Posted by: jevcat | May 9, 2010

Mother’s Day and Julian’s Day

Today was Mother’s Day but I’ve been thinking, too, about Julian of Norwich, who, through her writing down of her Revelations of Divine Love, has been my spiritual guide and comforter my entire adult life, as I discovered her while in college.  The proximity of her celebration to Mother’s Day is appropriate, as Julian, in the 14th Century, could write movingly of the “Motherhood of God” and “Jesus our Mother.”  And with all that’s going on in my life and my family’s life, I appreciate Julian’s repeated statement of God’s love and the message that “all shall be well,” even as I also appreciate her own stated puzzlement as to how that should be the case:  faith and struggle, locked together and bounded by love. 

So, in honor of both days, I share some of my own favorite Julian quotes, starting with the mother one, in hopes they will be meaningful to others, too, in these difficult times:

“The kind, loving mother understandeth and knoweth the need of her child.  She keepeth it full tenderly … And ever as it waxeth in age and in  stature, she changeth her way of working, but not her love … Thus he is our Mother in kind by the working of grace … ” (Chapter 60)

“For as the body is clad in clothes, and the flesh in skin, and the bones in flesh, and the heart in the breast; so are we, soul and ody, clad and enclosed in the goodness of God.” (Chapter 6)

“We are all one in love.” (Chapter 9); “We are all one in God’s meaning.” (Chapter 30)

“For our falling preventeth him not from loving us.  Peace and love always exist and work in us, though we are not always in peace and love.” (Chapter 39)

“For this is our Lord’s will—that our prayer and our trust be alike, large.” (Chapter 42)

“Mankind hath been, in the foreknowledge of God, known and loved from without-beginning.” (Chapter 53)

“For our soul sitteth in God in very rest; and our soul standeth in God in sure strength; and our soul is kindly rooted in God in endless love.” (Chapter 56)

“The charity of God maketh in us such a unity, that, when it is truly seen, no man can part himself from another.  And so each soul ought to think that God hath done for him all that he hath done.” (Chapter 65) [shades of Donne and Maimonides, both!]

“This word, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome,’ was said full sharply and full mightily, for sureness and comfort against all tribulations that may come.  He said not ‘Thou shalt not be troubled, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be distressed’; but he said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome’.  It is God’s will that we take heed to these words, and that we be ever might in faithful trust in weal and woe.  For he loveth us and liketh us; and so willeth he that we love him and like him, and mightily trust in him.  And all shall be well.” (Chapter 68)

“For the blessed comfort I saw was large enough for all.  And there was I learned that I should look at my own sin and not other men’s … ” (Chapter 69)

“Some of us believe that God is almighty and may do all; and that he is all-wisdom and can do all; but that he is all-love and will do all—there we fail.” (Chapter 73)

 — all quotes from The Revelations of Divine Love of Julian of Norwich translated by James Walsh, S.J. (Abbey Press, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1975) [I believe this version of Julian is out of print]


  1. Janet: Dame Julia gives me a lot of inspiration, as well. Sheila

  2. Thank you. We do need all the Mothering we can get…

    • And Meister Eckhart said, “Jesus is always needing to be born again.”

  3. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


    • Belated thanks — I’ve been so busy, I haven’t checked comments for a while.

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