“We may with reverence ask from our lover all that we will, for our natural will is to have God”

We pray to God for his holy flesh and for his precious blood, his holy Passion, his precious death and his glorious wounds, for all the blessings of nature and the endless life that we have of all this, it is of the goodness of God. And we pray to him for the love of the sweet mother who bore him, and all the help that we have of her, it is of his goodness. And we pray for his holy Cross on which he died, and all the help and the strength that we have of that Cross, it is of his goodness. And in the same way, all the help that we have from particular saints and from all the blessed company of heaven, the precious love and the holy, endless friendship that we have from them, it is of his goodness. For the intermediaries which the goodness of God has ordained to help us are very lovely and many. Of them the chief and principal intermediary is the blessed nature which he took of the virgin, with all the intermediaries which preceded and followed, which are a part of our redemption and of our endless salvation.

Therefore it pleases him that we seek him and honour him through intermediaries, understanding and knowing that he is the goodness of everything. For the highest form of prayer is to the goodness of God, which comes down to us to our humblest needs. It gives life to our souls and makes them live and grow in grace and virtue. It is nearest in nature and promptest in grace, for it is the same grace which the soul seeks and always will, until we truly know our God, who has enclosed us all in himself.

A man walks upright, and the food in his body is shut in as if in a well-made purse. When the time of his necessity comes, the purse is open and then shut again, in most seemly fashion. And it is God who does this, as it is shown when he says that he comes down to us in our humblest needs. For he does not despise what he has made, nor does he disdain to serve us in the simplest natural functions of our body, for the love of the soul which he created in his own likeness. For as the body is clad in the cloth, and the flesh in the skin, and the bones in the flesh, and the heart in the trunk, so are we, soul and body, clad and enclosed in the goodness of God. Yes, and more closely, for all these vanish and waste away; the goodness of God is always complete, and closer to us, beyond any comparison. For truly our lover desires the soul to adhere to him with all its power, and us always to adhere to his goodness. For of all the things that the heart can think, this pleases God most and soonest profits the soul. For it is so preciously loved by him who is highest that this surpasses the knowledge of all created beings. That is to say, there is no created being who can know how much and how sweetly and how tenderly the Creator loves us. And therefore we can with his grace and his help persevere in spiritual contemplation, with endless wonder at this high, surpassing, immeasurable love which our Lord in his goodness has for us; and therefore we may with reverence ask from our lover all that we will, for our natural will is to have God, and God’s good will is to have us, and we can never stop willing or loving until we possess him in the fulness of joy. And there we can will no more, for it is his will that we be occupied in knowing and loving until the time comes that we shall be filled full in heaven.

Dame Julian of Norwich

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