The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 4 chapter 28 verses 681-690 Index

 Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary By Sor Marķa of Agreda

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 4 chapter 28 verses 681-690

  INDEX            Book 4  Chapter  28    Verses:  681-690


681. During one of the conversations of Mary with
Joseph concerning the mysteries of the Lord, the Infant
Jesus, having reached the age of one year, resolved to
break the silence and speak in plain words to Joseph,
who so faithfully fulfilled the duties of a foster-father.
As I have already mentioned in chapter the tenth, He
had thus conversed with his heavenly Mother from the
time of his Birth. The two holy Spouses were speaking
of the infinite being of God, of his goodness and ex
cessive love, which induced Him to send his Onlybegotten
Son as the Teacher and Savior of men, clothing Him in
human form in order that He might converse with them
and suffer the punishments of their depraved natures.
Saint Joseph was lost in wonder at the works of the Lord
and inflamed by affectionate gratitude and exaltation of
the Lord. Seizing upon this occasion the infant God,
resting upon the arms of his Mother as upon the seat
of wisdom, began to speak to saint Joseph in an intel
ligible voice, Saying: "My father, I came from heaven
upon this earth in order to be the light of the world, and
in order to rescue it from darkness of sin ; in order to
seek and know my sheep as a good Shepherd, to give
them nourishment of eternal life, teach them the way of
heaven, open its gates, which had been closed by their
sins. I desire that you both be children of the Light,
which you have so close at hand."
682. These words of the Infant Jesus, being full of
divine life, rilled the heart of the patriarch saint Joseph
with new love, reverence and joy. He fell on his knees
before the infant God with the profoundest humility and
thanked Him for having called Him "father" by the very
first word spoken to him. He besought the Lord with
many tears to enlighten him and enable him to fulfill
entirely his most holy will, to teach him to be thankful
for the incomparable benefits flowing from his generous
hands. Parents who love their children very much are
touched with consolation and pride to see their children
show great signs of wisdom and virtue; and even when
this is not the case, they are naturally inclined to extol and
make much of their childish pranks and sayings; for all
this is the result of their tender affection for their young
offspring. Although saint Joseph was not the natural,
but the foster-father of Jesus, his love for Him exceeded
by far all the love of parents for their children, since in
him grace, or even natural love, was more powerful than
in others, yea than in all the parents together. Hence
the joy of his soul is to be measured by this love and
appreciation of saint Joseph as being the foster-father of
the Infant Jesus. For he at the same time heard himself
called the father of the Son of the eternal .Father, and
saw Him so beautiful in grace, while listening to such
exalted wisdom and knowledge in the Child.
683. During the whole of this first year his sweetest
Mother had wrapped the infant God in clothes and cover
ings usual with other children; for He did not wish to
be distinguished in this from others, and He wished to
bear witness to his true humanity and to his love for
mortals, enduring this inconvenience otherwise not re
quired of Him. The most prudent Mother, judging that
now the time had come to free Him from swaddlingclothes
and place Him on his feet, knelt down before the
Child in its cradle and said : "My Son and sweetest Love
of my soul, my Lord, I desire, as thy slave, to be punctual
in fulfilling thy wishes. O, Light of my eyes, Thou hast
been for a long time oppressed by the swaddling-clothes
and thereby gone to the extreme of thy love for men ; it
is time Thou change this manner. Tell me, my Master,
what shall I do to place Thee on thy feet ?"
684. "My Mother," answered the Infant Jesus, "on
account of the love which I bear toward man, whom I
have created and come to redeem, the swathings of my
childhood have not seemed irksome to Me, since when I
shall be grown up I shall be bound and delivered over
to my enemies unto death (Matth. 20, 18). If this
prospect is sweet to Me for the love of my Father
(Heb. 10, 71) all the rest is certainly easy to Me. I
wish to possess only one garment during all my life, for
I seek nothing more than what is sufficient to cover Me.
