The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 5 chapter 19 verses 209-221 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 5  Chapter  19    Verses:  209-221

209. The fire of divine charity burned in the bosom of
our Redeemer and Master as in a closed furnace until the
opportune time destined for its manifestation. For in due
time He was to lay bare the burning love of his bosom
by means of his public preaching and miracles, and at last
even to break the vase of his humanity in order to pour
forth his charity. Although it is true, as Solomon says,
that fire cannot be concealed in the bosom without burn
ing the vestments (Prov. 6, 27), and although the Lord
always manifested his love, sending forth from Him its
sparks and flames in all his doings since the moment of
his Incarnation; yet, in comparison to what He was to
accomplish in his chosen time and in comparison to the
conflagration of his interior love, we may say that the
flames of his love had until then remained covered and
enclosed. The Lord had now reached perfect adolescence,
attaining his twenty-seventh year. According to our way
of speaking, it seemed as if He could not any more re
strain the impetus of his love and of his desire to fulfill the
will of the eternal Father in accomplishing the salvation
of men. He was filled with sorrowing love, prayed and
fasted much, and began to mingle with the people and
communicate with mortals. Many times He passed the
nights in prayer on the mountains, and began to absent
Himself two or three days from the house and from
his most holy Mother.
210. The most prudent Lady, by these absences and
excursions of her Son, foresaw the approach of his labors
and sufferings. She already felt the sword, prepared for
her devout and affectionate love, piercing her heart and
soul, and was entirely consumed in most tender acts of
love for her Beloved. During these absences of her Son
her heavenly courtiers and vassals, the holy angels, at
tended upon Her in visible forms, and the great Lady
spoke to them of her sorrows, and sent them as messen
gers to her Son and Lord in order that they might bring
Her news of his occupations and exercises. The holy
angels obeyed their Queen and by their frequent messages
She was enabled, in her retirement, to follow the highest
King Christ in all his prayers, supplications and exercises.
Whenever the Lord returned She received Him prostrate
upon the ground, adoring Him and thanking Him for the
blessings, which He had gained for the sinners. She
served Him as a loving Mother and sought to procure
for Him the poor refreshment, of which She knew He
stood in need as a true man subject to suffering; for often
it happened that He had passed two or three days without
rest, or food or sleep. As already described the most
blessed Mother was well aware of the labors and cares
weighing down the soul of the Redeemer. The Lord
always informed Her of them, and of his new undertak
ings, of the hidden blessings communicated to many souls
by new light concerning the Divinity and concerning the
211. Full of this knowledge the great Queen was wont
to say to her most holy Son : "My Lord, highest and true
happiness of souls! I see, Light of my eyes, that thy
most ardent love for men will not rest or be appeased
until it has secured eternal salvation for them ; this is the
proper occupation of thy charity and the work assigned
to Thee by the eternal Father. Thy words and precious
works must necessarily draw toward Thee many hearts ;
but, O my sweetest Love, I desire that all the mortals be
attracted and that all of them correspond to thy solicitude
and exceeding great charity. Behold me, thy slave, O
Lord, with a heart prepared to fulfill all thy wishes and to
offer her life, if necessary, in order that all creatures may
submit to the longings of thy most ardent love, which so
completely devotes itself to drawing them to thy grace
and friendship." To this offering the Mother of mercy
was urged by her ardent desire to see the teaching and
labors of our Redeemer and Master bring forth their
proper fruit. As the most prudent Lady fully estimated
their value and dignity, She wished that they be lost for
none of the souls, nor that proper thanks for them should
be wanting in men. In her charity She wished to assist
the Lord, or rather to assist her fellowmen, who heard
his words and witnessed his works, in corresponding to
these favors and lose not their chances of salvation. She
was consumed with a desire to render worthy thanks and
praise to the Lord for his wonderful bounty toward souls,
seeking to repay the debt of acknowledgment and grati
tude, not only for those mercies that were efficacious, but
for those which the guilt of men made inactive. In this
thanksgiving the thanks of our great Lady were as hidden
as they were admirable. For in all the works of Christ
our Lord She participated in a most exalted degree, not
only in so far as She co-operated as the cause, but in as
far as the effects are concerned. She so labored for each
soul, as if She herself were the one to be benefited. Of
this I will say more in the third part.
