Julian’s 14th Showing

Chapter 41

 The fourteenth Revelation is as afornseyd … It is impossible we shuld pray
for mercy and want it; and how God will we alway pray thow we be drey and barryn, for that prayer is to Him acceptabil and plesante.

After this, our Lord’s showing was for prayer,
to show me rightfulness and secure trust.
but often our trust is not full,
for we are not sure God hears us,
we think we are unworthy, valueless,
for we are often as barren and dry
after our prayers as we were before.
This feeling is our own folly;
it is the cause of our weakness
I have felt this in myself.

Our Lord brought these words suddenly to my mind:
I am the ground of your prayer.
First I want you to pray,
then I make you want to pray,
then I make you pray,
and you pray.
How could I not grant your prayer?

In the first reason and three that follow,
our good Lord’s words show powerful comfort.
After those first reasons He says, And you pray.
There He shows that He will grant us
great pleasure and endless reward
for our prayer.

And in the sixth reason He said,
How could I not grant your prayer?
because it is impossible for us
to pray for mercy and grace and not have it.
Everything our good Lord makes us pray for,
He ordained to us out-with all beginning.

Here we see prayer does not cause God’s goodness.
He showed this truly in all these sweet words
when He says, I am the ground.
our Lord wants all who love Him to know this,
and the more we know, the more we should pray.

Prayer is the soul’s fresh, gracious, lasting desire
united and fastened into our Lord’s desire
by the Holy spirit’s sweet hidden work.
Our Lord is first to receive our prayers,
taking them thankfully in high delight.
He sends them above to be treasured
where they shall never perish before God
in all His holiness, ever received,
ever speeding our needs.
And when we shall receive our bliss
it shall be given us as a measure of joy
endless worshipful thanks from Him.

Glad and merry is our Lord with our prayers,
and He looks for them, and He will have them.
For with His grace He makes us like Him
in condition as we are in nature,
and so is His blissful will, for He says,
Pray earnestly though you think it does not satisfy you. For it is profitable though you feel nothing, though you see nothing, yes, even if you think you might not, For in dryness and in barrenness, in sickness and in feebleness, your prayers are very pleasing to me, though you think it satisfies you only little; and so are all your believing prayers in my sight.

For the reward and the endless thanks He will give us,
He wants us to pray continually in His sight.

God accepts His servant’s goodwill and effort,
however we feel.
It pleases Him when we work at our prayers,
and in good living,
with His help and grace, reasonably with discretion,
holding to Him with all our strength,
until we have Him that we seek
in fullness of joy – that is, Jesus.
He showed that in the fifteenth Revelation
before this word,
You shall have Me as your reward.

Thanks also belong to prayers.
Thanking is fresh, inward knowing,
with great reverence and lovely awe,
turning ourself with all our might
to the work our good Lord stirs us,
enjoying and thanking inwardly.

Sometimes it is so full it breaks out aloud,
“Good Lord, grant mercy. May You be blessed .”
Sometimes when the heart is dry and feels nothing,
or else by temptation of our enemy,
then it is driven by reason and grace
to cry to our Lord aloud,
and recall His blessed passion
and His great goodness.
And the virtue of our Lord’s word turns to the soul,
and quickens the heart, entering it by His grace
in true working, and making it pray
blissfully and truly to enjoy our Lord;
a full, blissful thanks in His sight.

  Ch. 42
 
      Off three thyngs that longyn to prayor, and how we shuld pray; and of the goodnes of God that supplyeth alway our imperfection and febilnes whan we do that longyth to us to do. Forty-second chapter.

Our Lord God wants us to have a true understanding
of three things belonging to our prayers.

First, by whom and how our prayers spring.
He showed by whom, saying, I am the ground;
He showed how by His goodness,
when He said, It is my will.

Second is how we should use our prayers,
to turn our will joyfully into His;
which He meant in saying, I make you want it.

Third, to know the fruit and end of our prayers:
to be like and one with Him in everything.

To this meaning and for this end
was all this lovely lesson shown;
He will help us, and we shall make it so –
as He said Himself.
May He be blessed.

He desires our prayers and trust equally.
For if we do not trust as much as we pray,
our prayers do not fully worship Him,
and we delay and pain ourselves,
because we do not truly know our Lord
as the soil on whom our prayers spring,
or that it is given us by His love’s grace.

If we knew this, we would trust to have,
by our Lord’s gift, all that we desire.
For I am sure no man asks mercy and grace
with true intent,
without mercy and grace having first been given him.

Sometimes we feel we have prayed long,
but still do not have our desire.
We should not be heavy-hearted
for I am sure of our Lord’s intent;
we either await a better time,
or more grace, or a better gift.
He wants us to know He is truly there;
with our understanding grounded
in what this means, with all our might.
On this ground He wants us to make our stand
and our dwelling. In His gracious light
He wants us to understand the things that follow.

First, our noble and excellent making;
second, our precious and dearworthy redemption;
third, everything He has made beneath us to serve us,
which He keeps for our love.
He means this, as if He said:
Look and see that I have done all this, before your prayers,
and now you are here praying to me.

He means we need to know and be thankful,
those greatest deeds are as Holy Church teaches,
we should pray thankfully for what He does now,
ruling and guiding us to His worship in this life
to bring us to His bliss.
He has done everything for this.

He means us to pray because we see He does it,
for just one thing is not enough;
if we pray and do not see He does it,
it makes us heavy and doubtful,
which is not true worship.

And if we see what He does but do not pray,
we are in debt – which should not be –
that is to say, He sees no response.
But to see what He does, and to pray at once,
then He is worshipped and we are helped along.

Our Lord wants us to pray for all He ordains,
either in particular or in general;
and the joy and bliss it is to Him,
and the thanks and worship we gain by it,
passes the understanding of all creatures,
as to my sight.

