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