“Precious Food of True Life”: Christ Our Mother, Female Embodiment, and the Eucharist in Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love

by Eliza Stiles | January 31, 2020

The embodiment of Christ is central to the Christian faith as we confess God incarnate. The second person of the Trinity taking on flesh is integral to how we understand the means of our salvation—that Christ, fully God and fully human, died and was resurrected. We remember Christ’s broken body and shed blood for our salvation in the celebration of the Eucharist, a tangible practice that unites and sustains the body of Christ, the church. Julian of Norwich, in her Revelations of Divine Love, recounts and meditates on her revelations of Christ dying and the significance of his body and blood in his work of salvation and continued work of sustaining us. In these revelations, she appropriates this salvific work to Christ, our true mother.1 Using Julian’s imagery of the maternal Christ, I argue that the inclusion of embodied female experiences in how the church understands the Eucharist is necessary for the eucharistic celebration to truly unite the whole body of Christ.

This article first introduces Julian and her Revelations in order to situate her metaphor of God as mother within her theological work. Secondly, I unfold the intricacies of this metaphor as Julian assigns to Christ the “motherly” characteristics of mercy and safety. Thirdly, I explore the deep well of imagery between Christ’s work and the experiences of motherhood, particularly in the eucharistic language of body broken and blood shed. This culminates in an examination of how we participate in the Eucharist and the necessity of knowing and sharing in the experiences of those gathered with us.

Julian and Our True Mother

As an anchoress2 at St. Julian’s Church in Norwich, England, Julian had spent her years quietly praying and meditating on God until she became ill and believed the end of her life was drawing near. In the year 1373, with a crucifix brought close to her bedside, upon which she fixed her attention, she began to see drops of blood flowing from the crown of thorns on Christ’s head (3.42–43). Through these drops of blood, Julian entered into her revelations of Christ’s bloody death and the realization of God’s love being as endless as the flow of blood from Jesus’s body. She writes, “The beloved blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is as truly most precious as ’tis truly abundant. Behold and see!” (12.57). She would spend years contemplating and interpreting these revelations and what they meant for the life of the church.

While several chapters of her long text3 focus on Christ as our true mother, her interpretation of Christ as a whole is arguably female and maternal. Christ’s identity as our mother is central to how Julian sees and interprets the entire theological framework of her Revelations, including the Trinity, salvation, and sin. For Julian, “as truly as God is our father, so truly is God our mother” (59.129). Julian appropriates the “office of motherhood” to Christ because motherhood is the “closest, most willing, more sure” of human “services” to compare with the work of Christ (60.130). Christ is our mother twice: first in our creation and second through Christ’s incarnation in which Christ takes on our humanity, both body and soul (59.129). In his dying for us because of his great love, the pain and labor turn to joy and bliss as the wound in his side becomes our safe resting place (24.72). Through this, Christ “encloses” us within himself and births us to new life through his resurrection (57.126). Now Christ, as our mother, continues his work of feeding and sustaining us through the Eucharist (60.130).

While Julian embraces this female imagery of Christ, she never denies the historical particularity of Christ—continuing to refer to Christ exclusively with male pronouns even when referring to him as mother. Nor does she deny or ignore masculine imagery of God—with the distinction of God as father being equally important to her understanding of the Trinity. Nevertheless, for Julian, in our contemplation of an incomprehensible God, we must consider God as mother as well as father. The metaphor of Christ as our true mother is helpful for thinking about how we can know something of God through our human experiences, as image-bearers of God. Julian makes it clear that our mothers only fulfill this “office” partially, in comparison to what Christ has done and continues to do for us. This is reminiscent of Isaiah declaring of God:

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you! (Isa 49:15 NIV)

God’s love and care for us is like a mother’s, but even greater still. To speak about God as mother is not to dismiss the particularity of Christ but to imagine how the savior of all humanity truly became like us and how, in our own particularity, we might become like him.

