Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
by John Bradley
Julian of Norwich (born 1342 died after 1416) was the earliest woman whose writing can be identified in England. Julian, who was an anchoress at a church in Norwich had two revelations, in 1388 and 13 93. She wrote them down and two versions have been found, known as the Short Text and the Longer Text. An anchorite (female, ‘. . . ess’) in those years usually lived permanently in a bricked up cell at a church fed through a window or door. Some ‘anchorholds’ were more spacious. There is one to be seen at Shere. Interestingly, Julian wrote these works at the time in England of the Lollards and some peasant uprisings. (See my ‘A to Z of Christianity’)
In the visions she, as a 30-year old, is gazing at a crucifix which has blood trickling down, the whole dissolving and the visions occurring. For Julian, our repented sins will be to our glory in heaven. We cannot know everything here, and we suffer, and yet, in the well-known phrase she wites, ‘all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well’. From these writings we can draw much comfort ourselves. She discourses on different types of doubt and other deep truths.
Personally, I found the Short Text quite sufficient to absorb fruitfully. And you need not read lengthy introductions included in some publications; the Kindle versions are pretty cheap. But in today’s totally different world it can be a fresh approach spiritually.