Julian’s 13th Showing, part 3

XXXVII
 
      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.

XXXVIII
 
      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 10th & 11th Showings

Chapter 24

The tenth Revelation is that our Lord Jesus shewith in love His blissid herte cloven in two enjoyand. Twenty-fourth chapter.

Our Lord joyfully looked in his wounded side;
and in His sweet looking
led His creature’s understanding
by that same wound into His side.
so He brought to mind
His dear blood and precious water *
which He willingly poured out for love.

* Blood-water: the time of events and the spear thrust match blood/plasma separation, known to butchers, soldiers and executioners alike. It is evident an hour after death, with the dividing level just below the abdomen in a hanged body. If an incision is made above this level clear plasma (‘bloodwater’) flows out.

If the incision is close to the blood/plasma divide mainly plasma flows at first, drawing an increasing amount of blood as the weight of plasma above the level of the blood decreases.

If the incision is below the blood level then blood flows first followed by plasma, which matches the sequence in the various accounts and fits with the height of a crucified body above the soldiers.

And with that sweet sight
He showed His blissful heart
even broken in two.

And in this sweet enjoying
He let me partly understand
the blessed Godhead;
stirring my simple soul to know
the meaning of that endless love
that was without beginning,
and is,
and shall be forever.

Then He showed a fair, delectable place
large enough for all mankind that shall be saved
to rest in peace
and in love.

And with this our good Lord said full blissfully,
See, how I loved you;
as if He had said,
“My darling, behold and see your Lord,
your God that is your maker and your endless joy;
see what delight and bliss I have in your salvation,
and for my love, enjoy it now with me.”

And also, for more understanding,
this blessed word was said:
See, how I loved you. Behold and see
that I loved you so much before I died for you
that I wished to die for you,
and now I have died for you,
and suffered willingly to do so.
And now is all my bitter pain
and all my hard travail
turned to endless joy and bliss
to me and to you.

How should it now be
that you should ask anything of me that delights me,
but that I should full gladly grant it to you?
For my delight is your holiness
and your endless joy and bliss with me.

This is the understanding of this blessed word,
See, how I loved you
as simply as I can say.

This our good Lord showed
to make us glad and merry.

Chapter 25 – Julian’s 11th Showing



The eleventh Revelation is an hey gostly shewing of His Moder. Twenty-fifth chapter.

In this joy my Lord looked Down
where our Lady had stood by the cross.
asking, ‘would you see her?’

And in this same manner of mirth and joy,
our good Lord looked down to the right-hand side,
reminding me where our Lady stood
in the time of His passion,
and said,
Wilt you see her?
And in this sweet word, as if He had said,
“I know well you would see my blessed mother,
for after me she is the highest joy
that I can shew you,
most delightful and worshipful to me,
and the most desired to be seen
of all my blessed creatures.”

And for the high, marvellous, special love
that He has to this sweet maiden,
His blessed mother our Lady Saint Mary,
He showed her highly enjoying
as by the meaning of these sweet words,
as if He said,
“Will you see how I love her
that thou may joy with me
in the love that I have in her
and she in me?”

For this sweet word’s greater understanding
our Lord God speaks to all mankind that shall be saved,
as if it were all to one person,
as if He said,
“Will you see in her how you are loved?
For love of you I made her so high,
so noble, and so worthy,
and this delights me,
as I would that it does thee.”

For after Himself, she is the most blissful sight.

I was told not to desire to see
her bodily presence while I am here,
but the virtues of her blessed soul,
her truth, her wisdom and her love,
whereby I may learn to know myself
and reverently revere my God.

And when our good Lord had shown this, and said,
Wilt thou seen her?
I answered saying,
“Yes, good Lord, thank you;
yes, good Lord,
if it is your will.”

I had often asked this
wishing to see her bodily presence,
but I saw her not so.

