JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS ©1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM || THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY ||



WALTER HILTON

THE PILGRIM PRAYER

SCALE OF PERFECTION


Walter Hilton (†1396), Scale of Perfection Book II.21-23, transcription from British Library, Harley 6579, fols. 84-89, translation by John P.H. Clark and Rosemary Dorward (New York: Paulist Press, 1991), pp. 226-233:



                                                                                                          ' I. am no3t .I. haf
   no3t. nou3t .I. seke ne coveite bot şe luf of ihesu '
                                                                               British Library, Harley 6579, fol. 88v.

[From Table of Contents in MS, fols. 141-143v] An entre how a soule shall haue hire in mouyng & werkyng, şat wole come to şis reformyng, by ensaumple of a pilgrym goyng to Ierusalem, & of twey maner mekenes.

21. An introduction as to how a soul should behave in purpose and in practice if it wants to come to this reforming, through the example of a pilgrim going to Jerusalem; and the two kinds of humility.

[Fol. 84] şat a man şat will come to Ierusalem, şat is vndirstonde şe cite of pees, şe wich is contemplacioun, moste holde hym lowe in meknes & in faith, & suffer disese bothe bodely & gostly.

everşeles for şu coueites for to have sum maw writynge by şe whilke şu mi3tes şe raşer nei3en to şat reformynge .I. schal say şe as me şinkiş bi şe grace of oure lord ihesu <şe shortest & şe rediest helpe şat I knowe in şis wirkynge>. And how şat schal be .I. schal telle şe by exaumple of a good pilgrym upon şis wise: şer was a man şat wold gon to ierusalem & for he knewe not şe weye he come to an oşer man şat he hopid knewe şe way şeder & asked wheşer he mi3te come to şat cite & şat oşer man seide to him şat he mi3te not come şeder withoute grete disese & mikil trauaile for şe wey is longe & periles and grete . of şefes & robbers & many oşer/[fol. 84v] lettynges şat ben şat fallen to a man in şe goyng. & also şer are mony sare weies . as it semiş ledand şederward . Bot men alday are slayn & dispoiled & mown not comyn to şat place şat şei coveiten. Neverşeles şer is .o. wey şe whilke who so takiş hit & holdiş it: he wolde undirtake. şat he schude come to şe Cite of ierusalem ne schulde never less his lif. ne be slayn. ne dye for defaute: ne schulde often be robbed & yuel betyn. & suffren mikel disese in şe goynge & bot he schulde ay hav his lif safe. 'şan saiş şe pilgrim if it be so şat I may have my lif safe & come to şat place şat I coveite: .I. charge not what meschef .I. suffre in şe goynge & şerfore say me what şu wilt & sothly .I. bihote for to don aftir şe: şat oşer man answeres & says şus. lo .I. sette şe in şe ri3t wey. şis is şe wey. & şat şu kepe şe lerynge şat .I. lernis şe.

Nevertheless, because you desire to have some kind of practice by which you could approach that reforming more quickly, I shall tell you by the grace of our Lord Jesus what seems to me the shortest and promptest aid that I know in this work. And how that shall be I will tell you in this manner, through the example of a good pilgrim.

There was a man wanting to go to Jerusalem, and because he did not know the way he came to another man who he thought knew it and asked whether he could reach that city. The other man told him he could not get there without great hardship and labour, for the way is long and the perils are great, with thieves and robbers as well as many other difficulties to beset a man on his journey; also there are many different ways seeming to lead in that direction, yet people are being killed and robbed daily and cannot come to the place they desire. However, there is one way, and he would undertake that anyone who takes and keeps to it shall come to the city of Jerusalem, and never lose his life or be slain or die of want. He would often be robbed and badly beaten and suffer great distress on his journey, but his life would always be safe. Then the pilgrim said: 'If it is true that I can keep my life and come to the place I desire, I do not care what trouble I suffer on the journey, and therefore tell me what you will, and I promise faithfully to do as you say'. The other man answered and said this: 'See, I am setting you on the right road. This is the way, and be sure to keep the instructions I give you'.