For prayer is true understanding
of the full joy that is coming,
with strong desire and secure trust.
Lack of that bliss sown in our nature
plants the desire for it in us.
Its true understanding and love,
with sweet thoughts of our Saviour,
graciously grows our trust in Him.
In planting our desire, and in our prayer,
our Lord watches over us forever.

For it is our debt,
His goodness implants no less in us.
So we must be diligent,
yet we shall still think it nothing;
and so it is.

But we must do what we can,
truly asking mercy and grace.
All we lack we shall find in Him,
which is what He meant in saying,
I am the ground of your prayer.
And so in the bliss of this word
I saw all our weakness
and all our doubtful fears
fully overcome.

Chapter 43
 
What prayor doth, ordeynyd to God will; and how the goodnes of God hath gret lekyng in the deds that He doth be us, as He wer beholden to us, werkyng althyng ful swetely. Forty-third chapter.

Prayer unites the soul to God;
for though the soul is always like God
in its physical nature in the world,
in its eternal nature in God,
restored by grace,
it’s condition is often unlike Him
from sin on man’s part.
Then prayer bears witness for the soul
that it’s will is God’s will,
comforting the conscience,
enabling man to grace.

So He teaches us to pray,
trusting strongly to have what we ask.
He watches over us in love,
as partners in His good work.
stirring us to pray
for that which pleases Him to do;
for those prayers and good will
He will have for His gift,
He will reward us eternally.

And this was shown in these words,
And you beseech it.
In this God showed so great pleasure,
so great delight,
as if He were much indebted to us
for every good deed we do,
and yet it is He that does it.

So we pray Him, mightily,
to do whatever pleases Him,
as if He said,
What then might please Me more,
than to pray mightily, wisely, wilfully
to do what I shall do?

And so the soul by prayer accords to God.

But when our courteous Lord by His grace
shows Himself to our soul,
we have what we desire,
and then we cannot see at the time
what more we should pray,
but all our intent, all our might
is set wholly on beholding Him.
As I see it, this is high, unperceivable prayer.

For all the causes of our prayer,
are united in the sight and regard
of Him to whom we pray,
marvellously enjoying, with reverent fear,
and such great sweetness and delight in Him,
that we can only pray as He stirs us at the time.

Well I know, the more the soul sees of God,
the more it desires Him by His grace.
But when we do not see Him,
then we feel our need and cause to pray
for our failing – to fit ourself to Jesus.
For when the soul is tested,
troubled, and left to itself by unrest,
than it is time to pray,
to become supple, obedient to God.

But by no manner of prayer
does he make God obedient to him,
for God is forever constant in love.
I saw that when we see the need to pray,
our good Lord follows us, helping our desire.
And when we, by His special grace,
seek only Him, seeing no other need,
then we follow Him,
and He draws us into Him by love.

I saw and felt His marvellous, fulsome goodness
fulfilling all our powers,
then I saw His continuous work
in everything done so well,
so wisely, so powerfully
that it surpasses all our imagining,
all we can know and think;
then we can do no more but look to Him,
enjoying with a high, mighty desire
to be all one in Him,
entered into His dwelling,
enjoying His loving,
delighting in in His goodness.

And then, with His sweet grace, we shall
in our own meek, continual prayers,
come to Him in this life
with many private touches
of sweet spiritual sight and feeling,
measured by the Holy Spirit’s grace,
as much as our simplicity can bear,
until we die in longing for love.

Then we shall all come to our Lord,
clearly knowing ourself, having Him fully;
forever dwelling in God,
seeing Him truly, feeling Him fully,
hearing Him spiritually,
smelling Him delectably,
sweetly swallowing Him;
then we shall see God face to face,
homely and totally.

Every created soul shall see
and behold God his maker forever.
Though no soul may see God and live,
that is only in this mortal life,
but if He shows Himself here
by His own special grace
He strengthens the creature beyond itself,
and measures the showing as He will,
to the soul’s profit at that time.

Julian’s 13th Showing, part 3

Ch.37
 
      God kepyth His chosen ful sekirly althowe thei synne, for in these is a godly  will that never assayed to synne. Thirty-seventh chapter.

God brought to my mind that I should sin,
but for my pleasure in beholding Him,
I did not readily listen,
but our Lord, mercifully, waited
giving me grace to attend to Him.
This showing I took especially to myself,
but by all the gracious comfort that follows,
as you shall see,
I was taught to take it for all my fellow Christians,
for all in general, and no-one in special.

Though our Lord showed me I should sin,
‘me’ is to be understood as all.
And in this I felt a mild fear;
and to this our Lord answered,
I keep you fully secure.

This word was said with more love,
security and spiritual care
than I can or may tell.
As it was shown that I should sin,
comfort was also shown,
security and care,
for all my fellow Christians.

And could I love my fellow Christians more?
and see that God loves all that shall be saved
as it were all one soul?

For in every soul that shall be saved
is a godly will that never agreed to sin
nor ever shall.
Just as there is a beastly will in the lower part
that may will no good,
just so there is a godly will in the higher part
which will is so good, it may never wish ill,
but always good.

And so we are what He loves,
and always do what pleases him,
and this our Lord showed in the wholeness of the love
that we stand in in His sight.
Yes, that He loves us now
as well while we are here,
as He shall do when we are there
before His blessed face.

Therefore all our trouble
is only failing of love on our part.

Ch. 38
 
      Synne of the chosen shall be turnyd to joye and worship. Exemple of David, Peter, and John of Beverley. Thirty-eighth chapter.

  • Here Julian sees God, like a loving parent of a misbehaving child, following punishment with a hug at the right time.

