The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 14 verses 190-208 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 1  Chapter  14    Verses:  190-208

190. In the tribunal of the divine will, as the inevit
able source and universal cause of the whole creation,
all things with their conditions and circumstances, are
decreed and determined, so that nothing is forgotten
and no created power can in the least impede the fulfill
ment of the decree. All the spheres and the inhabitants
contained in them are dependent on this ineffable gov
ernment that rules them and cooperates with the nat
ural causes unfailingly and unerringly in all that must
be done. God works in all and sustains all by his sole
will; in Him lies the preservation of all things or their
annihilation, for without Him they would return to the
non-existence, from which they were drawn. But since
He has created the universe for his glory and for the
glory of the incarnate Word, therefore He has from the
beginning opened the paths and prearranged the ways
by which the same Word should lower Himself to as
sume human flesh and to live among men, and by which
they might ascend toward God, know Him, fear Him,
seek Him, serve Him, love Him, praise Him and enjoy
Him eternally.
191. Admirable was his name in all the lands of the
earth, and magnified in the plenitude and congregation
of the saints, whom He ordained and constituted as a
people pleasing to Him and over whom He placed the
incarnate Word as their Chief. When the world had
arrived at the last and befitting
stage according to the
wishes of his divine Providence; and when the prede
termined time had come for the creation of that mar
velous woman, whose sign had appeared in the heavens
clothed with the sun (Apoc. 12, 1), and who was to re
joice and enrich the earth, the most holy Trinity exe
cuted the decree of forming Her. I will now manifest
what within the narrow limits of my reason and concept
I have been able to comprehend.
192. I have already said above (No. 34) that for
God there is no past or future, since He holds all things
present to his divine and infinite mind and knows all by
one simple act. But reducing this to our way of speak
ing and to our limited mode of understanding, we con
ceive that his Majesty remembered the decrees of the
creation of a Mother befitting and worthy of the Incar
nation of the Word, for the fulfillment of his decree is
inevitable. As the opportune and pre-ordained time had
arrived, the three divine Persons conferred with each
other saying : "Now is the time to begin the work of our
pleasure and to call into existence that pure Creature
and that soul, which is to find grace in our eyes above
all the rest. Let Us furnish Her with the richest gifts
and let Us deposit in Her the great treasures of our
grace. Since all others, whom We called into existence,
have turned out ungrateful and rebellious to our wishes,
frustrating our intention and impeding by their own
fault our purpose, namely, that they conserve themselves
in the happy state of their first parents, and since it is
not proper, that our will should be entirely frustrated,
let Us therefore create this being in entire sanctity and
perfection, so that the disorder of the first sin shall have
no part in Her. Let Us create a soul according to our
pleasure, a fruit of our attributes, a marvel of our in
finite power, without touch or blemish of the sin of
Adam. Let Us perfect a work which is the object of
our Omnipotence and a pattern of the perfection in
tended for our children, and the finishing crown of cre
ation. All have sinned in the free will and resolve of
the first man (Rom. 5, 12) ; let Her be the sole creature
in whom We restore and execute that which they in
their aberration have lost. Let Her be a most special
image and likeness of our Divinity and let Her be in our
presence for all eternity the culmination of our good
will and pleasure. In Her We deposit all the preroga
tives and graces which in our first and conditional re
solve We had destined for the angels and men, if they
had remained in their first estate. What they have lost
We renew in that Creature and We will add to these
gifts many others. Thus our first decree shall not
be frustrated, but it shall be fulfilled in a higher manner
through this our chosen and only One (Cant. 6, 8).
And since We assigned and prepared the most perfect
and estimable of our gifts for the creatures who have
lost them, We will divert the stream of our bounty to
our Well-beloved. We will set Her apart from the
ordinary law, by which the rest of the mortals are
brought into existence, for in Her the seed of the ser
pent shall have no part. I will descend from heaven into
her womb and in it vest Myself from her substance with
human nature."
193. "It is befitting and due to the infinite goodness
of our Divinity, that It be founded and enclosed in the
most pure matter, untouched and unstained by fault.