What so şou heres or sees or felis şat schulde lette şe in şi wey abide not with it wilfully: tary not for it restfully. behold it not. like it not. drede it not. bot ay go forş in şi wey. & şinke şat şu woldes be at ierusalem'. For şat şu coveites şat şu desires. & no3t elles bot şat. & if man robbe şe. & dispoile şe bete şe scorne şe. & dispise şe: serfe not agayn if şu wilt hav şi lif. Bot holde şe with şe harme şat şu has & go forş. as no3t were. şat şu take no more harme. And also if men wil tary şe wiş tales & fede şe with lesynges. for to drawe şe to mirşis & for to lefe şi pilgrimage: make def ere & answer not agayn & sey not elles bot at şu wuldes be at Jerusalem. And if men profie şe 3iftes & wil make şe riche with werdly gode tente not to hem: şinke ay on Jerusalem. And if şu wil holde şis wey & don as I hafe sayde: promise & take şi lif şat şu schal not be slayn. bot şou schal come to şat place şat/[fol. 85] şu coveites

'Whatever you hear, see or feel that would hinder you on your way, do not willingly stay with it, and do not tarry for it, taking rest; do not look at it, do not take pleasure in it, and do not fear it; but always go forth on your way and think that you want to be in Jerusalem. For that is what you long for and what you desire, and nothing else but that; and if men rob you, strip you, beat you, scorn you and despise you, do not fight back if you want to have your life, but bear the hurt that you have and go on as if it were nothing, lest you come to more harm. In the same way, if men want to delay you with stories and feed you with lies, trying to draw you to pleasures and make you leave your pilgrimage, turn a deaf ear and do not reply, saying only that you want to be in Jerusalem. And if men offer you gifts and seek to enrich you with worldly goods, pay no attention to them, always think of Jerusalem. And if you will keep on this way and do as I have said, I promise you your life - that you shall not be slain but come to the place that you desire'.

Goftly to oure purpos. jerusalem is as mikel for to seyen as si3t of pes & bitokneş contemplacioun in perfit luf of god. ffor contemplacioun is not ellis bot a si3t of ihesu whilk is verey pes. şan if şu coveit for to com to şis blessid si3t of uerey pees & ben a trew pilgrym to jerusalemward: şaw3 it be so şat .I. wase neuer şere: neverles as farforth as .I. kan .I. schal setes şe in şe waye şederward: 

According to our spiritual proposition, Jerusalem is as much as to say sight of peace and stands for contemplation in perfect love of God, for contemplation is nothing other than a sight of Jesus, who is true peace. Then if you long to come to this blessed sight of true peace and to be a faithful pilgrim toward Jerusalem - even though it should be that I was never there, yet as far as I can - I shall set you in the way that leads toward it.

şe bygynnynge of şis hi3e wey in şe whilk şu schalt gon is reformyng in faiş grounded mekly in şe feiş & in şe lawes of holy kirke as .I. hafe saide beforn. for true sikirly şaw3 şu haue synned hard here bifore. if şu be now reformed bi şe sacrament of penaunce after şe lawe of holikirke şat şu art in şe ri3t weie. Now şan sişen şu art in şe siker weye: if şu wile spedyn in şi goynge & make gode Iurnaies: şe behoviş to holden şese two şinges often in şi mynde. meknes & luf. şat is '.I. am no3t .I. have no3t .I. coveit no3t. but on' şu schalt hafe şe menynge of şese wordes in şin entent & in habite of şi soule lastendly: şaw3 şu hafe no3t specialy şese wordes ay formed in şi şou3te: for şat nediş not. meknes saiş .I. am no3t .I. hafe no3t. lufe saiş .I. coveit no3t bot on. & şat is ihesu: şese two strenges wel festned with şe mynde of ihesu makiş gode acorde in şe harpe of şe soule. when şei be craftely touchid with şe fyngers of resoun: for şe lower şu smytes up on şat on şe hi3er sonniş şat oşer: şe lesse şu felist şat şu art or şat şu hast of şi self şruw3 meknes: şe more şu coveites for to hav of ihesu in desire of luf: .I. mene not only of şat meknes şat a soule feliş in şe si3t of his own syn or freltees & wrecchednes of şis lif: or of şe worşines of his euencristen: for şaw3 şis meknes be soşfast & medicynable: neverşeles it is boistous & fleschly as in segnses./[fol. 85v] not clene ne softe ne lufly. So .I. mene also şis meknes şat şe soule feliş şruw3 grace in si3t & beholdyng of şe endeles beynge & şe wondeful godnes of ihesu & if şou mowe not seen it 3it with şi gostly i3e: şat şou trowe it: ffor şruw3 si3t of his beynge eişer in ful feiş or in felyng şu schalt holden şi self not only as şe most wrecche şt is. but also as no3t in substaunce of şi soule: şaw3 şu haddest never don syn: And şat is lufly meknes: for in reward of ihesu şat is soşfastly al: şu art ri3t no3t: And also şat şu şinke şat şu hast ri3t no3t: Bot art as a vessel şat standiş ay come as no3t were şerin as of şi self: for doo şou wold so mony gode dedis outward & inward: til şu have & fele şat şu hast şe luf of ihesu. şu hast ri3t no3t. ffor with şat precious licour only will şi soule be fulfillid. & with none oşer. And for as mikel as şt şinge alone is so precious & so wurşi: ffor what şu hast or what şu dost holde it as no3t for to resten in, withoutyn şe si3t & şe luf of ihesu. Kaste it al bihynde şe & fagate it. şat şu mi3te hafe şat şat is şe best of alle.