God showed that sin shall not become shame
but worship to man.
For, as every sin is answered by true pain,
so for every sin to that same soul
is given bliss in love.
Just as serious pains punish serious sins
so shall they be rewarded with many joys in Heaven
as much as they have been painful
and sorrowful to the soul in earth.

For the soul that comes to Heaven is precious to God,
and that place so worshipful,
that God’s goodness never lets that soul sin
that finally comes there
without that sin being regarded,
made known forever,
blissfully restored in surpassing worship.

In this sight my understanding was lifted into Heaven;
and God brought David merrily to my mind
and others in the Old Testament
without number.

First, in the New Testament,
He brought Mary Magdalen to my mind,
and Peter and Paul;
and Thomas who travelled to India.
Then Saint John of Beverly,
and numberless others also,
how, in the church in earth,
they are known with their sins,
and is now no shame to them,
but is all turned to worship in them.
So our courteous Lord shows it,
here in part, there in fullness.
For there the token of sin is turned to worship.

And our Lord showed Saint John of Beverley,
comfortably to us for his homeliness,
how we know him as a gentle neighbour,
and He called him Saint John of Beverley
plainly as we do, with full, glad, sweet cheer,
now a full, high saint in Heaven
and blissful in His sight.

And with this He made mention
that in his youth and tender age
he was a precious servant of God,
loving God greatly in awe.
Nevertheless God allowed him to fall,
protecting him so he did not perish,
nor spend time in sickness.

Then God raised him to far more grace;
and for his remorse and meekness
gave him greater joys in Heaven
than if he had not fallen,
and God shows continual miracles
about his body on earth,
to make us glad and merry in love.

Chapter thirty-nine
 
      Of the sharpnes of synne and the godenes of contrition, and how our kynd
      Lord will not we dispair for often fallyng. Thirty-ninth chapter.

Sin is the sharpest scourge to any soul.
beating people so low in their sight,
they feel only fit to sink in Hell,
until remorse, the Holy Spirit’s touch,
turns bitterness to hope for God’s mercy.
Then they begin to heal their wounds,
and the soul to quicken,
turned to the life of Holy Church.

Then he undertakes penance for every sin,
prompted by his confessor
who is grounded in Holy Church
by the Holy Spirit’s teaching.
This meekness greatly pleases God.
God also sends bodily sickness,
and sorrow and shame from without,
and reproof and dispite of this world,
with all forms of grievance and temptation,
cast in body and in spirit.

Our Lord keeps us preciously
when we seem quite forsaken,
cast aside as deserved, for our sin.
For the meekness we get by it
for our great contrition,
and true longing for God,
we are raised high in God’s sight
by His grace and compassion.

Suddenly we are delivered from sin and pain,
taken to bliss, even made high saints.
We are made clean by contrition;
we are made ready by compassion;
and we are made worthy
by our true longing for God.
These are three ways, as I understand,
whereby all souls come to Heaven,
that have sinned on earth and shall be saved,
For each soul must be healed by these medicines.

Though healed, their wounds are seen by God,
not as wounds, but as worship.
And so as we are punished here
with sorrow and with penance,
we shall have reward in Heaven
by God Almighty’s courteous love
who wants none there to lose his travail.
He sees sin as sorrow and pain to His lovers,
to whom His love assigns no blame.

The reward we shall receive shall not be small,
but high, glorious, and worshipful;
and so shame shall be turned to worship
and more joy.

Our courteous Lord does not want us to despair,
neither for frequent nor grievous falling.
Our falling does not stop Him loving us.
Peace and love are always there,
always working in us,
though we are not always in peace and love.

But He wishes us to be aware of this:
He is the ground, the foundation,
of our whole life in love;
and more –
He is our everlasting keeper, defending us mightily
against fully evil and fierce enemies;
and the greater our need, the more we must know,
our falling is why He does this.

Chapter 40
 
Us nedyth to longyn in love with Jesus, eschewyng synne for love; the vyleness of synne passith al peynes; and God lovith wol tenderly us while we be in synne, and so us nedyth to doe our neybor.

This is our courteous Lord’s sovereign friendship,
He keeps us tenderly while we are in sin.
He touches us inwardly, showing us our sin
by the sweet light of mercy and grace.

But when we see ourself so foul,
we think God is wrathful for our sin;
and we are stirred by the Holy Spirit
by contrition into prayers
desiring to amend our life with all our might,
to slake God’s wrath,
until we find a rest in soul,
and softness in conscience,
and then we hope God has forgiven us.
And it is so.

And then our courteous Lord shows Himself to the soul
merrily and with glad cheer with friendly welcoming,
as if He had been in pain and in prison,
saying sweetly thus:
“My darling, I am glad you have come to me;
in all your woe I have always been with you.
Now you see my loving and we are united in bliss.”

Thus are sins forgiven by mercy and grace,
and our soul worshipfully received in joy,
as it shall be when it comes to Heaven,
by the gracious working of the Holy Spirit
and the virtue of Christ’s passion.

Here I understand truly
all manner of thing is made ready for us
by God’s great goodness;
so much that when we are in peace and charity
we are truly safe.

We may not have this fully while on earth,
so we must always fill our lives with prayer
and lovely longing with Jesus our Lord,
Who always longs to bring us to full joy,
as He said where He showed His spiritual thirst.

But now if any are stirred by folly
because of all this spiritual comfort,
to say or think, “If this be so
then it is good to sin for more reward,”
or else consider sin as less –
beware of this; for truly if it comes
it is untrue, and from the enemy
of that true love from which all comfort comes.

That same blest love that teaches us
that we should only hate sin for love.
And I am sure, by my own feeling,
the more that every kind soul sees this
in the courteous love of our Lord God,
the more loath is he to sin,
and the more he is ashamed.

