Knowing

In Chapter 35, Julian notes a mistake she makes: "I desired to know of a certain creature that I loved if it should continue in good living. . . . And in this desire it seemed that I hindered myself because I was not shown at this time."

How often our prayers to God are in fact not humble petitions or thanks but demands to be assured we are right about something, or have our anxieties assuaged without the exercise of patient trust that happens in the midst of not knowing.

Indeed, we do gain spiritual knowledge from our efforts to live as our Lord (enthroned in the honorable city of our soul) lovingly teaches us, but this is not a matter for assurance in our own rightness. Julian is taught that "it is more honor to God for thee to see Him in all things than in any special thing." And Julian accepts the gentle rebuke, concluding that "not only should I not be joyful for anything in particular, but also not be greatly anxious over any manner of thing...for the fullness of joy is to behold God in everything." It is a work of trust.

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