A Revelation of Divine Love

Lady Julian Of Norwich
Julian of Norwich by Stephen Reid, 1912. Photograph: Alamy

“Then I suddenly saw the red blood trickling down from under the crown of thorns, hot and fresh and very plentiful, as though it were the moment of His Passion when the crown of thorns was thrust on to his blessed head, He who was both God and man, the same who suffered for me like that.  I believed truly and strongly that it was He Himself who showed me this, without any intermediary.  And as part of the same showing the Trinity suddenly filled my heart with the greatest joy.  And I understood that in heaven it will be like that for ever for those who come there.  For the Trinity is God, God is the Trinity; the Trinity is our maker and protector, the Trinity is our dear friend for ever, our everlasting joy and bliss, through our Lord Jesus Christ.  And this was shown in the first revelation, and in all of them; for it seems to me that where Jesus is spoken of, the Holy Trinity is to be understood.  And I said, “Benedicite domine!”  Because I meant this with such deep veneration, I said it in a very loud voice; and I was astounded with wonder and admiration that He who is so holy and awe-inspiring was willing to be so familiar with a sinful being living in wretched flesh.  I supposed that the time of my temptation had now come, for I thought that God would allow me to be tempted by fiends before I died.  With this sight of the blessed Passion, along with the Godhead that I saw in my mind, I knew that I, yes, and every creature living, could have strength to resist all the fiends of hell and all spiritual temptation.

“Then He brought our blessed Lady into my mind.  I saw her spiritually in bodily likeness, a meek and simple maid, young—little more than a child, of the same bodily form as when she conceived.  God also showed me part of the wisdom and truth of her soul, so that I understood with what reverence she beheld her God and Maker, and how reverently she marveled that He chose to be born of her, a simple creature of His own making.  And this wisdom and faithfulness, knowing as she did the greatness of her Maker and the littleness of her who was made, moved her to say very humbly to Gabriel, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.”  With this sight I really understood that she is greater in worthiness and grace than all that God made below her; for, as I see it, nothing that is made is above her, except the blessed Manhood of Christ.”

Julian of Norwich—Revelations of Divine Love

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Anselm
St. Anselm of Canterbury (AD 1033-1109) was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and the father of scholasticism. He is best known for his ontological proof of God’s existence.

“O Virgin, by whose blessing all nature is blessed!”

“Sky, stars, earth, rivers, day, night, and all things that are meant to serve man and be for his good rejoice because of you, our Lady. Through you they have returned to life; enriched with a new grace that words cannot describe. When they lost the noble purpose of their nature, for which they had been made, of serving and helping those who praise God, they were like dead things. They were crushed, disfigured, and abused by idol worshipers for whom they had not been made. They rejoice now as if they had come to life again. Now they are made beautiful because they serve and are used by those who believe in God.

“A new and priceless grace has made them almost leap for joy. They have not merely felt God himself, their creator, ruling them invisibly from above, but they have seen him visibly within themselves using them in his work of sanctification. These immense benefits have come through the blessed fruit of the blessed womb of the blessed Mary.

“Through the fullness of your grace, the things in the lower world rejoice in the gift of freedom and the things above the world are gladdened by being renewed. Through the one glorious Son of your glorious virginity all the just who died before his life-giving death rejoice that their captivity has been ended, and the angels delight that their half-ruined city is restored. O woman, full and more than full of grace, all creation has received of the overflow of your fullness and its youth has been renewed! O blessed and more than blessed Virgin, through your blessing all creation is blessed. Not only is creation blessed by the creator, but creation blesses its creator.

“God gave to Mary his Son, the Only-begotten of his heart, equal to himself, whom he loved as himself. From Mary he fashioned himself a Son, not another one but the same, so that by nature there would be one and the same Son both of God and of Mary. Every nature is created by God, and God is born of Mary. God created all things and Mary gave birth to God. God himself, who made all things, made himself from Mary. In this way he remade all that he had made. He who was able to make all things out of nothing, when they have been defaced would not remake them without Mary’s help.

“God is, then, Father of all created things and Mary is mother of all that has been recreated. God is Father of the institution of all things and Mary is the mother of the restitution of all things. God begot him through whom all things were made and Mary gave birth to him through whom all things are saved. God begot him without whom nothing at all exists and Mary gave birth to him without whom nothing that exists is good.

“The Lord is indeed with you. For he granted to you that all nature should owe so great a debt to you jointly with himself. ”

Excerpted from the discourses of St. Anselm; from the 8 December Office of Readings – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.