Nor is it proper that our equity and providence over
look what is most apt, perfect and holy, and choose that
which is inferior, since nothing can resist our will (Es
ther 13, 9). The Word, which is to become man, being
the Redeemer and Teacher of men, must lay the foun
dation of the most perfect law of grace, and must teach
through it, that the father and mother are to be obeyed
and honored as the secondary causes of the natural ex
istence of man. The law is first to be fulfilled by the
divine Word by honoring Her as his chosen Mother,
by exalting Her with a powerful arm, and lavishing
upon Her the most admirable, most holy and most ex
cellent of all graces and gifts. Among these shall be
that most singular honor and blessing of not subjecting
Her to our enemy, nor to his malice; and therefore She
shall be free from the death of sin."
194. "On earth the Word shall have a Mother with
out a father, as in heaven He has a Father without a
mother. And in order that there may be the proper cor
respondence, proportion and consonance in calling God
his Father and this Woman his Mother, We desire that
the highest correspondence and approach possible between
a creature and its God be established. Therefore at no
time shall the dragon boast of being superior to the
Woman, whom God will obey as his true Mother. This
dignity of being free from sin is due and corresponds to
that of being Mother of the Word, and it is in itself
even more estimable and useful. It is a greater good to
be holy than to be only mother ; but all sanctity and per
fection is nevertheless due to the motherhood of God.
The human flesh, from which He is to assume form,
must be free from sin. Since He is to redeem in it the
sinners, He must not be under the necessity of redeem
ing his own flesh, like that of sinners. Being united to
the Divinity his humanity is to be the price of Redemp
tion, wherefore it must before all be preserved from sin,
and We have already foreseen and accepted the merits
of the Word in this very flesh and human nature. We
wish that for all eternities the Word should be glorified
through this tabernacle and habitation of the human
195. "She is to be a daughter of the first man; but
in the order of grace She is to be singularly free and
exempt from fault ; and in the order of nature She is to
be most perfect, and to be formed according to a special
providence. And since the incarnate Word is to be the
Teacher of humility and holiness and for this end is to
endure labors, confounding the vanity and deceitful fal
lacies of mortals by choosing for Himself sufferings as
the treasure most estimable in our eyes, We wish that
She, who is to be his Mother, experience the same labors
and difficulties, that She be singularly distinguished in
patience, admirable in sufferings, and that She, in union
with the Onlybegotten, offer the acceptable sacrifices of
sorrow to Us for her greater glory."
196. This was the decree which the three divine Per
sons made known to the holy angels, exalting the glory
and honor of their high and inscrutable judgments. And
since his Divinity is a mirror in which He at the same
time manifests new mysteries to the blessed who yield
obedience, this explanation revealed in a new light the
admirable order and marvelous harmony of his works.
All this follows from that which We have said in the
preceding chapters (VII, VIII) concerning the works
of the Almighty in the creation of the angels, telling
them to reverence as their superiors the incarnate Word
and his most holy Mother. Moreover, as the time for
the formation of that great Queen had arrived, it was
befitting that the Lord should not conceal the fact of his
having disposed all this in weight and measure (Sap.
11, 21). Self-evidently, with human words and terms
so limited as those at my disposal, the understanding
given to me about these hidden mysteries will be obscured
rather than explained ; but within these limits I will tell
what I can concerning their manifestation by the Al
mighty to the angels on this occasion.
197. "Now the time has arrived" added his Majesty,
"which was resolved upon by our Providence for bring
ing to light the Creature most pleasing and acceptable to
our eyes. That Creature, in whom the human nature is
freed from its first sin, who is to crush the head of the
dragon, who was typified by that singular sign, the
Woman that appeared in the heavens in our presence,
and who is to clothe the eternal Word with human flesh.
The hour is at hand, so blessed for mortals, in which the
treasures of our Divinity are to be opened and the gates
of heaven to be unlocked. Let the rigor of our justice
be softened by the chastisements, which We have until
now executed upon the mortals; let the attribute of our
mercy become manifest; let the creatures be enriched,
and let the divine Word merit for them the treasures of
grace and of eternal glory."
198. "Now let the human race receive the Repairer,
the Teacher, the Brother and Friend, to be life for mor
tals, a medicine for the sick, a consoler for the sorrow
ful, a balsam for the wounded, a guide and companion
for those in difficulties. Let now the prophecies of our
servants and the promises made to them, that We would
send a Savior to redeem them, be fulfilled. And in order
that all may be executed according to our good pleas
ure, and that We may give a beginning to the mystery
hidden since the constitution of the world, We select for
the formation of our beloved Mary the womb of our
servant Anne; in her be She conceived and in her let
that most blessed Soul be created. Although her gener
ation and formation shall proceed according to the usual
order of natural propagation, it shall be different in the
order of grace, according to the ordainment of our Al
mighty power."
