In the first third of her nearly 600-page book, Rolf paints many aspects of Julian’s life and times. She describes Norwich, Julian’s likely ancestry, her childhood and education, in addition to details of marriage, childbirth, church and community life at the time, and likely aspects of Julian’s life and profession. Interestingly, Julian’s choice to become an anchorite may have helped ensure her safety and her ability to write, share her experience, and counsel others.
Rolf then moves to a discussion of each of Julian’s sixteen Revelations of Divine Love, in 86 chapters. Rolf’s translation of the original Middle English is highly readable, and she includes similar or supporting insights from other Catholic figures across the ages. Julian’s gospel is good news for today, a complement to Pope Francis’s teaching this past year. She bears witness to the persistent joy and longing of God, who loves us like a mother.
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