“But our true Mother Jesus, he alone bears us for joy and for endless life, blessed may he be”

Our Mother in nature, our Mother in grace, because he wanted altogether to become our Mother in all things, made the foundation of his work most humbly and most mildly in the maiden’s womb. And he revealed that in the first revelation, when he brought that meek maiden before the eye of my understanding in the simple stature which she had when she conceived; that is to say that our great God, the supreme wisdom of all things, arrayed and prepared himself in this humble place, all ready in our poor flesh, himself to do the service and the office of mother hood in everything. The mother’s service is nearest, readiest and surest: nearest because it is most natural, readiest because it is most loving, and surest because it is truest. No one ever might or could perform this office fully, except only him. We know that all our mothers bear us for pain and for death. O, what is that? But our true Mother Jesus, he alone bears us for joy and for endless life, blessed may he be. So he carries us within him in love and travail, until the full time when he wanted to suffer the sharpest thorns and cruel pains that ever were or will be, and at the last he died. And when he had finished, and had borne us so for bliss, still all this could not satisfy his wonderful love. And he revealed this in these great surpassing words of love: If I could suffer more, I would suffer more. He could not die any more, but he did not want to cease working; therefore he must needs nourish us, for the precious love of motherhood has made him our debtor.

The mother can give her child to suck of her milk, but our precious Mother Jesus can feed us with himself, and does, most courteously and most tenderly, with the blessed sacrament, which is the most precious food of true life; and with all the sweet sacraments he sustains us most mercifully and graciously, and so he meant in these blessed words, where he said: I am he whom Holy Church preaches and teaches to you. That is to say: All the health and the life of the sacraments, all the power and the grace of my word, all the goodness which is ordained in Holy Church for you, I am he.

The mother can lay her child tenderly to her breast, but our tender Mother Jesus can lead us easily into his blessed breast through his sweet open side, and show us there a part of the godhead and of the joys of heaven, with inner certainty of endless bliss. And that he revealed in the tenth revelation, giving us the same understanding in these sweet words which he says: See, how I love you, looking into his blessed side, rejoicing.

Dame Julian of Norwich

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1 Response to “But our true Mother Jesus, he alone bears us for joy and for endless life, blessed may he be”

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    A sort of tangential, formal comment:

    I’ve just made the acquaintance of a book by getting a second-hand copy:

    The Fourth Lesson in the Daily Office, Book One, ed. Christopher Campling (London: Darton, Longman, & Todd, 1973).

    It is “a book of lessons from outside the Bible to be read in the Daily Office alongside those appointed from the Bible” (p. [ix]), and includes excerpts from (among many and varied works) Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, Charles Williams’s The Descent of the Dove, Lewis’s Surprised by Joy, and Joy Davidman’s Smoke on the Mountain! (Also, from Austin Farrer’s Saving Belief, and Said and Sung.).

    And Julian of Norwich (in I’m not sure whose ed./modernization)!

    (I don’t know what Book Two includes.)

    It occurs to me that, whether you have ever encountered the book or anything like it,* you have in fact, in your ‘feature’ of a series of “Citations” from a given work or author, been providing us with something similar – for which, many thanks!

    (I see at Amazon.co.uk, I Was Glad: The Memoirs of Christopher Campling, Dean Emeritus of Ripon Cathedral (2005) with a brief biographical note, but know nothing more about him.)

    *Charles William’s New Christian Year, offers something not dissimilar, but on a more modest scale as to length, and without the ‘lectio continua’ aspect.

    Tom Wills has been doing good work to make it available online:



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