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,
I AM.

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.

Julian’s Comments (10)

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 .

Wickednes is turnyd to bliss be mercy and grace in the chosyn, for the properte of Godis to do good ageyn ille be Jesus our Moder in kynd grace; and the heyest soule in ver-tue is mekest, of which ground we have other vertues

Fifty-ninth chapter

We have all this bliss, by mercy and grace,
in a manner we might never have known
if the properties that gave us this bliss,
had been anything other than God’s goodness.

For evil may rise against good,
but mercy and grace rise against evil,
turning all to goodness and worship
for those that shall be saved.

For God’s nature is to do good against evil;
our true being is from Jesus Christ,
where our true motherhood begins,
with all the sweet keeping of love
that endlessly follows.

As God is our true father,
so God is our true Mother;
which He showed in these sweet words
where He said, I AM.

That is to say,
I AM, the might and goodness of the fatherhood
.
I AM, the wisdom of the Motherhood.
I AM, the light and grace that is all blessed love.
I AM, the Trinity; I AM, the Unity.
I AM the sovereign goodness of all things.
I AM that that makes you love.
I AM that that makes your longing.
I AM, the endless fulfilling of all true desires
.

For the soul is highest, noblest, worthiest
when it is lowest, meekest, and mildest;
in this substantial soil are all our virtues,
all our sensuality, by gift of kinship with God
and the help and speeding of mercy and grace,
without which we may not profit.

Our high father, Almighty God, all that is,
knew and loved us from before any time;
by which, in His marvellous deep charity,
by the foreseeing, endless counsel
of all the blessed Trinity, His desire was
that the Second Person should become
our Mother, our brother, and our saviour.

So, as God is our father and our Mother,
as our Father wishes, our Mother works,
our Lord the Holy Spirit makes good,
we should love God in whom we have our being;
reverently thanking and praising Him
for our making; mightily praying
to our Mother of mercy and pity, –
to our Lord, Holy Spirit of help and grace.

For in these three is all our life –
kinship, mercy, and grace;
from which we have meekness, mildness, patience,
pity – and hate of sin and wickedness,
for virtue must hate sin and wickedness.

And thus is Jesus our kindred Mother
from our first making;
our true Mother in grace,
taking our kindred nature.

All the fair, sweet, kindly role
of precious motherhood
is embodied in the Second Person,
for in Him we have this godly will,
whole and safe without end,
in both kinship and grace,
of His own proper goodness.

I saw three forms of Motherhood in God.
First, our birth in kinship with God.
Second, our kindred, family Motherhood.
Third, Mothering itself, growing, by grace,
length, breadth, height, and depth without end –
all by His own love.

Julian’s Comments (8)

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 .

In our substance we aren full; in our sensualite we faylyn, which God will restore be mercy and grace. And how our kinde which is the heyer part is knitt to God in the makyng, and God, Jesus, is knitt to our kind in the lower part in our flesh takyng. And of feith spryngyn other vertues; and Mary is our Moder.

Chapter 57

In our substance, He made us noble,
so rich that all mankind that shall be saved
forever work His will and His worship.
For truly I saw, we are what He loves,
and do what He likes, lastingly with no stinting.
Of these great riches and high nobility,
virtues come to our soul by measure
when it is knitted to our body,
in which knitting we are made sensual.

So in our substance we are full
and in our sensuality we fail,
which failing God will restore and fulfil,
mercy and grace flowing plentifully,
from His own kindred godhead, into us.

The shared nature of His godhead
makes mercy and grace work in us.
His kindred godhead, shared in us,
lets us receive mercy and grace.

I saw our nature is wholly in God,
who makes diversity flow out of Him
working His will on those His kinship keeps,
and mercy and grace restore and fulfil,
and none of these shall perish.

For the higher part of our nature
is knitted to God in its making;
and God is knitted to the lower part,
taking our flesh,
so in Christ our two natures are made one.

For the Trinity is understood in Christ
in whom our higher part is grounded and rooted;
and our lower part was taken by the Second Person,
to whom that nature was first assigned.

