The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 4 chapter 30 verses 702-711 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 4 chapter 30 verses 702-711JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH RETURN TO NAZARETH AT THE COMMAND OF THE LORD.

  INDEX            Book 4  Chapter  30    Verses:  702-711


702. The Child Jesus reached the end of his seventh
year while in Egypt, which was also the term set by the
eternal Wisdom for his mysterious sojourn in that land.
In order that the prophecies might be fulfilled, it was
necessary that He return to Nazareth. This decree the
eternal Father intimated to his most holy Son on a cer
tain day in the presence of his holy Mother and while
She was with Him in prayer. She saw it mirrored in
his deified soul and She saw how He submitted to it in
obedience to the Father. Therein the great Lady joined
Him, although they had already become better acquainted
and habituated to their present abode than to their own
native city of Nazareth. Neither the Mother nor the
Son made known to saint Joseph this new decree of
heaven. But in that very night the angel of the Lord
spoke to him in his sleep, as Matthew relates (Matth.
2, 19), and bade him take the Child and its Mother
and return to the land of Israel; for Herod and those
who with him had sought the life of the Child, were
dead. So much value does the Almighty set on the
proper order in created things, that, though Jesus was
the true God and his Mother so highly exalted above saint
Joseph in sanctity, He did not permit the arrangements
of this journey to proceed from his Son nor from his
Mother, but from saint Joseph, who was the head of this
Family. God intended to teach all mortals, that He wishes
all things to be governed by the natural order set up by
his Providence; and that the inferiors and subjects of
the mystical body of the Church, even though they may
excel in virtue and in certain other respects, must obey
and submit to their superiors and prelates in the visible
order.
703. Saint Joseph immediately notified the Child Jesus
and his Mother of the command of the Lord; and both
of them answered, that the will of the heavenly Father
must be done. Thereupon they resolved upon their
journey without delay, immediately distributing among
the poor the little furniture contained in their dwelling.
This was done by the hands of the divine Child; for the
heavenly Mother often consigned into his hands what
She had destined as alms to the poor, knowing that the
Child, as the God of mercy, loved to exercise it with his
own hands (Matth. 25, 40). When She gave Him these
alms the most holy Mother falling on her knees, said:
"Take, my Son and Lord, whatever Thou desirest, in
order to share it with the poor, our friends and brothers."
The blessed dwelling, which had been sanctified and con
secrated for seven years by the presence of the Highpriest
Jesus, was left in the possession of certain of the
most devout and pious persons in Heliopolis. Their vir
tue and holiness had gained them a favor which they
could not now fully estimate; although, on account of
what they had seen and experienced, they counted them
selves indeed fortunate to occupy the same house, in which
these Strangers had lived for seven years. This affec
tionate devotion was rewarded by abundant light and
grace for their eternal salvation.
704. They departed for Palestine in the company of
angels as on their way thence. The great Queen sat on
the ass with the divine Child on her lap and saint
Joseph walked afoot, closely following the Son and
Mother. On account of the loss of such great Benefactors
their acquaintances and friends were very sorrowful at
the news of their departure ; with incredible weeping and
sighing they saw Them leave, knowing and loudly com
plaining, that they were now losing all their consolation
and refuge in their necessities. If the divine power had
not interfered, the holy Family would have found great
difficulty in leaving Heliopolis ; for its inhabitants began
to feel the night of their miseries secretly setting upon
their hearts at the parting of the Sun, which had dis
persed and brightened its darkness (John 1, 9). In
traversing the inhabited country they passed through
some towns of Egypt, where They scattered their graces
and blessings. The news of their passage spreading
about, all the sick, the afflicted and disconsolate gathered
to seek Them out, and they found themselves relieved in
body and soul. Many of the sick were cured, many de
mons were expelled without their knowing who it was
that thus hurled them back to hell. Yet they felt the
divine power, which compelled them and wrought such
blessings among men.
