Today I took a rest from writing, and I went out into Norwich for a walk. I took my camera with the intention of photographing “Signs and Wonders”. Here is what I did – largely unedited, as they are.
What can I say? I love doors, especially these rustic medieval ones. Norwich has lots of them.
St. George’s Colegate
This is where they filmed Jingle Jangle, the new Christmas film that has been released on Netflix. I am excited to see it because one of my former students is in it!
The Britons Arms is the first place I stopped to have lunch when I first moved to Norwich. A friend who is interested in history read that the museum had documents to suggest it was was a Beguinage! This part of Norwich is steeped in medieval spirituality.
The Octagon Chapel
Honestly, I have absolutetly no idea why there are yellow teapots in the tree outside The Octagon Chapel! It is a genuine wonder.
I cannot believe I only took pictures of two of these. What was I thinking?
The Old Bank of England Court.
I had a job interview in here the first time I ever came to Norwich. I did not get that job, but I did like the city. A few months later, I got a better job at the University, and so I moved here.
The wisest act for a creature to do is according to the will and the counsels of [its] greatest and supreme friend. This blessed friend is Jesus, and it is His will and counsel that we keep with Him and fasten ourselves closely to Him, in whatever state we may be. For whether we be foul or clean, we are always the same in His love; for well or for woe, He wants us never to flee from Him…And so by knowledge and grace we may see our sin, profitably, without despair…Also at the same time our courteous Lord revealed, most sweetly and most powerfully, the endlessness and the unchangeability of His love, and also His great goodness and His gracious protection of our spirit, so that the love between Him and our souls will never be parted into eternity. And so in fear I have matter for meekness, which saves me from presumption, and in the blessed revelation of love I have matter for true comfort and joy, which saves me from despair.
It has been a while. I had to take a break from my journey to deal with other things going on, but here I am taking up the rest of the journey from here, and looking forward to it.
Out Lord wants us to see our wretchedness and meekly to acknowledge it; but He does not want us to remain there, or to be much occupied in self-accusation, nor does He want us to be too full of our own misery.But He wants us to quickly attend to Him, foe He stands all alone, and He waits for us continually, moaning and mourning until we come. And He hastens to bring us to Him, for we are His joy and His delight, and He is the remedy of our life…For love never allows Him to be without pity; and when we fall into sin, and neglect recollectionof Him and the protection of our own soul, then Christ bears all alone the burden of us. And so He remains, moaning and mourning. Then it is for us in reverence and kindness to turn quickly to our Lord, and not to leave Him alone.
Whatever kinds of fear be suggested to us other than reverent fear, though they may appear disguised as holiness, they are not…; and this is how they can be recognised apart. The fear that makes us hastily to flee from everything that is not good, and to fall onto our Lord’s breast, as the child into the mother’s arms, with all our intention and with all our mind, knowing our feebleness and our great need, knowing His everlasting goodness and His blessed love, seeking only in Him for salvation, cleaving to Him with faithful trust, that fear which leads us in this direction is gentle and gracious and good and true; and all that is opposed to this is either wrong or mixed with wrong. So this is the remedy, to recognise them both and to refuse the wrong; for the natural attribute of fear that we have in this life by the grace-giving operation of the Holy Spirit will be the same in heaven before God, gentle, courteous, most sweet; and thus in love we shall be familiar and close to God, and in fear we shall be gentle and courteous to God, and both…in the same way.
I am now out of retreat and resuming my journey with Julian once more.
And when we fall, quickly He raises us up with His loving embrace and His gracious touch. And when we are srenghtened by His sweet working, then we willingly choose Him by His grace, that we shall be His servants and His lovers, constantly and forever…And our falling is not evidence of divine negligence or lack of love. For we need to fall, and we need to see it; for if we did not fall we should not know how feeble and how wretched we are in ourselves, nor, too, should we know so completely the wonderful love of our Creator…And by the experience of this falling we shall have a great and marvellous knowledge of love in God without end; for enduring and marvellous is that love which cannot and will not be broken because of offences…[Therefore] let us meekly recognise our weakness, knowing that we cannot stand for the twinkling of an eye except with the protection of grace, and let us reverently cling to God, trusting only in Him.
