Revelations of Divine Love – Revelation Eight

For this week’s discussion of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text), please read pages 13-18 (§§9-12). This reading includes Revelations 7-9. Please read these pages slowly and contemplatively. Allow Julian to draw you into her world and her visions.

Revelation Eight: Christ’s Passion (pp. 14-15, §10)

In this Revelation, Jesus gives Julian a vision of his death in color. His skin is ashen, then deathly pale, then blue as death sets in, and finally dark blue as death prevails. In this vision, she also sees the drying up of Christ’s flesh and is reminded of his words “I thirst.” John 19:28. She sees his thirst as both physical and spiritual.  The physical thirst leads to a dried-out body deprived of blood and moisture, hanging on the cross and blowing in the wind. (She will later address Christ’s spiritual thirst in the short text on p.22, §15.)

In seeing this vision, Julian partakes of Christ’s pain as she had previously desired. She quotes Paul, that each of us should “feel in himself what is in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 2:5 (Vulg.) She writes that she feels no pain, except that of Christ. This is the greatest physical pain that can be suffered.

She also sees the compassion and pain of St. Mary. Only a mother’s love can suffer as she suffered; therefore, her suffering surpassed all others. God also reveals to her that everyone else also suffered with Christ on Good Friday. Those who knew and loved him suffered because they loved him. But those who did know or love him suffered because nature suffered and failed (when the sun went dark).

Revelation Eight: Christ’s Transformation (pp. 15-16 §11)

Julian continues to watch Christ suffer on the Cross. As his suffering intensifies, she understands that his Divinity gave strength to his Humanity to suffer more than it otherwise could. She also understands that “he who redeemed at such cost would unbind me when he wished.” In other words, since Jesus suffered so much, he would never abandon her but would complete the good work that he had begun in her. Julian understands that ultimately it is Christ’s love for us that made him suffer. Although his suffering occurred but one time, she sees that his love “was without beginning and is and ever shall be without end.” The suffering exists for a moment, but the love of Christ endures.

Suddenly, Julian experiences Christ’s triumph over suffering and death. At the very moment of his death, Julian sees Christ’s pain and suffering be transformed into joy and bliss. In this transformation, Jesus says to her “‘Is there any point now to your pain or your sorrow?’” And then Julian writes “I was happy.” Julian further reflects that if we could see Christ’s glory here and now, no pain or suffering on earth could touch us. However, until our hearts and minds are transformed through our own experience of his Passion and Death, we can never fully perceive his glorified face.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is manicotti. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here!

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.

The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions has dispersed.
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.

The three sad days are quickly sped;
he rises glorious from the dead.
All glory to our risen Head.
He closed the yawning gates of hell;
the bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let hymns of praise his triumph tell.

Lord, by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death’s dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!    

Anonymous Latin; trans. by Francis Pott (1832-1909)

1 thought on “Revelations of Divine Love – Revelation Eight”

  1. Pingback: Revelations of Divine Love – Revelation Thirteen, pt.2 – Ancient Anglican

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *