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A Comfort Before the Wilderness

“No Bigger Than a Hazelnut”

Revelations of Divine Love

At the same time as I saw this sight of the head bleeding, our good Lord showed a spiritual sight of his familiar love. I saw that he is to us everything which is good and comforting for our help. He is our clothing who wraps and enfolds us for love, embraces us and shelters us, surrounds us for his love which is so tender that he may never desert us. And so in this sight I saw that he is everything which is good, as I understand.

And in this he showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed to me, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: What can this be?  I was amazed  that it could last, for I thought that because of its littleness, it would suddenly have fallen into nothing. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and it always will, because God loves it; and thus everything has being through the love of God.

In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it, the second is that God loves it, the third is that God preserves it. But what did I see in it? It is that God is the Creator and the protector and the lover. For until I am substantially united to him, I can never have perfect rest or true happiness, until, that is, I am so attached to him that there can be no created thing between my God and me.

And also our good Lord revealed that it is very greatly pleasing to him that a simple soul should come naked, openly and familiarly. And lovingly I pray to thee O’ God, by your goodness give me yourself, for you are enough for me.

~ from Revelations of Divine Love, by Julian of Norwich,

in Devotional Classics: Selected Readings,

ed. Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith

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