Revelations of Divine Love – Revelations Two through Six

We had a great discussion last week. A thank you to Billy for leading our meditation to open the discussions. For this week’s discussion of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text), please read pages 11-14 (§§8-9). This reading includes Revelations 2-7. Please read these pages slowly and contemplatively. Allow Julian to draw you into her world and her visions.


As we concluded last week, I asked that each of us ask to be given the awareness of God within our daily lives. Specifically, think about Julian’s insight into the Trinity given by the vision of the hazelnut. p.7, § 4. God showed her that the hazelnut had three properties: God made it, God loves it, and God cares for it. Try to see the Trinity of Maker, Lover, and Guardian in something otherwise insignificant this week.

The Second Revelation: Seeking and Beholding (p.11, §8)

Julian’s Second Revelation is the face of Jesus being beaten and spit upon during his Passion. Like the First Revelation, please note the vividness of her description. Julian sees Christ’s pain and suffering and she desires more natural light so that her observation can become clearer. God answers her desire by pointing out that “if God wanted to show me more, he would – but I needed no light but him.”

In the Long Text (Ch. 10), Julian expands on this Revelation. There she identifies Christ’s suffering with our fallen human nature. It is because of this fallen human nature that we lack the ability to fully see God on our own. Therefore, the teaching of this vision is that we must constantly be seeking God, we must behold the images that God discloses to us, and we must trust that God will be fully revealed to us in unexpected times and in unexpected ways.

The Third Revelation: God in a Point (p.11, §8)  

In this Revelation, Julian is given the insight of “God in a point.” She sees that God is in everything and that everything that exists and that everything that occurs comes from God. Since God does not sin, therefore sin is nothing. As we have discussed previously, evil is non-existent and is simply the privation of the good. Julian would have heard these teachings as well. If God is everything, then sin is nothing – it is simply the outworking of the absence or corruption of the good which is God.

The Fourth Revelation: Christ’s Cleansing Blood (p.12, §8)

In the Fourth Revelation, Julian now sees the entire body of Jesus bleeding profusely – hot, fresh, and lifelike – just as she had seen his face. At this moment, she sees that God has created an abundance of water throughout the earth for our use and refreshment. Yet it is out of God’s love that he gives us Christ’s blood in which to wash away our sins. Julian’s insight is taken directly from Revelation 7.

The Fifth Revelation: Christ’s Victorious Blood (p.12-13, §8)

In this Revelation, Julian is given the further insight that Christ’s blood not only cleanses us from our sins but also gives us victory over the devil. Again, this is the lesson we also see in  Revelation 5 and Revelation 12, that it is through the Blood of the Lamb who was Slain that gives the saints victory over the devil. Julian understands that the devil is still active in the world, but she sees that Christ’s victory means that whatever evil the devil does, God turns it into joy for us and sorrow for him.

At this insight, Julian laughs at the devil’s predicament. She writes that she did not see Christ laughing, but it “pleased him that we should laugh to comfort ourselves and rejoice in God for the devil is defeated.” In a later time, Martin Luther instructed a friend that when he feels overwhelmed by the assaults of the devil, he should refuse the temptation to fight back, rather he should just “laugh your adversary to scorn.” Laughter is not only good medicine but a good spiritual weapon.

The Sixth Revelation: Christ’s Gratitude (p.13, §§ 8-9)

In writing her Revelations down, Julian places Revelations two through six into one section. This section begins with her vision of Christ’s bloodied face and concerns the insights given to her as to the effect and power of that blood. The very last sentence of this section is her Sixth Revelation where Christ speaks directly to her and says “Thank you for your work and your suffering.” In the Long Text (Ch. 14), this gratitude is accompanied by a Great Banquet full of joy and mirth, cheer and comfort, and endless love. Contemplate how these five Revelations dovetail with one another.

Accompanying this divine voice of gratitude, Julian has a vision of the three degrees of bliss of anyone who has served God on earth. The first bliss is divine gratitude which all will receive when finally “delivered from suffering.” (This probably means at the time of release from the purgation of our sins.) This gratitude, according to Julian, more than overcomes all of the suffering and pain that we have experienced. The second bliss occurs when God gives this gratitude publically before all the saints. The third bliss is the knowledge that this gratitude is never-ending.

Outline of the Revelations:

First Revelation: pp.6-11, §§ 3-7
Second Revelation: p.11, §8
Third Revelation: pp.11-12, §8
Fourth Revelation: p.12, §8
Fifth Revelation: pp.12-13, §8
Sixth Revelation: p.13, §§8-9
Seventh Revelation: pp.13-14, §9
Eight Revelation: pp.14-17, §§10-11
Ninth Revelation: pp.17-18, §12
Tenth Revelation: pp.18-19, §13
Eleventh Revelation: p.19, §13
Twelfth Revelation: p.19, §13
Thirteenth Revelation: pp.19-26, §§13-18
Fourteenth Revelation: pp.26-28, §19
Fifteenth Revelation: pp.28-30, §§20-21
Sixteenth Revelation: pp.30-32, §§22-25

Dinner is at 6. The menu is chicken potato casserole. Meditative discussions at 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here!

See, I lead everything to the end I ordained for it, from without beginning, by the same Power, Wisdom, and Love with which I made it. How would anything be amiss? Third Revelation, Long Text, Ch.11.

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