God’s Joy

“I saw that God rejoices that He is our Father, God rejoices that He is our Mother, and God rejoices that He is our true Spouse and that our soul is His beloved wife. And Christ rejoices that He is our Brother, and Jesus rejoices that He is our Savior. These are five high joys, as I understand, in which He wishes that we rejoice.” (Ch 52)

Throughout her showings, Julian was taught that joy is the greatest flourishing of human life. God created us out of joy, so that we would enjoy Him and share in the joy which is the Trinity. Julian’s reflections on the joy of God—the five ways in which God rejoices in us—correspond to the five ways in which Julian saw Christ suffering in His Passion—as father, mother, spouse, brother and savior. But they also represent the ways in which God has worked from eternity to complete us and to bring us into Himself.

And our response to this joy of God as the Holy Spirit works in us? Julian writes that our response to those “five high joys” is that we are to be “praising him, thanking him loving him, and endlessly blessing him.” (Ch 52)

This rejoicing should describe the whole Christian life in general, as Fr Robert Llewelyn pointed out in Our Duty and Our Joy. This does not mean that we can expect never to feel hardship or sorrow, but rather that our whole character is turned to God in a trust that is able to rejoice, and rejoice as the highest expression of trust—recognizing that this is only possible because of the mystery of God at work in us and through us.

“...suddenly the Trinity almost filled my heart with joy. And I understood that it shall be like that in heaven without end for all that shall come there.” (Ch 4)

 

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