Jesus gave me a view of her spirit.
Just as I had seen her before,
little and simple,
so He showed her then high and noble,
glorious and pleasing to Him
above all creatures;
and He wishes it known
that all those that delight in Him
should delight in her
and in the delight He has in her
and she in Him.

For more understanding He showed this example:
if a man loves one creature above all creatures,
he wishes all creatures to love and delight
in that creature he loves so much.

And in this that Jesus said,
Wilt thou see her?
I thought it the most delightful word
He might have given me of her
with the spiritual showing He gave me of her.

For our Lord showed me no detail
but showed me our Lady Saint Mary three times.
First, as she conceived,
second, in her sorrows under the Cross,
third, as she is now,
in delight, worship, and joy.

Julian’s 9th Showing

Chapter 22

The ninth Revelation is of the lekyng etc., of three Hevyns, and the infinite love of Criste, desiring every day to suffre for us, if He myght, althow it is not nedeful. Twenty-second chapter.

Then our good Lord Jesus Christ asked,
Are you well pleased that I suffered for you?
I said, “Yes, good Lord, thank you, yes;
good Lord, may you be blessed.”

Than Jesus, our kind Lord, said
If you are pleased, I am pleased ;
it is a joy, a bliss, an endless delight to me
that I ever suffered passion for you,
and if I might suffer more, I would suffer more.

In this feeling my understanding
was lifted into Heaven,
where I saw three Heavens,
at which sight I marvelled greatly .

And though I saw three Heavens,
and all in the blessed manhood of Christ,
none is more, none is less,
none is higher, none is lower,
but evenly alike in bliss.

For the first Heaven,
Christ showed me His Father,
in no bodily likeness,
but in His property and in His working;
that is to say,
I saw that the Father is in Christ.

The working of the Father is this,
that He honours His son Jesus Christ.
This gift and this honour is so blissful to Jesus,
that His Father could have given Him
no reward that would have delighted Him more.

The first Heaven –
the Father’s pleasure shown me as a Heaven –
was fully blissful. For He is wholly pleased
with all Jesus has done for our salvation,
in which we are His, not only by Christ’s being,
but by the courteous gift of His Father.

We are His bliss, we are His reward,
we are His worship, we are His crown;
and this was a unique marvel
and a full, delectable vision,
that we are His crown.

This is such great bliss to Jesus
that He sets at nothing all His travail,
His hard passion, His cruel and shameful death.
And in these words,
If I might suffer more, I would suffer more,
I saw truly that as often as He might die,
so often He would,
and love would never let Him rest
until He had done it.

And I beheld with great diligence to know
how often He would die if He could,
and truly the number passed my understanding
and my wits so far,
that my reason may not, could not, comprehend it;
and when He had died that often,
yet He would count it as nothing for love,
it seemed to Him little compared to His love.
For though Christ’s sweet manhood might suffer once,
His goodness may never cease flowing;
each day He is ready to do the same.

If He would make the Heavens new
for love of me, and a new earth,
it were but little in reward,
for He could do this with no effort
every day if He would.

But to die for my love so often
that the number passes creatures’ reason,
is the highest offer our Lord God might make
to man’s soul.

And this is as I saw it.

Then He means this:
How could I not do for your love
all I might, a deed which grieves me not,
since I would die for your love so often
with no regard to my hard pains?

And here saw I for the second time
in this blessed passion,
the love that made Him suffer
passes as far above all His pains
as Heaven is above earth,
for those pains were a noble, worshipful deed
done in a time by the working of love.

And love was without beginning,
is, and shall be without end;
for which love He said full sweetly these words,
If I might suffer more, I would suffer more.
He did not say, “If it were necessary “;
for though it were not necessary,
if He might suffer more, He would.

This deed and this work for our salvation
was ordained as well as God might ordain it.
Here I saw a full bliss in Christ,
for His bliss would not have been full
if it could have been done any better.

Chapter 23

How Criste wil we joyen with Hym gretly in our redemption and to desire grace of Hym that we may so doe. Twenty-third chapter.

