“It is a joy, a bliss, and endless delight to me that ever I suffered my Passion for you”

Then our good Lord put a question to me: Are you well satisfied that I suffered for you? I said: Yes, good Lord, all my thanks to you; yes, good Lord, blessed may you be. Then Jesus our good Lord said: If you are satisfied, I am satisfied. It is a joy, a bliss, and endless delight to me that ever I suffered my Passion for you; and if I could suffer more, I should suffer more. In response to this my understanding was lifted up into heaven, and there I saw three heavens; and at this sight I was greatly astonished, and I thought: I see three heavens, and all are of the blessed humanity of Christ. And none is greater, none is less, none is higher, none is lower, but all are equal in their joy.

For the first heaven, Christ showed me his Father, not in any bodily likeness but in his attributes and in his operations. That is to say, I saw in Christ that the Father is. For the Father’s operation is this: He rewards his Son, Jesus Christ. This gift and this reward is so joyful to Jesus that his Father could have given him no reward which could have pleased him better. For the first heaven, which is the pleasure of the Father, appeared to me as a heaven, and it was full of bliss. For he is well pleased with all the deeds that Jesus has done for our salvation; and therefore we are his, not only through our redemption but also by his Father’s courteous gift. We are his bliss, we are his reward, we are his honour, we are his crown. And this was a singular wonder and a most delectable contemplation, that we are his crown.

What I am describing now is so a great joy to Jesus that he counts as nothing his labour and his sufferings and his cruel and shameful death. And in these words: If I could suffer more, I should suffer more, I saw truly that as often as he could die, so often should he die, and love would never let him rest till he had done it. And I contemplated with great diligence to know how often he should die if he would. And truly the number so far exceeded my understanding and intelligence that my reason had not leave or power to comprehend or accept it.

And when he had died or would die so often, he would count it all as nothing for love, for everything seems only little to him in comparison with his love. For although the sweet humanity of Christ could suffer only once, his goodness can never cease offering it. Every day he is ready to do the same, if that might be. For if he said that he would for love of me make new heavens and new earths, that would by comparison be only little, for this he could do if he wished every day without any labour. But to die for my love so often that the number exceeds human reckoning, that is the greatest offer that our Lord God could make to man’s soul, as I see it.

Then his meaning is this: How could it be that I should not do for love of you all that I was able? To do this does not grieve me, since I would for love of you die so often, paying no heed to my cruel pains. And this I saw as the second way of contemplating his blessed Passion. The love which made him suffer it surpasses all his sufferings, as much as heaven is above earth; for the suffering was a noble, precious and honourable deed, performed once in time by the operation of love. And love was without beginning, it is and shall be without end. And for this love he said very sweetly this: If I could suffer more, I should suffer more. He did not say: If it were necessary to suffer more, but: If I could suffer more; for although it might not have been necessary, if he could suffer more he would. This deed and this work for our salvation were as well devised as God could devise it. It was done as honourably as Christ could do it, and here I saw complete joy in Christ, for his joy would not have been complete if the deed could have been done any better than it was.

Dame Julian of Norwich

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2 Responses to “It is a joy, a bliss, and endless delight to me that ever I suffered my Passion for you”

  1. One of the most profound insights ever offered and with such simplicity.

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  2. Matthew Hryniewicz says:

    This reminds me of an exchange that I had once in regards to the idea of impassible suffering. That the accomplishing of our redemption is “…so great a joy to Jesus that he counts as nothing his labour and his sufferings and his cruel and shameful death” illumines the paradox. It is to say that compared with infinite joy, the sufferings of Christ’s passion become vanishingly small to Him. To us, however, His sufferings are incomprehensibly great and ought to motivate our worship, love and gratitude.

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