The Companions have been invited to write about their chosen Julian phrase
Here is another in the series, from chapter 71 of Julian's ‘Revelations of Divine Love.
It has been said many times that Julian is a woman for our times. How true that is at present with global pandemic political unrest and a feeling that our lives are ‘tempest tossed’.
Julian lived in her anchorage possibly from around 1373 till around 1420. In this time, she lived through political turmoil, radical religious revolution, the Peasants Revolt and repeated bouts of the Black Death and all set against a period of bad weather with bad harvests. Without doubt a very hard time to live though.
We are not experiencing the same overwhelming distressing times - our current experience is different - but her visions, and her understanding of them, when times are hard, reveal such a hope for us, such a consoling message, which is above all about the incomprehensible love God has for us, His creation.
In the opening of chapter 71 Julian writes, ‘Glad, merry and sweet is the blessed and lovely face that our Lord shows our soul.'
She then goes on, ‘He is ever turned towards us who live in longing love. And He wants our soul to respond cheerfully to him which is no less than he deserves.’
Julian is a great encourager; she understands that it is Jesus’ will for our souls to lovingly and cheerfully ‘gaze’ upon him.
It is interesting she uses the metaphor our Lord’s ‘face’ as the source of our consolation.
For us, our faces are fundamental in conveying and communicating to each other feelings, messages and so on.
Julian tells us God’s ‘face’ is the means by which he expresses His all- embracing love for us and all creation. ‘The blessed face of our Lord God is the means by which we receive His grace. … By it we are safely kept in faith, hope, and charity; ... The blessed face of our Lord God effects this result in us by his grace.’
Fred Thompson CJN, and Trustee