Thought of the day
Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
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"I have come to call [sinners] to repentance"

Julian of Norwich (1342-after 1416), recluse 
Revelations of divine love, ch. 51-52 (trans. copyright Classics of Western spirituality)
"I have come to call [sinners] to repentance"

God showed me a lord sitting in state, in rest and peace. The lord sends his servant  to a certain place to do  his will. Not only does the servant go but he dashes off and runs at great speed, loving to do his lord's will. And soon he falls into a dell and is greatly injured... And so in this servant God showed me the blindness and the hurt of Adam's falling; and in the servant there was shown the wisdom and the goodness of God's Son. And in the lord there was shown the compassion and the pity for Adam's woe; and in the lord there was shown the great nobility and the endless honour that man has come to, by the power of the Passion and the death of God's beloved Son. And therefore he greatly rejoices in his falling, for the raising on high and the fulness of bliss which mankind has come to, exceeding what we should have if he had not fallen...

And so we have matter for mourning, because our sin is the cause of Christ's pains, and we have constantly matter for joy, because endless love made him suffer... And if we through our blindness and our wretchedness at any time fall, then let us quickly rise, knowing the sweet touching of grace, and willingly amend ourselves according to the teaching of Holy Church, as may fit the grievousness of the sin, and go on our way with God in love, and neither on the one side fall too low, inclining to despair, nor on the other side be too reckless, as though we did not care; but let us meekly recognize our weakness, knowing that we cannot stand for the twinkling of an eye except with the protection of grace...

So does our good Lord want us willingly to accuse ourselves, and to see truly and know our falling, and all the harms which come from it, seeing and knowing that we can never repair it; and also we willingly and truly see and know the everlasting love which he has for us, and his plentiful mercy. And so by grace to see and know both together is the meek self-accusation which our good Lord asks from us and is his work in our soul.

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