705. I will not tarry to relate the particular events of
this journey of the Child Jesus and his most blessed
Mother out of Egypt; for it is not necessary, nor could
it be done without extending this history too much. It
will suffice to say that all who came to Them with greater
or less devotion, left their presence enlightened with
truth, assisted by grace and wounded with the love of
God. They felt a secret force, which urged and com
pelled them to the pursuit of virtue and, while withdraw
ing them from the paths of death, showed them the way
of eternal life. They came to the Son, drawn to Him
by the Father, and they turned to the Father, sent there
by the divine light of Christ s truth, which enkindled their
souls with the knowledge of the true God (John 6, 44).
Nevertheless He concealed Himself, since it was not yet
time to reveal Himself openly. But the fire, which He
had come to enkindle and spread in this world, secretly
and incessantly produced its divine effects among men.
706. Having thus fulfilled the mysteries decreed by the
divine will and issuing from the inhabited regions of this
country, which They had signalized by their miracles,
our heavenly Pilgrims entered the desert through which
They had come. In it They again suffered labors and
difficulties similar to those of their flight from Palestine ;
for the Lord continued to permit hardships and tribula
tion in order to afford Them occasion of merit and pro
vide a proper relief. He administered to these neces
sities by the hands of the angels as in the first journey,
or sometimes the Child Jesus himself commanded them
to provide sustenance. Very often saint Joseph, in order
that he might become more sensible of the divine favor,
was permitted to hear these commands and saw how
these spirits obeyed and readily procured what was
wanted. This greatly encouraged and consoled the holy
Patriarch in his sorrow and anxiety for the King and
Queen of heaven. At other times the divine Child made
use of his Omnipotence and created all that was necessary
to supply their wants out of a crumb of bread. The
rest of the journey was similar to the journey described
before in chapter the twenty-second; therefore I do not
think it necessary to repeat the description. When, how
ever, They arrived at the confines of Palestine the anxious
husband was informed, that Archelaus had succeeded
Herod his father in the government of Judea (Matth.
2, 22). Fearing that with the sovereignty he had in
herited also his cruelty, saint Joseph turned from his
route without going to Jerusalem or entering Judea and
passed through the land of the tribe of Dan and Issachar
below Galilee, following the coast of the Mediterranean
sea and passing Jerusalem to his right.
707. They reached Nazareth, their home, for the Child
was to be called a Nazarene. They found their former
humble house in charge of the devout cousin of saint
Joseph, who, as I have mentioned in the twelfth chapter
of the third book, had offered to serve him while our
Queen was absent in the house of Elisabeth. Before
They had left Judea for Egypt, saint Joseph had written
to this woman, asking her to take care of the house and
what it contained. They found it all in good condition
and his cousin received Them with great joy on account
of her love for the great Queen, though at the same time
she did not know of her dignity. The heavenly Lady
entered with her Son and saint Joseph, and immediately
She prostrated Herself in adoration of the Lord and in
thanksgiving for having led Them, safe from the cruelty
of Herod, to this retreat, and preserved Them in the
dangers of their banishment and their long and arduous
journeys. Above all did She render thanks for having
returned in company with her Son, now grown both in
years and in grace and virtue (Luke 2, 40).
708. Taking counsel with her divine Child She pro
ceeded to set up a rule of life and regulate her pious
practices; not that She had failed to observe a rule of
life on her journey; for the most prudent Lady, in imita
tion of her Son, had always observed the most perfect
order according to circumstances. But being now peace
fully settled in her home She wished to include many
exercises, which on the journey were impossible. Her
greatest solicitude was always to co-operate with her most
holy Son for the salvation of souls which was the work
most urgently enjoined upon Her by the eternal Father.
