Julian of Norwich

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Born around 1342, Julian of Norwich was a Christian mystic. She was probably a Benedictine nun of the house at Carrow, near Norwich, but lived most of her life as a hermit in the churchyard of St. Julian at Norwich.

On May 13, 1373, Julian experienced a series of visions of Christ's suffering and of the Blessed Virgin, after which she was healed of a serious illness. She later wrote two accounts of her visions, the second about 25 years after the first. These accounts are among the most beautiful of Christian mystic writing in their expression, and clear in their theology, always centering her perception of the Christian faith on God's love.

She died in 1416, and although she was never beatified Julian has an unofficial feast day of May 13.

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Quotations from the works of Julian of Norwich

On the Joy of God

And so our good Lord replied to all the questions and doubts that I could raise, saying most reassuringly: "I am able to make everything well, and I know how to make everything well, and I wish to make everything well, and I shall make everything well; and thou shalt see for thyself that all manner of things shall be well. Where He says, "I am able," I understand as referring to the Father; and where He says, "I know how," I understand as referring to the Son; and where He says, "I wish to," I understand as referring to the Holy Spirit; and where He says, "I shall," I understand as referring to the unity of the blessed Trinity (three persons and one truth); and where He says, "Thou shalt see for thyself," I understand the one-ing of all mankind that shall be saved into the blissful Trinity.

Revelations of Divine Love chapter 31

On Sin

God also showed that sin would be no shame but an honour to man, for just as for every sin there is an answering pain in reality, so for every sin bliss is given to the same soul. Just as different sins are punished by different pains according to their seriousness, so shall they be rewarded by different joys in heaven according to the pain and sorrow they have caused the soul on earth. For the soul that shall come to heaven is so precious to God, and the place itself so glorious, that the goodness of God never allows the soul which will come there to sin without giving it a reward for suffering that sin. The sin suffered is made known without end, and the soul is blissfully restored by exceeding glories.

In this sight my understanding was lifted up into heaven, and there God suggested to my mind David and others without number in the Old Law. In the New Law he brought to my mind first how Mary Magdalene, Peter, Paul, Thomas of India, Jude, Saint John of Beverley and others, also without number, are known in the Church on earth with their sins, and how these sins are no shame to them but have been transformed to their glory. By this honour, our courteous Lord shows for them here, in part, something similar to what is done for them in fullness there, for there the token of sin is transformed into glory.

Revelations of Divine Love chapter 38

On the Motherhood of God

As truly as God is our Father, so truly God is our Mother. (And that He showed in all the showings, and particularly in those sweet words where he says "It is I" — that is to say" "It is I: the Power and the Goodness of the Fatherhood. It is I: the Wisdom of the Motherhood. It is I: the Light and the Grace that is all blessed Love. It is I: the Trinity. It is I: the Unity. I am the supreme goodness of all manner of things. I am what causes thee to love. I am what causes thee to yearn. It is I: the endless fulfilling of all true desires.") I understood three ways of looking at motherhood in God: the first is the creating of our human nature; the second is His taking of our human nature (and there commences the motherhood of grace); the third is motherhood of action (and in that is a great reaching outward, by the same grace, of length and breadth and of height and of depth without end) and all is one love.

Revelations of Divine LoveCh. 59

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