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Christian Mystics
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Introduction: This is a short page about mystics in general, with links to the major internet websites about mystics. According to the dictionary, a mystic is: "A person who claims to attain, or believes in the possibility of attaining, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy." – There is not enough time to study about all mystics—there are so many. But if we were able to choose, we would study mainly about Julian of Norwich and other Christian mystics. Below is a short biography of Julian of Norwich, the most famous of the English mystics.

Who’s Who in the History of Western Mysticism
Alphabetical List of Mystics
Mystics in Love
Catholic Mystics (Carmelite Mystics)
Catholic Mysticism
Inspiration, Tradition and Scripture
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism

"But there are also many other things which Jesus did;
which if they were written every one, the world itself,
I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written."
--John 21, 15.





Julian of Norwich: A Mystic for Our Times

Julian was a recluse (hermit) who lived in the anchoress-house attached to the church of St. Julian, in Norwich, England. In her lifetime she had a reputation for great sanctity. The book that she produced, Revelations of Divine Love, is perhaps the most beautiful expression of divine love that has ever been written in the English language.

When Julian was 30 years old, she contracted an illness so serious that her life was despaired of. On the fourth day she received the last sacraments, and on the seventh she seemed to be sinking. Then, quite suddenly, all her pains left her, and between four and nine o'clock in the morning of May 8, 1373, she had a succession of 15 distinct visions or shewings. Most of these visions presented different aspects of Christ's passion, which, while producing in her the compunction she had desired, brought her wonderful peace and joy. Their full significance did not unfold itself until long afterwards. She wrote of being inwardly instructed for the space of 20 years.

The Thirteenth Revelation

Perhaps the most famous of her visions is the thirteenth revelation or shewing. "After this, the Lord brought to my mind the longing that I had to him before. And I saw that nothing prevented me but sin. And so I beheld, generally, in us all, and methought: If sin had not been, we should all have been clean and like to our Lord, as he made us.

"But Jesus, who in this Vision informed me of all that I needed, answered by this word and said: 'It was necessary that there should be sin: but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.'

"In this naked word sin, our Lord brought to my mind, generally, all that is not good, and the shameful despite and the utter naughting that he bore for us in this life, and his dying; and all the pains and passions of all his creatures ghostly and bodily; (for we be all partly naughted, and we shall be naughted following our Master, Jesus, till we be full purged, that is to say, till we be fully naughted of our deadly flesh and of all our inward affections which be not very good;) and the beholding of this, with all pains that ever were or ever shall be,--and with all these I understand the Passion of Christ for most pain, and overpassing. And this pain, it is something, as to my sight, for a time; for it purges, and makes us to know ourselves and to ask mercy. For the Passion of our Lord is comfort to us against all this, and so is his blessed will. And for the tender love that our good Lord has to all that shall be saved, he comforts readily and sweetly, meaning thus: "It is true that sin is cause of all this pain; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

"And in these words I saw a marvellous high privity hid in God, which privity he shall openly make known to us in heaven: in which knowing we shall verily see the cause why he suffered sin to come. In which sight we shall endlessly joy in our Lord God."

Some years after she received this revelation, Christ gave her additional understanding about it: "One time our good Lord said: 'All thing shall be well,' and another time he said: 'Thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well,' in in these two sayings the soul took sundry understandings.

"One understanding is this: that there be deeds evil done in our sight and so great harms taken, that it seems to us that it were impossible that ever it should come to good end. And upon this we look, sorrowing and mourning therefor, so that we cannot resign us unto the blissful beholding of God as we should do. And the cause of this is that the use of our reason is now so blind, so low, and so simple, that we cannot know that high marvelous Wisdom, the Might and the Goodness of the blissful Trinity. And thus means he when he says: 'Thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well.' As if he said: 'Take now heed faithfully and trustingly, and at the last end thou shalt verily see it in fulness of joy.'

Julian of Norwich and the Modern World

These revelations were given many centuries ago, but they are relevant to what is happening in the modern world. At present there is so much terrorism, injustice, misery, misfortune and unhappiness in so many areas, cities and countries. At the present time the words are being fulfilled: "There are such great harms taken, that it seems to us that it were impossible that ever it should come to good end. And upon this we look, sorrowing and mourning, etc."

Words of Encouragement

It is our consolation to know that, even if the present situation seems hopeless from a human point of view, "to them that love God, all things work together unto good." (Romans 8, 28). "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and thou shalt see thyself, that all manner of thing shall be well."

This wonderful promise is the reason why Julian of Norwich and her revelations are such a consolation and encouragment for these difficult times. Those who truly love God, will have the happiness of seeing these promises fulfiled:

"Take now heed faithfully and trustingly, and at the last end thou shalt verily see it in fulness of joy."

--Her writings available on the internet

Julian's famous book, Revelations of Divine Love, is now available, free, on the internet, in various formats. To read it, or to copy or download it, click here.


Wisdom renews all things and through nations conveys herself into holy souls. She makes the friends of God and prophets. --Wisdom 7, 27


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