Quotations from St. Julian of Norwich.

Today, May 8, is the Feast of St. Julian of Norwich. When Julian was thirty years old she became  gravely ill and was given last rites. On the seventh day of her illness, all pain left her, and she had a series of fifteen vision of our Lord’s passion. She recorded these in a book entitled Revelations of Divine Love or as Julian called it, Showings. The following quotations are taken from her writings:

 I saw that [our Lord] is to us everything which is good and comforting for our help. He is our clothing, who wraps and enfolds us for love, embraces us and shelters us, surrounds us for his love, which is so tender that he may never desert us. And so in this sight I saw that he is everything which is good, as I understand.

And in this he showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand….

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 preserves it. But what did I see in it? It is that God is the creator and protector and the lover. For until I am substantially united to him, I can never have perfect rest or true happiness, until, that is, I am so attached to him that there can be no created thing between my God and me.

– The Fifth Chapter

Sin is necessary, but all will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well.

– The Twenty-seventh Chapter

And so our good Lord answered to all the questions and doubts which I could raise, saying most comfortingly: I may make all things well, and I shall make all things well, and I will make all things well; and you will see yourself that every kind of thing will be well.

– The Thirty-first Chapter

For I saw most truly that where our Lord appears, peace is received and wrath has no place; for I saw no kind of wrath in God, neither briefly, nor for long.

– The Forty-ninth Chapter

And I saw no difference between God and our substance, but, as it were, all God; and still my understanding accepted 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 he keeps us in him. And the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother, in whom we are enclosed. And the high goodness of the Trinity is our Lord, and in him we are enclosed and he in us. We are enclosed in the Father, and we are enclosed in the Son, and we are enclosed in the Holy Spirit. And the Father is enclosed in us, the Son is enclosed in us, and the Holy Spirit is enclosed in us, almighty, all wisdom and  goodness, one God, one Lord.

– The Fifty-fourth Chapter

I was answered in spiritual understanding, and it was said: What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning. Who reveals it to you? Love. What did he reveal you? Love. Why does he reveal it to you? For Love…. So I was taught that love is our Lord’s meaning.

– The Eighty-sixth Chapter

24 thoughts on “Quotations from St. Julian of Norwich.

  1. The way to happiness indeed: until I am attached to God that there shall be no created thing in between my God and me. It makes sense for then I am truly whole…no longer broken. Thank you for this.

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  2. Julian of Norwich was/is not a Saint! She is venerated in the Anglican and Lutheran Churches, but has never been canonized or officially beatified by the Catholic Church.
    So to call her Saint Julian is incorrect.

    I am a Benedictine Oblate and have taken Julian’s name as my Oblate name.

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  5. hmmmmm just read that Julian of Norwich is not a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church…whatever happened to the Communion of Saints and how many Saints are there that were never canonized…is it Important.
    Are the Apostles all canonized saints…just curious. And when did canonization come about?? We certainly called Christopher Saint for the longest time….such a tiny issue in the scheme of things…we only see a sliver, not the whole picture. Thanks for your witness and for Toolah’s post but if he has taken her name in the Oblate Order he has to really believe in his heart that she is a saint. And, are there not Saints in the Episcopal Church and the Orthodox Church that are not Saints in the Roman Church. oppps my mouth runneth over..

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    • Nadine, you raise a good question. I think the Communion of Saints is much larger than any calendar or canonization process. The Biblical understanding of saints is that they are the people of God. Yes, the Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Episcopal Church share many saints but also each recognize saints that the others do not. That one calendar does not include a person as a saint is not necessarily a denial of their “saintliness” but may be more about history and context. Julian is celebrated in the Episcopal calendar on May 8. I am certainly no expert on the canonization process. I think, however, that the Roman process is more formal and strict than either the Orthodox or Episcopal process.

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