Life, Love, and Light
By life, Julian means divine intimacy and enduring closeness at the very core of our being. By love, she understands God’s all-embracing and gentle care and protection of our souls. By light, she sees God’s everlasting Being that will never change or alter its expression toward us – precisely because we are made in God’s own perfect image. Further, Julian recognizes this trinity of properties to proceed from the goodness of God, and she longs with all her heart to be fully united with that goodness.
She identifies the source of pure light in our souls as charity – or spiritual love – which is measured out to us according to the wisdom of God. The light of this blazing divine charity is never allowed to be quite bright enough for us to be able to see our salvation clearly, nor is the heavenly light kept completely hidden from us. We get glimpses or sudden flashes of our divine destiny – of how much we are loved, cared for, protected – and then, according to Julian, we have more than enough light in which to live and work productively, thereby earning the honorable thanks of God.
For truly as we shall be in the bliss of God without end, praising and thanking him, as truly have we been in the foresight of God, loved and known in his endless purpose from without beginning, in which unbegun love he created us. In the same love he keeps us, and nevers suffers us to be hurt by which our bliss might be lessened. And therefore when the final judgment is given, and we are all brought up above, then shall we clearly see in God the secrets which now are hidden from us.
Now and Then
Right now, we cannot understand how it is that each one of us has been given the grace to rise again after every fall or personal failure or tragedy in our lives -- or how even the most hardened sinners are transformed into saints. We will not understand until at last we who have died with Christ rise with him and see in God’s eyes the hidden mystery of the magnificent process of salvation. But even now, we can be sure of one thing: then we shall see that all has been done by God to perfection. This is what Julian understood as the Great Deed:
And then shall none of us be moved to say in any thing: “Lord, if it had been thus, it would have been well.” But we shall all say with one voice: “Lord blessed may thou be, because it is thus, it is well. And now we see truly that every thing is done as it was thine ordinance to do, before any thing was made.”
On this glorious Easter, let us think of ourselves as “resurrected” – for, in God’s eyes, that is what we already are!