Note Taking on Julian of Norwich pt5

It was suggested that where Julian is positive about curiosity, Thomas Aquinas wasn’t (I think this thought does not ring true and needs a lot more work on it to justify it).  If one can’t see the Summa as an exercise in curiosity from one of the greatest minds ever to exist in the universe, then I don’t know what to say!

Julian:  “Fullness of joy is to see God in everything.”

She reflects of what she calls God’s tolerance of evil, seeing it as laudable and good that evil is tolerated;  The context being that God is righteous, and righteousness is so good that nothing is greater.

Julian gives sin agency by “pursuing righteous souls…” (as does Genesis 4:1 “sin crouches at the door…”).  

She describes sin:  “All our difficulty is a failure of love on our part.”

God revealed sin shall be no shame to man but his glory.

This thought is partially expressed in the Easter Liturgy Felix Culpa: “O happy sin” because it opens a doorway to redemption thus the last state is better than the first.

To sin in relationship is to not understand the forgiveness that made the relationship in the first place.

Is a relationship that endures no testing (if even possible – which it is not) in need of forgiveness?

We are not meant to be a sponge for grace; but a conduit, to pass it on.

Whereas a retreat is a specific time of absorbing; perpetual absorbing is sin.

“Sin is the sharpest scourge that any sinful soul can be struck with.”

“No hard hell that sin was revealed to me.”

“Our falling does not prevent God from loving us.”

“He [Christ] is the foundation of our whole life in God.”

Thus:  “Sin isn’t alienation from God.” [against majority of Christian tradition it seems to me].

Impatience and doubting fear:  these are the afflictions of those trying to do God’s will as they do it.

Both impatience and doubting fear are both a failure to understand God is loving.

We often don’t have a problem with God’s omniscience or omnipotence, but we doubt God is all loving.

Julian scorns and rejects all fears other than the biblical fear of God.



Which idea resonated most painful:  Impatience or doubting fear?

How do I feel about “unskilled heaviness” as a description of a spiritual malaise (unskilled heaviness means an unreasonable depression – I think she is referring to the self-awareness the bible calls maturity at every level of being – physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, etc).


These quickly scribbled notes (which will contain my mistakes) come from my recent retreat at the Mary and Martha Society (Sheldon) in South Devon, led by Rev. Dr. Stephen Cherry.  The book we used was Revelations of Divine Love by Barry Windeatt.

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