Although all created things are mine because I have given
them being, I turn them all over to men in order that they
may owe Me so much the more and in order that I may
teach them, according to my example and for my love,
to repudiate and despise all that is superfluous for natural
life. Clothe Me, my Mother, in a tunic of a lowly and
ordinary color. This alone will I wear, and it shall grow
with Me. Over this garment shall they cast lots at my
death (Ps. 21, 19) ; for even this shall not be left at my
disposal, but at the disposal of others ; so that men shall
see that I was born and wish to live poor and destitute
of visible things, which being earthly, oppress and darken
the heart of man. At the very moment of my concep
tion in thy virginal womb I made this renunciation and
abdication of all that is contained in the world, though all
is mine on account of the union of my human nature with
the divine. I shall not have anything to do with visible
things except to offer them up to the eternal Father, re
nouncing them for his love, and making use of only so
much as is sufficient to sustain my natural life, which I
will afterwards yield up for man s sake. By this example
I wish to impress upon the world the doctrine that it must
love poverty and not despise it ; for I, who am the Lord
of the whole world, entirely repudiated and rejected its
possessions. Those who know Me by faith should be
filled with confusion at seeing themselves desire what I
taught them to despise."
685. The words of the divine Child produced in the
heart of the heavenly Mother diverse wonderful effects.
The allusion to the seizure and death of her most holy
Son transfixed her pure and compassionate heart, and
the doctrine and example of such extreme poverty and
destitution excited her admiration and urged Her to its
imitation. His boundless love for mortals inflamed Her
with loving gratitude toward the Lord and produced in
Her heroic acts of many virtues. Seeing that the Child
Jesus desired no footgear and only one garment, She
said to Him: "My Son and my Lord, thy Mother has
not the heart to allow Thee to go barefoot upon the
ground at thy tender age; permit me, my Love, to pro
vide some kind of covering to protect them. I also fear
that the rough garment, which Thou askest of me, will
wound thy tender body, if thou permit no linen to be
worn beneath." "My Mother, I will permit a slight and
ordinary covering- for my feet until the time of my public
preaching shall come, for this I must do barefooted.
But I do not wish to wear linen, because it foments carnal
pleasures, and is the cause of many vices in men. I wish
to teach many by my example to renounce it for love and
imitation of Me."
686. Immediately the great Queen set diligently about
fulfilling the will of her most holy Son. Procuring some
wool in its natural and uncolored state, She spun it very
finely with her own hands and of it She wove a garment
of one piece and without any seam, similar to knitted
stuff, or rather like twilled cloth ; for it was woven of
twisted cords, not like smooth-woven goods. She wove
it upon a small loom, by meshes, crocheting it of one
seamless piece in a mysterious manner (John 19, 23).
Two things were wonderful about it : that it was entirely
even and uniform, without any seams, and that, at her
request, the natural color was changed to a more suitable
one, which was a mixture of brown and a most exquisite
silver-gray, so that it could not be called either, appearing
to be neither altogether brown, nor silvery, nor gray, but
having a mixture of them all. She also wove a pair of
sandals of strong thread, like hempen shoes, with which
She covered the feet of the infant God. Besides these
She made a half tunic of linen, which was to serve as
an undergarment. In the next chapter I shall tell what
happened when She clothed the Infant Jesus.
687. At this time occurred the anniversary of the In
carnation and of the Nativity of the divine Word, both
of them when they had already settled in Egypt. The
celestial Queen celebrated these feasts, so joyous for the
Mother of God, commencing a custom observed by Her
during all the rest of her life, as will be seen in the third
part, which treats about the mysteries happening later on.
She began to prepare for the feast of the Incarnation
nine days before, in accordance with the nine days of
preparation, in which She had been visited with such
admirable and magnificent graces. At the anniversary
of the Incarnation or Annunciation She invited all the
angels of heaven, together with those of her guard, to as
sist Her in the celebration of those great mysteries and to
help Her to acknowledge and give worthy thanks to the
Almighty. Prostrate before the Infant in the form of
a cross, She besought Him to praise in her stead the
eternal Father and thank Him for the favors of his right
hand towards Her, and for the gift of his Onlybegotten
Son to the human race (John 3, 16). The same petition
She made on the anniversary of her divine parturition.