The beginning of the highway along which you shall go is reforming in faith, grounded humbly in the faith and in the laws of holy church, as I have said before, for trust assuredly that although you have formerly sinned, you are on the right road, if you are now reformed by the sacrament of penance according to the law of holy church. Now since you are on the sure way, if you want to speed on your travels and make a good journey each day, you should hold these two things often in your mind - humility and love. That is: I am nothing; I have nothing; I desire only one thing. You shall have the meaning of these words continually in your intention, and in the habit of your soul, even though you may not always have their particular form in your thought, for that is not necessary. Humility says, I am nothing; I have nothing. Love says, I desire only one thing, and that is Jesus. These two strings, well-fastened with mindfulness of Jesus, make good harmony on the harp of the soul when they are skillfully touched with the finger of reason. For the lower you strike upon the one, the higher sounds the other; the less you feel that you are or that you have of yourself through humility, the more you long to have of Jesus in the desire of love. I do not mean only that humility that a soul feels as it looks at its own sin or at the frailties and wretchedness of this life, or at the worthiness of his fellow Christians, for although this humility is true and medicinal, it is comparatively rough and carnal,/ not pure or soft or lovely. But I mean also this humility that the soul feels through grace in seeing and considering the infinite being and wonderful goodness of Jesus, and if you cannot see it yet with your spiritual eye, that you believe in it, for through the sight of his being - either in full faith or in feeling - you shall regard yourself not only as the greatest wretch that there is, but also as nothing in the substance of your soul, even if you had never committed sin. And that is lovely humility, for in comparison with Jesus who is in truth All, you are but nothing. In the same way think that you have nothing, but are like a vessel that always stands empty, as if with nothing in it of your own; for however many good works you do, outwardly or inwardly, you have nothing at all until you have - and feel that you have - the love of Jesus. For your soul can be filled only with that precious liquor, and with nothing else; and because that thing alone is so precious and so valuable, regard anything you have and do as nothing to rest in, without the sight and the love of Jesus. Throw it all behind you and forget it, so that you can have what is best of all.

Ri3t as a trowe pilgrym goande to ierusalem lefiş bihynde him hows & lande. wife & childe. and makiş hym self pore & bare for al şat he haş şat he mi3t go li3tly withouten lettynges: But so if şu wil be a gostly pilgrym. şu schalt make şi self nakid from al şat şu hast. şat  are boşe gode dedis & baddis. & kasten hem al bihynde şee. şat şu be so pore in şin owne felynge. şat şer be no şinge of şin owne wirkynge şat şu wilt lene upon restedly bot ay desirand more grace of luf. & ay sekand şe gostly presence of ihesu. And if şu do şus. şan schalt şu setten in şi harte holly & fully. şat şu woldest be at ierusalem & at none oşer place/[fol. 86] bot şere: And şat is. şu schalt setten in şin herte holly & fully. şt şu woldest no şinge hafe bot şe luf of ihesu. & şe gostly si3t of him. as he wile schewe hym for to şt only şu art made. & bo3te & şt is şi begynnynge & şin ende. şi ioye & şi blisse. & şerfore what so ever şat şu hafe. be şu never so riche in oşer dedis bodily & gostly: bot if şu haue şis. & knowe & fele şat şu hast it. halde şat şu hast ri3t no3t. Preente wel şis resoun in şe menynge of şi herte & clefe sadly şerto. & it schal safe şe fro alle periles in şi goyng şat şu schalt never perischen. & it schal saf şee fro şefes & robbers şe whilk I calle unclene spirites. şat şaw3 şei spoile şee & bete şe şruw3 divers temptaciouns: şi lif schal ay be safe: And schortly if şu kepe it as .I. schal say şe: şu schalt askape alle periles & meschiefs & come to the Cite of ierusalem. with in schort tme:

