Revelations to one who could not read a letter. Anno Domini 1373.
A Particular of the Chapters, Of the tyme of these revelations, and how shee asked three petitions, and Of the sekenese opteyned of God be petition.
The first chapter, off the noumber of the Revelations particularly.
This is a Revelation of love
that Jesus Christ, our endless bliss,
made in sixteen Showings
or special Revelations.
The first is His precious crowning with thorns;
in which the Trinity and incarnation
was understood and defined,
and the unity between God and man’s soul,
with many fair showings of endless wisdom,
and teaching of love,
in which all the showings that follow
are grounded and united.
The second is His fair face discoloured,
showing His dear and valued passion.
The third, that our Lord God,
almighty wisdom, all love,
as surely as He made all that is,
He has truly done so,
motivating all that is.
Fourth, His tender body’s scourging,
His blood profusly shed.
Fifth, the fiend overcome by Christ’s precious passion.
Sixth, our Lord God’s worshipfull thanks,
rewarding His blessed servants in Heaven.
The seventh, oft-felt wellbeing and woe.
The feeling of wellbeing is gracious,
touching and lightening,
a true security of endless joy.
The feeling of woe tests the heaviness,
the irritations of fleshly life,
giving us spiritual understanding
that we are all kept secure in love,
in woe and in wellbeing,
by God’s goodness.
The eighth is Christ’s last pains and cruel death.
Ninth, the blissfull Trinity, sharing
the hard passion and rueful death of Christ,
in which He wishes us solace and delight
till we come to His fullness in Heaven.
The tenth, how our Lord Jesus shows in love
His blissful heart joyful, though cleft in two.
The eleventh, a high, spiritual showing of His dear-worthy mother.
The twelfth, that our Lord is a most worthy being.
that our Lord God wishes us to have great regard
to all the deeds that He has done
in the great nobility of all creation
and the excellency of that of man,
which is above all His works,
and the precious amends He made for man’s sin,
turning all our blame to endless worship;
where also our Lord says,
Behold and see, for, by the same mighty wisdom and goodness, I shall make well all that is not well, and you shall see it.
In this He wants us to keep the faith
and the truth of Holy Church,
not wanting to know His secrets now,
except as is right for us in this life.
our Lord is the ground of our seeking.
in which are two properties:
rightfull prayer and sure trust.
He desires them equally generous
so our prayers please Him,
and He in His goodness fullfills them.
we shall suddenly be taken up
from all our pain and woe,
and, by His goodness, come to Heaven
fullfilled in joy and bliss,
to have our Lord Jesus as our reward.
the blissful Trinity, our Maker,
in Jesus Christ our Saviour,
endlessly dwells in our soul,
worshipfully ruling and governing all things,
mightily, wisely, saving and keeping us for love;
and we shall not be overcome by our enemy.
The second chapter. Of the tyme of these revelations, and how shee asked three petitions.
These Revelations were shown to a simple unlettered creature in the year of our Lord 1373, the eighth day of May, which creature had desired previously, three gifts of God.
The first was to understand His passion.
The second was bodily sickness in youth at thirty years of age.
The third was to have God’s gift of three wounds.
As to the first gift,
I thought I had some feeling of Christ’s passion,
but desired more by God’s grace,
as though I were there with Mary Magdalen
and others that loved Christ.
I desired an actual sight
to know more of our Saviour’s physical pains,
our Lady’s compassion,
and of all His true lovers that saw them,
in that way I would be one of them
and suffer with Him.
I desired no other sight
nor showing of God
till my soul departed from my body,
so that by this showing alone
I should more truly understand Christ’s passion.
The second gift came to my mind with contrition,
freely desiring a sickness so deathly hard
that I might undergo all rites of Holy Church,
believing I was dying,
and that all that saw me might suppose the same,
for I would get no comfort from earthly life.
In this sickness I prayed to have
all manner of physical and spiritual pains
that I would feel if I were dying,
with all the dreads and tempests of the fiends,
except the outpassing of my soul.
I desired this so I would be purged
by God’s mercy,
afterward to live more to His worship
because of that sickeness;
and that it might speed my death,
for I desired to be soon with my God.
These two desires,
the passion and the sickness,
I desired with a condition,
“Lord, you know what I desire.
if it be Thy will, may I have it,
and if it be not Thy will,
good Lord, do not be displeased,
for I want nothing but Thy will.”
For the third gift,
by the grace of God
and the teaching of Holy Church,
I conceived a mighty desire
to receive three wounds in my life:
the wound of full contrition,
the wound of kindred compassion,
and the wound of willfull longing for God.
And all this last petition I asked without any condition.
The first two desires passed from my mind,
but the third dwelt with me continually.
Of the sekenese opteyned of God be petition. Third chapter.
When I was thirty and a half years old,
God sent me a bodily sickness
in which I lay three days and nights.
The fourth night I had rites of Holy Church
and did not expect to live till day;
but after this I languished
two days and two nights.
The third night I often thought I had passed,
as did they that were with me;
still young, I thought it great pity to die;
not for anything in earth
that might give me pleasure to live,
nor fear of any pain,
for I trusted in God in His mercy.
But to have lived to have loved God better
and for a longer time,
that I might have more knowledge and love
of God in the bliss of Heaven.
For I thought,
the time I had lived here was too slight,
too short to deserve that endless bliss.
It seemed nothing.
I thought, “Good Lord,
may the end of my life be Thy worship?”
And I understood by my reason,
by my feelings of pain,
that I should die,
and assented fully with all
– all the will of my heart
to be at God’s mercy.
Thus I endured until day,
and by then my body was dead
with no feeling from the middle down.
Then I was stirred to be set upright,
and was leant back with help,
to have more freedom in my heart
to be at God’s will,
thinking on God while my life might last.
My curate was sent for to be at my end,
by the time he came my eyes were fixed
and I could not speak.
He set the cross before my face and said,
“I have brought the image
of thy maker and Saviour.
Look thereon and have comfort therewith.”
I thought I needed no comfort
for my eyes were set upward to Heaven
where, by God’s mercy, I trusted to come,
but I assented to set my eyes
in the face of the Crucifix if I could;
and so I did,
thinking I might endure longer
looking ahead than right up.
After this my sight began to fail,
the chamber was dark as night about me
except in the image of the Cross
where I saw it by its own light,
I knew not how.
All beside the Cross was ugly to me
as if greatly occupied with fiends.
The rest of my body began to die.
I had scarcely any feeling,
with shortness of wind;
and believed I had truly died.
And in this, suddenly,
all my pain was taken from me,
I was as hale, and sound in body,
as ever before.
I marvelled at this sudden change,
I thought it was God’s secret work
and not of nature,
yet feeling this ease
I trusted no more in living.
This ease was no full ease to me,
for I would rather be delivered from this world.
Than came suddenly to my mind
that I should desire the second wound
of our Lord’s gracious gift,
that my body might be fullfilled
with mind and feeling of His blessed passion,
I wanted His pains my pains with compassion,
and afterward to belong to God.
I desired neither bodily sight nor showing of God,
as a kindred soul might have with our Lord Jesus,
who for love became a mortal man,
I desired to suffer with Him.