212. To this offering of the most loving Mother her
most holy Son answered: "My dearest Mother! already
the time is come in which I must, conformably to the will
of my eternal Father, commence to prepare some hearts
for the reception of my light and doctrine and for giving
them notice of the opportune and foreordained time of
the salvation of men. In this work I wish thee to follow
and assist Me. Beseech thou my Father to send his light
into the hearts of the mortals and awaken their souls,
that they may with an upright intention receive the mes
sage of the presence of their Savior and Teacher in the
world." From that day on his Mother, according to his
own desire, accompanied Him in all his excursions from
the town of Nazareth.
213. Our Lord began to make these excursions more
frequently in the three years preceding his public preach
ing and Baptism ; in the company of our great Queen He
made many journeys in the neighborhood of Nazareth
and to the province of Nephthali, as was prophesied by
Isaias (Is. 5,2), or other parts. In his conversation with
men He began to announce to them the coming of the
Messias, assuring them, that He was already in the world
and in the territory of Israel. He told them of it without
intimating that He himself was the one they thus ex
pected ; for the first testimony of his being Son of God,
was given publicly by the eternal Father, when the voice
from heaven was heard at the Jordan : "This is my beloved
Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matth. 3, 17). Without
especially announcing his true dignity, the Onlybegotten
spoke of it in general terms, as one who knows with cer
tainty. Without performing any public miracles or using
other outward demonstration, He secretly accompanied
his teachings and testimonies by interior inspirations and
helps, which He conferred on the hearts of those with
whom He conversed and treated. Thus disposing their
souls by faith, He prepared them to receive Him after
wards so much the more readily in person.
214. He made acquaintance with such, as, by his divine
wisdom, He knew to be prepared and capable (or rather,
less unsuited) to accept the seed of truth. To the more
ignorant He spoke of the signs of the coming of the Re
deemer known to all, such as the coming of the three
Kings and the slaughter of the Innocents, and of similar
events. With the more enlightened He adduced the testi
monies of the Prophets, already fulfilled, and He ex
plained to them these truths with the power and force
of a divine Teacher. He proved to them, that the Messias
had already come to Israel, and He pointed out to them
the kingdom of God and the way to reach it. As He
exhibited in his outward appearance so much beauty,
grace, peace, sweetness and gentleness of manner and of
speech, and as all his discourse, though veiled, was never
theless so vivid and strong, and as He added thereto also
his interior help of grace, the fruit of this wonderful
mode of teaching was very great. Many souls forsook
the path of sin, others began a virtuous life, all of them
were instructed and made capable of understanding the
great mysteries, and especially of believing, that the Mes
sias had already begun his reign.
215. To these works of mercy the divine Teacher added
many others ; for He consoled the sorrowful, relieved the
oppressed, visited the sick and grief-stricken, encouraged
the disheartened, gave salutary counsel to the ignorant,
assisted those in the agony of death, secretly gave health
of body to many, helped those in great distress, and at the
same time led them on to the path of life and of true peace.
All those that trustfully came to Him, or heard Him with
devout and upright mind, were filled with light and with
the powerful gifts of his Divinity. It is not possible to
enumerate or estimate the admirable works of the Re
deemer during these three years of public preaching after
his Baptism. All was done in a mysterious manner so that
without manifesting Himself as the Author of salvation,
He communicated it to a vast number of souls. In nearly
all these wonderful operations our great Lady was present
as a most faithful witness and co-worker. As all of them
were manifest to Her, She assisted and gave thanks for
them in the name of the creatures and the mortals who
were thus favored by divine bounty. She composed
hymns of praise to the Almighty, prayed for the souls as
one knowing all their interior necessities, and by her
prayers gained for them new blessings and favors. She
herself also undertook to exhort and counsel them, draw
ing them to the sweet teachings of her Son and giving
them intimation of the coming of the Messias. Yet She
practiced these works of mercy more among women, imi
tating among them the works of mercy which her most
holy Son performed for men.
