Trust & fear
Julian writes out of the awareness of being powerfully loved. This leads to the transformation of fear by trust—the trust that we are loved regardless, and the consequent strength to own our failures and entrust ourselves, failures and all, to God’s care.
The awareness of the greatness of this love is what shows Julian that all the things that move us to fear are inevitably smaller than this love which binds each of us to all others:
“It is God’s will that I see myself just as much bound to Him in love as if He had done all that He has done just for me. And thus should every soul think in regards to His Love: that is to say, the love of God creates in us such a unity that when it is truly understood, no man can separate himself from any other. And thus ought our soul to understand that God has done just for itself all that He has done. This He shows in order to make us love Him and fear nothing but Him; for it is His will that we be aware that all the power of the Enemy is held in our Friend’s hand. Therefore the soul that surely recognizes this shall fear nothing except Him whom it loves.”
When we fear something, we are acknowledging that it has power over us. The fear of God that Julian refers to is unlike any other fear, because, as she puts it, “the more of it one has, the less that it is felt”: it is the most profound respect, in effect, the perfection of love, of courtesy and kindness.