Julian of Norwich: Nothing between God and the soul

This extract from Revelations of Divine Love is chapter 53 from the fourteenth revelation. Here Julian discusses how God created mankind and the difference in the creation of the body and the soul. She explains how the soul was created out of God himself – in the image of God – which is why there’s no real separation between us and God.

“I saw that God never began to love mankind. For, just as humanity is bound for eternal bliss in order to satisfy the joy that God prepared for his creation, so mankind has been known and loved from all eternity in the providence of God. For with the eternal assent and agreement of the whole Trinity, the Second Person willed to become the ground and head of this beautiful human nature. We all came from him, we are all comprised in him and to him we are destined to go in order to find our heaven and everlasting joy. All this was achieved in the providential purpose of the blessed Trinity from before the beginning of time.

For he loved us before he made us and, after we had been created, we loved him. And this is a love which has been created by the essential goodness of the Holy Spirit. This love is powerful by virtue of the Power of the Father, wise by virtue of the Wisdom of the Son. Man’s soul is created by God and united to him in the same instant.

And so I understood that man’s soul was created from nothing, or rather, it has been made but not out of anything created. Thus, when God created man’s body, he took clay from the earth, which is a substance composed of many physical elements. And from all this he made man’s body.

But he didn’t take anything at all when he made man’s soul: he just created it. And in this way, created nature was duly united to its Maker, who is essentially uncreated Nature: that is, God. And that is why there neither can nor should be anything at all between God and a man’s soul.

Man’s soul is preserved whole and entire in God’s eternal love, as the revelations show. In this endless love we are guided and preserved by God and will never be lost. For it is his will that we realise that our soul is alive and that this life, through his goodness and grace, will continue in heaven forever, loving, thanking and praising him. And just as we shall be in eternity, in exactly the same way were we treasured and hidden in God, known and loved by him from before the beginning of time. That is why he wants us to know that the noblest thing he ever created is mankind.”

Quoted from The English Mystics by Karen Armstrong, referencing the 1901 text by Grace Warrack.

Final extract: the Motherhood of Christ

Read the whole series here

Image: Tree


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