For if before us were laid all the pains
in Hell and Purgatory and in the earth
– death and other – and sin,
we should rather choose all that pain than sin.

Sin is so vile, and is so much to hate,
that it can be likened to no pain,
except the pain of sin.
No harder hell was shown to me than sin;
for a natural soul there is no hell but sin.

And we give ourselves to love and meekness
by the work of mercy and grace
we are all made fair and clean.
And, mighty and wise as God is
to save man, willing as He is,
for Christ is the ground of all Christian laws,
Who taught us to do good against ill.
Here we can see, He is this charity,
He does to us all He teaches us to do.

For He wants us to be like Him
with whole endless love for ourselves
and for all our fellow Christians.
Just as His love for us is not broken
by our sin, neither does He want our love
broken to ourselves or fellow Christians.

But nakedly hate sin,
and endlessly love the soul as God loves it;
then shall we hate sin as God hates it,
and love the soul as God loves it.
For this, God’s word, is endless comfort:
I keep you securely.

Julian’s 13th Showing, part 2

XXXIII

Al dampnyd soule be dispisid in the syte of God, as the devil; ; and these Revelations withdraw not the feith of Holy Church, but comfortith; and the more we besy to know Gods privites, the less we knowen. Thirty-third chapter.

I dared to ask to fully see
both Hell and Purgatory.
I did not mean to test what we believe,
for I truly believed their purpose
as Holy Church teaches us.

But to learn more fully
all that belongs to faith,
and live more to God’s worship,
and my profit.

But I learned nothing of what I asked
except as said earlier in the fifth showing,
where I saw the devil reproved by God
and endlessly damned.
In which sight I understood
that all creatures in this life,
that share the devil’s condition
and die in it,
no more mention is made of them
before God and all His holiness
than of the devil,
whether that they are of mankind,
or whether they have been christened or not.

Though this Showing was of goodness,
with little mention of evil,
yet it did not draw me
from any point of faith
that Holy Church teaches me to believe.

For I saw Christ’s passion in several showings,
in the first, the second, the fifth, and the eighth,
where I felt part of our Lady’s sorrow
and that of His true friends
that saw Him in pain.

But I did not see so fully,
the Jews that put Him to death,
even though I knew in my faith
they were accursed, damned without end,
except those that converted by grace.

And I was strengthened and taught throughout
to keep in the faith in every point,
and by all I had learned in the showings,
with God’s mercy and grace,
to desire and pray with intent
to continue in it to my life’s end.

And God wishes us to highly regard
all that He has done,
but we must stop forever wondering
how a deed is done
and desire to be like our brethren
who are saints in Heaven
wishing nothing but God’s will.

Than we shall only enjoy God,
and be happy with both the hidden and the shown.

For I saw truly in our Lord’s meaning,
the more we busy ourselves us to know His secrets,
in this or any other thing,
the farther shall we be from knowing them.

Chapter 34
 
      God shewyth the privityes necessarye to His lovers; and how they plese God mekyl that receive diligently the prechyng of Holy Church. Thirty-fourth chapter.

Our Lord God showed two secrets

One is this great secret with all its mysteries.
He wishes us to know these mysteries are hidden
until the time that He will show them clearly to us.

The other are secrets He will make open and known to us;
for He wishes us to know He wants us to know them.
It are secrets to us,
not because He wishes them secret to us,
but they are secrets to us because of our blindness and ignorance.
In this He has great compassion
and will make them more open to us
so we may know Him,
love Him, and cleave to Him.

God showed His full, great pleasure in all men and women
that mightily and meekly and wilfully
take the preaching and teaching of Holy Church,
for it is His Holy Church.
He is the ground, He is the substance,
He is the teaching, He is the teacher,
He is the goal, He is the reward
to which every natural soul travels

All that helps us to know and understand,
our Lord will show us
with full courtesy ,
that is with all the preaching and teaching of Holy Church.

And this is known and shall be known
to every soul to which the Holy Spirit declares it.
And hope truly that all those that seek this,
He shall help, for they seek God.

All this that I have now said,
and more I shall say later,
is comforting against sin.
For in the third showing
when I saw that God does all that is done,
I saw no sin, and then I saw that all is well.

But when God showed me, instead of sin,
He then said, All shall be well.

Chapter 35

How God doith al that is good and suffrith worshipfully al by His mercy, the which shal secyn whan synne is no longer suffrid. Thirty-fifth chapter.i

Almighty God had showed so plentifully,
so fully of His goodness,
that I asked if a certain creature I loved
should continue in good health,
which I hoped, by God’s grace, had begun,
but I seemed hampered by this one desire,
for I was taught nothing at this time.

a certeyn creature that I lovid: According to Georgia Ronan Crampton in an excellent book, The Shewings of Julian of Norwich, which she edited, Julian’s short text written some twenty years earlier, indicates that this beloved soul was a woman:
‘It has been proposed that the person may have been a child, Emma, the daughter of Sir Miles Stapleton, whose house was visible from the cell window of Saint Julian’s church, according to Robert Flood. Lady Emma Stapleton later was a recluse at White Friars Priory (1421-42). Flood imagines the circumstances of Julian’s concern for this neighbour child, who would have travelled the road past the cell on her way to another of the Stapleton residences: “Doubtless she had many conversations with the lady through her window . . .” (p. 39). Of course any such identification is speculative.’

And then was I answered in my reason,
as though by a friendly mediator:
“Take it generally.
See your Lord God’s courtesy in this showing,
for it is greater worship to God
to see Him in everything
than in any special thing.”

Accepting this, I learned
it is more worship to God
to know all things in general
than like any one thing as special.

