For we are his bliss, for in us he delights without end, and so shall we in him with his grace. All that he has done for us, and does, and ever shall, was never cost nor charge to him nor might be, but only that he did it in our manhood, beginning at the sweet incarnation, and lasting to the blessed resurrection on Easter morrow.
Julian is making a distinction here between the work of Christ as God and as man. Nothing he did as God cost him anything in the way of expenditure of effort or difficulty. Only in his humanity did Jesus have to pay the “cost” and satisfy the “charge” of our redemption (she is using a medieval monetary and theological metaphor here). Yet Julian is convinced that Jesus wishes us to attend to the joy “that is in the blissful trinity because of our salvation,” not only to the suffering he endured on earth to achieve it.
Our Endless Delight
Julian even declares that our delight in our own salvation should be “like to the joy that Christ has because of our salvation,” at least as much as this is possible while we are in this life. She affirms that the whole Trinity worked in the passion of Christ, “ministering an abundance of virtues and fullness of grace to us by him. But only the maiden’s son suffered,” that is, Mary’s son. And in this, the whole Trinity endlessly rejoices.
According to this Revelation, Christ wants us to take endless delight in his hard labor for our salvation. We cannot and need not try to earn or merit being saved. It has already been accomplished. We are invited to receive the gift and to rejoice in what the Savior has done for us. Julian is reminded here of the “glad giver” who does not take notice of the thing he gives, because “all his desire and all his intention is to please him and comfort him to whom he gives it.”
The Glad Receiver
And if the receiver takes the gift gladly and thankfully, then the courteous giver counts as nought all his cost and all his travail, for the joy and delight that he has, for he has pleased and solaced him whom he loves. Plenteously and fully was this shewn.
In speaking of the “glad giver,” Julian provides an exemplum, like any good preacher, to further illustrate her point that Christ wants no payment for his gift of salvation except humanity’s joy and thanksgiving. She reiterates that this was shown both plentifully and completely.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, let us take time to thank in our hearts all those who have loved and gifted us throughout our lives, those who have taught and guided us, cared for us and forgiven us, as well as those who have challenged us and made life harder for us! Each one has had a role to play in our lives, as we have in theirs.
Most of all, let us give abundant thanksgiving to the Lord who has given us the gift of life and love and mercy and redemption. And let us gratefully receive the gift of our salvation from the “Glad Giver” with the greatest joy in our hearts!