Julian’s 1st Showing – part 1

Many of Julians ‘showings’, or visions, were short, but this first is longer and I have divided it

Chapter 4

“Here begynnith the first revelation of the pretious crownyng of Criste etc. in the first chapter, and how God fullfilleth the herrte with most joy, and of His greate meekenesse; and how the syght of the passion of Criste is sufficient strength ageyn all temptations of the fends, and of the gret excellency and mekenesse of the blissid Virgin Mary. The fourth chapter.”

In this moment suddenly
I saw the red blood trickle
from underneath the Garland,
as hot, and fresh, and plenteous,
as in His Passion when the thorns
pressed on His blessed head.

He who was both God and Man,
who suffered thus for me,
showed me this directly.
I knew, truly, mightily
and in that showing suddenly
the Trinity filled my heart.
I understood with greatest joy:
it shall be so in Heaven without end
to all that shall come there.

the Trinity is God:
God is Trinity;
the Trinity, our Maker, Keeper,
our everlasting love,
our everlasting joy and bliss,
in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In that First Showing, and in all:
wherever Jesus Christ appears,
I feel the blessed Trinity.

And with a mighty voice I cried,
said and meant for reverence
“Benedicite, Domine!”

I wondered and marvelled that He,
so reverend and awe-inspiring
would be so homely with me,
a sinful creature in wretched flesh.

Awe-inspiring: in the original the word used is “dredfull” but in Mediaeval English, dread implied awe rather than apprehensive fear.

This I took for my time of temptation,
for I thought God would have me tempted
by fiends before my death.

With this sight of the blessed passion,
with the Godhead I saw and understood,
knowing well it was strength enough for me,
yes, and to all creatures living,
against all fiends of Hell
and spiritual temptation.

Then He brought our blessed Lady to my mind.
I saw her ghostly, in bodily form,
a simple, meek maid,
young, and little waxen above a child,
in that stature she had
when she conceived with child.

And God showed me in part
the wisdom and truth of her soul.
I understood the reverence
with which she beheld her God, her maker,
marveling that He would be borne of her,
a simple creature of His making.

And this wisdom and truth,
knowing the greatness of her Maker
and the littleness of herself,
led her to say meekly to Gabriel,
“Lo, me, God’s hand-maid.”

In this I truly understood
that she is more than all that God has made
all else is beneath her
in worthiness and grace.
Above her, I could see,
nothing that is made
but the blessed manhood of Christ.

Chapter 5

“How God is to us everything that is gode, tenderly wrappand us; and all thing that is made, in regard to Almighty it is nothing; and how man hath no rest till he nowteth himselfe and all thing for the love of God. The fifth chapter.”

In this same time our Lord showed me
a spiritual sight of His homely love.
I saw He is to us all that is good,
and comfortable for us.

He is our clothing that wraps us in love,
embraces us and all encloses us
for tender love,
that He may never leave us.
I know He is all that is good to us.

In this He showed a little thing
the size of a hazel nut
in the palm of my hand,
round as a ball.

I looked at it, in the eye
of my understanding and thought,
What may this be?

The answer was all-inclusive:
It is all that is made.
I marvelled how it could last.
I thought it so little
it might suddenly fall to nothing.

And I was given to understand:
It lasts and always shall,
for God loves it;
so by God’s love everything has its being.

In this little thing I saw three properties:
God made it,
God loves it,
God keeps it.

But what my maker, my keeper,
and my lover, truly is
I cannot tell,
for till I am fully one with Him
I may never have full rest nor true bliss;
that is to say, till I am so joined to Him
that there is truly nothing made
between my God and me.

We need to know the littleness of creatures
and to count as nothing all things made,
so as to love and hold to God
that is unmade.

For this is why we are not all
in ease of heart and soul,
for we seek rest here in those things
that are so little,
in which there is no rest,
and do not know our God
who is almighty, all wise and all good;
for He is true rest.

God wishes to be known,
and likes us to find rest in Him.
For all that is less than Him
is less than enough for us.
This is why no soul has rest
till it sets at nothing all made things.

Whoever sets all aside for love,
to have Him that is all,
can only then have spiritual rest.

Our Lord God showed His full, great pleasure,
when a simple soul comes to Him
unadorned, plain and homely.

This is the kindred yearning of the soul
by the Holy Spirit’s touch,
as I understand this showing:
“God of Thy goodness, give me Thyself,
Thou art enough for me,
I may ask nothing that is less
that it may be my full worship to Thee.
If I ask anything less I remain wanting;
only in Thee do I have all.”

And these words are full and lovely to the soul,
touching, full, and close, to God’s will and goodness.
For His goodness includes all His creatures
and all His blessed works
surpassingly without end.

He is endlessly over all,
He has made us only for Himself
restored us by His blessed passion,
keeps us in His blessed love;
and all this by His goodness.

He is endlessly over all,
He has made us only for Himself
restored us by His blessed passion,
keeps us in His blessed love;
and all this by His goodness.

