Shadows

"By three things man is grounded in this life, and by these three God is honored and we are aided, protected and saved. The first is the use of man's natural reason; the second is the common teaching of Holy Church; the third is the inner grace-filled working of the Holy Spirit; and these three are all from one God."

Julian does indeed find the Church and the knowledge she has received in her Revelations to be sometimes in seeming conflict and decides that it is beyond her human reason to resolve the problem. So she holds the two in tension, trusting that the inner grace-filled working of the Holy Spirit will someday show her how it all fits together. If we think of "the common teaching" of the church we see that there is a simple core of belief.

Julian's "light, love, life" in Chapter 83 springs to mind. She speaks from her own experience in dealing with her own Revelations. The light "is meted out prudently, faithfully remaining with us as we need it in the night". She knew that she had something of very great importance to tell to the world, but it took her years to mature to the telling of it — including the parts that she simply could never figure out. But she knew that "the light is the cause of our life" and welcomed the lanterns that shed it, and accepted the shadows that prevented her for the time from seeing fully.

Light, for Julian, is our Faith: for the three properties of God are "life, love, light. In life is wondrous familiarity, in love is gentle courtesy, and in light is endless kindness." For God measures out our light prudently, faithfully remaining with us as we need it in our night.

 

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