This imagery of Christ as our mother is not unique to Julian. Her contemporaries used maternal images to make specific points about God or the roles and duties of religious leaders—making use of feminine attributes.4 The increase in using maternal images came with a growing interest in the humanity of Jesus, finding it most appropriate to speak of the incarnate Christ through metaphors of human experience. Men often made these comparisons and envisioned Christ as male with added feminine attributes. Yet Julian’s contemplation of a maternal Christ stands apart. She “imagines her female body mapped onto that of God and makes the body of Christ participate in female, rather than feminine, functions.”5 Her Christ does not merely act feminine, but is our true mother. She does not make Christ maternal or feminine simply by associating stereotypically feminine qualities to Christ but makes the most foundationally human and embodied experiences of women central to the identity of the savior and his means of saving all of humanity. To be clear, this is not to say that God is female, just as God is not male; instead, it is an exercise in contemplating God in female terms.6 Such qualities and experiences of women are central to more fully contemplating our salvation. Far from simply being a way for women to associate themselves with Christ, the incarnation, death, and resurrection cannot be fully understood apart from these maternal images.

A Redemptive Image for Women: The Eucharist and the Maternal Christ

This imagery, while essential for all of us to better understand the work of Christ and his love for us, takes on a particular redemptive nature for women and lends itself in essential ways to the celebration of the Eucharist. This imagery of Christ as mother, sharing in the embodied experiences of women—bleeding, laboring, breaking, birthing, feeding—cannot be overlooked or set in a box pertaining only to women’s issues. These images and the accompanying language are subversively linked to the liturgy of the Eucharist, in which we remember Christ’s broken body, Christ’s shed blood, Christ dying to give us new life, Christ feeding us through his own body and blood. A mother feeds her child milk from her own body, yet Christ fulfills this role of motherhood to the perfect extent as he feeds us with himself and continues to feed us through the celebration of the Eucharist (60.130). In this, “women become a fully fleshly and feeding self—at one with the generative suffering of God.”7 This life-giving work of mothers helps give language and understanding to the life-giving work of Christ.

Marcia Mount Shoop, in her project of embracing embodied experiences in the practices of the church, suggests we need to listen to “the body’s own language”—how our bodies naturally exist in the world and communicate experiences—for what it might teach us, what it might teach the church about our own bodies in community and about Christ, who in the incarnation took on a body like ours.8 Julian’s attention to the body of Christ and Christ being our true mother is a practice of such listening. Because the Eucharist is a central marker of the Christian faith, listening to and celebrating these maternal and bodily images must become central to our eucharistic practices.

Julian’s metaphor of Christ as our mother and her associations between Christ and the female body are stark because, in her time, the female body represented the worst of humanity. In medieval times the female body was viewed as inherently inferior to that of men; it was the lower being, lacking in all that was the male body.9 The female body signified “lack and failure,” and because Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, Jesus’s body was made of virgin, female flesh, which they believed was the lowest, most delicate state of humanity, most at-risk and susceptible to pain.10 In their understanding, Jesus took on the lowest, most marginalized, most at-risk form of humanity, and in this lowliest of states redeemed all of humanity. In imaging Christ as female, all of what it means to be female—both the most essential bodily experiences and the ways women have historically been considered less than, marginal, dangerous, physical, weak, or sinful by their very nature—must be associated with Christ, is assumed by Christ, and is the very means of our salvation. Therefore, the use of these female images and characteristics is significant, not for reinforcing gender stereotypes of masculine and feminine characteristics, but for communicating that the nature of Christ fully encompasses humanity’s salvation to include even our own perceptions of marginalized and lowly humanity. Two such maternal characteristics are important to Julian: mercy and safety, which must be understood together.

Mercy

Mercy is a “property” of motherhood, a compassionate tenderness of a mother toward her children (48.102–3). While Julian explicitly makes this connection, this association of mercy as a maternal trait was common in her time and was juxtaposed with the fatherly trait of justice.11 Instead of understanding the work of Christ and the state of human sinfulness through the lens of justice, Julian “lifts the fall out of the framework of justice entirely” and instead turns to the property of mercy and Christ’s work of compassion.12 Mercy is Christ’s work for our salvation, “for the flood of mercy which is his dearest blood and precious water is plentifully available to make us fair and pure” (61.133). Christ’s work of mercy, together with the property of grace—which belongs to the Holy Spirit—continues to reveal God’s abundant love as he cares for his children and guides them through life. Mercy is the property of God dealing with us in our sin and his love toward us shown in the freedom we have to continue waywardly in our sin. Julian describes our sinfulness as our failing, falling, and dying, which produce in us fear, shame, and sorrow. However, in God’s compassion, his love never leaves us in this sinful state because “the sweet eye of pity and love never looks away from us, nor does the operation of mercy cease” (48.102). Mercy is ever-present, ever-protecting, ever-reviving, and ever heals us.

