In these revelations God often showed
how His will and His worship continue,
working unstintingly in mankind,
as in His first example where He showed
Our Lady, in whose soul I saw the work
of Truth and wisdom.
By Holy Spirit’s grace I hope to tell
how this was done in what I saw.
Truth sees God; Wisdom holds Him fast.
From this a holy, marvellous delight:
God’s gift of love,
sovereign Wisdom, sovereign Love;
all without end, without beginning.
Man’s soul, a creation of God,
fulfills its creation in this:
It forever sees God,
it holds to God,
it loves God.
God delights in His creation,
His creation delights in Him.
An endless marvel, in which he sees his God,
his Lord, his Maker, so high and great,
so good he often cannot believe;
but clarity in Truth and Wisdom
witness he is made for love,
endlessly kept in love,
God does not see us as we see ourselves.
He sees our true nature as He made us:
kept through all time,
one in Him,
safe in Him,
through His goodness.
We judge ourselves inwardly, changeably,
swayed in this space-time life,
by higher and lower feelings
which mingle our judgement:
sometimes good and easy,
a glimpse of our true nature in God;
sometimes hard and grievous,
our sin blinding us to our true nature;
but His grace reforms,
His passion unites these judgements.
These judgments form a sharp knife edge,
thinning as it sharpens.
At its sharpest, where blade-sides meet,
it thins to nothing.
Julian, a fragile woman
balanced between the showing of God’s love
and the teaching of Holy Church,
walks in increasing danger:
one side eternal love,
the other, sharpened in the century of the Black Death:
fear, inquisition, wrath, endless judgement;
she treads a narrow path;
the knife’s edge.
She does not blame the church for this second judgement
which, being made up of ourselves in this world,
sees us as we see ourselves,
sinners blind to truth.
To all this I had no other answer
than a marvellous example of a lord,
and of a servant, as I shall tell later,
very mistily shown.
And yet I stand desiring,
and will until my end,
that I might know by grace,
how these fates apply to me.
All things of heaven and earth
are known in these decrees.
The more we understand them
the more we understand
by Holy Spirit’s grace
our time-bound falling ways.
We long for our true nature’s bliss,
from our beginning,
now and ever,
Our passing life in our sense-soul
is blind to our true self.
Yet when we see at last,
then we shall know our Lord in fullest joy.
The nearer we come, the deeper we desire,
because of our true nature,
and by grace.
We may know, we may grow
in our true self now,
by help of our true nature,
but never fully until passing on,
leaving pain and trials behind.
We must press on
seeking with all our might
to know our true selves fully
in endless joy.
Through all fourteen visions I saw two ways.
one: endless love, secure keeping, blissful salvation;
the other: Holy Church’s teaching with which I had grown up,
and held to strongly in use and understanding.
This was not taken from me.
I was brought up to love and understand it,
but by it I learned a higher love and understanding.
In all I was shown, I understood
that we were sinners with much evil done,
much good undone, deserving wrath and pain,
yet in all this I saw, strongly, truly,
there was no wrath in God nor ever shall be.
For He is Good, Life, Truth, Love, Peace.
I saw all these qualities,
His clarity and Unity
do not suffer Him to be wrath.
Between our soul and His Goodness
there is neither wrath nor forgiveness.
Our soul is united to Him.
Nothing separates God and our soul.
For some reason I cannot understand,
Biblical phrases such as ‘God’s anger’
are wrongly translated as ‘God’s wrath’.
even though the words have different origins.
‘Anger’ has common roots with anguish and grief,
‘wrath’ with wreath and writhe.
One is a sorrowing word,
the other is twisted, like sin,
a turning away.
Many dictionaries do not distinguish this,
giving them as synonyms,
which they are not.
Julian closes her chapter
between Holy Church’s teaching
and her understanding of God
with words holding the two in one.
The soul was led to this understanding
by love, drawn by might.
God wills all this to be made known.
There is more God has not revealed,
to be kept until He in His goodness
makes us worthy to see it.
I am content to abide His time in this
and yield me to my Mother, Holy Church,
as her obedient child.
Our soul has two duties:
to reverently marvel,
and to be meek and patient,
ever enjoying God.
For He would have us understand
that soon we shall clearly see in Him
all that we desire.
Notwithstanding all this,
I saw and greatly wondered:
What is the mercy and forgiveness of God?
For by the teaching I had before,
I understood God’s mercy
should be in forgiveness of His wrath
after we have sinned.
For I thought:
to a soul whose meaning and desire is to love,
God’s wrath was harder than all other pain,
so I thought the forgiveness of His wrath
should be a principal point of His mercy.
But however I might seek and desire,
I could not see this in all the Shewing.
How I understood and saw the workings of mercy,
I shall say as much as God will give me grace.
I understood this:
Man is changeable in this life;
by frailty and overcoming he falls into sin.
Weak and unwise of himself, his will is defeated.
Then he is in tempest, sorrow and woe;
caused by blindness for he does not see God.
If he saw God continually he could have no mischievous sense,
nor motion nor yearning that leads to sin.
Then I saw and felt this sight and feeling
was high and fully gracious
more than our feeling in this life;
yet I thought it small and lower
than that the soul’s desire to see God.
For I felt in me five forms of working:
Enjoying, mourning, desire, dread, and sure hope.
Enjoying: for God gave me understanding and knowing
– it was Himself I saw;
mourning: for failing;
desire: that I might see Him ever more and more,
understanding, knowing, we shall not fully rest
till we see Him truly, clearly in heaven;
dread: for it seemed through all the shewings
my sight of Him might fail and I be left alone;
sure hope: in the endless love,
His mercy in which I should be held
and brought to His bliss.
The joying in His sight,
this sure hope of His merciful keeping
gave me feeling and comfort
so mourning and dread were not greatly painful.
Yet in all this I saw in God’s Shewing,
this kind of vision may not be continuous in this life,
for His worship and our future joy’s increase.
Therefore we often fail to see Him,
we fall into ourself,
finding no right feeling,
only contrariness in our self;
from the earliest root of our first sin,
with our contrivance, all the sins that follow.
In this we are in travail and tempest
with sins and pains in many ways,
spiritual and bodily,
that we find in this life.