Julian of Norwich (1342-after 1416), recluse
Revelations of divine love, ch. 39
“Reclining at table in the kingdom of God”
[When sinners acknowledge their sin], divine grace causes such great contrition, compassion and true longing for God that the sinner, suddenly delivered from sin and from pain, is raised up…
By contrition we are made clean, by compassion we are made ready, and by true longing for God we are made worthy.
These are three means, as I understand, through which all souls come to heaven, those, that is to say, who have been sinners on earth and will be saved.
For every sinful soul must be healed by these medicines.
Though he be healed, his wounds are not seen by God as wounds but as honors.
And as we are punished here with sorrow and penance, in contrary fashion we shall be rewarded in heaven by the courteous love of our almighty God…
For he regards sin as sorrow and pains for his lovers, to whom for love he assigns no blame.
The reward which we shall receive will not be small, but it will be great, glorious and honourable.
And so all shame will be turned into honor and joy.
For our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously; for our falling does not hinder him in loving us…
He wants us so to take heed that he is the foundation of our whole life in love, and furthermore that he is our everlasting protector, and mightily defends us against all our enemies, who are very cruel and very fierce towards us, and so our need is great, the more so because by our falling we give them occasion.
(SOURCE: Classics of Western spirituality, 1978)