If I should be wise after this teaching,
I should not delight in one special thing,
nor greatly stressed for any one thing,
for all shall be well.

Fullness of joy is to see God in all.
By the same blessed might, wisdom, and love
that our good Lord made everything,
He leads it continually to the same end,
and shall bring it to Himself.

And when it is time we shall see it.

And the ground of this was shown in the first
and more openly in the third,
where it says, ‘I saw God in a point’.

All that our Lord does is rightful,
and all He suffers is worshipful,
in which is understood both good and ill;
for all that is good our Lord does;
and all that is evil, our Lord suffers.

I say not that any evil is worshipful,
but our Lord God’s suffering is worshipful,
by which His goodness shall be known endlessly,
in His marvellous meekness and mildness,
by the working of mercy and grace.

Rightfulness is that thing that is so good
that it cannot be better than it is.
For God Himself is true rightfulness,
and all His works are done rightfully
as they are ordained from beyond beginning
by His high might, His high wisdom,
His high goodness.

And just as He ordained all for the best,
so He works continually,
leading it on to that end.
He is always fully pleased
with Himself and all His works.
The sight of this blissful accord
is full sweet to the soul that sees by grace.

All the souls that shall be saved,
in Heaven without end,
are made innocent in God’s sight,
by His own goodness,
in which innocence we are kept,
endlessly and marvellously,
above all creatures.

Mercy is the work of God’s goodness,
and shall work as long as sin is allowed
to pursue innocent souls.

When sin has no longer leave to pursue,
then mercy’s work shall end,
and all shall be brought to innocence
and therein stand forever.

By His sufferance we fall,
and in His blissful love,
in His might and His wisdom,
we are kept and, by mercy and grace,
we are raised to abundant joys.

And so in rightfulness and in mercy 
He will be known and loved without end.
And the soul that wisely beholds this in grace,
is well pleased with both,
and endlessly delights.

XXXVI
 
      Of another excellent dede that our Lord shal don, which be
      grace may be known a party here, and how we shul enjoyen in the same,
      and how God yet doith myracles. Thirty-sixth chapter.

Our Lord God showed that a deed shall be done,
and He shall do it.
And I shall do nothing but sin,
but my sin shall not stop His goodness working.

And I saw that seeing this
is heavenly joy for a reverent soul,
which evermore, by kindly grace
desires God’s will.

This deed shall begin here,
and shall be worshipful to God
and greatly profitable to His lovers in earth.

And whenever we come to Heaven
we shall see it in marvellous joy.
And it shall continue
working thus to the last day;
its worship and bliss shall last in Heaven
before God and all His saints
without end.

So our Lord’s meaning was seen and understood ,
as He told of this deed
so we may delight in Him and all He does.

As I saw His showing continue,
I knew it showed a great thing to come,
that God showed that He should do
a deed with these properties foreshown.
And He showed this quite blissfully,
intending me to take it
wisely, faithfully, trustingly.

But what this deed should be was kept from me.
I saw in this that He does not want us
to fear the things He shows.
He shows them, wishing us to know them,
and, in knowing, He wants us to love Him,
like Him, and endlessly delight in Hym.

And in the great love He has for us,
He shows us all that is worshipful,
all that is profitable for this time.
Those things that He will now keep hidden,
in His great goodness He shows them closed,
because He wants us to believe,
to understand that we shall see them,
truly, in His endless bliss.

Then ought we to delight in Him
for all He shows and all He hides.
And if we do so wilfully and meekly,
we shall find great ease in this,
and have His endless thanks.

Thus the understanding of this word,
is that it shall be done for me,
that is to say for people in general,
that is to say,
for all that shall be saved.

It shall be worshipful, marvellous, plentiful;
and God Himself shall do it;
and this shall be the highest possible joy,
to see the deed that God Himself shall do.

And man shall do nothing right, but sin.

Our Lord God’s meaning in this is as if He said,
“Look, see,
here is the substance of meekness,
here is the substance of love,
here is the substance of seeing yourself as nought,
here is the substance to delight in me,
and for my love delight in me,
for thus of all things,
you may most please me.”   

And as long as we are in this life,
whenever we, in our folly,
turn to watching sinners,
our Lord God gently touches us,
and sweetly calls us, saying in our soul,
Leave all your desire, my precious child.
Listen to me.
I am enough for you,
delight in your Saviour and in your salvation.

I am sure this is our Lord’s work in us,
The soul that understands this by grace
shall see and feel it.
This deed is meant truly for the general man,
excluding no particular person;
for what our good Lord will do for His poor creatures,
is now unknown to me.

But this deed, and the greater spoken of,
are not one and the same, but two.
But this deed shall be done sooner,
and that shall be as we come to Heaven.
And to whom our Lord gives it,
may be known here in part.
But the great deed shall be known
neither in Heaven nor earth till it is don.

And He gave special understanding
and teaching of miracles:
It is known that I have done miracles here before,
many and separate, high and marvellous,
worshipful and great,
and so as I have done, I do now continually,
and shall do in the time to come .

Before miracles comes sorrow,
anguish and tribulation,
so we know that lead by our sin we fall,
through our own feebleness and mischief,
to make us meek, fearing God,
and crying for help and grace.

Miracles come after that,
from the high might, wisdom, and goodness of God,
showing His virtue and the joys of Heaven,
as it may be in this passing life;
and to strengthen our faith,
and increase our hope in love;
so it pleases Him to be known
and worshipped in miracles.

He does not want us to be brought too low
by sorrow and tempests happening to us,
for this has always been so
before miracles.

Julian’s 6th & 7th Showings

Julian had this vision, like her others, during the receipt of the Last Rites.
Living at the time of the Black Death, the worst century in recorded history, one of horror, fear and recrimination, she still found herself unable to see God as a wrathful avenger. Instead her writings are steeped in awareness of His boundless compassion.

