Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups edited by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith is a book, or rather a tool, that I’ve used the majority of my Christian life and it has definitely instructed and inspired my faith.
I am studying the section, The Prayer-Filled Life (The Contemplative Tradition), with a dear friend of mine because we both realized we struggle with prayer and wanted to learn from wise people who have gone before us.
One such person is Julian of Norwich, a Benedictine nun from the 12th century. She wrote a book titled Revelations of Divine Love in which she recalled her three-fold revelation she received from God. I was blown away by her faith and understanding of God and wanted to share something I learned.
God is Good
God is good is definitely a phrase that is misunderstood and has lost its meaning. Thankfully, after reading this chapter I have a better understanding of this truth. God is good. It’s in His very nature that He is good. We define goodness by His Goodness. He created the universe; He created us; He gave us dominion over this earth; He sent His Son to save us; He redeems; He answers prayers; He gives us miracles; … I could go on! And it’s out of His Goodness that He does this. He doesn’t have to do any of this but because He is good by his very own nature He blesses us immeasurably.
Julian’s response to this is breathtaking:
And these words of the goodness of God are very dear to the soul and very close to touching our Lord’s will, for his goodness fills all his creatures and all his blessed works full and endlessly overflows in them. For he is everlastingness, and he made us only for himself and restored us by his precious Passion and always preserves us in his blessed love; and all of this is of his goodness.”
Her understanding of His goodness allowed her heart to desire the following:
“It is that God is the creator and the protector and the lover. For until I am substantially united to him, I can never have perfect rest or true happiness, until, that is, I am so attached to him that there can be no created thing between my God and me.”
… “O’ God, by your goodness give me yourself, for you are enough for me.”
How beautiful is that? Thank you Julian for experiencing these revelations so that I may 600 years later fall in love with God even deeper.