216. Few persons accompanied or followed the Savior
and his most blessed Mother in those first years; for it
was not yet time to call them to a close following of his
doctrines. He permitted them to remain in their homes,
simply instructing and urging them to a more perfect life
by his divine enlightenment. The ordinary companions
of the heavenly Teachers were the holy angels, who
served them as most faithful vassals and servants. Al
though they often returned from these excursions to
their home in Nazareth, yet on their journeys They stood
more in need of the ministry of these courtiers of heaven.
Some of the nights they passed in prayer without any
other shelter than that of the sky, and on these occasions
the angels protected them and sheltered Them from the in
clemency of the weather, and sometimes they brought
food. At other times the Lord and his Mother begged
food, refusing to accept any money, or other gifts not nec
essary for their present nourishment. When at times They
separated, the Lord Jesus visiting the sick in hospitals and
his Mother other sick persons, innumerable angels accom
panied Mary in visible forms. Through their mediation
She performed some of her works of charity and was
kept informed of the doings of her most holy Son. I do
not dilate in particular upon the wonders performed by
Them during this time ; nor upon the labors and difficulties
encountered on these excursions, in the taverns, and from
the obstacles which the common enemy placed in their
way : it is enough to know that the Teacher of life and his
most holy Mother were looked upon as poor pilgrims, and
that they preferred the way of suffering, without evading
any labor deemed advisable for our salvation.
217. In this hidden manner the divine Master and his
Mother spread the knowledge of his coming to all sorts of
persons ; yet the poor were more especially the objects of
his blessed solicitude. They ordinarily are more capable
of God s truths, because they are less burdened with sin
and endowed with more light, and because their minds
are more free and unhampered by vain anxieties. They
are likewise more humble and diligent in subjecting their
will and understanding, and in applying themselves to an
upright and virtuous life. Moreover, as during these
three years Jesus did not preach openly, nor with mani
fest authority confirmed by miracles, He addressed Him
self rather to the humble and poor, who are led to the
truth with less show of authority. Nevertheless the at
tention of the ancient serpent was much aroused by many
of the doings of Jesus and his Mother; for not all of his
miracles remained concealed, though the power by which
they were done was hidden. Satan saw that through
his words and exhortations many sinners were brought
to penance, amended their life and escaped his tyranny;
others advanced in virtue, and in all who listened to the
Teacher of life, the common enemy noticed a great and
unheard of change.
218. What enraged him most, was that he could not
succeed in his attempts with those that were in the throes
of death. Though he multiplied his cunning and malice in
these last hours of the souls in this life, it often happened
that this bloodthirsty dragon, having approached the sick
in order to exert his malice, was interrupted by the en
trance of Jesus or Mary and felt a powerful force, which
hurled him and his demons to the deepest caverns of hell.
If Jesus or Mary had previously come to the sickroom,
the demons could not enter and could exert no influence
upon the sick person, who thus died in the powerful pro
tection of the Lord. As the dragon felt this divine power
without being able to account for it, he conceived an in
sane rage, and anxiously sought means of counteracting
the damage. Then happened what I shall relate in the
next chapter, as I do not wish to enlarge this present one.
219. My daughter, I see thee astonished at the infor
mation, which I give thee concerning the mysterious
works of my most holy Son and concerning my own share
in them. For thou seest on the one hand, how powerful
they are for making an impression on human hearts, and
on the other, that many of them have remained hidden
until now. Thy wonder should not be that men have not
known these mysteries, but that, having been informed of
so many others concerning the life and activity of their
own and my Lord, they have held them in such contempt
and forgetfulness. If they were not so ignoble of heart,
and would lovingly contemplate the divine truths, they
would find in my Son s and in my own life, as far as it is
known to them, most powerful motives for thankfulness.