Chapter 14 – the 6th Showing

The sixth Revelation is of the worshippfull thanke with which He rewardith His servants, and it hath three joyes. Fourteenth chapter.

After this our good Lord said,
I think and feel for you in your travail,
particularly in your youth
.

In my mind I was raised into Heaven,
and saw Him as a lord in his own house,
who has called all his dear, worthy servants
and all his friends
to a solemn feast.

Then I did not see the Lord sit in His own house,
but saw Him royally reign there,
filling it with joy and mirth,
endlessly gladdening
and comforting His dear worthy friends
with full homeliness and full courtesy,
with a marvelous melody of endless love
in His own fair blessed manner,
which glorious hospitality of the godhead
fills the Heavens with joy and bliss.

God showed three degrees of bliss,
that every soul that willingly served Him
in any degree in earth,
shall have in Heaven.

First is the blessed feeling for our Lord
he shall receive when delivered of pain;
a feeling so high and worshipful
that he thinks it fills him,
as though there could be no more.
For I felt that all the pain and travail
that could be suffered by all living men
could not deserve the worshipful thanks
that one man shall have
that has willingly served God.

Second, that all the blessed creatures in Heaven
shall see that worshipful thanking,
for He makes his service known to all that are in Heaven.

And then this example was shown:
if a King thanks his servants,
it is a great worship to them;
and if he makes it known to all the realm,
his worship is greatly increased.

Third, as new and pleasant as it is received
so shall it truly last without end.

And I saw, homely and sweetly as this was shown,
the life of every man shall be known in Heaven,
and shall be rewarded for his willing service
and for his time.

And especially the life of those
that willingly, freely offer their youth to God,
is surpassingly rewarded and wonderfully thanked.

I saw whenever man or woman,
turn truly to God,
for that day’s service and endless intent,
they shall have all these three degrees of bliss.

And the more that the loving soul
sees this courtesy of God,
the likelier he is to serve Him
all the days of his life.

Chapter 15 – The 7th Revelation

The seventh Revelation is of oftentymes felyng of wele and wo etc.; and how it is expedient that man sumtymes be left withoute comfort, synne it not causeing. Fifteenth chapter.

And after this He showed a sovereign spiritual delight in my soul.

I was filled with a lasting sense,
security, mightily sustained,
with no painful dread.

This feeling was so glad, so spiritual,
that I was all at peace and at rest,
as though nothing in earth should grieve me.

This lasted but a while,
and I was turned and left to myself,
in heaviness and weariness of my life,
in irritation with myself,
that I hardly had patience to live.

There was no comfort nor ease to me,
but faith, hope, and love.
And of these I had in truth,
but little feeling.

Then soon again our blessed Lord
gave me again the comfort
and the rest in soul,
delight and security
so blissful and so mighty,
that no dread, no sorrow,
nor bodily pain that might be suffered,
should have discomforted me.

And then I felt the pain again,
and then the joy and the delight,
now that one, now the other, many times,
I suppose about twenty times.

And in the same time of joy
I might have said with Saint Paul,
nothing shall separate me from Christ’s love.
And in the pain I might have said with Peter,
Lord save me, I perish.

This vision was shown me to my mind
that it is useful to some souls to feel this
sometimes to be in comfort,
sometimes to fail,
and be left to themselves.

God wishes us to know
that He keeps us equally safe
in woe and well-being.
For profit of man’s soul,
he is sometimes left to himself,
though sin is not ever the cause.

For in this time I did not sin
so as to be left to myself,
for it was so sudden.
Nor deserved this blessed feeling.
Our Lord gives freely when He will,
and sometimes lets us be in woe,
and both is one love.

God wishes us this comfort
to cling to with all our might,
for bliss is lasting without end,
and pain is passing,
and shall be brought to nought
to them that shall be saved.

So it is not God’s will that we dwell
in the feeling of pain,
in sorrow and mourning,
but suddenly pass over to His keeping
in endless delight.

Julian’s eighth Revelation, follows at the end of June.

Julian’s 4th & 5th Showings

Chapter 12 – her 4th Showing

‘I and the Father are one.’

The fourth Revelation etc.; how it likith God rather and better to wash us in His blode from synne than in water, for His blode is most pretius. Twelfth chapter.

After this I saw that sweet body,
scourged, and bleeding in gashes,
all its fair skin broken
deep in the tender flesh;
deep all about from sharp lashes.

The hot blood ran so plentifully
I saw neither skin nor wound,
as though it were all blood,
but where it should have dropped,
it vanished.

Yet the bleeding continued awhile
until it might be clearly seen,
so plentifull that I thought,
if it had been truly flowing,
the bed would have been awash,
blood flowing everywhere.

Then it came to my mind,
God in His tender love,
made waters plentiful on earth
for our service and comfort;
Yet He prefers we take His blessed blood,
a full, homely gift, to wash us of sin.

There is no liquor made
that He likes so well to give,
most plentiful as it is most precious,
by the virtue of His blest godhead.
Blood of the nature of our own blood,
blissfully flowing over us
by virtue of His precious love;
The dear, worthy blood
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
as true as it is most precious,
as true as it is most plenteous.

Behold and see:
The precious plenty of His dear, worthy blood
descends into Hell, bursts her bonds
and delivers all belonging to Heaven’s court.

The precious plenty of His dear, worthy blood
overflows all the Earth,
washing all creatures of sin
which are, have been, and shall be, of good will,.

The precious plenty of His dear, worthy blood
ascended into Heaven
to our Lord Jesus Christ’s blessed body,
and is there in Him,
bleeding and praying for us to the Father,
and is and shall be as long as it needs.

