Julian of Norwich on Hazelnuts and Rest

I ran across this beautiful bit from Julian of Norwich on Katrina Vandenberg’s blog. Though little is known of the life of Julian, she received a series of revelations in which she saw Jesus crucified, and he spoke to her, including these words. The language is Middle English, but makes sense if you simply sound it out:

And in this, he shewed a little thing the quantity of an haselnot, lying in the palme of my hand as me semide, and it was as rounde as any balle. I looked theran with the eye of my understanding, and thought: “What may this be?” And it was answered generally thus: “It is all that is made.” I marvayled how it might laste, for methought it might sodenly have fallen to nought for littlenes. And I was answered in my understanding: “It lasteth and ever shall, for God loveth it. And so hath all thing being by the love of God.” [….]

Of this nedeth us to have knowinge, that us liketh to nought all thing that is made, for to love and have God that is unmade. For this is the cause why we be not all in ease of hart and of soule: for we seeke heer rest in this thing that is so little, wher no reste is in, and we know not our God, that is al mighty, all wise, and all good. For he is very reste. God will be knowen, and him liketh that we rest us in him. For all that is beneth him suffiseth not to us. And this is the cause why that no soule is rested till it is noughted of all thinges that is made. When he is wilfully noughted for love to have him that is all, then is he able to receive ghostly reste. (A Revelation of Love 5.7-13, 19-27, pp.139-41)


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