Revelations of Divine Love – Revelation Thirteen, pt.2

This Tuesday, we will be discussing Revelation 13 of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love. pp.19-26; Short Text §§13-18; Long Text §§27-40. This Revelation is the heart of Julian’s message that “All will be well.”

Revelation Thirteen: Julian Questions Again (p.21, §14 short text, §§29-30 long text)

This Revelation of Julian opens with Julian’s understanding that sin creates all suffering and is the only thing separating us from God with Jesus responding that “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” This section opens with Julian actively engaging and questioning Jesus’ response. She asks: “How can all be well, in view of the great harm which has come upon your people as a result of sin?” Julian is not, nor should we, be mere passive recipients of God’s answers. She engages, she questions, and she probes. But Jesus responds to her persistent inquiry that his atonement – in his Incarnation and Passion – is incomparably more pleasing to God and more glorious for us than Adam’s sin was ever harmful.

In other words, the substancelessness of sin can never compare to the full reality of God’s love and God’s grace. Our isolated separations from God matter very little in light of the atonement. Everything will be made well. Everything will be repaired. Every separation will be bridged because of Jesus. We simply need to accept this final reality. See, Rom. 5:12-21.

Jesus goes on to give her two understandings of the atonement and the reparation for sin. First, Jesus gives us himself. In him, there is light and life and abundance. We are bidden to rejoice in him just as he rejoices in us. Phil. 4:4. This is the grace that is given to us inwardly by the Holy Spirit and outwardly by the rites of the Church.

The second understanding Jesus gives her is hidden from her and from us. Ours is not to know everything. She writes that “some people busy themselves anxiously about this.” We are not to do so. Phil. 4:6. We must ultimately trust in Christ, not in ourselves, our understanding, or our own works.   

Revelation Thirteen: The  Five Sayings (pp.22-23, §13 short text, §§31-32 long text)

Julian continues to question and doubt that all will be well. Jesus responds to her comfortingly with five sayings: (1) I am able to make all things well, (2) I know how to make all things well, (3) I wish to make all things well, (4) I shall make all things well, and (5) you will see all things made well. Out of these five words, Julian once more has a vision of the Trinity and she sees the end of Christ’s spiritual thirst that she referenced in Revelation Eight (p.15, §10).

The first three sayings refer to the Trinity. In Revelation One, Julian has seen the Trinity in the hazelnut – God as the Maker, Lover, and Guardian. p.7, §4. In Revelation Nine, she sees God as Joy, Bliss, and Endless Delight. Here she sees God the Father as “able to make all things well” because he is the omnipotent source of all things. She sees God the Son as “knowing how to make all things well” because he is the eternal Logos through whom all things were made. She sees the Holy Spirit as “wishing to make all things well” because it is the Spirit who gives us hope and the desire for God.

In Revelation Eight, Julian sees Christ’s spiritual thirst. Here, Julian explains that the thirst that Christ has is that we be reconciled and made at-one with him, not unlike the Father of the Prodigal Son. Christ has the thirst to make all things well, and we have a reciprocal thirst to see all things made well. This mutual spiritual thirst is satisfied, Julian writes, when each of us enters into union with the Trinity itself. This union, this at-one-ment, this final reconciliation is what salvation constitutes. Everything – the Incarnation, the Cross, the Resurrection – works towards this ultimate union between the divine and human when “all will be made well.”

These five sayings are the heart of Julian’s Revelations. Please read them over. Meditate and reflect on these five sayings. Allow the Holy Holy Spirit to open your heart as she did Julians. And rest in the fullness of the grace of God.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is ham, biscuits, and mac-n-cheese. Meditative discussion about 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:2-4

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