Safety

Julian’s consideration of God’s mercy cannot be separated from her exploration of God keeping us safe. As mercy is an outworking of God’s love, so “the operation of mercy is to safeguard us in love” (48.102). Julian pictures our relationship with Christ as a child running to her mother (61.132–33). In our sin, in our falling, Christ does not want us to run away from him but longs for us to run to him like a child to her mother, looking for help and safety. Christ longs to gather us under his wing like a mother hen, to keep us safe, but we are often not willing (Matt 23:37); we choose to run away. Julian does not liken Christ to a mother hen but to a motherly nurse whose only task is tending to our care and safety; Christ says to us, “I am keeping you very safe” (61.133). Amy Laura Hall rhetorically wonders why Julian did not compare Christ to a doctor who stitches up our wounds, only to make the point that it is a nurse who has the task of diligently caring for vulnerable and unpredictable bodies in the slow process of healing.13 Mercy is an attentive nurse. Mercy is eyes always watching over us and caring for us even when we fall. Mercy is a mother longing to protect her child, even her disobedient child. Mercy is our mother always welcoming us back and drawing us in. Mercy is keeping us safe. This is the mercy we encounter at the table of the Eucharist.

Christ cares for us as a nurse and draws us to himself as a mother until we are enclosed in the open wounds of Christ. We are always welcomed back, always welcomed in. The celebration of the Eucharist is the “site of safety” in which we celebrate and receive “the unrepeatable yet perpetually repeated gift” of salvation through the cross of Christ.14 At the eucharistic table, we are all children returning to our mother seeking safety and mercy. Christ wants us to cry out, “My kind mother, my gracious mother, my dearest mother, take pity on me. I have made myself dirty and unlike you, and I neither can nor may put this right except with your very own help and grace” (61.133). While we do not repeat these exact words at the eucharistic table, the formula is the same: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say that word and my soul shall be healed.”15 It is through the Eucharist that we encounter divine safety and wholeness, through which our true mother cares for each of us and all of us, feeding us with himself in the bread and wine.

Body and Blood: Birthed to New Life and Ultimate Love

Even more central to Julian’s depiction of Christ is his embodied experience, both through the incarnation and in his fulfillment of the office of motherhood. Not only is Christ keeping us safe and offering mercy at the eucharistic table, but it is his body broken and blood shed to birth us to new life. As the church recalls and reenacts at each celebration of the Eucharist, Jesus says of the bread and wine, “This is my body given for you. . . . This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19–20 NIV). The experiences and images of bodies broken and blood shed are imbedded in the most central practice of the church; they are also intrinsic to the experience of motherhood, and Julian makes full use of this connection. Through this, women become the symbols for all humanity in Christ taking on such a nature.16 Julian makes the embodied experiences of women essential to understanding Christ, the means of our salvation, and the words Christ gave the church by which to remember his death. It is to the images of blood and body that we now turn.

Blood

Blood is an important image for Julian as a central reminder of the abundance of God’s love for us. Christ’s blood covers all and is as plentiful as water after a heavy rain (7.49). Julian spends several chapters meditating on and describing in detail the blood flowing from Christ’s dying body.17 Bleeding is an experience common to all humans, from the way we come into the world to getting a paper cut or scraping our knee. However, Christ’s bleeding is specific to the bloodshed necessary for the salvation of the world and is the means of new life in Christ (e.g., John 6:53–56). This is a form of bleeding that is particular to birth, a kind of bleeding experienced only by mothers; it is bleeding that leads to new life. Pregnancy and birth are marked by blood, both in the monthly rhythm of bleeding that prepares a womb for a child and the bleeding that accompanies that child’s delivery into the world. Christ, like a mother, bleeds for us and births us to new life.