And in these three words,
It is a joy, a bliss, an endless delight to me,
were shown three Heavens, thus:
for the joy I understood the pleasure of the Father,
for the bliss, the worship of the Son,
and for the endless delight, the Holy Spirit.

The Father is pleased, the Son is worshiped,
the Holy Spirit delights.
Thus in the third vision of His blissful passion,
I saw the joy and bliss that delight Him in it.

Our courteous Lord showed His passion five ways,
first, the bleeding of the head,
second, the discolouring of His face,
third,  the body’s plenteous bleeding
in the scourging’s score-marks,
fourth, the deep dying.
These four are the passion pains shown before.
And the fifth is that shown for the passion’s joy and bliss  .

God’s wishes us truly, with Him,
to delight in our salvation,
strongly comforted and strengthened,
and so in His grace He wills
our soul merrily occupied.

For we are His bliss;
in us He delights without end,
and so, with His grace, shall we in Him.
And all that He has done for us,
does now, and ever shall,
was at no cost nor heaviness to Him,
nor could be,
except what He did in our manhood,
beginning at that sweet incarnation
lasting to the blessed uprising
on Easter morn.

In that deed’s cost and weight,
so long endured for our redemption,
in that deed, He rejoices endlessly,
as is aforesaid.

Jesus wishes us to heed the bliss
in the blissful Trinity at our salvation,
desiring as much spiritual delight,
by His grace, as is written above.
That is, our delight in our salvation
is like Christ’s joy in our salvation,
as it may be while we are here.

The whole Trinity wrought in Christ’s passion,
ministering abundance of virtues
and plenteous grace to us by Him;
but only the Maiden’s Son suffered;
whereof the whole blessed Trinity endlessly delights.

This was shown in these words,
Art thou well pleased?
and by that other word Christ said,
If you are pleased, then am I pleased;
as if He said, “It is joy and delight enough for me
and I ask nought else for my travail,
but that I might well please you.”

In this He brought to mind a glad giver.
A glad giver takes little heed of the gift,
but all his desire and all his intent
is to please and solace him to whom he gives.
If the receiver takes it highly thankful,
the courteous giver sets all his cost at nought,
and all his travail, for joy and delight,
for he has pleased and solaced him he loves.

Plenteously, fully was this shown.

Think also wisely of the greatness
of this word ever,
for in that was shown a high understanding
of the love He has in our salvation,
with manifold joys following Christ’s passion.

One, He enjoys having done it indeed,
and He shall no more suffer;
another, He brought us up into Heaven
and made us His crown and endless bliss.
Another, that He has thus bought us
from endless pains of Hell.

The 10th & 11th showings of Dame Julian will follow at the beginning of August.

Julian’s 8th Showing

Background

Chapter 16

The eighth Revelation is of the last petiuous peynes of Christe deyeng, and discoloryng of His face and dreyeng of flesh. Sixteenth chapter.

After this Christ showed part of His passion near His death.

I saw His sweet face as it was
dry and bloodless with pale dying
and then more pale, dead, languishing,
and then turned more dead into blue,
then more brown blue,
as the flesh turned more deeply dead.

His passion showed fullest in His blessed face,
and mostly in His lips
which before were fresh, ruddy, pleasing.
this deep dying was a sorrowful change;
and the nose shrunken, dried,
and the sweet body brown and black,
all turned from His fair lively colour
to dry dying.

When our Lord, our blessed Savior,
died upon the Cross,
there was a dry, keen wind,
and wondrous cold, as I saw.

When all the precious blood that could pass,
had flowed out of that sweet body,
moisture still remained in Christ’s sweet flesh.

Bloodshed, pain and dryness within,
blowing of wind and cold without
met together in the sweet body of Christ.
And these four, two without and two within,
dried Christ’s flesh by process of time.

And though this pain was bitter and sharp,
it was full and long lasting,
drying the living spirit of Christ’s flesh.