Toward this most high end our Queen directed all her
practices in union with the Redeemer, and this was their
constant occupation, as we shall see in the course of this
second part. The holy Joseph also ordered his occupa
tions and his work so as most worthily to earn sus
tenance for the divine Child and his Mother as well as
for himself. That which in other sons of Adam is con
sidered a punishment and a hardship was to this holy
Patriarch a great happiness. For while others were con
demned to sustain their natural life by the labor of their
hands in the sweat of their brows, saint Joseph was
blessed and consoled beyond measure to know, that he
had been chosen by his labor and sweat to support God
himself and his Mother, to whom belonged heaven and
earth and all that they contain (Esther 13, 10).
709. The Queen of the angels herself undertook to pay
the debt of gratitude due to saint Joseph for his labors
and solicitude. Accordingly She provided his meals and
attended to his comforts with incredible care and most
loving gratitude. She was obedient to him in all things
and humbled Herself before him as if She were his
handmaid and not his spouse, or, what is more, not the
Mother of the Creator and Lord of all. She accounted
Herself unworthy of existence and of being suffered to
walk upon the earth; for She thought it just, that She
should be in want of all things. In the consciousness
of having been created out of nothing and therefore un
able to make any return for either this benefit or, accord
ing to her estimation, for any of the others, She estab
lished in Herself such a rare humility, that She thought
Herself less than the dust and unworthy to mingle with
it. For the least favor She gave admirable thanks to the
Lord, as to the first cause and origin of them all, and to
creatures as to the instruments of his bounty. To som*
She gave thanks because they conferred favors upon
Her, to others because they had denied them; and to
others again because they bore with Her in patience.
She acknowledged Herself as indebted to all of them,
though She filled them with the blessings of sweetness
and placed Herself at the feet of all, seeking ingenious
means and artifices to let no instant and no occasion pass
for practicing the most perfect and exalted virtues to the
admiration of the angels and the pleasure and the delight
of the Most High.
INSTRUCTION WHICH THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN GAVE ME.
710. My daughter, while journeying at the command
of the Lord from one country to another and during the
works enjoined upon me, my heart was never troubled
nor my spirit cast down; for I always held myself pre
pared to fulfill entirely the will of God. Although the
Lord made known to Me his high ends, yet this was not
always done at the beginning, thus permitting me to en
dure so much the greater sufferings; for in obeying the
Lord no further reason is necessary than that the Lord
Creator so commands and disposes. The souls must
accustom themselves to look for this motive alone and to
learn solely to please the Lord, without distinguishing
between fortunate or unfortunate events and without look
ing to their own inclinations. In this kind of wisdom I
wish that thou advance. In imitation of me and to satisfy
thy obligations toward my most holy Son, do thou re
ceive prosperity or adversity in this mortal life with
unmoved countenance and with equanimity and peace of
mind. Let not the one grieve, nor the other vainly re
joice thee; but attend only to all that which the Almighty
ordains according to his pleasure.
711. Human life is interwoven thus variously with
both kinds of events ; some of them according, others con
trary to the likings of mortals; some which they abhor,
others which they desire. As the human heart is limited
and narrow it immoderately inclines to extremes, bound
lessly desiring what it loves and likes, and, on the other
hand, grieving and sorrowing at what it abhors and dis
likes. These changeful moods and fluctuations create
danger for all or many virtues. The disorderly love for
one creature which it cannot attain, moves the soul pres
ently to desire another, expecting a balm for its dis
appointment in the former. And if it is successful, the
soul becomes involved and flurried in the desire of re
taining what it possesses, thus casting itself by these
velleities into still greater disorders and passions. Attend,
therefore, dearest, to this danger and attack it at the root
by preserving thy heart independent and riveted only on
the divine Providence, without ever allowing it to incline
toward what it desires or longs for, or to abhor what
is painful to it. Let the will of the Lord be thy only
delight and joy. Let neither thy desires draw thee on,
nor thy fears dishearten thee. Let not thy exterior occu
pations, and much less thy regard or attention to crea
tures, ever impede thee or divert thee from thy holy
exercises, attending always to my example. Seek thou
lovingly and diligently to follow in my footsteps.
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