For I saw with full certainty
that all the works that God has done,
or shall ever do, were fully known,
foreseen by Him outside all beginning.
For love He made mankind;
for that same love He became man Himself.

The next gift we receive is our faith,
beginning all our spiritual benefit,
from the high riches of our substance,
our kinship with Him, into our sensual soul.

It is planted in us, and we in it,
by the kindred goodness of God,
by the work of mercy and grace;
all other gifts by which we are lead and saved
come from it.

For God’s commandments come from it,
in which we must understand two things:
to know His commandments,
and love and keep them,
and to know all He forbids
and hate and turn from it.
All we must do is contained in these two.

Also the seven sacraments come in our faith,
each following the other in order
as God hath ordained them to us,
and all manner of virtues.

For those virtues we received in our substance,
given us in our nature by God’s goodness,
are given us in grace by the work of mercy,
renewed through the Holy Spirit,
virtues and gifts, our treasure in Jesus Christ.

For when God knitted Himself to our body
in the Maiden’s womb, He took our sensual soul,
and having enclosed us all in Him,
He made it one with our substance,
in which unity He was the perfect man.
For Christ, having united in Him
all that shall be saved,
is the perfect man.

Thus our Lady is our Mother, in whom
we are all enclosed, born of her in Christ,
for she that is mother of our Saviour,
is mother of all saved in our Saviour.
And our Saviour is our true mother
in whom we are endlessly born
and shall never come out of Him.

Plenteously and fully and swetely was this shewid.
And it is spoken of in the first wher he seith
we arn all in Him beclosid
and He is beclosid in us,
and that is spoken of in the sixteenth shewing
awher it seith He sittith in our soule.

This was shown plentifully, fully and sweetly,
as in the first showing
where he says we are all enclosed in Him
and He is enclosed in us,
and in the sixteenth shewing
where it says He sits in our soul.

For it is His desire to reign,
blissfully in our understanding,
restfully sitting in our soul ,
endlessly dwelling in our soul,
us all working in Him,
in which work He wishes us as His helpers,
giving all our intention to Him,
learning His words, keeping His laws,
desiring all to be done that He does,
truly trusting in Him.

For truly I saw or substance is in God.


 

Julian’s Comments (7)

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 54

We ought to enjoye that God wonyth in our soule and our soule in God, so that atwix God and our soule is nothing, but as it were al God; and how feith is ground of al vertue in our soule be the Holy Gost.

In God’s great endless love for all mankind,
He makes no difference between Christ’s blest soul
and the least soul that shall be saved.

For it is easy to believe and trust
that Christ’s blest soul dwells high and full;
full in the glorious Godhead.
I truly understand that where Christ’s soul is,
is the dwelling and the substance
of every soul He saves.

We should greatly treasure God
dwelling in our soul,
but far more should we treasure,
that our soul dwells in God.

Our soul is made to be God’s dwelling place,
and our soul dwells in uncreated God.
The highest understanding is to see inwardly,
God, our maker, dwelling in our soul.
Yet higher still, to see within, to know
our created soul dwelling in Gods substance,
for in God’s substance we are what we are.

I saw God and our substance undivided,
as though it were all God;
I understood our substance is in God;
God is God,
and our substance is created in God.

Our Father is the Trinity’s almighty truth;
He made us and keeps us in Himself;
our Mother is the Trinity’s deep wisdom
in whom we are enclosed;
our Lord is the Trinity’s high goodness;
we are enclosed in Him and He in us.

We are enclosed in the Father,
we are enclosed in the Son,
and we are enclosed in the Holy Spirit;

The Father is enclosed in us,
the Son is enclosed in us,
the Holy Spirit is enclosed in us,
all Might, all Wisdom, all Goodness:
one God, one Lord. 

Our faith is virtue from our kindred substance
set in our soul by the Holy Spirit
from which all our virtues come;
it is only with true understanding,
true belief and secure trust in our being,
that we are we in God, and God in us,
though we see Him not.

This virtue works great things in us,
with all God has ordained.
Christ’s merciful work is in us,
and our grateful accord to Him,
and the Holy Spirit’s gifts and virtues,
make us Christ’s children, living Christians.