In ch. 7, Julian sees the thick, dark-red drops of blood flowing from Christ as if flowing from a vein, an image that was both beautiful and horrifying to her (7.48–49). The blood is beautiful because, as she reveals in ch. 12, it is Christ’s blood that “overflows the whole earth and is ready to wash from sin all who are, have been, and shall be of good will” (12.57). It is Christ’s shed blood that saves us, so the abundant flow of the blood reveals the overwhelming, all-encompassing act of God’s salvation. However, this image is also horrifying to her because it exposes the intensity of Christ’s suffering and the extent to which Christ was willing to suffer for us to give us new life. Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt describes this image as both grotesque and symbolic of new life, an image of “a body exteriorizing its liquid interior, of borders becoming fluid and malleable . . . the great quantity of Christ’s blood waters the earth to bring forth new life.”18 Christ’s abundant blood is simultaneously an image of both suffering and love.

Body

However, in ch. 10, Julian sees Christ’s body drying up and the once-flowing blood caked to his face (10.52–53). The endless flow of salvation seems to have been defeated. Bauerschmidt describes this as an image of Christ’s “failed body” because, “in order to be a salvific body, Christ’s body must in some sense be a failed body.”19 This failure, this death, is necessary for salvation and new life in these final stages of Christ’s labor. Laboring mothers know this experience all too well; the brink of giving birth—the final stages of labor—feels like the brink of death, a failed body that cannot complete the task of love it set out to accomplish. Hannah Shanks vividly describes this experience of labor. She says, “As we birth, we often catch a glimpse of death—we feel as though we are going to die. . . . In the intense moments of birth, most women describe feeling as though they are close to death. Death and life, it seems, are not strangers.”20 Mothers labor and bleed to the point of defeat and sometimes even death in an ultimate act of love so that their children might have life; in blood they birth us into the world. So too, all of Christ’s blood was used up, poured out for our salvation and new life. Just when it seems that defeat is inevitable, that all of the blood has been poured out, the redemptive blood flows to birth us to new life. This is the cup of salvation which we partake and celebrate at the eucharistic table.

Julian’s imagery of Christ’s work on the cross being like that of a laboring mother is familiar from the pages of Scripture. Isaiah compares God’s longing to redeem Israel to a laboring mother panting and gasping (Isa 42:14). The prolonged and excruciating work of labor—love, longing, and pain experienced to the ultimate degree—is the best human experience to assist us in understanding what Christ went through to redeem us. Julian makes this comparison explicit:

We know that our mothers bear us and bring us into this world to suffering and to death, and yet our true mother Jesus, he, all love, gives birth to us into joy and to endless life—blessed may he be! So he sustains us within himself in love and was in labour for the full time, he who wanted to suffer the sharpest pangs and the most grievous sufferings that ever were or ever shall be, and at the last he died. (60.130)

Christ carried us in his womb, and he labored in pain to bring us new life. In meditating on the image of God as a laboring woman, Lauren Winner acknowledges how, unlike the experience of labor, she usually pictures Christ’s work of redemption being easy work. She wonders how imagining the process and prolonged struggle of labor might inform our perception of Christ dying on the cross: “Whatever I think or feel about God’s body when I imagine God groaning and panting in labor,” Winner writes, “I should also think or feel when I remember God executed by a Roman prefect.”21 Thinking about Christ in labor can assist us in thinking about Christ’s death on the cross in new ways. This is the practice of listening to our own bodies and the bodies of others, listening to help us contemplate God in new ways. As Julian sees our salvation as the work of God’s mercy, might we also imagine Christ’s crucifixion as a mother’s ultimate act of love?

As blood is a necessary component of labor, so too is breaking, and as surely as a mother’s body breaks to birth her child, Christ’s body broke for us. Therefore, a body that struggles, bleeds, breaks open, and seems to have failed becomes the locus of our salvation and brings forth new life. Breaking is a necessary part of birth, a painful act of love which leads to joy and new life. Shanks unites us around the idea of bodies breaking: “we all begin with breaking. . . . The mother-bodies that bore us up to that point, shifting their organs while weaving ours, break and give way in one final act of carrying.”22 This is Christ’s full offering of himself to us, a body broken for us to give us new life, and it is only through this broken, wounded body that we are fed.

