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revelations of divine love fragment (ch. 5)

at the same time, our lord showed me a spiritual vision of his familiar love. i saw that for us he is everything that we find good and comforting. he is our clothing, wrapping us for love, embracing and enclosing us for tender love, so that he can never leave us, being himself everything that is good for us, as i understand it.

in this vision he also showed a little thing, the size of a hazel-nut in the palm of my hand, and it was as round as a ball. i looked at it with my mind’s eye and thought, ‘what can this be?’ and the answer came to me, ‘it is all that is made’ i wondered how it could last, for it was so small i thought it might suddenly have disappeared. and the answer in my mind was, ‘it lasts and will last for ever because god loves it; and everything exists in the same way by the love of god.’ in this little thing i saw three properties: the first is that god made it, the second is that god loves it, the third is that god cares for it. but what the maker, the carer and the lover really is to me, i cannot tell; for until i become one substance with him, i can never have complete rest or true happiness; that is to say, until i am so bound to him that there is no created thing between my god and me.

we need to know the littleness of all created beings and to set at nothing everything that is made in order to love and posses god who is unmade. this is the reason why we do not feel complete ease in our hearts and souls: we look here for satisfaction in things which are so trivial, where there is no rest to be found, and do not know our god who is almighty, all wise, all good; he is rest itself. god wishes to be known, and is pleased that we should rest in him; for all that is below him does nothing to satisfy us; and this is why, until all that is made seems as nothing, no soul can be at rest. when a soul sets all at nothing for love, to have him who is everything, then he is able to receive spiritual rest.

our lord god also showed that it gives him very great pleasure when a simple soul comes to him in a bare, plain and familiar way. for, as i understand this showing, it is the natural yearning of the soul touched by the holy ghost to say, ‘god, of your goodness, give me yourself, you are enough for me, and anything less that i could ask for would not do you full honour. and if i ask anything that is less, i shall always lack something, but in you alone i have everything.’ and such words are very dear to the soul and come very close to the will of god and his goodness; for his goodness includes all his creatures and all his blessed works, and surpasses everything endlessly, for he is what has no end. and he has made us only for himself and restored us by his blesed passion and cares for us with his blessed love. and all this is out of his goodness.

julian of norwich. revelations of divine love. trans. by elizabeth spearing. penguin books, 1998.

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About david b. clark

a husband and father || a student of philosophy, theology, history, literature, music, art, computer science

Discussion

One thought on “revelations of divine love fragment (ch. 5)

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this Dave! This part really spoke to my heart today:

    we look here for satisfaction in things which are so trivial, where there is no rest to be found, and do not know our god who is almighty, all wise, all good; he is rest itself. god wishes to be known, and is pleased that we should rest in him; for all that is below him does nothing to satisfy us; and this is why, until all that is made seems as nothing, no soul can be at rest. when a soul sets all at nothing for love, to have him who is everything, then he is able to receive spiritual rest.

    What an amazing God – so full of love, he is THE hope for the hopeless.

    Posted by T & L Mayfield | 12 March, 2007, 8:31 pm

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