It flows evermore in all Heaven’s delight
in the salvation of all mankind
that are, and shall be there,
fulfilling their numbers.

Chapter 13 – Julian’s 5th Showing

The fifth Revelation is that the temptation of the fend is overcome be the passion of Criste, to the encres of joy of and to His peyne everlastingly.

And after,
before God spoke any words,
He showed me Himself for a reasonable time,
and all I had seen,
and all I might learn from it,
as my simple soul could understand.

Then with no voice,
without opening His lips,
He formed these words in my soul:
Thus the fiend is overcome.

Our Lord said these words,
meaning by His blessed passion
that He showed before.

In this our Lord showed
how His passion overcomes the fiend.

God showed the fiend,
as malicious now
as before the incarnation.

Yet hard as he tries, he continually sees
all who are being saved escaping him,
by Christ’s precious passion.

That is his sorrow,
and he is seen as fully evil.
Yet all God allows him to do
turns us to joy
and him to shame and woe.

And he has as much sorrow
when God gives him leave to work
as when he does nothing;
he can never be as evil as he wishes,
for his strength is all taken in God’s hand.

But in God I see no wrath,
For our good Lord has endless regard
to His own worshipful nature
to the profit of all that shall be saved.

With might and right He withstands the reproved,
who by malice and shrewdness busies himself,
scheming and acting against God’s will.

And I saw our Lord scorn his malice,
belittling his weakness,
and willing us to do the same.

At this sight I laughed mightily,
and that made them about me laugh,
and their laughing pleased me.

I wished my fellow Christians
had seen all that I had seen,
then they would all laugh with me.
But I did not see Christ laughing;

I understood that we may laugh,
comforting ourselves,
enjoying God,
for the devil is overcome.

Then I saw Him scorn his malice;
guiding my understanding of our Lord,
an inward showing of truth,
with no change of emotion.
I saw constancy
as a worshipful property of God.

Then I fell serious and calm,
saying, “I see three things:
joy, scorn, and resolve;
I see joy, that the fiend is overcome.
I see scorn, that God scorns him,
and that he shall be scorned.
I see resolve, that he is overcome
by our Lord Jesus Christ’s blissful passion and death ;
done in full earnest and with sad travail.”

And I said, “He is scorned.”
That is, God scorns him;
He sees him now as He shall forever.
In this God showed the fiend condemned.

And I meant this when I said
he shall be scorned at doomsday,
generally, by all that shall be saved,
of whose consolation he is most jealous.

Then he shall see all the woe and oppression
that he has done to them,
turned to their endless increased joy.
And all that pain and suffering
he would have brought them to
shall go with him endlessly to Hell.

Julian’s 6th Showing will follow early next month.

Julian’s 3rd Showing

Chapter 11. 

“The third Revelation etc.; how God doth al thing except synne, never chongyng His purpose without end, for He hath made al thing in fulhede of goodnes. The eleventh chapter.”

And after this I saw God in a tiny point,
that is to say, in my understanding
I saw that He is in all things.

I saw and considered,
seeing and understanding the sight with a soft awe,
and thought: What is sin?

For I saw truly that God does everything, however little.
Nothing comes by chance without His foresight.
If it seems so, our blindness,
our poor foresight, is the cause.

Those things in God’s foreseeing wisdom
from without beginning fall suddenly,
unsuspectedly to us;
by our blindness, by our lack of forsight,
we see them as happenchance.
But to our Lord God they are not so.

  fro withoute beginning: an interesting term whose sense
is perhaps preserved in the Scottish term outwith, ‘apart from’
or in this case ‘outside’ the beginning which points to something other
than mere unending time: something outside time, the eternal,
for which we have no true words.
Even ‘eternal’, from words meaning ‘lasting for an age’
inadequately expresses in temporal words, something outwith time.
(Compare Jeremiah: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart
)

So I must grant all that is done, is done well ,
for our Lord God does all.
I saw our Lord God at work in His creatures,
not the work of His creatures,
for He is the mid-point of everything;
and I was sure He does no sin.

And I saw here truly that sin is no deed,
for in all this sin was not shown.
I would no longer wonder at this,
but saw what our Lord would show.
My soul was shown the rightfulness of God’s work.

Rightfulness has two fair properties:
it is right, it is full,
as are all the works of our Lord God;
needing neither the working of mercy nor grace,
for all is rightful,
nothing fails.

Another time He showed me sin nakedly,
as I shall say later,
where He uses the work of mercy and grace.

This vision was shown to my understanding.
For our Lord wishes the soul to turn
to see Him truly,
and all His works generally,
for they are fully good,
and all His doings are easy and sweet, and greatly easing,
turning the soul from the blind judgement of man
to the fair, sweet judgement of our Lord God.
For a man sees some deeds well done
and some evil.
But our Lord beholds them not so.
For just as all that exists in nature is of God’s making,
so all that is done is of God’s doing.

That the best deed is well done
is easy to understand.
And as the best and the highest,
so is the least deed done,
and all in the way and order our Lord has ordained
from without beginning,
for there is no doer but He.

I saw with certainty,
He never changes His purpose,
nor ever shall, without end.
For nothing was unknown to Him
forever, from without beginning.

Everything was set in order and made,
and it shall stand without end,
and nothing shall fail in that point.
He made everything in full goodness,
in the blessed Trinity,
forever fully pleased in all His works.

And all this He showed blisfully, meaning thus:

See, I am God;
see, I am in everything;
see, I do everything;
see, I never left my hands off my works,
nor ever shall without end;
see I lead everything to the end I ordained
from without beginning
by the same might, wisdom and love that I made it.
How should anything be amiss?