Julian compares the wounds of Christ to the breast of a mother; for her, Christ is both a laboring mother and a nursing mother. She writes, “The mother can lay the child tenderly to her breast, but our tender mother Jesus, he can lead us intimately into his blessed breast through his sweet open side” (60.130). In Julian’s time, such a statement of bodies touching and crossing the boundaries of each other, of bodily fluids exchanged, would have been an audacious statement. Bodies meant boundaries, thresholds that should never be crossed. In the time of the Black Plague and clear boundaries between social classes, the boundaries of bodies, physically and metaphorically, were seen as dangerous, places through which uncleanness could enter.23 However, this is how Julian saw us receiving Christ and Christ receiving us; this is the way Christ feeds us with himself and we are kept safe as Christ encloses us within himself. Christ is like a mother, sharing of his whole self, crossing boundaries to feed us and breaking himself open to let us in.

The celebration of the Eucharist is an embodied practice of remembrance and encounter intertwined with bodily imagery and a drawing together of the body of the church. What Jesus taught his disciples during their last meal together—his body their food, his blood their salvation—is subversive. Yet it is the meal that unites Christ’s church, the meal that the church has celebrated since the first night Jesus connected his embodied experience to the means of our salvation. Christ’s body was broken for us, he labored in pain for us, he shed his blood for us, and through this he birthed us to new life and continues to feed us with himself. This is what we celebrate at the eucharistic table. The means of our salvation is messy and bodily, but how easily we forget that this has always been the case; through mindless recitation of Jesus’s words and our avoidance of embracing the messiness of embodiment, we disconnect the celebration of the Eucharist from the embodied means of our salvation, the proof of the extent of God’s love for us. Shoop and Mary McClintock Fulkerson starkly name how easily we separate the Eucharist from the messiness of Christ’s death, saying “we’re told that Jesus said the bread was his body broken, the cup his blood poured out, but in such a sanitized environment that violence seems almost impossible to believe.”24 Thinking about Christ as a laboring, birthing, nursing mother is essential for the church to un-sanitize a messy, bodily story of our salvation.

Participation: Bodies Broken and Shared

As the church is the body of Christ, so we are united as members of that body. Julian’s imagery of Christ as our mother comes to fulfillment in her vision of the church. The church is where we receive mercy, is our site of safety, and through our participation in the Eucharist, is where we receive the body and blood of Christ. The church is safety for broken people, for “a single individual often feels broken . . . but the whole body of Holy Church has never broken, nor ever shall be, without end” (61.133). This is a vision of the universal church, Christ’s church and body continuing his work in the world. We are sustained and united through the body and blood of Christ. Our experience of encountering Christ at the eucharistic table joins us to the whole body of Christ. Through him, we are united to each other and enabled to be a body of safety, offering hope for broken people. It is in this that our practices are transformed through listening to and valuing the experiences of others.

When we are one in Christ, the experiences of others become necessarily linked to our experiences. The meal draws us together and transforms how we live as the body of Christ. In Julian’s time, the practice of celebrating the Eucharist revealed the deep divide between social classes.25 However, Julian envisions Christ’s body as that which unites the church, a broken body that united the body. Eboni Marshall Turman argues it is the incarnation of Christ that “employs the coming-togetherness” and makes possible our unity, even in the midst of the ways we have tried to deny the humanity or image of God in others, the ways we have dismissed the significance of the experiences of others, and the ways we have marginalized and oppressed others.26 As we partake in the broken body of Christ, we share our own broken selves with each other, and through that we are united. We participate in the healing practices of sharing the broken body of Christ and sharing in the brokenness of each other, and through this, our understanding of celebrating the Eucharist is transformed.

Our celebration of the Eucharist is shaped by the way we receive the words spoken and the elements given. Therefore, as the words spoken and elements given at the eucharistic table are necessarily related to the embodied experiences of Christ, we must “listen to the body’s own language”—our own bodies and the church body as a whole—as it teaches us and deepens our understanding of Christ. Shanks recalls studying her body in the mirror shortly after giving birth to her son, noticing how her same body that had always been hers was now drastically transformed, broken and healing, swelling with food for her child. She thought, “So this is my body. . . . This was my body. It was my blood. Broken, shedding, a necessary component of the process of bringing new life into the world.”27 In order to know the body of Christ, we must care about and welcome the experiences of the whole body and of each particular body. In the body of Christ, we belong to one another, so each person’s experiences are necessary to understanding a fuller picture of the body of Christ.

