How the chosen soule was nevere ded in the syte of God, and of a mervel upon the same; and three things boldid hir to aske of God the understondyng of it.
And in this deadly life
mercy and forgiveness is our way
and leads us evermore to grace.
By the tempest and the sorrow
that we fall into on our part,
we are often dead
as man’s doom seems to be in earth;
but in the sight of God the soul that shall be saved
was never dead, nor ever shall be.
Yet here I wondered and marvelled
with all my soul’s carefulness ,
saying to myself:
Good Lord, I see in you all Truth;
we sin so grievously each day
and are greatly blameworthy;
and I may neither lose this truth,
nor see you show us any form of blame.
How may this be?
I knew by Holy Church’s teaching
and by my own feeling,
our blame’s sin hangs ever on us,
from the first man’s sin
until the time we come to heaven.
Then was this my marvel:
I saw our Lord God show us no more blame
than if we were as clean and holy
as Angels are in heaven.
Between these two contraries
my reason was greatly tested by my blindness;
and could have no rest
dreading His blessed presence lost
to my sight and I be left
not knowing how He views us in our sin.
For I must either see in God
sin all done away,
or else must see how God sees it.
so I might truly see it,
and the manner of our blame.
My longing endured,
beholding Him continually,
but I was impatient,
in awe and great perplexity:
If I accept we are not sinners,
it seems that I should err
and fail to know this truth;
but if our sin and blame are proved,
Good Lord, how can it be
that I can see,
neither wrath nor forgiveness in Thee
my God, my Maker,
in whom I desire to see all truth?
Three points gave me strength to ask.
First: it is so low a thing:
for if it were a high thing
I should be afraid.
Second: it is so ordinary:
for if it were special and privy,
I should also be afraid.
Third: I need, if I survive,
to fathom good and evil,
so that by reason and God’s grace,
I may the more tell them apart,
love goodness and hate evil,
as Holy Church teaches.
I cried to God inwardly
for help, with all my might,
Ah! Lord Jesus, King of bliss,
How shall I be eased?
Who shall teach me,
tell me what I need to know,
if I cannot now see it in Thee?
The answere to the doute afor by a mervelous example of a lord and a servant; and God will be abidyn, for it was nere twenty yeres after ere she fully understode this example; and how it is understod that Crist syttith on the ryth hand of the Fader.
Then our Courteous Lord showed
a wonderful misty example,
a Lord with a Servant:
He gave my understanding sight of both,
shown doubly in the Lord
and doubly in the Servant:
part spiritual, in bodily likeness,
and more spiritually,
without bodily likeness.
For the first sight I saw a Lord
sitting stately, in rest and in peace;
His Servant stands before his Lord
reverent, to do his Lord’s will.
The Lord looks at his Servant
very lovingly and sweetly,
and meekly sends him to a certain place
to do his will.
The Servant not only goes, but starts suddenly.
He runs in great haste, loving to do his Lord’s will,
but soon falls into a gully, greatly hurt.
He groans, moans, wails and struggles,
he cannot rise or help himself in any way.
But the worst I saw was his loss of comfort:
he did not turn his face to look at his loving Lord,
in Whom is all comfort, and very near him.
Instead, as a man feeble and unwise,
he turned his mind to his feelings and enduring woe.
In this woe he suffered seven great pains.
First, the sore bruising he took in his fall,
which was physical pain to him.
Second, the heaviness of his body.
Third, the feebleness from these two.
Fourth, his reason so blinded, his mind so stunned,
he had almost forgotten his own love.
Fifth, he could not rise.
Sixth was most marvellous to me: he lay all alone.
I looked all about and saw no help to him
not far nor near, nor high nor low;
Seventh: the place on which he lay was long, hard, and grievous.
I marvelled why this Servant might meekly suffer this woe,
and watched with care for fault in him,
or if the Lord assigned him any blame;
none was seen:
his goodwill, his great desire caused his fall;
he was willing,
good inwardly as when he stood before his Lord,
ready to do his will.
His loving Lord continually,
tenderly beholds him,
with a double manner of regard.
very meekly and mildly, with great ruth and pity.
Second: inwardly, more spiritually.
This was foremost in my understanding
I saw the Lord rejoicing highly
in the worshipful restoration
He would gracefully give His Servant.
This was a wholy spiritual shewing.
Then my understanding was led again,
with bodily and spiritual in mind.
Then saith this courteous Lord in his meaning:
“See, see my beloved Servant. What harm and distress he has taken in my service for love of me, – yes, and for his goodwill. Should I not reward him for his fright and his dread, his hurt, his maim and all his woe? And not only this, but should I not give a gift, better to him, more worshipful, than his own wholeness should have been?—otherwise I think I should do him no grace.”
An inwardly, spiritually I saw the Lord’s meaning
in my soul, by His great Goodness
and His own worship, His dear Servant,
who He loved so much,
truly and blissfully rewarded,
more than he should have been if he had not fallen.
So far that his falling and woe shall be turned
to high, surpassing worship,
and endless bliss.
Here the showing vanished.
Our good Lord led my understanding visibly
showing the Revelation to the end.
But the wonder of the example never left me.
I thought it was given as an answer to my desire,
but I could not understand it fully and comfortably at that time.