Because God Loves It

From Revelations of Divine Love, 5 (1417)

It was at this time that our Lord showed me spiritually how intimately he loves us. I saw that he is everything that we know to be good and helpful. In his love he clothes us, enfolds and embrace us; that tender love completely surrounds us, never to leave us. As I saw it God is everything that is good.

And he showed me more, a little thing, the size of a hazelnut on the palm of my hand, round like a ball. I looked at it thoughtfully and wondered, “What is this?” And the answer came, “It is all that is made.” I marveled that it continued to exist and did not suddenly disintegrate; it was so small. And again, my love supplied the answer, “It exists, both now and forever, because God loves it.” In short, everything owes its existence to the love of God.

In this “little thing,” I saw three truths. The first is that God made it; the second is that God loves it; and the third is that God sustains it. But what he is who is in truth Maker, Keeper, and Lover, I cannot tell, for until I am essentially united with him I can never have full rest or real happiness; in other words, until I am so joined to him that there is absolutely nothing between my God and me.

Julian of Norwich (1343-ca. 1417) is the name commonly given to an English anchoress attached for decades to Norwich’s Church of St. Julian, where many visited her for spiritual counsel. She experienced a series of visions of Christ’s Passion in 1373, and recounted them, with extensive theological commentary, in The Revelations of Divine Love, the first book written in English by a woman. She is commemorated on May 8 on the calendars of several Anglican churches.


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