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