Just as a true pilgrim going to Jerusalem leaves behind him house and land, wife and children, and makes himself poor and bare of all that he has in order to travel light and without hindrance, so if you want to be a spiritual pilgrim you are to make yourself naked of all that you have - both good works and bad - and throw them all behind you, and thus become so poor in your own feeling that there can be no deed of your own that you want to lean upon for rest, but you are always desiring more grace of love, and always seeking the spiritual presence of Jesus. If you do so, you shall then set in your heart, wholly and fully, your desire to be at Jerusalem, and in no other place but there; and that is, you shall set in your heart, wholly and fully, your will to have nothing but the love of Jesus and the spiritual sight of him, as far as he wishes to show himself. It is for that alone you are made and redeemed, and that is your beginning and your end, your joy and your glory. Therefore, whatsoever you have, however rich you may be in other works of body and spirit, unless you have that, and know and feel that you have it, consider that you have nothing at all. Print this statement well on the intention of your heart, and hold firmly to it, and it will save you from all the perils of your journey, so that you will never perish. It shall save you from thieves and robbers (which is what I call unclean spirits), so that though they strip you and beat you with diverse temptations, your life shall always be saved; and in brief if you guard it as I shall tell you, you shall within a short time escape all perils and distresses and come to the city of Jerusalem.

Now şu art in şe wey & knowest what şe place hi3te wheder: şu schalt drawe to: Bygyne şan for to gon forş in şi jurney. şi forş goynge is no3t elles bot gostly wirkynge & bodily also whan nede is. whilk şu schalt usen bi discrecioun up on şis wise what werk şat it be şat şu schulde don after şe degre & şe state şat şu standis in bodily or gostly . if it helpe şis gracious desire şat şu hast for to lufe ihesu: & make it more hol. more esy & more mi3ty to all vertues & to alle goodnes: şat werke hald .I. beste. be it prechynge be it şinkynge. be it redyng be it writynge. & as longe as şat werke strengşeş most şin hert & şi wil to şe luf of ihesu. & sonest drawiş şin affeccioun & şi şo3te fro werldy vanytes it is gode for to usen it: And if it be so. şat şruw3 use savour of şat lesseş & şu şinkiş anoşer werk savour şe more. & şu felist more grace in anoşer. take anoşer & lefes şat ffor şaw3 şi desire & şe 3ernynge of şin herte to ihesu: schulde/[fol. 86v] be ay unchangable. neverşeles şi gostly werkes şat şu schalt usen in praynge or şinkynge for to feden & norischen şi desire. may be dyvers & may wel be chaunged. after şat şu felis şe disposed şurw grace in appliynge of şin own hert.

Now that you are on the road and know the name of the place you are bound for, begin to go forward on your journey. Your going forth is nothing else but the work of the spirit - and of the body as well, when there is need for it - which you are to use with discretion in the following way. Whatever work it is that you should do, in body or in spirit, according to the degree and state in which you stand, it if helps this grace-given desire that you have to love Jesus, making it more whole, easier and more powerful for all virtues and all goodness, that is the work I consider the best, whether it be prayer, meditation, reading or working; and as long as that task most strengthens your heart and your working; and as long as that task most strengthens your heart and your will for the love of Jesus and draws your affection and your thought farthest from worldly vanities, it is good to use it. And if it happens that the savour of it becomes less through use, and you feel that you savour another kind of work more, and you feel more grace in another, take another and leave that one. For though your desire and the yearning of your heat for Jesus should always be unchangeable, nevertheless the spiritual practices that you are to use in prayer or meditation to feed and nourish your desire may be diverse, and may well be changed according to the way you feel disposed to apply your own heart, through grace.

ffor it fariş bi werkes e bi desire. as it doş bi stickes & bi a fire for şe mo stickes arn leide to şe fiire şe gretter is şe fire: ri3t so şe more divers gostly wirkynge şat a man haş in his şo3t for to kepe hol his disire şe mi3tier. & şe more brennand schal his desire be to god. And şerfor loke wisely what werk şu kannist best don. & şat most helpiş şe for to sasen hole şis desir to ihesu if şou be free. & art not bounden bot undir şe coms laws & şat do bynde şe not to wilful customes unchaungebly şat sculden let şe fredom of şin herte for to luf ihesu if grace wolde visite şe specially. ffor .I. schal telle şe whilke customes are ay gode & nedful to be kepte. lo swilke custome is ay gode for to holden şat stondiş in gatynge of vertues & lettynge of syn. & şat custome shuld ned be lefte: for şu schallt ay be meke & paciente sober & chaste if şu wel do. & so of alle oşer vertues. Bot şe custome of anoşer şyng şat lettiş a better is for to lesen when tyme is şat a man may 'as şus. if a man hafe in custome for to sety şus many bodis. or for to şinken şis manner of şat şus longe tyms: or for to waken or knelen şus longe. or ony oşer sikir bodily dede: şis custome is for to lefen oun tyme when resonable cause lettiş. or elles if more grace coms in oşer side. 

