Because of the great,
infinite love which God has for all humankind,
he makes no distinction in love between the blessed soul of Christ
and the lowliest of the souls that are to be saved . . .
We should highly rejoice that God dwells in our soul
and still more highly should we rejoice that our soul dwells in God.
Our soul is made to be God’s dwelling place,
and the dwelling place of our soul
is God who was never made.
Julian’s words from over six centuries ago focus on God’s warmth, nurturance, compassion, generosity and love. She is focused on desire for human salvation: “he makes no distinction in love between the blessed soul of Christ/and the lowliest of the souls that are to be saved”.
She has been a source of inspiration for many writers, including Denny Bradbury, who writes about her in “The Call.”
Denny wonders about Julian’s origins, “I don’t know your name/the one that your mother would call/as you wandered away from your home/in the grip of your holy enthral”. She looks back on her life and ponders whether Julian was the same person before God’s revelations to her: “were you always convinced of your goal/did you instinctively know what is right/was yours always a pure childish soul?”.
She wonders if her religious beliefs are are strong as Julian’s “Shall I ever be even so true/to a tenth of what you left behind?” but admits that “only god knows”.
Mother Julian! Mother Julian!
I don’t know your name
the one that your mother would call
as you wandered away from your home
in the grip of your holy enthral.
As you sat looking out at the blue
of the sky be it daytime or night
were you always convinced of your goal
did you instinctively know what is right
was yours always a pure childish soul?
Did God’s voice on the wind or the tide
gently slide in with delight
and rock you with thoughts so divine
you said, ‘Now I’m for an Anchorite
I know the course that is mine’
Was it simple for you, did you doubt
were you ever tempted to sin?
When children bullied and fought
were you there on the edge looking in
thinking violence will all come to nought?
I hope that you gave up some gritty
childhood pleasures and joys
that you threw sticks and muddied the water
and you cried over old broken toys
wishing to stay evermore as a daughter
freezing time that was precious and good
but then you discovered your Father
in churches so simple and plain
that you walked away from your family
a much greater one for to gain.
How proud and how sad was your mother
when you donned the linen pure
the mark of your face in her memory
full of light and conviction so sure
holy work the one truth in your story.
Do I envy you the faith that was riven
so deep in your brilliant mind?
Shall I ever be even so true
to a tenth of what you left behind?
Only God knows but maybe I do!