Mystic Monday – God Showed Julian of Norwich


And God showed me a little thing
in the palm of my hand,
round like a ball,
no bigger than a hazelnut.
I gazed at it, puzzling at what it might be.
And God said to me, “it’s all of creation.”
I was amazed that it could last
and did not suddenly disintegrate
and fall into nothingness
for it was so tiny.

And again God spoke to me,
“It lasts both now and forever,
because I cherish it.”
And I understood that everything has its being
owing to God’s care and love.
We need to realize the insignificance of creation
and see it for the emptiness it is
before we can embrace the uncreated God in love.

We will find no rest for our heart or spirit
as long as we seek it in insignificant things,
which cannot satisfy us,
rather than God,
who is omnipotent, omniscient, and beneficent.
He is our true repose.

And he desires to be known,
and is pleased that we should rest in him.
For nothing less than God can satisfy us.
We cannot rest
until we are detached from all that is created.
When we have done so
for love of the God who is all,
only then are we able enjoy spiritual rest.

Richard Chilson, All Will Be Well: Julian of Norwich, Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2008, p. 15f.

[This is part of a series of books which introduce mystics to readers to help them to pray better and grow spiritually over the course of thirty days.  Paraphrasing by the compiler helps make more accessible what was written in a much earlier English.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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