Chapter 6

How we shold pray; and of the gret tender love that our Lord hath to mannes soule, willing us to be occupyed in knowing and loveing of Him. The sixth chapter.

In the 14th century the words ‘of’, ‘off,’ and ‘from’  (or ‘fro’) were not yet fully differentiated. They were often used as different spellings of one another, even within the work of the same author. In the following chapter, I have used, particularly in her references to ‘praying of His goodness’, forms which seem to yield the most suitable understanding to us today.

This showing was made to teach our soul
to cleave wisely to God’s goodness.
Then, how we pray was brought to mind,
how for lack of understanding,
and knowledge of love,
we use so many ways.

I saw greater worship to God,
and truer delight,
if we pray in faith to Him for His goodness,
cleaving to it by His grace,
with true understanding,
held steadfast by love, that truest light,
than if we used all means the heart can think.

For if we use all these means,
it is too little,
and not full worship of God.
But if our prayer is wholly in His goodness,
then truly, nothing fails.

For as I shall say, this came to my mind:
when we pray to God for His holy flesh,
for His precious blood, His holy passion,
His dear and worthy death and wounds;
all the blessed kindness –
the eternal life we gain –
all this is His goodness.

And we pray to Him of His sweet mother’s love,
the love that bore Him,
and all the help we have of her,
all this is His goodness.

By prayer by the Holy Cross He died on,
the virtue gained, the help of His Cross,
is all from His goodness.

And on the same wise,
all the help we have of special saints
all the blessed company of Heaven,
the dear, worthy love,
the endless friendship we have of them,
it is all from His goodness.

God in His goodness has ordained,
full, fair and many means to help us;
of which the chief and principal
is His blessed kindred with us in the Maid,
with all the means before and after,
which belong to our redemption
and our eternal salvation.

So it pleases Him that we seek Him,
worshipping by many means;
but understanding and knowing
that He is the goodness of all.

For the goodness of God is the highest prayer
coming down to the lowest part of our need.

It quickens our soul
it brings it life,
makes it wax in grace and virtue.
It is our nearest kindred
and readiest in grace.

It is the grace the soul seeks, and ever shall,
till we know our God truly
that has us all enclosed in Himself.

For He does not despise His creature,
nor distains to serve the simplest office
belonging to our body in nature,
for love of the soul that He has made
in His own likness.

For as the body is clad in cloth,
the flesh in its skin,
the bones in the flesh,
and the heart in the breast,
so are we, soul and body,
clad in the goodness of God.

Enclosed, yes, and more homely,
for all these may waste and wear away,
but God’s goodness is ever whole,
nearer to us beyond any likeness;
for truly our lover desires our soul
to cleave to Him with all its might,
cleaving forevermore to His goodness.

For of all our heart might hope to do,
this pleases God most,
with quickest gain,
for our soul is so specially loved
by Him that is highest,
that it surpasses all creaturely knowledge.

There is no creature made
that may know how much,
how sweetly, and how tenderly
our Maker loves us.

So, with His grace and help,
our spirit may see, marvelling forever,
this high, surpassing, inestimable love
Almighty God has for us of His goodness.

So we may ask our lover with reverence
all that we wish.
For our natural desire is to have God
and God’s good desire is to have us,
and we may never stop willing,
nor longing,
untill we have Him in fullness of joy.
Then we may desire no more.

For He wishes us always
to be knowing and loving Him
until we shall be fulfilled in Heaven.
So this lesson of love was shown,
with all that follows, as you shall see,
for in this first showing
was shown the strength and ground of all.

Above everything,
beholding and loving its Maker
makes the soul seem least in its own sight,
filled with reverend awe and true meekness,
with great charity to his fellow Christians.

Part 2 of this first showing will follow in a few weeks.

Eddies

How long had I been roaming through
cloud-misted lanes that run
where fog-dripped tree and dew-dropped flower
and path behind and path before
glow in an unseen sun?

When my way led me where a bridge
arched a broad dark stream,
a flow from source to unknown sea,
ran dark and wide and strong and free;
dark energy, extreme.

The bridge curved high above the flood,
where I stood gazing down,
its ends stretched misting into cloud,
the stream-banks melting in a shroud,
the arching bridge rose high and proud;
the dark stream pouring on.

Below, above a stream-bed rock,
rose eddies in a spin
the handrail melting into mist,
one eddy rose with twirl and twist
and grew, and drew me in.

I found myself within its swirl,
a turning, whirling world,
where, spinning within spinning,
eddies in eddies, singing,
small within smaller, swirled.
And all beyond, more powerful yet,
the stream rolled fast along,
dark and wide, and strong and free,
and though the eddies seemed to be
a mad-cap whirl that I could see,
the dark stream drew them on.

Eddies spun within themselves,
spin within spin in spin.
Each eddy spread from each, to go
turning faster in the flow,
whirled without, within.

I turned and walked on as the mist,
clearing, showed the sky,
and trees and flowers and flowing stream
were no longer what they seem,
but planet, star and galaxies,
spreading in the run
of darker faster energy
beneath another Sun.