Thus I saw the sweet flesh die,
seemingly part by part,
drying with fearful pains.
As long as any spirit had life in Christ’s flesh,
thus long He suffered pain.

This long torture seemed to me
as if He had been seven nights dying
at the point of passing away,
suffering the last pain.

Then I said it seemed to me
as if He had been a week dead;
the sweet body was so discoloured,
so dry, so congealed,
so deadly, and so piteous
as if He had been dead seven nights,
continually dying.

And I thought the dying of Christ’s flesh
was the greatest pain,
and the last,
of His passion.

Chapter 17

Of the grevous bodyly threst of Criste causyd four wysys and of His petouous coronyng; and of the most payne to kinde lover. Seventeenth chapter.

And in this dying the words of Christ
were brought to my mind,
I thirst.
For I saw in Christ a double thirst,
one bodily, one spiritual,
– of which I shall speak in the thirty-first chapter.

For these words were shown for the bodily thirst
which I understood was for lack of moisture,
for the blessed flesh and bones were left
all alone without blood and moisture.

His blessed body dried a long, lonely time
with the wringing of the nails,
and the weight of the body.

For I understood
by the tenderness of the sweet hands
and of the sweet feet,
by the greatness, the hardness,
the grievousness of the nails,
the wounds waxed wide, and the body
sagged for weight by its long hanging,
the piercing and twisting of the head
and binding of the crown,
all caked with dry blood,
with the sweet hair, and the dry flesh,
clinging to the thorns,
and the thorns to the flesh,
dying.

And in the beginning,
while the flesh was fresh and bleeding,
the constant piercing of the thorns widened the wounds.
I saw the sweet skin and tender flesh,
the hair and the blood,
raised and loosened from the bone
with the thorns, pierced through
in many pieces like a sagging cloth,
as if it would very soon have fallen off
by its heaviness and looseness,
while it had natural moisture.

And that was great sorrow and dread to me.
For I would not, for my life, have seen it fall.

How it was done I did not see,
but understood it was the sharp thorns
in the boisterous, grievous setting on
of the garland of thorns, unsparingly,
without pity.

This continued a while,
but soon began to change,
and I beheld and marvelled how it could;
then I saw it was beginning to dry
so reducing some of the weight,
congealing about the garland.

And so surrounded it all about,
a garland upon a garland;
the garland of thorns, dyed with blood;
the other garland and the head
the colour of dried clotted blood.

The skin of the flesh of face and body
was small, wrinkled and tanned,
like a dry, aged board,
the face browner than the body.

I saw four forms of drying.
The first was bloodlessness;
the second, the pain that followed;
the third, the hanging in the air
as men hang a cloth to dry;
the forth, His body lacking liquid,
and no comfort was given Him
in all His woe and lack of ease.

Ah, hard and grievous was His pain,
but much more hard and grievous it was
when the moisture failed
and all began drying, withering.

These were the pains that showed in His blessed head.

The first in the dying while it was moist;
and the other, slow, withering drying,
the wind blowing from without
which dried Him and pained Him with cold,
more than my heart can think;
and other pains, for which I saw
that all that I can say is too little,
for it cannot be told.

This showing of Christ’s pains filled me with pain.
I knew well He suffered but once,
but that He would show it to me
and fill me with mind
as I had asked before.

From chapter 2:

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.

And in all this time of Christ’s pains
I felt no pain, but for Christ’s pains.

Then  I thought,
I little knew what pain I had asked,
and repented wretchedly,
thinking if I had known what it had been,
I would have feared to pray it,
for I thought my pains worse than bodily death,.

I thought, is any pain like this?
And was answered in my reason:
Hell is another pain,
for there, there is despair.
But of all pains that lead to salvation,
this is the hardest,
to see one’s love suffer.

How might any pain be more to me
than to see Him suffering
that is all my life,
all my bliss,
all my joy?

Here I truly felt
I loved Christ so much more than myself
that no pain could be suffered
like my sorrow at seeing Him in pain.

