Friday, 13 May 2011

Julian of Norwich

I wanted to acknowledge Julian of Norwich, who is commemorated today (unofficially - but very appropriately, as 13th May was the day in 1373 on which she was healed of the illness in which she saw her visions of Christ). I had a post, but Blogger ate it, and now I'm too lazy to seek out the quotes again. So I'm just going to post, again, perhaps the most famous of all (the pictures are from Julian's rebuilt cell at Norwich; see also here):

"And after thys oure Lorde brought to my mynde the longyng that I had to hym before. And I saw nothyng lettyd my but synne, and so I behelde generally in us alle. And me thought yf synne had nott be, we shulde alle have be clene and lyke to our Lorde as he made us. And thus in my foly before thys tyme often I wondryd why, by the grete forseyng wysdom of God, the begynnyng of synne was nott lettyd. For then thought me that alle shulde have be wele.

Thys steryng was moch to be forsaken. And, nevyrthelesse, mornyg and sorow I made therfore withoute reson and dyscrecion. But Jesu, that in this vysyon enformed me of alle that me nedyd, answeryd by thys worde and seyde, Synne is behovely, but alle shalle be wele, and alle shalle be wele, and alle maner of thynge shalle be wele."

Easier version (though Julian's Middle English is always fairly easy to read):

"And after this our Lord brought to my mind the longing that I had felt towards him before. And I saw nothing letted [i.e. hindered] me but sin, and so I beheld that it is generally with us all. And it seemed to me that if sin had not existed, we should all have been clean and like to our Lord, as he made us. And thus in my folly before this time often I wondered why, by the great forseeing wisdom of God, the beginning of sin was not letted. For then it seemed to me that all should have been well.

This impulse ought to have been stopped. But, nevertheless, mourning and sorrow I made therefore without reason and discretion. But Jesu, that in this vision informed me of all that was necessary to me, answered by this word and said, Sin is necessary, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

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