The Foundation of our Praying
by Julian of Norwich
WE ALL NEED TO PRAY God for charity. God is working in us, helping us to thank and trust and enjoy him. Thus does our good Lord will that we should pray. This is what I understood his meaning to be throughout, and in particular when he uttered those sweet, cheering words, "I am the foundation of your praying."
I knew truly that the reason why our Lord showed it was that he wants it to be better known than it is. It is by our knowing this that he gives us grace to love and to hold to him. He regards his heavenly treasure on earth with so much love that he wants us to have all the greater light and consolation in the joys of heaven. So he draws our hearts away from the sorry murk in which they live.
From the time these things were first revealed I had often wanted to know what was our Lord's meaning. It was more than fifteen years after that I was answered in my spirit's understanding. "You would know our Lord's meaning in this thing? Know it well. Love was his meaning. Who showed it you? Love. What did he show you? Love. Why did he show it? For love. Hold on to this and you will know and understand love more and more. But you will not know or learn anything else -- ever!"
So it was that I learned that love was our Lord's meaning. And I saw for certain, both here and elsewhere, that before ever he made us, God loved us; and that his love has never slackened, nor ever shall. In this love all his works have been done, and in this love he has made everything serve us; and in this love our life is everlasting. Our beginning was when we were made, but the love in which he made us never had beginning. In it we have our beginning.
All this we may see in God for ever. May Jesus grant this.
From Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, trans. Clifton Wolters (Bungay, Suffolk: Penguin Books, 1966) pp. 211-12.