On these days the heavenly Lady was regaled with many
graces and joys by the Most High; because He renewed
the unbroken remembrance and understanding of these
exalted sacraments. As She had received intelligence
how much the eternal Father was pleased and obliged by
this outward manifestation of sorrow exhibited in her
prostration in the form of a cross, and by her mindfulness
of the crucifixion of the Lamb of God, She prac
ticed this devotion on all the festivals, seeking to appease
the divine justice and soliciting mercy for the sinners.
Inflamed with charity, She rose up and ended her cele
bration with wonderful hymns, singing them alternately
with the angels ; they formed a choir of celestial harmony,
the holy angels intoning their songs, and the blessed Lady
answering them on her part in hymns more sweet to the
ears of God, and more acceptable than those of the most
exalted seraphim and all the heavenly choirs. For these
were the echoes of his infinite virtues piercing to the very
throne and judgment seat of the eternal God.
INSTRUCTION GIVEN BY THE MISTRESS AND QUEEN OF
HEAVEN.
688. My daughter, neither thyself nor all creatures
together can ever comprehend the spirit of poverty of my
most holy Son, and what He has taught me concerning
it. But from what I have told thee thou canst under
stand much of the excellence of this virtue, which its
Author and Teacher loved so much, and of the horror
in which He holds the vice of covetousness. The Cre
ator cannot hate the beings which He has created; but
He knows in his wisdom the boundless damage caused
in mortals by avarice and covetousness of visible things ;
and that this insane love would pervert the greater part of
the human nature. His horror of this vice was in pro
portion to the number of sinners and foredoomed ones,
who are lost by the vice of avarice and cupidity.
689. In order to meet this evil and provide some
remedy against it, my most holy Son chose poverty, and
taught it by word and by example of his admirable abne
gation. Thus would the Physician justify his cause be
fore men if they, for whom He prepared this means of
safety and restoration, would neglect to take advantage
of it. This same doctrine I taught and practiced during
all my life, and upon it the Apostles founded the Church.
Such was also the teaching and practice of the Patriarchs
and Saints, who rejuvenated and confirmed religion in
the Church; for all of them have loved poverty, as the
only and most efficacious means of holiness. They have
abhorred riches as the incentive to evil and the root of
all vices (I Tim. 6, 10). This poverty I wish thee to
love and seek after with all diligence ; for it is the adorn
ment of the spouses of my most holy Son, without which
I assure thee, my dearest, He will disavow and repudiate
them as unworthy and far removed from Him. For it
is preposterous to see a bride overflowing in riches and
bedecked with jewels at the side of a poor and destitute
bridegroom ; nor can true love exist with such inequality.
690. It is clear that though thou wish to imitate me
as a legitimate daughter, I, being myself poor, shall not
recognize thee as my daughter if thou art not one in
reality, nor shall I ever permit that in thee which I ab
horred for myself. I remind thee also not to forget the
blessings of the Most High, which thou hast received in
such abundance; for if thou art not very attentive and
solicitous in this duty, thou wilt be drawn into forgetfulness
and gross rudeness by the bluntness and sluggishness
inherent in the human nature. Renew many times a day
the memory of his blessings, always giving thanks to the
Lord with humble and loving affection. Especially mem
orable among his benefits are that He has called thee,
waited for thee, dissembled and excused thy faults, and
added thereto such oft repeated favors. This remem
brance will cause in thee sweet and strong movements of
love; and thou wilt find new grace and favor before the
Lord, since He is so much pleased by a faithful and
thankful heart. On the other hand, He is much offended
if his kindnesses and blessings are not esteemed and
appreciated; for, as He confers them in the fullness of
his love, He desires a dutiful, loyal and loving return on
the part of his creatures.
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