For it goes with works and desire as it does with a fire and sticks. The more sticks are laid on a fire, the greater is the flame, and so the more varied the spiritual work that anyone has in mind for keeping his desire whole, the more powerful and ardent shall be his desire for God. Therefore notice carefully what work you best know how to do and what most helps you to keep whole this desire for Jesus (if you are free, and are not bound except under the common law), and do that. Do not bind yourself unchangeably to practices of your own choosing that hinder the freedom of your heart to love Jesus if grace should specially visit you, for I shall tell you which customs are always good and need to be kept. See, a particular custom is always good to keep if it consists in getting virtue and hindering sin, and that practice should never be left. For if you behave well, you will always be humble and patient, sober and chaste; and so with all other virtues. But the practice of any other thing that hinders a better work should be left when it is time for one to do this; for instance, if somebody has the custom of saying so manyprayers, or meditating in a certain way for a particular length of time, or waking or kneeling for a certain time, or doing other such bodily work, this practice is to be left off sometimes when a reasonable cause hinders it, or else if more grace comes from another quarter.

[From Table of Contents in MS] Howe a man şat is in this way shall hafe enimyes to dryue hym a3eyne, & howe he schal ouer-come hem, bi şe knowing of our Lord Ihesu, & scryft of mouthe & contriticoun of hert, & satisfaction in dede.

Of tariengis & tempatciouns şat soulis shul fele be here gostly enimyes in here gostly goyng to heuenly Ierusalem, & of remedies a3ens hem.

22. The delays and temptations that souls shall feel from their spiritual enemies on their spiritual journey to the heavenly Jerusalem, and some remedies against them.

ow art şu in şe wey & wost how şu schalt gon. Now be war of enmys şat wilom be bisy. for to lette şe if şei mown. ffor here ententes is for to putten owt of şin herte şat desire/[fol. 87] & şat longinge şat şu hafte to şe luf of ihesu. & for to drife şe hom ageyne. to luf of wordly vanyte for şer is no şinge şat grefiş hem so mikel: şese enmys arn principally fleschly desires & vayne dredis şat risen oute of şin hert şurw3 corrupcioun of şi fleschly kynde & wolden let şi desire of şe luf of god. şat şei mi3ten fully & jestfully occupien şin hert: şese arn şi next enmys: Also oşer enemys şer are. as unclene spirites şat are bisy with sle3tes & wiles for to descayve şe. Bot .o. remedie schalte şu hafe şat .I. saide beforne: what so it be şat şu savor. trow hem not bot holde forş şi wey. & only desir şe luf of ihesu. Answere ay şis: .I. am  no3t .I. hafe no3t .I. desyre no3t bot only şe luf of ihesu. If şin enemys syen to şe first şus. bi stiringes in şin herte şat şou <art not schreyven. or şer is sume old syne hid in şe hert şat şu> knowis not. Now is never schrifen of: & şerfore şe most turne hom agayn & lefe şi desire. & go schryfe şe better trowe not şis seiynge for it is fals. for şu art schrifen most sikerly şat şu art in şe wey. & şe nediş no more schriftyngs of schryfte for şat şat is passid. holde forş şi wey & şenk on ierusalem. Also if şei say şat şu art not worşi to hafe şe luf of god which to schalt şu coveite şat şu ma3te not hafe. no art not worşi şerto: Trowe hem not. bot go forş. & say şus. Not for I am worşi. bot see .I. am unworşi. şerfore wolde .I. luf god. for if I had it. şat schulde make me worşi. And sişen .I. was made şerto: şaw3 .I. schuld never hafe it: 3it wil .I. coveite it. & şerfor wite .I. praien & şenken şat .I. mi3te geten it. And şan if şin enmys seeş şat şu bigynnist to wexen bolde & wel willed to şi werke: şei bigynne to wexen aferde of şe. Neverşeles şei wil not cesyn of taryyinge whan şei mowen as longe as şu art goande in şe wey, What wiş/[fol. 87v] drede & menasyngs on şat .o. side. What with flaterynge. & fals plesynge on şat oşer side. for to make şe breke şi purpos & turne home agayne. şei wil sey şus. if şu holde forş. şi desire to ihesu so fully travailande as şu bigynnest: şu schalte falle in to seknes or in to fantasies. & in to frenesies. as şu seest şat some don: or şu schalt falle in to şowerte & bodili meschief. & no man schal wil halpe şee. or şou mi3t falle in to pryvie temptaciouns of şe feende. şat şu schalt not kun helpe şi selfyn. ffor it is wonder perilous to any man for to gif him fully to şe luf of god. & lesen alle şe werld. & no şinge coveiten bot only şe luf of him. for as many periles mowen falle şat a man knowiş not of: And şerfor turne hom agayn & lese şis desire for şu schalt never brynge it to şe ende. & do as oşer werldly men don.

