The God Julian Discovers
Our good Lord showed a spiritual sight of his familial love. I saw that he is to us everything that 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, as it seemed to me, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: What can this be? I was amazed that it could last, for I thought that because of its littleness it would suddenly have fallen into nothing. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and always will, because God loves it; and thus everything has being through the love of God.
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 the 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.
(Showings, Chapter 5, page 183)
Points for further reflection: (Perhaps choose one of these.)
Reflect on these themes of Julian – the imagery of enfolding; the thing the size of a hazelnut; happiness as union with God
- What needs, hopes, longings do these images arouse in you?
Try letting Julian’s words inspire your inner imagination using one of her images.
God ‘enfolding you’ like warm soft comfortable clothing
- Let yourself be ‘clothed by God’s enfolding’.
- Rest in it – let yourself receive its gift for you.
- Respond to God from your heart.
Ponder yourself as the ‘little thing the size of a hazelnut
Take time with any or all of the three points she makes
- God made me
- God loves me
- God looks after me
Respond to God from your heart.
Ponder happiness as union with God
- What longings do you have for this closeness to God? (If that is difficult, notice what in you would like to want to have closeness with God.)
- Find ways of expressing your longings in your own words to God or to Jesus.