199. "You do already know how the ancient serpent,
since he saw the sign of this marvelous Woman, at
tempts to circumvent all women, and how, from the first
one created, he persecutes all those, whom he sees ex
celling in the perfection of their works and life, expect
ing to find among them the One, who is to crush his
head (Gen. 3, 15). When he shall encounter this most
pure and spotless Creature, he shall find Her so holy
that he will exert all his powers to persecute Her in pur
suance of the concept which he forms of Her. But the
arrogance of this dragon shall be greater than his
powers (Is. 16, 6) ; and it is our will that you have par
ticular charge of this our holy City and tabernacle of
the incarnate Word, protecting, guarding, assisting and
defending Her against our enemies, and that you en
lighten, strengthen and console Her with all due solici
tude and reverence, as long as She shall be a wayfarer
among the mortals."
200. At this proposal of the Most High all the holy
angels, prostrate before the royal throne of the most
holy Trinity, avowed their promptitude and eagerness
to obey the divine mandate. Each one desired in holy
emulation to be appointed, and offered himself for such
a happy service; all of them gave to the Almighty praise
and thanksgiving in new songs, because the hour had ar
rived for the fulfillment of that for which they had,
with the most ardent desires, prayed through many
ages. I perceived on this occasion that from the time of
that great battle of saint Michael with the dragon and
his allies, in which they were hurled into everlasting
darkness while the hosts of Michael remained victorious
and confirmed in grace and glory, these holy spirits com
menced immediately to pray for the fulfillment of the
mysteries of the Incarnation of the Word, of which
they became cognizant at that time. And they perse
vered in these oft repeated prayers up to the hour in
which God manifested to them the fulfillment of their
desires and petitions.
201. On this account the celestial spirits at this new
revelation conceived an additional joy and obtained new
accidental glory, and they spoke to the Lord: "Most
High and incomprehensible God and Lord, Thou art
worthy of all reverence, praise and eternal glory; and
we are thy creatures and made according to thy divine
will. Send us, most powerful Lord, to execute thy most
wonderful works and mysteries, in order that in all
things thy most just pleasure may be fulfilled." In such
terms of affection the heavenly princes acknowledged
themselves as subjects; and if it had been possible, they
desired to increase in purity and perfection in order to
be more worthy guardians and servants of Mary.
202. Then the Most High chose and appointed those
who were to be occupied in this exalted service (the
guardianship of Mary) from each of the nine choirs of
angels. He selected one hundred, being nine hundred
in all. Moreover He assigned twelve others who should
in a special manner assist Mary in corporeal and visible
forms; and they were to bear the emblems or escutch
eons of the Redemption. These are the twelve which
are mentioned in the twenty-first chapter of the Apoca
lypse as guarding the portals of the city ; of them I will
speak in the explanation of that chapter later on. Be
sides these the Lord assigned eighteen other angels, se
lected from the highest ranks, who were to ascend and
descend by that mystical stairs of Jacob with the mes
sage of the Queen to his Majesty and those of the Lord
to Her. For, many times did She send them to the
eternal Father in order to be governed in all her actions
by the Holy Spirit. She did nothing except what
pleased the Almighty, and his pleasures She sought even
in most insignificant things. Whenever She was not
instructed by a special enlightenment, She sent these
holy angels to the Lord in order to represent her doubt
and signify her desire to do what was most pleasing to
the divine will, and in order to be informed of his pleas
ure, as we shall relate in the course of this history.
203. In addition to all these holy angels the Almighty
assigned and appointed seventy seraphim, choosing them
from the highest ranks and from those nearest to the
Divinity, in order that they might communicate and
converse with this Princess of heaven in the same way
as they themselves have intercourse with each other, and
as the higher communicate with the lower ones. This
was a privilege conferred upon the Mother of God be
cause She was to be a wayfarer on earth and in nature
inferior, though in dignity and grace, superior to all the
seraphim. When at one time the Lord withdrew and
hid Himself from Her, as we shall see later on, these
seventy seraphim enlightened Her and consoled Her; to
them She poured out the longings of her most ardent
love and her anxieties in regard to her hidden Treasure.
