The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 11 verses 469-492 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 6  Chapter  11    Verses:  469-492

469. With great diffidence do I enter upon the treat
ment of the ineffable mystery of the holy Eucharist and of
what happened at its institution ; for, raising the eyes of
my soul toward the light which encompasses and governs
me in the performance of this work, the high intelligence
given me of these vast wonders and sacraments reproaches
me with my littleness in comparison with the greatness
therein manifested. My faculties are disturbed and I can
not find words to explain what I see and conceive,
although all these conceptions are far from the reality
that is shown to my understanding. But, though ignorant
of the terms and though very unfit for such discourse,
I must speak, in order that I may continue this history
and relate what part the great Lady of the world had
in these wonders. If I do not speak as appropriately as
the matter demands, let my amazement and my lowly
condition be my excuse ; for it is not easy to yield to the
exactions of spoken words, when the will is so intent on
supplying the defects of the understanding and on enjoy
ing that, which it is hopeless and even unbecoming to
470. Christ had partaken of the prescribed supper with
his disciples reclining on the floor around a table, which
was elevated from it little more than the distance of six
or seven fingers; for such was the custom of the Jews.
But after the washing of the feet He ordered another,
higher table to be prepared, such as we now use for our
meals. By this arrangement He wished to put an end to
the legal suppers and to the lower and figurative law and
establish the new Supper of the law of grace. From that
time on He wished the sacred mysteries to be performed
on the tables or altars, which are in use in the Catholic
Church. The table was covered with a very rich cloth and
upon it was placed a plate or salver and a large cup in the
form of a chalice, capacious enough to hold the wine. All
this was done in pursuance of the will of Christ our
Savior, who by his divine power and wisdom directed all
these particulars. The master of the house was inspired
to offer these rich vessels, which were made of what
seemed a precious stone like emerald. The Apostles often
used it afterwards in consecrating, whenever the occasion
permitted it. The Lord seated himself at this table with
the Apostles and some of the other disciples, and then
ordered some unleavened bread to be placed on the table
and some wine to be brought, of which He took suffi
cient to prepare the chalice.
471. Then the Master of life spoke words of most en
dearing love to his Apostles, and, though his sayings were
wont to penetrate to the inmost heart at all times, yet on
this occasion they were like the flames of a great fire of
charity, which consumed the souls of his hearers. He
manifested to them anew the most exalted mysteries of
his Divinity, humanity and of the works of the Redemp
tion. He enjoined upon them peace and charity, of which
He was now to leave a pledge in the mysteries about to be
celebrated. He reminded them, that in loving one
another, they would be loved by the eternal Father with
the same love in which He was beloved. He gave them
an understanding of the fulfillment of this promise in
having chosen them to found the new Church and the law
of grace. He renewed in them the light concerning the
supreme dignity, excellence and prerogatives of his most
pure Virgin Mother. Among all the Apostles, saint John
was most deeply enlightened in these mysteries on account
of the office imposed upon him. The great Lady, from her
retreat, beheld in divine contemplation all these doings
of her Son in the Cenacle; and in her profound intelli
gence She entered more deeply into their meaning than
the Apostles and the angels, who also were present in
bodily forms, adoring their true Lord, Creator and King.
By the hands of these angels Enoch and Elias were
brought to the Cenacle from their place of abode; for the
Lord wished that these Fathers of the natural and of
the written Laws should be present at the establishment
of the law of the Gospel, and that they should participate
in its mysteries.
472. All these being present, awaiting full of wonder
what the Author of life intended to do, there appeared
also in the hall the person of the eternal Father and of the
Holy Ghost as they had appeared at the baptism of Christ
at the Jordan and at the Transfiguration on mount Tabor.
Although all the Apostles and disciples felt this divine
presence, yet only some of them really were favored with
a vision of it ; among these was especially saint John the
evangelist, who was always gifted with eagle-sight into
the divine mysteries. The entire heaven was transplanted
to the Cenacle of Jerusalem ; for of such great importance
was the magnificence of this work, by which the new
Church was founded, the law of grace established and
eternal salvation made secure. For a better understand
ing of the doings of the incarnate Word, I must remind
the reader, that He possessed two natures in one Person,
the divine and the human nature united in one divine
Person of the Word ; hence the proper activities of both
natures are rightly attributed to one and the same Per
son, just as the same Person is called both God and man.
