Julian of Norwich Quotes

English Mystic and Theologian (1342 - after 1416)

Statue of Julian of Norwich by David Holgate, west front, Norwich Cathedral
Statue of Julian of Norwich by David Holgate, west front, Norwich Cathedral. Image by Tony Grist, in the public domain

Julian of Norwich was an English mystic and recluse whose revelations were published -- the first book written in the English language known to be by a woman.

Selected Julian of Norwich Quotations

• All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

Julian of Norwich on Prayer

• Pray inwardly, even if you do not enjoy it. It does good, though you feel nothing. Yes, even though you think you are doing nothing.

• ... our customary practice of prayer was brought to mind: how through our ignorance and inexperience in the ways of love we spend so much time on petition. I saw that it is indeed more worthy of God and more truly pleasing to him that through his goodness we should pray with full confidence, and by his grace cling to him with real understanding and unshakeable love, than that we should go on making as many petitions as our souls are capable of .

• Prayer is a new, gracious, lasting will of the soul united and fast-bound to the will of God by the precious and mysterious working of the Holy Ghost.

• Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance. It is laying hold of His willingness.

Julian of Norwich on God and Jesus

• ... God is our very Peace, and He is our sure Keeper when we are ourselves in unpeace ...

• But for I am a woman should I therefore live that I should not tell you the goodness of God?

• Our Savior is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.

• Between God and the soul there is no between.

• The fullness of Joy is to behold God in everything.

• Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love.

• In this blissful Shewing of our Lord I have understanding of two contrary things: the one is the most wisdom that any creature may do in this life, the other is the most folly. The most wisdom is for a creature to do after the will and counsel of his highest sovereign Friend. This blessed Friend is Jesus....

Julian of Norwich on Adversity

• If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.

• He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.'

• ...we need to fall, and we need to be aware of it; for if we did not fall, we should not know how weak and wretched we are of ourselves, nor should we know our Maker's marvellous love so fully...

Julian of Norwich on Mercy

• For I beheld the property of mercy, and I beheld the property of grace: which have two manners of working in one love. Mercy is a pitiful property which belongeth to the Motherhood in tender love; and grace is a worshipful property which belongeth to the royal Lordship in the same love.

 

• Mercy is a sweet gracious working in love, mingled with plenteous pity: for mercy worketh in keeping us, and mercy worketh turning to us all things to good. Mercy, by love, suffereth us to fail in measure and in as much as we fail, in so much we fall; and in as much as we fall, in so much we die: for it needs must be that we die in so much as we fail of the sight and feeling of God that is our life. Our failing is dreadful, our falling is shameful, and our dying is sorrowful: but in all this the sweet eye of pity and love is lifted never off us, nor the working of mercy ceaseth.

Julian of Norwich on Human Life and Human Nature

• The passing life of the senses doesn't lead to knowledge of what our Self is. When we clearly see what our Self is, then we shall truly know our Lord God in great joy.

• In every soul to be saved is a godly will that has never consented to sin, in the past or in the future. Just as there is an animal will in our lower nature that oes not will what is good, so there is a godly will in our higher part, which by its basic goodness never wills what is evil, but only what is good.

• The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.

Julian Norwich on God's Mercy

• Mercy is a sweet gracious working in love, mingled with plenteous pity: for mercy worketh in keeping us, and mercy worketh turning to us all things to good.

• For I beheld the property of mercy, and I beheld the property of grace: which have two manners of working in one love.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Julian of Norwich Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/julian_norwich.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)