   Chapter 55

Christ is our wey, ledand and presenting us to the Fader; and forwith as the soule is infusid in the body, mercy and grace werkyn. And how the Second Person toke our sensualite to deliver us from duble deth.

So Christ is our way,
leading us securely in His law,
mightily bearing all he shall save,
presenting us in His body,
to His Father in Heaven;
His Father receives us thankfully
giving us courteously to His Son Jesus Christ,
joy to the Father and bliss to the Son,
and pleasing to the Holy Spirit.

In the ninth showing, more was seen of this jewel,
this blissful Trinity of our salvation.
Of all we are, our treasuring it
pleases our Lord most.

In spite of all our feeling, woe or weal,
God wants us to understand in faith
that we are truly more in Heaven than in earth.

Our faith comes of the kindred love in our soul,
the clear light of our reason,
and the steadfast mind we have of God
in our first making.

When our soul is inspired in our body,
in which we are made sensual,
mercy and grace begin to tend us,
keeping us with devotion and love;
the Holy Spirit forming hope in our faith,
that we shall return above to our substance,
in the virtue of Christ, increased and fulfilled.

So sensuality is grounded in kindred,
in mercy, and in grace,
which ground enables us to receive gifts
leading to eternal life.

For I saw fully, surely,
that our substance is in God.
As our sensuality is the dwelling of our soul,
it is also the city of God,
ordained by Him from without beginning,
in which He came, never to depart.

For God never leaves the soul
His eternal blessed dwelling,
as I was shown in the sixteenth vision
“The place that Jesus takes in our soul,
He shall never leave again.

All the gifts that God may give to creatures,
He has given to His Son, Jesus,
which He, dwelling in us,
has enclosed in Himself
until we have grown fully one with Him
our soul with our body,
our body with our soul,
neither lesser than the other, but one,
until we are fully grown in kindred
with mercy working within,
the Holy Spirit graciously inspires in us
gifts leading to eternal life.

So was my understanding led by God,
to see in Him and to understand,
to learn and rest assured,
that our soul is made a trinity –
like the unmade blissful Trinity
known and loved from without beginning
in its making, made one with the Maker.

This was sweet and marvelous to see,
peaceful, restful, secure, delectable;
the worshipful union made by God
between soul and body can only mean
mankind shall be restored from second death;
but this could never be until
the Second Person in the Trinity
had taken the lower part of mankind,
made one with the Highest in its making.

These two parts were in Christ,
higher and lower, one soul;
higher – in peace with God, full joy and bliss
lower – our sensual physical nature,
suffered for the salvation of mankind,
both seen and felt in the first vision
when my body was filled with the feeling
and passion of Christ, and His death.
For then I had a subtle, inner feeling,
a hidden inner sight that I was shown,
when I could not just as well look up
to Heaven for that powerful vision
of the inward life that is that higher substance
endlessly delighting in the Godhead.

Chapter 56

It easier to know God than our soule, for God is to us nerer than that, and therefore if we will have knowing of it, we must seke into God; and He will we desire to have knowledge of kynde, mercy, and grace.

I saw with full certainty
it is easier to come to know God
than to come to know our own soul.
Our soul is so deeply grounded in God,
so endlessly treasured, we cannot know it
without first knowing God its maker
in whom it is one, yet our full desire
must be to to wisely, truly, know our own soul;
thus we are taught to seek it where it is,
and that is in God.

So by the Holy Spirit’s gracious guidance
we shall know them both as one.
whether we are stirred to know God or our soul
they are both good and true.
God is nearer to us than our own soul;
He is the soil in which our soul stands;
He is the medium that binds our substance
and our physical being into Him
never to be parted.

Our soul sits in God in true rest,
our soul stands in God in true strength;
it is rooted in God in endless love
so to know our soul’s true nature,
to commune and dally with it,
we must seek God in whom it is enclosed.

I saw and understood this enclosing more
in the sixteenth showing, as I shall say.