Thus mightily, wisely, and lovingly
my soul was examined in this vision.
Then I saw truly,
I had to assent with great reverence,
delighting in God.

Her 4th & 5th visions follow in a couple of weeks.

Julian’s 2nd Showing

A little before the fourteenth century, the word for our species, ‘Man’, had begun to be used also for the male of our species. Even ‘he’ and ‘she’ had once been different local accent words for person with no gender significance until ‘she’ shifted to mean a female person (for more see here). I have differentiated between man meaning a male person, and Man meaning a member of the species of either gender, by using a capital M for the species term.

Chapter 10

“The second Revelation is of His discolouryng etc; of our redemption, and the discolouring of the vernacle; and how it plesith God we seke Him besily, abiding Him stedfastly and trusting Hym mightily. Tenth chapter.”

Then I saw with my own eyes,
the crucifix continually before me,
part of His passion –
spite, spitting, sullying, buffetting
and many languishing pains, more than I can tell,
with often changing colour.

Once I saw half the face, beginning at the ear,
covered with dry blood to the centre.
Then the other half similarly,
while the first vanished as it came.

I saw this with my own eyes, dimly,
straining to see more clearly.

It was put in my mind,
if God would show me more
He must be my light;
I needed none but Him,
for Him I sought.

So I had seen Him and sought Him,
for we are so blind and unwise
that we never seek God
until He shows Himself to us in His goodness.
When we glimpse Him by His grace,
we are stirred, by that same grace,
to seek with great desire to see Him more.

So I saw Him, I sought Him; I had Him and wanted Him.
This is and should be, our common purpose.

Once, in my mind, I was led down to the deep sea bed.
There I saw green hills and dales,
moss-grown with sea-wrack and gravel.

Then I understood.
if a man or woman could keep sight of God,
who is with Man continually,
even under the sea he would be safe,
in body and soul, taking no harm.
Above all, he would have more solace and comfort
than all this world can tell.

God wants us to know we see Him always
though we think it is but little,
and in this belief He gives us everlasting grace.

For He wishes to be seen,
He wishes to be sought,
He wishes us to wait for Him,
and trust Him.

This second shewing,
so low, so little, so simple,
made my spirits mourn.
It filled them with dread and longing,
and I doubted it was a showing.

Little by little our good Lord
gave me true understanding.
It was a showing –
an image of our foul mortal flesh
that our fair, bright, blessed Lord
bore for our sins.

There is a holy kerchief in Rome,
on which is portrayed His blessed face in His hard Passion,
going with steadfast will to death,
and often changing colour.

The holy vernacle of Rome.  According to the legend of the vernicle, St. Veronica’s kerchief became impressed with an exact image of the face of the suffering Christ when she compassionately wiped His face as He carried the cross to Calvary. Preserved at St. Peter’s in Rome, the cloth became an object of pilgrimage.

Many marvel how brown and black,
how rueful and wasted this image might be,
since He portrayed it with His blessed face,
who is the fairness of heaven, flower of the earth,
and the fruit of the Maiden’s womb.
How can this image be so darkening in colour
and so far from fair?

I desire to tell it as I have understood by God’s grace:
We know in our faith,
and believe by Holy Church’s teaching,
that the blessed Trinity made Mankind in His image.

In the same manner we know
that when Man fell so deep,
so wretchedly by sin,
there was no other to restore him
but He that made Man.

He that made Man for love,
would restore him by that same love
to the same or greater bliss,
in the image of the Trinity
seen in our first creation.
Like Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
in heaven without end, in our remaking.

Between our creation and remaking,
He would, for love and worship of man,
make Himself as a man in this mortal life,
in our foulness, and our wretchedness,
as a man might be without guilt.

This is the meaning of that written above:
it was an image of our foul, black, mortal flesh
wherein our fair, bright, blessed Lord God is hid.

But I dare to say, fully and surely,
that never was so fair a man as He,
until His fair colour was changed
with travail and sorrow and passion,
dying.

More of this is in the Eighth Showing,
where it says the vernacle of Rome moves,
changing colour and expression,
sometimes more comfortable and lifelike,
sometimes more rueful and deathly.

And in this vision I learned
the soul’s continual search pleases God greatly,
for it can only seek, suffer, and trust.

In the soul that has it,
this is the work of the Holy Spirit, finding clarity
when He wills it by His special grace.
Our seeking, with faith, hope, and love,
pleases our Lord.
Our finding pleases the soul,
filling it with joy.

So I was taught, in my mind,
that seeking is as good as seeing
while He allows the soul to be in travail.

God wishes us to seek to see Him.
By this He shall show Himself to us,
by His special grace, when He wills it.

And how a soul shall be, beholding Him,
He, Himself, shall teach.
That is most worshipful to Him,
most profitable to you,
and receives greatest meekness and virtues
with the Holy Spirit’s grace and leading.

For a soul fastening onto God
by seeking or beholding,
with nothing but true trust,
does the greatest worship possible to Him,
as to my sight.

Two workings may be seen in this vision:
seeking and seeing.

Seeking is available to all.
Every soul may have the discretion
and teaching of Holy Church;
and ought to have,
with God’s grace.

God wishes us three things in our seeking.

First, that we seek wilfully, through His grace,
busily, without sloth,
gladly, merrily,
without senseless heaviness,
without vain sorrow.

Second, that we wait for His love,
steadfast, without grumbling,
without striving against Him, to our life’s end,
for it shall be but for a while;

We know He shall appear suddenly, blissfully to all His lovers,
He works secretly but we shall see Him,
He shall appear suddenly, and He will be believed,
for He is fully courteous and homely.

Third, that we trust Him greatly
in full, secure faith,
for this is His will.

Blessed may He be.

Julian’s third showing will follow in the beginning of May.