That there were seventy of these spirits, had reference
to the number of years of her life, which was seventy
and not sixty, as I will explain in its place. Among this
number are included the sixty strong ones, which in the
Canticles are mentioned as guarding the chamber or
couch of Solomon, their loins girded with swords against
the terror of the night.
204. These mighty princes and captains were as
signed as a guard of the Queen of heaven from among
the highest orders of the angelic hierarchy; for these,
in that ancient battle of the obedient spirits with the
proud dragon, were as the armed champions of the Lord
of all creation, encountering and overcoming Lucifer
and all his apostates with the sword of their virtue and
of the divine Word. Hence, because they distinguished
themselves in that great battle and victory by their zeal
for the honor of the Almighty, and had been valiant
and skillful captains in the divine love, and as they so
zealously defended the honor of their Captain and Lord
and of his most holy Mother by the arms of divine
grace given to them in view of the merits of the incar
nate Word, therefore it is said, that they guard the
couch of Solomon, that they form his guard, girded
with the sword about the loins. For thus is indicated
the human generation or humanity of Christ conceived
in the virginal chamber of Mary of her most pure blood
and substance.
205. The other ten seraphim, which complete the
number of seventy, were likewise chosen from the more
distinguished leaders of those who in their opposition to
the dragon had manifested a greater reverence for the
Divinity and humanity of the Word and for his most
holy Mother; for all this was determined during that
brief conflict of the holy angels. It was one of the prin
cipal distinctions merited by them at the time that they
were to be selected as guardians of their Queen and
Lady. Altogether a thousand angels were chosen from
the Seraphim and the lower orders of angels, and thus
that City of God was superabundantly fortified against
the infernal hosts.
206. In order that this invincible warrior-troop might
be well appointed, saint Michael, the prince of the heav
enly militia was placed at their head, and although not
always in the company of the Queen, he was neverthe
less often near Her and often showed himself to Her.
The Almighty destined him as a special ambassador of
Christ our Lord and to act in some of the mysteries as
the defender of his most holy Mother. In a like man
ner the holy prince Gabriel was appointed to act as le
gate and minister of the eternal Father in the affairs of
the Princess of heaven. Thus did the most holy Trinity
provide for the custody and the defense of the Mother
of God.
207. All the appointments of the angels were a grace
of the Almighty ; but I understood that He observed, ac
cording to a certain measure, the laws of distributive
justice. In his equity and providence He took account of
the manner in which the holy angels acted and felt in
regard to the mysteries revealed to them in the begin
ning concerning his most holy Mother. For in accept
ing the divine decree each was moved by different affec
tions and inclinations toward the sacraments which be
came known to them. Not in all was the same grace or
willingness and affection. Some of them yielded with
an especial devotion, when they recognized the union of
the divine and the human natures in the person of the
Word, which was to be enclosed in the limits of a human
body and yet raised to the sovereignty of all creation.
Others in their affection were moved to admire the love
of the Onlybegotten of the Father, that caused Him to
become mortal and offer Himself as a sacrifice for men.
Others again signalized themselves in praising God for
creating a body and soul of such excellence, that it
would be superior to all the celestial spirits and that
from it the Creator should take human flesh. Accord
ing to these sentiments and in proportion to them, and
as it were for accidental reward, these holy angels were
selected to serve in the mysteries of Christ and his most
holy Mother. In the same way those, who during this
life have signalized themselves in the practice of certain
virtues are rewarded with the special crowns of doctors,
virgins and so forth.
208. In pursuance of this, when these holy princes
appeared in visible shape to the Mother of God, they
bore devices or badges representing the different mys
teries, as I will relate farther on. Some of them showed
the emblems of the Incarnation, others those of the Pas
sion, others those of the Queen herself, and of her great
dignity. But She did not immediately recognize these
badges when they began to be shown to Her, for the
Almighty had told all these holy angels not to make
known to Her that She was to be the Mother of his
Onlybegotten until the hour appointed by his divine wis
dom ; yet at the same time always to converse with Her
about the sacraments and mysteries of the Incarnation
and the Redemption, in order to excite her fervor and
her prayers. Too tardy is human speech, and inade
quate my brief terms and words, for the manifestation
of these exalted lights and intelligences.
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