Our substance and our sensuality
may be truly called our soul
by their oneness with our Lord God.
the holy city, the seat of our Lord Jesus
is our sensuality in which He is enclosed.
Our kindred substance is enclosed in Jesus,
with Christ’s blessed soul sat at rest in the Godhead

I saw with certainty that we must be
in longing and in penance until
we are so deeply led into God
that we very truly know our own soul.
Truly I saw that into this high depth
our Lord Himself leads us in that same love
He made us, and by which He bought us
with the mercy and grace of His passion.

Yet for all this we may never know God fully
until we first clearly know our own soul.
We cannot be fully holy without our soul’s full strength,
our sensuality matched to its substance
by Christ through His passion,
with all the benefits of our tribulation
He shall gain for us by mercy and grace.

I had a partial insight; it is grounded in kinship.
Our reason is rooted in God’s substantial, kindred, highness.
Mercy and grace spring from this and spread into us,
working with all things to fulfill our joy.

This is the soil in which we grow and are fulfilled.
For in this kinship we have our life and being;
in mercy and grace we increase and mature.
These are three properties in one goodness,
where one works, all that now belongs to us also works.

God wants us to understand and desire,
with all our heart and strength, to know them
more and more until we are fulfilled.
Knowing and seeing them fully
is the endless joy and bliss
that we shall have in Heaven,
which God wants begun here in knowing His love.

For we cannot profit by reasoning
unless we have a true mind and love;
and can only be saved in God’s kindred soil
if we know the same ground, mercy, and grace.
For by these three working altogether
we receive all our goodness,
of which the first are gifts of kindred.

In our first making God filled us with gifts,
and we may receive greater gifts in spirit.
But in His foreseeing purpose
His endless wisdom would be that we had double.

Julian’s Comments (4)

(Julian’s Revelations are far better read in order. If you wish to do so I suggest you begin at the Introduction)

This concludes one of the longest of Julian’s chapters, more will follow next week.

God’s Son is seen in the wisdom,
and the goodness in the servant.
In the poor labourer’s clothing,
and his standing near on the left side,
is seen the manhood and Adam,
with all the mischief and feebleness that follow.
In all this our good Lord showed His own Son and Adam as one man.

The virtue and goodness we have
is of Jesus Christ;
the feebleness and blindness we have
is of Adam;
both were shown in the servant.
Our good Lord Jesus has taken all our blame on Himself,
and our Father assigns no more blame to us than to His own Son.

He was the servant before He came to Earth,
ready, purposeful before the Father
until sent to do that worshipful deed
by which mankind was brought again to Heaven
even though He is God,
equal with the Father in the Godhead.

But aware of His purpose
to be Man to save man, fulfilling His Father’s will,
He stood before His Father as a servant
willingly taking on Himself all our charge.
Then He started readily at the Father’s will,
falling full low in the Maiden’s womb,
with no reward to Himself nor His hard pains.

The tunic is the flesh, single as the unity now
between godhood and manhood;
its skimpiness is poverty;
its age from Adam’s wearing;
its defacing from the sweat of Adam’s travail.
its shortness showing servant labour.

And thus I saw the Son standing,
saying in His demeanour,
Lo, my dear Father, I stand before You in Adam’s tunic ready to start and run. I would be in the earth to do Your worship when it is Your will to send me. How long shall I wait with this desire?

Truly the Son knew when it was the Father’s will,
and how long He should desire it,
but that was in His Godhead,
for He is the wisdom of the Father.
But this meaning concerns Christ’s manhood.
For all mankind that shall be saved
by the sweet incarnation,
by the blissful passion of Christ,
is the manhood of Christ.

He is the head, we are His bodily members
to whom the day and time is unknown,
when every passing woe and sorrow shall have an end
and everlasting joy and bliss be fulfilled;
for which day and time all the company of Heaven longs.

All those under Heaven that shall come there,
their way is with longing and desire.
This desire and longing was shown
in the servant standing before his lord,
and in the Son’s standing before the Father
in Adam’s tunic.

For the longing and desire,
of all mankind that shall be saved,
appeared in Jesus,
for Jesus is all that shall be saved,
and all that shall be saved is Jesus
– and all of God’s charity,
with obedience, meekness, and patience,
and virtues that belong to us.