Chapter 18

  Of the spiritual martyrdam of our Lady and other lovers of Criste,
and how al things suffryd with Hym goode and ylle. Eighteenth chapter.

Here I saw part of our Lady Saint Mary’s compassion,
for Christ and she were so at one in love
that the greatness of His loving
caused the greatness of her pain.

I saw the substance of the kindred love,
continued by grace, that creatures have to Him,
most fulsomely, surpassingly
shown in His sweet mother.

For as much as she loved Him above all others,
her pains passed all others.
For the higher, mightier, and sweeter love is,
the more sorrow it is to the lover
to see the loved one’s bodily pain.

And all His disciples and all His true lovers
suffered more pains than their own dying.

I feel sure that the least of them
loved Him so much more than himself
above all I can say.

In this, in my understanding,
I saw a great union between Christ and us.
For when He was in pain, we were in pain.
And all creatures that might suffer pain
suffered with Him,
that is, all creatures God made for our service.

The vault of the heavens and the earth,
failed for sorrow in their nature
at the time of Christs’ death.
For it is their natural property
to know Him for their God
in whom all their virtue stands.

When He failed,
then by their nature, in kindred with Him,
they failed with Him,
as much as they might,
in the sorrow of His pains.

Thus those that were His friends
suffered pain for their love.
And all in general, they that knew Him not,
suffered lack of all manner of comfort
other than God’s mighty, hidden keeping.

Here I mean two manner of folk,
which may be understood by two people:
one, Pilate, the other, Saint Dionyse of France,
who was that time a pagan.

For when he saw wonderful, marvellous sorrows
and dreads that befell at that time,
he said,
“Either the world is now at an end
or He, the maker of nature, suffers.”
So he wrote on an altar,
“This is the altar of the unknown God.”

God in His goodness
makes the planets and the elements
work naturally for the blessed man and the cursed.
At that time it was withdrawn from both,
and they that did not know Him
were in sorrow that time.

So our Lord Jesus was set at nought for us,
and we all stand in this,
set at nought with Him;
and shall do until we come to His bliss,
as I shall say later.

Chapter 19

Of the comfortable beholdyng of the crucifyx; and how the desyre of the flesh without consent of the soule is no synne. And the flesh must be in peyne, suffring til bothe be onyd to Criste. Nineteenth chapter.

In this I would have looked up from the Cross,
but I dared not,
for I knew well while I beheld the Cross
I was secure and safe;
so I would not put my soul in peril,
for beside the Cross
was no security from the horror of fiends.

Than had I a suggestion in my mind
as if a friend had said to me,
Look up to Heaven, to His Father;
then saw I well with the faith I felt
that there was nought between the Cross and Heaven
that might have distressed me.

I felt I must either look up
or else answer.
I answered inwardly
with all the strength of my soul,
and said, No, I cannot,
for You are my Heaven.

I said this for I would not;
I would rather have been in that pain
til doomsday than to come to Heaven
any way other than by Him.

For I knew well,
He that bound me so sorely
should unbind me when He would.
I learned to chose Jesus as my Heaven,
whom I saw only in pain at that time.

I wished no other Heaven than Jesus,
that He shall be my bliss when I come there.
This has always been a comfort to me,
that I chose Jesus as my Heaven by His grace
in all this time of passion and distress.

And that has been a lesson to me
that my choice in health or woe,
forever, should only be Jesus.

Though as a wretch I changed my mind
(had I had known what pain it would be,
I would have been loath to ask it)
I saw truly that was grudging
and a curse of the flesh
without assent of the soul,
to which God assigns no blame.

Repentance and wilful choice are contraries
and I felt both at once at that time,
their two parts, one outward, one inward.

The outward part is our mortal flesh
which is now in pain and woe,
and shall be in this life,
and which I felt much at that time.
That was the part that repented.

The inward part is a high blissful life,
which is all at peace, and in love,
and this was more inwardly felt.
This part is that in which,
mightily, wisely, and willfully,
I chose Jesus as my Heaven.