Now you are on the way and know how you shall go. Now beware of enemies that will be trying to hinder you if they can, for their intention is to put out of your heart that desire and that longing that you have for the love of Jesus, and to drive you home again to the love of worldly vanity, for there is nothing that grieves them so much. These enemies are principally carnal desires and vain fears that rise out of your heart through the corruption of your fleshly nature, and want to hinder your desire for the love of God, so that they can fully occupy your heart without disturbance. These are your nearest enemies. There are other enemies too, such as unclean spirits that are busily trying to deceive you with tricks and wiles. But you shall have one remedy, as I said before: whatever it may be they say, do not believe them, but keep on your way and desire only the love of Jesus. Always give this answer: I am nothing, I have nothing, I desire nothing but the love of Jesus alone. If your enemies speak to you first like this, by stirrings in your heart, that you have not made a proper confession, or that there is some old sin hidden in your heart that you do not know and never confessed, and therefore you must turn home again, leave your desire and go to make a better confession: do not believe this saying, for it is false and you are absolved. Trust firmly that you are on the road, and you need no more ransacking of your confession for what is past: keep on your way and think of Jerusalem. Similarly, if they say that you are not worthy to have the love of God, and ask what good it is to crave something you cannot have and do not deserve, do not believe them, but go forward, saying thus, 'Not because I am worthy, but because I am unworthy - that is my motive for loving God, for if I had that love, it would make me worthy; and since I was made for it, even though I should never have it I will yet desire it, and therefore I will pray and meditate in order to get it'. And then, if your enemies see that you begin to grow bold and resolute in your work, they start getting frightened of you; however, they will not stop hindering you when they can as long as you are going on your way. What with/ fear and menaces on the one hand and flattery and false blandishment on the other, to make you break your purpose and turn home again, they will speak like this: 'If you keep up your desire for Jesus, labouring as hard as you have begun, you will fall into sickness or into fantasies and frenzies, as you see some do, or you will fall into poverty and come to bodily harm, and no one will want to help you; or you might fall into secret temptations of the devil, in which you will not know how to help yourself. It is very dangerous for any man to give himself wholly to the love of God, to leave all the world and desire nothing but his love alone; for so many perils may befall that one does not know of. And therefore turn home again and leave this desire, for you will never carry it through to the end, and behave as other people do in the world'.

şus seien şin enmys bot trow hem not bot holde forş şi desirs. & sey not elles. bot şu woldest hav ihesu & ben at ierusalem. And if şei percieve şou şi wil so strong şt şu wil not spare for syn ne for seknes. for fantasies no frenesy. for doutes ne dredis of gostly temptaciouns. for meschief ne for poverte. for lif ne for dede. Bot ay forş şu wilt with .o. şinge. & no şinge bot on. & makes def ere to hem as şuw3 şu herd hem not. & holdest şe forş stifly in şi prayers & in şin oşer gostly werkes withoutyn styntynges. with discrecioun aftir counseile of şi soveren or şi gostly fader. şan bigynne şei for to be wroş & to gon a litel ne33e şe. 'şei bigynne for to robbe şe & bete şe & do şe al şe schame şt şei kan. And şat is. whan şei mirth şat alle şe dedis şat şu dost be şei never so wel don: are demed of oşer men als ille & turned in to şe wers party. And what so ever it be şat şu woldest have don. in helpe of şi body or of /[fol.86] şi soule. & schal be letted & hindred by oşer men. so şat şu schalt be put fro şi wil in al şinge şat şu skilfully coveites And al şis şei don şat şou schuldest be stird to ire or malencoly or yvel wil ageyns şin evencristen:

So say your enemies; but do not believe them. Keep up your desire, and say nothing else but that you want to have Jesus and to be in Jerusalem. And if they then perceive your will to be so strong that you will not spare yourself - for sin or for sickness, for fantasies or frenzy, for doubts or fears of spiritual temptations, for poverty or distress, for life or for death - but that you will is set ever onward, with one thing and one alone, turning a deaf ear to them as if you did not hear them, and keeping on stubbornly and unstintingly with your prayers and your other spiritual works, and with discretion according to the counsel of your superior or your spiritual father; then they begin to be angry and to draw a little nearer to you. They start robbing you and beating you and doing you all the injury they know: and that is when they cause all your deeds - however well done - to be judged evil by others and turned the worst way. And whatever you may want to do for the benefit of your body and soul, it will be hampered and hindered by other men, in order to thwart you in everything that you reasonably desire. All this they do to stir you to anger, resentment or ill-will against your fellow Christians.