Also in this marvellous example
I had teaching like an beginner’s ABC,
to understand some of our Lord’s meaning;
for the secrets of the Revelation were hidden there,
although all the showings are full of secrets.

The sitting of the Father points to His Godhead,
showing of rest and peace,
for in the Godhead there may be no travail.
Showing Himself as a lord,
points to to our manhood.

The servant’s standing indicates travail;
to the side and on the left
shows he was not worthy to stand
at the right hand of the Lord.

His starting was the Godhead,
His running was His manhood.
For the Godhead starts from the Father
falling into the Maiden’s womb,
taking our kindred in this fall
in which He had great physical pain.

The soreness He found was our flesh
in which He felt severe mortal pains.

His standing in awe before the Lord,
not to His right, shows His clothing was unsuitable
to stand at his Lord’s right hand,
which may not, and should not,
be His duty while He was a labourer.

Nor may He sit in rest and peace with his Lord
till He had won His peace rightly
with hard work.

And His standing to the left side,
shows that the Father left His Son,
wilfully in the manhood,
to suffer the pains of all mankind
without sparing Him.

In His tunic, being noticeably ragged and rent,
is seen the blows and scourging,
the thorns and nails,
the drawing and dragging,
His tender flesh rending
– as I saw, in some part,
the flesh rent from the skull,
falling in pieces until the bleeding failed,
and then it began drying again
clinging to the bone.

The wallowing, writhing, groaning and moaning,
is understood that He might never rise mightily
from the time He fell into the Maiden’s womb
until His body was slain and dead,
His soul yielded into the Father’s hands,
and all mankind for whom He was sent.

And at this point He first began to show His might,
for He went into Hell,
where He raised the great broken army
out of the deepest depths
which was truly joined with Him in high Heaven.

His body was in the grave till Easter morn,
and from that time He lay no more;
the wallowing, writhing, groans and moaning
truly ended.

And our foul mortal flesh that God’s Son took on Him,
which was Adams old tunic, skimpy, bare and short,
was then made fair by our Saviour,
white and bright, and endlessly clean,
wide and long, fairer and richer
than the clothing I saw on the Father.

For that clothing was blue,
and Christs clothing is now a fair seemly medley
so marvellous I cannot describe it,
for it is all truly worshipful.

Now the Lord sits on earth
no longer in wilderness,
but in His noblest seat
that He made in Heaven
to His delight.

The Son no longer stands before the Father
as a servant before the Lord,
dreadfully, plainly clad, partly naked,
but He stands before the Father
ever right richly clad in blissful largess with
a crown upon His head of precious jewels.

For it was shown that we are His crown,
the Father’s joy, the Son’s honour, the Holy Spirit’s delight
and endless, marvellous bliss, to all in Heaven.

The Son no longer stands to His Father’s left
as a labourer, but sits at His Father’s right hand
in endless rest and peace.

This does not mean He sits at the right hand
side by side, as one man by another in this life.
There is no such sitting in the Trinity,
but He sits on His Father’s right hand,
in the highest nobility of the Father’s joy.

Now is the spouse, Gods Son,
in peace with His beloved wife
which is the fair maid of endless joy.

Now the Son sits, true God and man,
in His city in rest and peace
which His Father has assigned to Him
in His endless purpose;
and the Father in the Son,
and the Holy Spirit in the Father
and in the Son.

Sorry to have been out of touch

We are more or less out of all our new house problems and I am desperate to get back to writing again. That is the good news. The difficulty now is that I find myself deeply involved with a huge study of Paul Davies’ book The Mind of God, in which I have made so many marginal notes over the past few years that, trying to expand them, they nearly make a book of their own. At the same time my work on Dame Julian of Norwich’s fourteenth century Revelations of Love is so absorbing it takes up much more of my time than I had expected.

Here is a promise: I will be back

within two weeks.

A small Break in the Silence

It has been a long time, four months, since my last post because of the continuing effects of our moving house, but at last the worst is behind us and hopefully I shall return to the surface soon. My apologies for being so out of touch, not only because I have been unable to update this blog but because it means I have fallen out of touch with others that I follow. My aim is to be back in August.

Hasta la Vista!