Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Marvellous mixture of well-being and woe

    During our lifetime here we have in us a marvelous mixture of both well-being and woe.  We have in us our risen Lord Jesus Christ, and we have in us the wretchedness and the harm of Adam's falling. Dying, we are constantly protected by Christ, and by the touching of his grace we are raised to true trust in salvation.  And we are so afflicted in our feelings by Adam's falling in various ways, by sin and by different pains, and in this we are made dark and so blind that we can scarcely accept any comfort.  But in our intention we wait for God, and trust faithfully to have mercy and grace; and this is his own working in us, and in his goodness he opens the eye of our understanding, by which we have sight, sometimes more and sometimes less, according to the ability God gives us to receive.  And now we are raised to the one, and now we are permitted to fall to the other.  And so that mixture is so marvellous in us that we scarcely know, about ourselves or about our fellow Christians, what condition we are in, these conflicting feelings are so extraordinary, except for each holy act of assent to God which we make when we feel him, truly willing with all our heart to be with him, and with all our soul and with all our might.  And then we hate and despise our evil inclinations, and everything which could be an occasion of spiritual and bodily sin.  And even so, when this sweetness is hidden, we fall again into blindness, and so in various ways into woe and tribulation.  But then this is our comfort, that we know in our faith that by the power of Christ who is our protector we never assent to that, but we complain about it, and endure in pain and in woe, praying until the time that he shows himself again to us.  And so we remain in this mixture all the days of our life; but he wants us to trust that he is constantly with us, and that in three ways.
    He is with us in heaven, true man in his own person, drawing us up....And he is with us on earth, leading us....And he is with us in our soul, endlessly dwelling, ruling and guarding...."

                             - Julian of Norwich, Showings (long text), 14 Revelation, Ch. 52

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