Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Humility to Turn back to God's Mercy

Julian of Norwich: The Humility of a Sinful Soul is a Lovely Thing

Our good Lord showed me the enmity of the fiend, from which I gathered that everything opposed to love and peace comes from the fiend and his set.

Inevitably we fall because of our weakness and stupidity – and just as surely we get up with even greater joy because of the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Even if our enemy gains something from us when we fall (this is what he likes!), he loses very much more because of our love and humility when we get up again.

This glorious rising up gives him such sorrow and pain (he hates our soul so much) that he burns and burns with envy.
[...] The remedy is to be aware of our wretchedness, and to fly to our Lord. The greater our need, the more important it is to draw near to him.
Let our meaning be, ‘I am well aware that my suffering is deserved. Our Lord is almighty, and may punish me mightily; he is all-wise, and can punish me wisely; and he is all-good, and loves me most tenderly.’
And with the sight of this we have got to stay. The humility of a sinful soul is a lovely thing, and is a work of the Spirit’s mercy and grace, when we consciously and gladly accept the scourge and punishment given by our Lord himself.

It even becomes gentle and bearable when we are really content with him and with what he does.
[...] This was shown, with particular and loving emphasis, that we are to accept and endure humbly whatever penance God himself gives us, with his blessed passion ever in mind.

[...] Our Lord is with us, protecting us and leading us into fullness of joy. For it is an unending source of joy to us that our Lord should intend that he, our protector here, is to be our bliss there – our way and our heaven is true love and sure trust!

This is the message of all the revelations, and particularly in that of his passion where he made me wholeheartedly choose him to be my heaven.

Flee to our Lord, and we shall be strengthened. Touch him, and we shall be cleansed. Cling to him, and we shall be safe and sound from every danger.

For it is the will of our courteous Lord that we should be as much at home with him as heart may think or soul desire.

But we must be careful not to accept this privilege so casually that we forget our own courtesy.
For our Lord himself is supremely friendly, and he is as courteous as he is friendly: he is very courteous.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416): Showings, 77, 6); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Friday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time, Year 2