Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Julian of Norwich- Fifth Showing

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

This showing begins with Julian looking at God for a “measurable period of time”. She says nothing of God’s appearance, but notes this because there are no words at first. After a while, the very act of beholding God tells her what she is meant to know. This builds nicely on the meditation on divine self-giving from the previous showing.

What Julian realizes here is that God and the devil (whom she clearly believes to be a conscious entity rather than a projection of human brokenness and sinfulness) are fundamentally different. She says that the devil is full of malice and contempt- things that lead one to try to defeat their enemy through violence. But God doesn’t overcome evil through force, but through loving self-sacrifice. In fact, Julian says, “there can be no wrath in God”. God does not fight fire with fire, as it were.

The way for us to live out the Kingdom of God in the world is to realize that it operates by a fundamentally different set of rules than human kingdoms. It doesn’t simply play the game better than they do, it changes the game entirely. God doesn’t conquer human kingdoms or human hearts through coercion or violence, but through self-giving love.

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