Bot ageyn alle şese diseses & alle oşer şat mown falle: use şis remedie. Take ihesu in şi mynde & angre şe not with hem tary not with hem. bot şinke on şi lesson< şat şu art no3t. şu hast no3t & may no3t lese>of erşly goodes şou coveites no3t bot şe luf of ihesu: & holde forş şi wey to ierusalem with şin occupacioun. And neverşeles if şu be tared sum tyme şrugh frelte of şi selfe: with swilke uveles şat fallen to şi bodily lif şurgh yvel wil of man or malice of şe feende as sone as şu mai3te come ageyn to şi self: lese of şis şinkynge of şat disese: & go forş to şi werk: abide not to longe with hem for drede of şin enemys:

But against all these annoyances, and all others that may befall, use this remedy; take Jesus in your mind, and do not be angry with them; do not linger with them, but think of your lesson - that you are nothing, you have nothing, you cannot lose any earthly goods, and you desire nothing but the love of Jesus - and keep on your way to Jerusalem, with your occupation. Nevertheless, if through your own frailty you are at some time vexed with such troubles befalling your life in the body through the ill-will of man or the malice of the devil, come to yourself again as soon as you can; stop thinking of that distress and go forth to your work. Do not stay too long with them, for fear of your enemies.

[From Table of Contents in MS] Of a general remedy a3ens wikkid stiringgis & peynful/[fol.143] tariengis şat fallen to here hertis of şe fleishe, of şe world, & of şe fend.

23. A general remedy against wicked stirrings and painful vexations that befall the heart from the world, the flesh and the devil.

nd after şis whan şin enmys seen şat şu art so wel witted. şat şu art not angry nor hevy ne wroş ne mikel stired ageyns no creature for ow3t şat şei mown don or spekyn agayns şe. Bot settes şi herte fully for to suffre al şat may falle ese & unese, praisynge or lackyngr & şat şu wilt charge no şinge with şi şat şu mi3t kepe şi şou3te & şi desire hol to şe luf of god: şan are şei mikel abasched. bot şan wile şei assay şe with flaterynge & vayn plesyngs & şat is whan şei brynge to şe si3t of şi soule alle şi gode dedis & şi vertus & beren up on şer: şat alle men praise şe: & spekyn of şin holynes: & how alle men lufe şe & wurschip şe for şin holy lyvyngs; 'şis don şin enmys şat şu schuldes şinken here saying soş. & hav delit in şis veyn ioy & resten şe şerin. Bot/[88v] if şu do wel. şu schalt holden al swilke veyn iangelynge falshede & flatering of şin enemy şat profer şe to drynke venom tempred with hony & şerfore refuse it & sey şu wilt not şerof. bot şu wolde be at ierusalem.

And after this your enemies will be much abashed, when they see you so well-disposed that you are not annoyed, heavyhearted, wrathful, or greatly stirred against any creature, for anything that they can do or say against you, but that you fully set your heart upon bearing all that may happen - ease and hardship, praise or blame - and that you will not trouble about anything, provided you can keep whole your thought and your desire for the love of God. But then they will try you with flattery and vain blandishment, and that is when they bring to the sight of your soul all your good deeds and virtues, and impress upon you that all men praise you and speak of your holiness; and how everybody loves you and honors you for your holy living. Your enemies do this to make you think that their talk is true, and take delight in this vain joy and rest in it;/ but if you do well you shall hold all such vain jabbering as the falsehood and flattery of your enemy, who proffers you a drink of venom tempered with honey. Therefore refuse it; say you do not want any of it, but want to be in Jerusalem.