Conclusion

Julian spent years contemplating and interpreting the visions she had received because she wanted to know what they meant for the life of the church. Ultimately, her understanding of Christ as our mother is instructive for shaping the church’s practice of celebrating the Eucharist because it informs how we understand the images and experiences associated with the practice. Christ our bleeding, dying savior is the image that marks Julian’s theology and informs her understanding of Christ’s work of salvation. Her imagery of Christ as our mother grounds the means of our salvation in the truly bodily experiences of Christ, for his shed blood and broken body are the source of our new life and reveal the ultimate act of God’s love. Because of this, the experiences of women, and mothers in particular, are essential for the church’s understanding of Christ. Their experiences of bleeding and breaking deepen our understanding and appreciation of Christ attaching his work of salvation to these experiences. By participating in the eucharistic table, the church celebrates and remembers the means of our salvation through partaking in the “precious food of true life” (60.130). Christ is our true mother who bled for us, broke for us, and feeds us with himself. Through the Eucharist, we receive Christ’s mercy and are welcomed into our surest safety; may we ever be children who run to the safety of our true mother.

Notes

1. Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, trans. Barry Windeatt, Oxford World’s Classics (Oxford University Press, 2015). All in-text citations correspond to this translation and are cited by chapter and page.

Julian’s exploration of God as mother has been of most interest to her readers because she contemplates God beyond typical masculine imagery long before modern feminist theologians. Pope Benedict XVI counts Julian among the great thinkers of the Christian faith, noting that the Catechism of the Catholic Church cites Julian in its explanation of the supreme goodness of God in the midst of great evil and suffering: Pope Benedict XVI, Great Christian Thinkers: From the Early Church through the Middle Ages, 1st Fortress ed. (Fortress, 2011) 314–16. See Catechism of the Catholic Church, 313.

2. An anchoress is a female anchorite, a voluntary recluse who committed her life to prayer. She usually lived in a small, confined living space on the side of a church, but was sometimes permitted to give spiritual counsel to community members. Margery Kempe recorded seeking counsel from Julian. Windeatt, “Introduction and Notes,” in Revelations of Divine Love, ix–xiii.

3. There are two versions of the revelations: the short text and the long text. The former is the original documentation of her revelations; the latter is her revised interpretation of and commentary on the revelations. The chapters specifically about Christ as our mother (chs. 57–65) are only found in the long text.

4. Caroline Walker Bynum, Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages, Publications of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA 16 (University of California Press, 1982) 112–25, 140.

5. Maud Burnett McInerny, “In the Meydens Womb: Julian of Norwich and the Poetics of Enclosure,” in Medieval Mothering, ed. John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler, The New Middle Ages 3 (Routledge, 2013) 169.

6. Janet Martin Soskice, The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language (Oxford University Press, 2007) 69–70.

7. Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (University of California Press, 1987) 289.

8. Marcia W. Mount Shoop, Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ, 1st ed, Emerging Theology Initiative (Westminster John Knox, 2010) 5.

9. Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ (University of Notre Dame Press, 2008) 89, 91.

10. Bauerschmidt, Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, 89–91.

11. Sarah McNamer, “The Exploratory Image: God as Mother in Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love,” Mystics Quarterly 15/1 (1989) 25.

12. McNamer, “Exploratory Image,” 26.

13. Amy Laura Hall, Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich (Duke University Press, 2018) 75.

14. Hall, Laughing at the Devil, 100.

15. “The Roman Missal: The Order of Mass” (International Committee on English in the Liturgy, 2010), https://catholicbishops.ie/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Order-of-Mass.pdf, 39.

16. Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast, 264.

17. The visions of blood flowing and drying are found in chs. 7, 10, and 12 of the long text.

18. Bauerschmidt, Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, 82.

19. Bauerschmidt, Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, 89.

20. Hannah Shanks, This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood (Fresh Air, 2018) 57.

21. Lauren Winner, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (HarperCollins, 2015) 154.

22. Shanks, This is My Body, 52.

23. Bauerschmidt, Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, 64.

24. Mary McClintock Fulkerson and Marcia W. Mount Shoop, A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White-Dominant Churches (Cascade, 2015) 29.

25. Bauerschmidt, Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ, 18–19.

26. Eboni Marshall Turman, Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) 165.

27. Shanks, This Is My Body, 52–53.