And in this I saw truly
the inward part is master
and sovereign of the outward,
not charging nor heeding to it.
All its intent and will, endlessly set
to be united with our Lord Jesus.

I was not shown that the outward part
should draw the inward to assent.
but I was shown the inward draws the outward,
and this by grace.
Both shall be united in endless bliss
by Christ’s virtue.

Chapter 20

  Of the onspekabyl passion of Criste, and of three things of the passion alway to be remembrid. Twentieth chapter.

Thus I saw our Lord Jesus languish a long time.

For union with the Godhead
gave the manhood strength for love
to suffer more than all men might suffer:
not only more pain than all men,
but more pain than all saved men
might tell or fully think,
from the first beginning to the last day
of the highest worshipful King’s worth
and that shameful, despised, painful death.
For He that is highest and worthiest
was most fully made nought
and most utterly despised.

The highest point to be seen in the passion
is to think and know what He is that suffered.
In this He brought, in part, to mind
the glorious Godhead’s height and nobility,
and the blissful body’s precious tenderness
which are together one,
and the loathing in our nature
to suffer pain.

As much as He was most tender and pure,
He was most strong and mighty to suffer.
For every saved man’s sin He suffered;
and every man’s sorrow and desolation,
He saw and sorrowed in kindred love.

For in as much as our Lady sorrowed for His pains,
as much He suffered sorrow for her sorrow, and more,
just as much His sweet manhood was worthier in kind.
For as long as possible for Him
He suffered for us and sorrowed for us.

Now He is risen no more is possible,
yet He suffered with us.
And seeing all this by His grace,
His love for our soul was so strong
that He willingly chose it with great desire
and mildly suffered it with great fulfillment.

For the soul that sees it thus,
he, when touched by grace, shall truly see
the pains of Christ’s passion surpass all pains;
that is to say, those pains shall be turned
to everlasting, surpassing joys
by virtue of Christ’s passion.

Chapter 21

Of three Beholdyngs in the passion of Criste, and how we be now deyng in the Crosse with Criste, but His chere puttyt away al peyne. Twenty-first chapter.

In to my understanding of His blessed passion,
God wishes us to have three views.

The first is the hard pain He suffered
with contrition and compassion.
That our Lord showed in that time,
giving me strength and grace to see it.
And I looked after the departing with all my might
expecting to have seen the body dead,
but I saw Him not so.

And just as I thought it seemed
the life might last no longer
and the showing of the end was imminent,
suddenly, as I looked on that same Cross,
He changed His blessed expression.

The change in His blessed expression changed mine,
I was as glad and merry as possible.
Then our Lord merrily brought into my mind,
Where now is any point in your pain or your grief?
And I was full merry.

I understood we are now,
in our Lords meaning,
in His Cross with Him
in our pains and our passion,
dying.
And we, willingly in the same Cross,
with His help and His grace
until the last moment,
He will change His face to us, suddenly,
and we shall be with Him in Heaven.

Between that moment and the next
there shall be no time,
and all shall be brought to joy,
and so He meant in this showing,
Where is now any point of thy pain or thy grief?
And we shall be fully blessed.

And here I saw truly
that if He showed us now His blissful cheer,
there is no pain in earth nor other place
that should grieve us,
but everything should be joy and bliss to us.

But because He showed us the time of passion
He bore in this life, and His Cross,
therefore we are in disease and travail with Him
as our frailty demands.

And the reason He suffers
is that He will in His goodness
make us higher with Him in His bliss.

And for this little pain we suffer here,
we shall have a high endless knowledge of God
which we might never have without that;
and the harder our pains have been
with Him in His Cross,
the more shall our worship be
with Him in His kingdom.

Julian’s ninth Revelation ‘of the lekyng etc., of three Heavens, and the infinite love of Christ, desiring every day to suffer for us, if He might, although it is not necessary,’ follows in a couple of weeks

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 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.