But because of our own inconsistancy, we often fall in to sin. [Then] the prompting of our enemy …and our own folly and blindness…say: You know well that you are a wretch, a sinner and also unfaithful…Often you promise our Lord that you will do better, and then you fall again into the same state, especially into sloth and wasting of time, for that, as I see it, is the beginning of sin. And this makes [us] afraid to appear before our courteous Lord. Thus it is our enemy who wants to retard us with his false suggestions of fear about our wretchedness…For it is his purpose to make us so depressed and sad in this matter that we should forget the blessed contemplation of our everlasting friend…So this is the remedy, that we aknowledge our wretchedness and flee to our Lord; for always, the more abased we are, the more profitable it is for us to touch him.
Often when our falling and our wretchedness are shown to us, we are so…greatly ashamed of ourselves that we scarcely know where we can put ourselves. But then our courteous Mother does not wish us to flee away, for nothing would be less pleasing to Him; but He then wants us to behave like a child. For when it is distressed and frightened, it runs quickly to its mother; and if it can do no more, it calls to its mother for help with all its might. So He wants us [to cry out]: My kind Mother, my gracious Mother , my beloved Mother, have mercy on me. I have made myself filthy and unlike you, and I may not and cannot make it right except with your help and grace…For the flood of mercy which is His dear blood and precious water is plentiful to make us fair and clean…The sweet gracious hands of our Mother are ready and diligent about us….It is His office to save us, it is His glory to do it, and it is His will that we know it; for He wants us to love Him sweetly and trust in Him meekly and greatly.
Having had an unplanned rest from blogging to allow me to focus on getting school ready for a complete return in September, here I am again, carrying on with my journey with Julian and picking up my usual routine once more.
The mother can give her child to suck of her milk, but our precious Mother Jesus can feed us with Himself, and does, most courteously and most tenderly, with the blessed sacrament, which is the precious food of true life; and with all the sweet sacraments He sustains us most mercifully and graciously…[And He says]: All the health and life of the sacraments, all the power and the grace of my Word, all the goodness which is ordained in the Holy Church for you, I am He…The mother can lay her child tenderly to her breast, but our tender Mother Jesus can lead us easily into His blessed breast through His sweet open side, and show us there a part of the Godhead and of the joys of heaven, with inner ceratinty of endless bliss. And that He revealed [in saying]: “See how I love you!” This fair lovely word “mother” is so sweet and so kind in itself that it cannot truly be said of anyone or to anyone except of Him and to Him who is the true Mother of life and of all things.
Jesus Christ, who opposes good to evil is our true Mother. We have our being from Him, where the foundation of motherhood begins….We know that all our mothers bear us for pain and for death….but our true Mother Jesus…alone bears us for joy and for endless life. blessed may He be. So He carries us within Him in love and travail, until the full time when He wanted to suffer the sharpest thorns and cruel pains…and at the last He died. And when He had finished, and had so borne us for bliss, still all this could not satisfy His wonderful love…To the property of motherhood belong nature, love, wisdom and knowledge, and this is God. For though it may be that our bodily bringing to birth is only little, humble and simple in comparison with our spiritual bringing to birth, still it is He who does it in the creatures by whom it is done…And in our spiritual bringing to birth He uses more tenderness, without any comparison, in protecting us…And from this sweet and gentle operation He will neither cease or desist, until all His beloved children are born and brought to birth.
I’ve managed to catch up on my journey again, and so I carry on.
I contemplated the work of all the blessed Trinity, in which contemplation I saw and understood these three properties; the property of the fatherhood, and the property of the motherhood and the property of the Lordship in one God…As to the first I saw and understood that the high might of the Trinity is our Father, and the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother, and the great love of the Trinity is our Lord; and all these we have in nature and in our substantial creation…As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother, and He revealed that in everything…I understand three ways of contemplating motherhood in God. The first is the foundation of our nature’s creation; the second is His taking of our nature, where the motherhood of grace begins; the third is the motherhood at work. And in that, by the same grace, everything is penetrated, in length and in breadth, in height and in depth without end; and it is all one love.