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San Antonio, TX 78251
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A Book of Showings
Julian of Norwich
 

Julian of Norwich (c. November 8, 1342 – c. 1416) is considered to be one of the greatest English mystics. Little is known of her life aside from her writings. Even her name is uncertain, the name "Julian" coming from the Church of St Julian in Norwich, where she occupied a cell adjoining the church as an anchoress. At the age of thirty, suffering from a severe illness and believing she was on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions. (They ended by the time she overcame her illness on May 13, 1373.) [1] These visions would twenty years later be the source of her major work, called Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (circa 1393). This is believed to be the first book written by a woman in the English language. Julian became well known throughout England as a spiritual authority…
from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_of_Norwich
 


Chapter 59 

As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother, and he revealed that in everything, and especially in these sweet words where he says. I am he; that is to say: I am he, the power and goodness of fatherhood; I am he, the wisdom and the lovingness of motherhood; I am he, the light and the grace which is all blessed love; I am he, the Trinity; I am he, the unity; I am he, the great supreme goodness of every kind of thing; I am he who makes you to love; I am he who makes you to long; I am he, the endless fulfilling of all true desires. For where the soul is highest, noblest, most honourable, still it is lowest, meekest, and mildest. 

And from this foundation in substance we have all the powers of our sensuality by the gift of nature, without which we cannot profit. Our great Father, almighty God, who is being, knows us and loved us before time began. Out of this knowledge, in his most wonderful deep love, by the prescient eternal counsel of all the blessed Trinity he wanted the second person to become our Mother, our brother and our saviour. From this it follows as truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother. Our Father wills, our Mother works, our good Lord the Holy Spirit confirms. And therefore it is our part to love our God in whom we have our being, reverently thanking and praising him for our creation, mightily praying to our Mother for mercy and pity, and to our Lord the Holy Spirit for help and grace. For in these three is all our life: nature, mercy and grace, of which we have mildness, patience and pity, and hatred of sin and wickedness; for the virtues must of themselves hate sin and wickedness. 

And so Jesus is our true Mother in nature by our first creation, and he is our true Mother in grace by his taking our created nature. All the lovely works and all the sweet loving offices of beloved motherhood are appropriated to the second person, for in him we have this godly will, whole and safe forever, both in nature and in grace, from his own goodness proper to him.  



Julian of Norwich's Quotations
God our Mother
 

"It is a lofty understanding inwardly to see and to know that God, who is our maker, dwells in our soul, and it is a still loftier and greater understanding inwardly to see and to know that our soul, which is created, dwells in God's substance. From this substance we are what we are, by God.
I saw no difference between God and our substance, but saw it as if it were all God. And yet my understanding accepted the fact that our substance is in God; that is to say that God is God and our substance is a creature in God. For the Almighty Truth of the Trinity is our Father, for he made us and preserves us in himself; the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our mother, in whom we are enclosed; the lofty goodness of the Trinity is our Lord, and in him we are enclosed and he in us.
 

We are enclosed in the Father, we are enclosed in the Son, and we are enclosed in the Holy Spirit. The Father is enclosed in us - All-power, All-wisdom, and All-goodness: one God, one Lord." (pages 179-180) 


"God, the blessed Trinity, who is everlasting Being, just as he is endless from without beginning, so it was in his endless purpose to make man. This fair nature was first prepared for his own Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, and when he willed it with the full agreement of the whole Trinity, he made us all at once. 

In our making he first knitted us and joined us to himself. By this joining we are kept as clean and as noble as we created to be. By virtue of that same previous joining, we love our maker and become like him, praise him and thank him, and endlessly rejoice in him. And this is the work that is wrought continuously in every soul that shall be saved. This is the 'goodly will' I mentioned before. 

And thus in our creation God Almighty is our natural father, and God all-wisdom is our natural mother, with the love and goodness of the Holy Spirit. These are all one God, one Lord. In the knitting and joining he is our real, true spouse and we are his loved wife and his fair maiden. …. 

In our Father Almighty we have our preservation and our bliss, as far as our natural substance, which we have from our creation without beginning, is concerned. In the Second Person we have our preservation, in wit and wisdom, as far as our sensuality, our restoring and our saving are concerned. For he is our mother, brother and saviour. And in our good Lord the Holy Spirit we have our rewarding and our harvest for our living and our bitter labour, endlessly surpassing all that we desire in his marvellous courtesy from his lofty, plenteous grace.
All our life is in three modes. In the first is our being. In the second we have our increasing. And in the third we have our fulfilling.
The first is nature. The second is mercy. The third is grace.
 

…The Second, most precious, Person, who is our substantial mother has now become our sensual mother, for we are double by God's making, that is to say, substantial and sensual. Our substance is the higher part that we have in our father, God Almighty.
The Second Person of the Trinity is our mother in nature, in our substantial making. In him we are grounded and rooted, and he is our mother by mercy in our sensuality, by taking flesh.
 

Thus our mother, Christ, in whom our parts are kept unseparated, works in us in various ways. For in our mother, Christ, we profit and increase, and in mercy he reforms and restores us, and by virtue of his passion, death, and resurrection joins us to our substance. This is how our mother, Christ, works in mercy in all his beloved children who are submissive and obedient to him…. 

Our substance is whole in each person of the Trinity, which is one God. Our sensuality is only in the Second Person, Christ Jesus, in whom are the Father and the Holy Spirit. In him and by him we are powerfully taken out of hell, and out of the wretchedness on earth, and are gloriously brought up into heaven and blissfully joined to our substance, increased in richness and nobility by all the virtue of Christ and by the grace and working of the Holy Spirit." (pages 187-189) 



"[Christ] Our natural mother, our gracious mother, because he willed to become our mother in everything, took the ground for his work most humbly and most mildly in the maiden's womb…. Our high God, the sovereign wisdom of all, arrayed himself in this low place and made himself entirely ready in our poor flesh in order to do the service and the office of motherhood himself in all things.
 

…. A mother can give her child milk to suck, but our precious mother, Jesus, can feed us with himself. He does so most courteously and most tenderly, with the Blessed Sacrament, which is the precious food of true life. With all the sweet sacraments he sustains us most mercifully and graciously. That is what he meant in these blessed words, where he said, 'I am that which holy Church preaches and teaches you,' that is to say, 'All the health and life of the sacraments, all the virtue and grace of my word, all the goodness that is ordained for you in holy Church, that I am.' " (pages 191-192) 



"To motherhood as properties belong natural love, wisdom and knowledge - and this is God. For though it is true that our bodily bringing forth is very little, low, and simple compared to our spiritual bringing forth, yet it is he who does the mothering in the creatures by whom it is done.
The natural loving mother, who recognises and knows the need of her child, takes care of it most tenderly, as the nature and condition of motherhood will do. And continually, as the child grows in age and size, she changes what she does, but not her love. When the child has grown older, she allows it to be punished, breaking down vices to enable the child to receive virtues and grace.
 

This work, with all that is fair and good, our Lord does in those by whom it is done. Thus he is our mother in nature, by the working of grace in the lower part of love for the higher. And he wills that we know it, for he wills to have all our love fastened to him.
In this I saw that all the debts we owe, by God's command, to fatherhood and motherhood by reason of God's fatherhood and motherhood, are repaid in the true loving of God. This blessed love Christ works in us. And this was showed in everything, especially in the noble, plenteous words, where he says, 'I am what you love.' " (page 193)
 

 

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Neil Lewis
Office: LOH-206Q
Phone: 210-486-4826
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nlewis7@alamo.edu