand the mighty comfort
of all our Lord God’s works that are to come.

I see, in the last day,
the blissful Trinity shall do a deed
and when the deed shall be
and how it shall be done,
is unknown to all creatures under Christ,
and shall be, until it is done.

He wishes us more eased in our soul,
at peace in love, undisturbed by storms
that might stop us truly enjoying Him.
This great deed was ordained by our Lord God,
from beyond beginning,
treasured and hid in His blessed breast,
only known to Himself,
by which He shall make all things well.

As the blessed Trinity made all things of naught,
so the blessed Trinity shall make well
all that is not well.

And at this sight I marvelled greatly
and saw our faith, marvelling thus:
Our faith is grounded in God’s word,
and it belongs to our faith to believe
God’s word shall be kept in all things.

Yet one point of our faith is this
that many creatures shall be condemned
like angels that fell from Heaven for pride
and are now fiends,
and many in Earth that die
outside the faith of Holy Church,
that is to say heathen men,
and many that have received Christianity
but live unchristian lives,
and so die outside charity
– all these shall be damned to Hell without end,
as Holy Church teaches me to believe.

This being so, I thought it impossible
that all manner of thing should be well
as our Lord had said.
To this I had no other answer but this:
That which is impossible to you is not impossible to Me.
I shall keep My word in all things, and I shall make all things well.

Thus I was taught by God’s grace
to hold, steadfastly, the faith
that I had already received,
and that I should firmly believe,
that, as our Lord had said,
all shall be well.

For this is the great deed our Lord shall do,
in which He shall keep His word in all things,
and He shall make well all that is not well.
How it shall be done no creature under Christ knows,
nor shall know it, until it is done.

A Study of Religion

Some years ago at a difficult time, I wrote these words.
The first part is compiled directly from the Oxford English Dictionary, beginning with the word ‘religion’, finding its definition, and repeating that in turn with each keyword I found in the definition.
The second part is a short verse inspired by this, and the third, an introspection leading from it.
I present it as it may (or may not) help those who feel that faith comes easy to some, and that others do not share the same struggles.

I

Religion is the human recognition of,
and response to,
a living being,
higher than man,
possessing superhuman capability and powers;

Having a rightful claim and title
to possess and control the universe
and all creatures in it,
including mankind.

Having an absolute claim, in right and title,
to the reverence,
respect,
adoration,
and devotion of mankind;

Having power over nature and human fortunes,
known by mankind as GOD,
the Supreme Being,
inviolable,
morally and spiritually perfect.
whole, holy.

To this Supremacy,
this Divinity,
there is no other higher power or prior cause.

The universe proceeds from GOD alone,
GOD is its great creator and its king;
created from GOD’s own self by GOD’s own will,
sustained by GOD’s supreme and sole command,
copied from no model,
from no ‘other’ substance drawn,
placed in no ‘space outside’, apart from GOD.

II

Grown within the Earth-womb,
mankind, the child of GOD,
beloved yet poorly loving, lives by grace
herein is love: not that we love GOD
but that GOD loved us first,
we that give him pain
(for we do love, but hurt the one we love,
denying Him in blank and close-walled fear).

True religion
is this recognition
and its due response.

III

I am a Christian.
I believe in GOD the Father Almighty,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord.
and in the Holy Spirit,
Three in One.

I have never seen a miracle,
I have never heard the voice of GOD,
I have never seen an angel,
a vision,
or a ghost,
except at such a time
and in such a need
that I suspect it was hallucination
or a dream.

I have never seen the certain hand of GOD
intervening in His universe.
I have not seen one certain answered prayer,
I have seen many seeming prayers in faith Unanswered.
I have seen Christians go sad to their grave
and wondered why.

My only answer is that of Peter,
‘Lord, to whom shall we go?
Yours are the words of eternal life.’
The unexamined life is not worth living ,
Socrates
wherever Truth may lead us we must go.
To fail to do so is self deceit
and death.

If truth leads to death
we lose only what we never had.
If truth leads to life
we have gained the whole universe
and our souls.

I am not one who has seen and believed,
but one who has not seen, and yet believes.

Heaven and Earth may fade and flee,
First born light in gloom decline,
But while GOD and I shall be,
I am his, and he is mine!1’
                                         J. M. Muller

Harmony

On a clear still morning beside a pond
with clouds and trees mirrored in its face,
and rushes, and a lonely fishing place,
I watched a single dewdrop fall.

It fell from a leaf tip, back into its element
like a tiny buddhist soul.

Lost, I thought, lost in its destiny,
one with its own infinity
and all is still again.

And yet the surface trembled with its ring,
spreading, shimmering the clouds, the leaves,
the rushes and the fishing place;
spreading, reaching for the farthest shore.

And was it felt in the darker depths?
and echoed in that tiny ‘plop’ in my ear?
and in the air, and in the woods,
spreading forever to the farthest star,
seeing eternity
through the eyes of God?