Swilke lettynges şu schalt felen or elles oşer like. what of şi flesch. what of şe werld. what of şe fende: mo şan .I. may scherkl now: ffor a man as longe as he suffreş his şou3ts wilfully gon al aboute şe werld in beholdynge of sundry şinges: he percerfeş few lettynges: Bot als sone as he drawiş al his şou3te & his 3erning to on şinge. only for to hafe şat for to be şat. for to knowe şat. & for to luf şat & şat is only ihesu: şan schal he wel fele many peynful lettynges. ffor ilk a şinge şat he feliş & is not şat şat he coveite is lettynge to hym. şerfor .I. hafe told şe of sum specially as for example: & ouermore .I. say generally. şat what stirrings şat şou feliş of şi flesch or of şe fende plesant or peynfull. bitter or swete likend or dredful. gladsum or sorwful. şat wolde drawe doun şi şou3t & şi desire fro şe luf of ihesu. to werdly vanyte. & let utterly şi gostely coveite şat şu hafe to şe luf of him. & şat şi herte schude be occupird with şat stirynge restingly. sett it at no3t. resceyve it not wilfully. tary not şis wiş to longe. bot if it be of werdly şinge şat behoviş not is to be don to şi self or to şin evencristen. spede şe sone of it. & brynge it to an ende şat it hangs not on şin herte. if it be an oşer şinge şat nediş not. or elles it touchiş not şe: change it not. iangle not şerwiş ne angre şe not. drede it not. like it not. bot finyte it oute of şin herte redily and sei şus. 'I am no3t .I. haf no3t. nou3t .I. aske ne coveite bot şe luf of ihesu' knyt şi şo3t


                                                                                                                  '¶ I. am no3t .I. haf
   no3t. nou3t .I. seke ne coveite bot şe luf of iћesu¶ '
                                                                                              British Library, Harley 6579, fol. 88v.

to şis desire & strenşe it. & maynteyne it with pre3e & with gostly werkes şat şu forgete it not & it schal lede şem şe ri3t/[fol. 89] wey. & saufe şe fro alle periles. şt şaw3 şu fele hem şu schalt not perish. & .I. hope şat it schall brynge şe to perfit luf of oure lord ihesu.

You shall feel such hindrances, or others like them - what with your flesh, the world and the devil - more than I can recite now. For as long as a man allows his thoughts to run willingly all over the world to consider different things, he notices few hindrances; but as soon as he draws all his thought and his yearning to one thing alone - to have that, to see that, to know that, and to love that (and that is only Jesus) - then he shall well feel many painful hindrances, for everything that he feels and is not what he desires is a hindrance to him. Therefore, I have told you particularly of some as an example. Furthermore, I say in general that whatever stirring you feel from your flesh or from the devil, pleasant or painful, bitter or sweet, agreeable or dreadful, glad or sorrowful - that would draw down your thought and your desire from the love of Jesus to worldly vanity and utterly prevent the spiritual desire that you have for the love of him, so that your heart should stay occupied with that stirring: think nothing of it, do not willingly receive it, and do not linger over it too long. But if it concerns some worldly thing that ought to be done for yourself or your fellow Christian, finish with it quickly and bring it to an end so that it does not hang on your heart. If it is some other thing that is not necessary, or does not concern you, do not trouble about it, do not parley with it, and do not get angry; neither fear it nor take pleasure in it, but promptly strike it out of your heart, saying thus: 'I am nothing; I have nothing; I neither seek nor desire anything but the love of Jesus'. Knit your thought to this desire and make it strong; maintain it with prayer and with other spiritual work so that you do not forget it; and it shall lead you in the right way and save you from all perils, so that although you feel them you shall not perish. And I think it will bring you to perfect love of our Lord Jesus.

Nevertheles on şat oşer syde .I. say also. what werk or what stirynge it be. şat may helpen şi desire. strengthe it & norische it & make şi hert ferşeste fro luste & mende of şe werld, more hole & more brennande to şe luf of god wheşer it be praynge or şinkynge      or spekynge redynge or herynge onlynes or comunynge goynge or sittynge kepe it for şe tyme & wirk şeryn as longe as savor lesteş. if it be so şat şu take şis with met & drynk & slepe as a pilgrym doş. & kepe discrecioun in şi wirkyng after counsel & ordinance of şa souerayn. ffor haf he never so grete hast in his goynge. 3it he wil in tyme eten & drynken & slepen. do şu so also. 'for şaw3 it let şe .o. tyme, it schal forşen şe an oşer tyme.

On the other hand I also say: Whatever work or stirring it may be that can help your desire, strengthen and nourish it, and make your heart furthest from the enjoyment and remembrance of the world, and more whole and more ardent for the love of God - whether it be prayer or meditation, stillness or speaking, reading or listening, solitude or company, walking or sitting - keep it for the time and work in it as long as the savour lasts, provided you take with it food, drink and sleep like a pilgrim, keeping discretion in your labour as your superior advises and ordains. For however great his haste on his journey, yet at the right time he is willing to eat, drink and sleep. Do so yourself, for although it may hinder you at one time it shall advance you at another.

See also Walter Hilton, OSA, Augustine Baker, Serenus Cressy, OSB, 'The Parable of a Pilgrim'.


JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS ©1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM || THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY ||