IN EAST LANCASHIRE
hristopher Abbott, Julian scholar, has been telling me of his visionary friend. She is like a Godfriend, a Wedding Guest in the Parables of Christ. He says:
'Mary was a highly intelligent but extremely down-to-earth working class woman of East Lancashire. She worked in a clothing factory all her life'.
From Mary Heap's Letter to Basil, Cardinal Hume':
I haven't been to secondary school, so I am not very brainy. When the Holy Spirit falls on you, brains are not necessary.. . . . .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 || © Christopher Abbot, 2001
I started going dancing and we came home late on a Saturday night, so I stayed at my friend's house all night. She had lots of blankets, a real luxury for me, which meant that I would wake up too late for church on Sunday morning. In those days there was no evening Mass. Since I really loved Jesus, this bothered me. I felt awfully separated from Him. One Saturday morning I made my mind up and ran to the church for Confession. I knew I was late and had to hurry. After Confession I felt relieved and loved. As I turned round by the first house, I was on a rather muddly patch with bits of rubbish about, also a few hens and clothes stumps. However, I was suddenly lifted up in ecstasy and, for a short time, I was out of this world and lifted up in complete joy. When I came back to earth I felt I had lost everything. He said, ' There you are. Now you know I am there even if it is the lowest part on earth. '. . . . .
I was exhausted and lay down on the couch in the sitting room. As I lay down the room started to shake. I felt I was on a roller coaster but didn't feel as afraid as I should have done. I glanced at the clock and it was 11 pm. I went to sleep. Suddenly I woke up and found it was only twenty past eleven. The ceiling was rolled back and I could see into heaven. Now Frank [her husband] was asleep in the bedroom above me but he was nowhere in sight. There were big clots of gold falling into our front room. This I knew was love and Our Lord said, ' No one needs to be jealous of anyone because there is enough love in heaven for everyone.'
I couldn't see Jesus but I could feel him, very agitated, walking up and down. Then I could see his left hand holding a pipe. He was squeezing the pipe and only a drop of water was coming from the pipe where I felt there should have been a full flow. Jesus then said, 'I can't get through to my people, I can't get through to my clergy.' Afterwards I said that that was a very dry vision because He hadn't shown me His face. he said, 'If I had shown you my face, Mary, you wouldn't have remembered my words.'. . . . .
We have in the past heard very good preachers tell us Jesus' message, but they have always interpreted this through their own brains because they can't do otherwise. But the Spirit is fully according to Jesus.. . . . .
He said, ' You can't stop sinning without the help of the Holy Spirit. It is like trying to make a 250 motorbike go like a 500cc bike. You can't because you haven't got the extra power. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit you haven't got the right disposition. I never expected priests merely to use their own brains. I wanted them to leave a space for divine revelation. ' . . . .
He said, ' If I am the main entertainment in heaven, why am I not on earth? I have made all your needs in order to fulfil them. Don't judge anyone. When you do, you are only giving me a picture of your own brain. I have made those others in as much love as I made you and I won't go off them to please you. On no consideration should you let evil into your homes. You should have a love affair with me, then turn round and have one with everyone else. '
This is only possible when you empty your head and let Him fill it with all his ideas.. . . . .
Once, the spin dryer started to go haywire in the kitchen, even though I had straightened everything out in it. So I put [the wash] outside at the back over the grid. I then noticed the sun sort of flashing. Jesus said, ' What starts the dryer off? ' I said, 'Switching it on,' and Jesus said, ' Try another word ', and He said, ' Contact ', and three times He said, ' Contact in love, contact in love, contact in love. '. . . . .
In another vision I was in a garden and two collared turtle doves were flying around. I held my finger out and one landed on my finger. I put the dove to my lips and I received a mystical marriage. He immediately gave me a beautiful prayer: ' O most beautiful, holy, loving, generous Spirit of God, never leave us, and in your great and tender mercy, descend on all mankind, for Your sweet Name's sake, Amen.'. . . . .
Jesus gave me this little poem:Humility, that low sweet root,
From which all other virtues shoot,
And pride, a common sod,
That thinks itself in place of God.. . . . .
The one day He said: ' I will show you now a more excellent way, but first you must put all your thoughts on Me. I will help you. When you die, remember you are nothing and can do no more. Think as you will think then, your mind must stand naked before Me. Commend all you love to me, and yourself. Leave yourself and stand now as you will be then and let me fill your head and heart with all I would wish it to be filled. If you think of yourself, you will sink like a bird. '
In this perfect way, every thought, event, decision, includes Him. He is enthroned within you. No part of you is threatened by temptation or any other love. Being filled completely with Him, everything is viewed through Him and correctly understood.. . . . .
He said, ' If you were the most ugly and hardened sinner, you would expect Me to forgive you, yet My people don't forgive one another. ' . . . .
He said one day, ' You will be a saint, Mary.' I said, 'Jesus, even I know you can't be saint and go to bingo.' he said, 'You will speak of My Spirit and give me out with your hands.'
Then he showed me Father Brian [her priest] as a saint, then everyone, and He Himself as saint of saints. He Himself makes us saints We can only be perfect with His perfection.. . . . .
I have lost faith in the clergy. Jesus, however, has a great love for them. Jesus once showed me how the clergy will be and He said He will break all Peter's chains and whatever He says He will exceed.
. . . . .
He once showed me a lily trodden in the dirt. He picked it up and shook it, then it shone and he put it back on a shelf. This what he will do with all women.. . . . .
Once he told me to go to the window. I did, but there was no one in sight. I then looked up and saw a naked lady in the clouds with a nice figure and long hair. A thinner man with his back to me was moving along and, as he came in front of her, the position they were in resembled intercourse and filled me with a great reverence. His love has built within it all reverence. I could see how human nature devastated His love.. . . . .
Then, at Lourdes, as our party lined up for a group photograph, He showed me something else. Near me there was a young tree, not very big, and right at the top a branch had been broken off and a spider had gone from this branch to the top of the tree. As the sun shone and fell on the spider's thread, the gold of the sun lit the thread and it favoured an ejaculation. Lower down, another thread which was a little slacker than the first one, waved about in the breeze. It flashed gold and black and this appeared to be the clergy. Lower down there was a slacker thread still, also glistening with the rain and the sun, and this to me seemed to represent the laity. I couldn't understand why married life was depicted at the top of the tree, but after the Spirit has purified us from all sins, this will become a very beautiful gift of love. The whole love will contain all reverence and holiness. All selfishness and taking ourselves into consideration will disappear and truly we will then say, 'If you think of yourself, you will sink like a stone.'