Revelations of Divine Love


The Revelations is divided into eighty-six chapters. These chapters are gathered into larger sections as follows:

  1. Introductory thoughts — chapters 1–3
  2. The first fourteen revelations, each in turn — chapters 4–43
  3. Thoughts about the foregoing fourteen revelations — chapters 44–63
  4. Revelations fifteen and sixteen in turn — chapters 64–86
  5. A scribal postscript

The first chapter begins with a single sentence introduction: This is a Revelation of Love that Jesus Christ, our endless bliss, made in Sixteen Shewings, or Revelations particular. This is followed by a sentence or two describing each of the sixteen visions in turn. The second chapter is partly autobiographical. Julian mentions her illness, but in a spiritual manner. She reflects on three 'gifts' from God: meditation on the Passion of Christ, meditation on her own suffering and the gift of greater piety (which she calls 'wounds'). In the third chapter, which concludes the introduction, Julian writes more concretely about the events of her illness and her preparation for death by receiving the last rites. The introduction ends with Julian's recounting of her sudden recovery as she lay on her deathbed gazing at a shining image of the cross.

The individual revelations are as follows:

  1. The Crown of Thorns and God's love for all that is made — the hazelnut
  2. The face of Jesus on the Cross
  3. All creation is in God's wise care
  4. The scourging of Jesus, and the spilling of his blood
  5. The evil one defeated by the cross
  6. God's gifts of thanks to those who serve him
  7. God comforts those whether in good times or bad
  8. The death of Christ
  9. The love for humanity that brought Christ to his Passion fills the heavens
  10. The broken heart of Jesus for love of the world
  11. Mary, mother of Jesus
  12. The glory of Christ
  13. The great deed of God's making amends for our sin, which prevents us, and that he will make all things well
  14. God is the ground of our beseeching: he inspires us to pray and gives us what is needful
  15. Our coming up above: resurrection
  16. Christ dwells in the souls of those who love him
"And in þis he shewed me a lytil thyng þe quantite of a hasyl nott. lyeng in þe pawme of my hand as it had semed. and it was as rownde as eny ball. I loked þer upon wt þe eye of my vnderstondyng. and I þought what may þis be. and it was answered generally thus. It is all þat is made. I merueled howe it myght laste. for me þought it myght sodenly haue fall to nought for lytyllhed. & I was answered in my vnderstondyng. It lastyth & euer shall for god louyth it. and so hath all thyng his begynning by þe loue of god. In this lytyll thyng I sawe thre propertees. The fyrst is. þt god made it. þe secunde is þet god louyth it. & þe þrid is. þat god kepith it."

[And in this he showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, it seemed, and it was as round as any ball. I looked thereupon with the eye of my understanding, and I thought, 'What may this be?' And it was answered generally thus: 'It is all that is made.' I wondered how it could last, for I thought it might suddenly fall to nothing for little cause. And I was answered in my understanding: 'It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it; and so everything has its beginning by the love of God.' In this little thing I saw three properties; the first is that God made it; the second is that God loves it; and the third is that God keeps it.]

— ch.V, Westminster MS.

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