Beginning

I have written little poetry for a year or so but I feel things begin to return. The following lines are a somewhat mystical view of creation.

Beginning is a blossoming bud,
	the Spirit’s breath,
	the moment all moments begin.
Eddies spin in the flood,
	billowing, drifting, breathing, brooding
	over shifting uncertain waves,
Gathering, from grain to garden,
	from daisies to chains to garlands,
	as echoes roll into time,
Images of beauty and truth;
	of a stream that flows forever 
	from a Source, Other than this world,
New Earth from eternal Heaven;
	from the spring of being,
	from breathing, brooding, creating Spirit:
New, nothing into everything, 
	moving over the waves
	more than beauty of bud and blossom.
Imagined in that moment and known,
	that Allos, that other,
	that is both hope and home;
Named, I AM, sharing our nature,
Good, glowing, gathering all creation
		Into One.

 

Notes on meanings: Continue reading

It’s a Bleeding Blessing!!

I have always liked etymology.
(Etymology: Latin etymon
from ancient Greek, etumon, meaning truth
plus Greek –legein, a suffix meaning speak)
and yet its meaning is not speaking true,
but the study of the history of words.

The history of words is not always
as simple as the etymology
of the word etymology itself.
With time words and their meanings change and shift.
Words may remain while only meanings change;
words may remain while meanings grow and drift.

Blesséd are they that are poor in spirit,
for theirs shall be the kingdom of heaven.

Poor means today what it has always done
but blesséd, blest,
ah, there’s a word to run.

Often it has been said to mean happy
which seems to fit, a comfortable word,
(though comfort means to strengthen and give power;
In French comme forte is furnishing with strength)
but blest is more than simply being happy;
in French again blessure is to wound,
imblessure is a wound that bleeds.
Blé, meaning wheat in French is closely linked,
and came from bládh a growing blade of grass,
from which word blade we get the knife and sword,
blood shedders.
Bless also meant to blow as in the line,
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows
from which we get blossom and bloom and bleed,
growing, swelling, welling words that promise more.
Farther back, the gallo-roman bladhais
was the growing harvest.

So deep within the happiness of blessing,
we have upwelling, and a blossoming,
the overflowing, fruition
of love.

Linear & Local Systems

Two weeks ago I posted a poem Uncertain Determinism. Determinism is the universe according to Isaac Newton, where strict determinist rule governs every action, interaction and reaction. This fixes the future of the universe irrevocably in an inescapable sequence of ‘This causes that, so what happens next is inevitable’, a so-called linear future in which the falling apple meets the ground every time.

Fortunately physicists such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck and many others have given us the escape route of uncertainty. The world behaves as though it is a series of linear interactions like a game of snooker, but at its heart it is like the fall of the cards in poker. The problem is, how does the random behaviour at the world’s heart create a world in which dependable things can happen? How can the apple fall and hit the ground and still allow chance and freewill?

The ball roll on the table
follows rules of moon and sun
which rise today, tomorrow,
as they have always done,
as past connects to future,
and to present, and are one.

This is called a linear system,
like the turning of a planet,
like a bullet, or a prism,
the passage of a photon,
the turning cosmic rhythm.

Yet this certain path is found
in local interaction
in spun, uncertain motion:
of each particle and atom
in the chalky cue’s rebound.
Local gravity, vibration,
make the universal sound
of uncertain random chaos,
smoke, not mirrors, all around.

With so many random roads
how does it take the chosen one?
why doesn’t it explode
as a blazing, shining sun?

The answer is the tiny
uncertain chance and sway
of every sub-atomic spin and swirl.
The congregated sum
of a trillion minute sums
has a bias that produces
a solid rolling ball,
and here it comes!

 

Creative Collapse

There is trust and there is hope
in the pushing of a cue,
but its moment and position
and even its direction,
are certainly uncertain;
will it miss or is it true?

So mass will gain momentum
in the rolling snooker ball
from the players practiced prodding,
which will send it like a rocket
into the corner pocket
if uncertain quantum chances
are outweighed as it advances
by a strong determination
and combined co-operation
of the sine-curves in the haze
of its line across the baize,
like the odds that have been spinning,
in a gambler’s mind so able
where at the the corner table,
while the rolling snooker ball
is heading for its fall,
he is smugly, quietly grinning
at a hand that’s stacked for winning.

But the spinning, whirling chances
of the eddies in the stream
are subject to the entropy
that eats the gambler’s dream.
And the ball may well be found
in the pocket, but the sound
of the other players cheers
and the clink of many beers
may not echo here at all
in the disappointing fall
of the other players cards,
and his chance to win the pot
may be well and truly shot.

Uncertain Determinism

A quark within a particle
of the nucleus of an atom
in a molecule of substance
of a rolling snooker ball
is neither here nor there
and not directional.

So are they all.

They dance in random orbits
where the chance that each is where
their fellows in the prodding
of the chalky, pushy cue
are in line with its pointing
is no more than a smattering
twixt the lucky streak continuing
at the table in the corner
and the quite unlikely sound
of another player saying,
‘I’m buying the next round.’