Friday, June 17, 2011

Julian of Norwich- Second Showing

This post is part of my meditative reading through Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Divine Love during my renewal leave.

In the second showing, Julian is focusing her attention on the crucifix on the wall when she sees Jesus’ face becoming discolored. Perhaps what she is seeing is what modern medicine would tell us happens as the result of gradual oxygen deprivation, as a crucified person is less and less able to take full breaths. That is what makes crucifixion such an agonizing death, and the discoloration shows Julian how the image of God is distorted by the sinful cruelty of humanity.

She reflects on the Trinity and how God created all human beings in God’s image, and how in the Incarnation God shows us “as a man might be if he were without guilt”.

Julian also reflects on the difference between “seeking” God and “seeing” God. Seeking after God is something all people do to one extent or another, although Julian emphasizes that even that cannot be done without the leading of God’s grace. Seeing, however, is something that happens entirely independent of human effort. Julian’s visions are “seeing” God in full as God wills God’s self to be seen, and all she can do is be still and marvel at what God is showing her.

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