By the articles of faith and by the many other truths
taught and preached in the holy Church, many worlds
could be converted. For these truths exhibit clearly, that
the Onlybegotten of the eternal Father clothed Himself
in the mortal flesh of sinful man in order to redeem the
human race by the frightful death of the Cross (Philip
2, 7), acquiring for them eternal life by the loss of his
own, and recalling and liberating them from everlasting
death. If this blessing were taken at its true value and
mortals were not so ungrateful to their God and Savior
and so cruel toward themselves, none would lose their
chance of salvation or bring upon themselves eternal dam
nation. In thy amazement then, my dearest, weep cease
lessly over the terrible loss sustained by so many insane
and thankless souls, who are forgetful of God, of their
duty and of their own selves.
220. On former occasions I have already told thee, that
the number of those foreknown as doomed, is so great,
and of those that save themselves is so small, that it is not
expedient to say more in particular. For if thou hast the
sentiments of a true daughter of the Church, the spouse of
Christ, my Son and Lord, thou wouldst die at seeing such
misfortune. What thou mayest know, is, that all the loss
and misfortune apparent in Christian nations and govern
ments, as well among chiefs as among subjects of the
Church and of the secular state, all originate and flow ;
from the forgetfulness and contempt of the works of ,
Christ and of the works of his Redemption. If then
were a way of rousing them to a sense of thankfulness
and to a sense of their duty as faithful and acknowledgec
children of their Creator and Redeemer, and of me, who
am their Intercessor, the wrath of the divine Judge would
be appeased, and there would be some diminution of the
widespread ruin and perdition among Catholics. The
eternal Father, who is justly zealous for the honor of his
Son and rigorously chastises the servants, who know the
will of their Lord and refuse to fulfill it, would again
be reconciled.
221. The faithful in the Church make much of the sin
of the infidel Jews in taking away the life of their God
and Master. They are right in doing so, for it was a
most heinous crime and merited the punishments decreed
against that people. But Catholics forget, that their own
sins are rendered heinous by other elements of guilt sur
passing that of the Jews; for although their error was
culpable, they esteemed it as truth in the end ; then also the
Lord delivered Himself up to them, allowing them to fol
low the counsels of hell, by which they were oppressed
for their sins (Luke 22, 53). In our days the Catholics
are not in ignorance, but in the fullness of the light, by
which they know and understand the divine mysteries of
the Incarnation and Redemption. The holy Church has
been founded, spread out, made illustrious by miracles,
by saints, by holy writings, by the knowledge and procla
mation of truths unknown to the Jews. In spite of all
these multiplied advantages, blessings, truths and enlight
enments, many live like infidels and as if they had not
before their eyes so many inducements to draw them on
and oblige them, nor so many chastisements to fill them
with dread. How can Catholics then, under these circum
stances, imagine that the sins of others were greater or
more grievous than their own? How can they presume
that their punishment shall not be more lamentable? O
my daughter, ponder well this doctrine, and be filled with
a holy fear! Humiliate thyself to the dust and confess
thyself the lowest of the creatures before the Most High.
Look upon the works of thy Redeemer and Master. Imi
tate them and apply them sorrowfully to satisfy for thy
own faults in sorrow and penance. Do thou imitate and
follow me in my ways, as far as thou art enlightened from
on high. And I wish that thou labor not only for thy
own salvation, but also for the salvation of thy brethren.
This thou must do by praying and suffering for them,
charitably admonishing those thou canst, and eagerly do
ing for them more than is thy duty. Show thyself even
more anxious to benefit those who have offended thee,
be patient with all, and humiliate thyself below the most
abject. According to the directions given thee before
be thou solicitous to assist, with fervent charity and firm
assurance, those that are in the dangers of death.
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