Julian’s comments on her first 14 revelations. (1)

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Chapter 44

Of the properties of the Trinite; and how mannys soule, a creature, hath
the same properties, doyng that that it was made for: seyng, beholdyng,
and mervelyng his God, so, by that, it semyth as nowte to the selfe.

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 these two comes a third,
a holy, marvellous delight in God,
which is love,
sovereign Wisdom, sovereign Love;
all without end, without beginning.

Where truth and wisdom is,
truly, love is there,
coming, truly, from them both,
and all of God’s making.
For He is endless sovereign truth,
endless sovereign wisdom,
endless sovereign love,

Man’s soul, a creation of God,
made in His image,
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.

In this marvelling he sees his God,
his Lord, his Maker, so high, so great, and so good
that the creature, to itself,
seems nothing in comparison.
But truth and wisdom’s clarity and cleanness
make him see and acknowledge he is made for love,
in which God endlessly keeps him.

Chapter 45

Of the ferme and depe jugement of God and the variant jugement of man.

God does not see us as we see ourselves.
He sees our true nature as He made us:
kept whole and safe through all time,
through His goodness.

We judge ourselves on our changeable sensuality,
which seems now one thing, now another,
This wisdom is muddled,
sometimes good and easy, sometimes hard and grievous.
Where it is good and easy it longs for goodness;
where it is hard and grievous
our good Lord Jesus reforms it by mercy and grace,
through the virtue of His blessed passion,
bringing it to good.

Though these two are in accord and unified,
both shall be known in Heaven without end.
The first judgement, from God’s goodness,
His high endless life,
is in that fair sweet judgement shown
in all these fair revelations,
in which I saw Him assign to us
no manner of blame.

And though this was sweet and delectable
yet in holding to this alone,
I could not be fully eased.
because of Holy Church’s judgement,
as I previously understood,
staying continually in my sight.

Because by this judgment, I thought
I must know myself a sinner,
and by that judgment I understood
that sinners are worthy of blame and wrath.
And these two I could not see in God.
And there my desire was more than I can or may tell.

For God Himself showed the higher judgment
at that same time, and I was bound to accept it,
and Holy Church had taught me the lower judgment,
which I could in no way abandon.

Than was this my desire –
that I myte see in God
how this judgment Holy Church
teaches is true in His sight,
and how I should understand,
how they may both be saved,
both faithful to God’s meaning,
and the right way for me.

And to all this I had no other answer
than a marvellous example of a lord and a servant,
as I should see later, powerfully shown.

These judgments form a sharp knife edge,
thinning as it sharpens.
At its sharpest, where blade-sides meet,
it thins to nothing.

Julian, 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;y
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,
but sees us as we see ourselves,
sinners blind to truth.

And yet I stand desiring,
and will until my end,
that I might know by grace,
how these judgments apply to me.

All things of heaven and earth
are known in these decrees.
The more we understand them
the more we understand our failing ways
by Holy Spirit’s grace
The more we see them,
the more we long for our true nature’s bliss,
from our beginning, now and ever,
in God.

Chapter 46

We cannot knowen ourself in this life but be feith and grace, but we must know ourself synners; and how God is never wreth, being most nere the soule, it kepyng. Forty-sixth chapter.

Our passing life in our sense-soul
is blind to our true self.
Yet when we truly see
and know our Lord in fullest joy,
the nearer we come, the more we shall desire it,
because of our true nature,
and by grace.

We may know our true self now in part,
by the help of our true nature,
we may increase and grow in this
by the help and spur of mercy and grace,
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.

In all this time I saw two ways.
One, endless continuing love,
secure keeping and blissful salvation,
shown in all the visions;
the other:
Holy Church’s teaching
in which I was grounded and grown
and held strongly in use and understanding.
This was not taken from me,
nor was I led from it in any way,
but was taught to love and understand it,
so, by the our Lord’s help and grace,
I might learn a more heavenly understanding
and a higher love .

In all I was shown, I understood
that we were sinners with much evil done,
much good undone, deserving pain and wrath,
yet in all this I saw, strongly, truly,
there was no wrath in God nor ever shall be
for He is God: goodness, life, truth, love, peace.
In His love and unity He cannot be be wrathful.

I saw truly it is against the property of might to be wroth,
and against the property of His wisdom,
and against the property of His goodness.
God is goodness that may not be wroth,
for He is nothing but goodness.

Between our soul and His Goodness
there is neither wrath nor forgiveness.
Our soul is one witho Him in his goodness.
Nothing separates God and our soul.

 And to this understondyng was the soul led by love, and drawne be mygte in every shewing. That it is thus, our good Lord shewid, and how it is thus sothly, of His gret goodnes; and He will we desire to wetyn, that is to seyen, as it longyth to His creature to wetyn it. For althyng that the simple soule understode, God will that it be shewid and knowen. For the thyngs that He will have privy, mytyly and wisely Hymselfe He hydeth hem for love. For I saw in the same shewing that mech privity is hid, which may never be knowen into the tyme that God of His goodnes hath made us worthy to sen it. And therwith I am wele paid, abyding our Lords will in this hey mervel. And now I yeele me to my moder Holy Church as a simple child owyth.

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.

Ch. 47

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.

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