Consequently, when I say that the incarnate Work spoke
and prayed to the eternal Father, it must not be inter
preted as meaning, that He prayed or spoke in as far as
He was divine, since in Divinity He was equal to the
Father; but in as far as He was human, inferior and
composed of body and soul as we ourselves are. In this
sense therefore Christ confessed and extolled the immen
sity and infinitude of the eternal Father, praying for the
whole human race.
473. "My Father and eternal God, I confess, praise
and exalt thy infinite essence and incomprehensible Deity,
in which I am one with Thee and the Holy Ghost, en
gendered from all eternity by thy intellect, as the figure
of thy substance and the image of thy individual nature
(John 10, 30; Ps. 119,3;Heb. 1,3). In the same nature,
which I have assumed in the virginal womb of my
Mother, I wish to accomplish the Redemption of the
human race with which Thou hast charged Me. I wish
to restore to this human nature the highest perfection
and the plenitude of thy divine complaisance; and then
I wish to pass from this world to thy right hand, bear
ing with Me all those whom Thou hast given Me with
out losing a single one of them for want of willingness
on our part to help them (John 17, 12). My delight is
to be with the children of men (Prov. 8, 31) and as, in
my absence, they will be left orphans, if I do not give
them assistance, I wish, my Father, to furnish them with
a sure and unfailing token of my inextinguishable love
and a pledge of the eternal rewards, which Thou holdest
in reserve for them. I desire that they find in my merits
an easy and powerful remedy for the effects of sin, to
which they are subject on account of the disobedience of
the first man, and I wish to restore copiously their right
to the eternal happiness for which they are created."
474. "But since there will be few who will preserve
themselves in this justice, they will need other assistance,
so that they may reinstate themselves and strengthen
themselves in the way of justification and sanctification
by being continually furnished with new and exalted
gifts and favors of thy clemency in their dangerous pil
grimage through life. It was our eternal decree, that
they should have created existence and participate in our
divine perfections and happiness for all eternity ; and thy
love, which caused Me to assume a nature able to suffer
and welcome the humiliation of the cross (Philip 2, 8),
would not rest satisfied, until it invented new means of
communicating itself to men according to their capacity
and our wisdom and power. These means shall consist
in visible and sensible signs adapted to their condition
as sentient beings and causing invisible effects in the spir
itual and immaterial part of their natures."
475. "To advance these high ends for thy exaltation
and glory, eternal Lord and Father, in my name and in
that of all the poor and afflicted children of Adam, I
ask the fiat of thy eternal will. If their sins call out
for thy justice, their neediness and misery appeal to thy
infinite mercy. At the same time I, on my part, inter
pose all the works of my humanity, which is indissolubly
bound to my Divinity. I offer my obedience in accepting
suffering unto death; my humility, in subjecting Myself
to the depraved judgment of men; the poverty and labors
of my life, the insults of my Passion and Death, and
the love, which urges Me to undergo all this for the
advance of thy glory and for the spreading of thy
knowledge and adoration among all creatures capable
of thy grace and happiness. Thou, O eternal Lord and
my Father, hast made Me the Brother and the Chief
of men, and hast destined them to partake eternally of
the joys of our Divinity (Colos. 1, 18). As thy chil
dren, they are to be heirs with Me of thy everlasting
blessings (Rom. 8, 17), and as members of my body,
they are to participate in the effects of my brotherly love
(I Cor. 6, 15). Therefore, as far as depends upon Me,
I desire to draw them on toward my friendship and
to see them share in the goods of the Divinity, to which
they were destined in their origin from their natural
head, the first man."
476. "Impelled by this boundless love, Lord and
Father, I ordain, that from now on men may re-enter
into thy full friendship and grace through the sacrament
of Baptism, and that they may do so as soon as they
shall be born to daylight; and their desire of renascence
into grace, which they cannot in their infancy manifest
on their own account, shall, with thy permission, be
manifested for them by their elders. Let them become
immediate heirs of thy glory; let them be interiorly and
indelibly marked as children of my Church; let them
be freed from the stain of original sin; let them receive
the gifts of faith, hope and charity, by which they may
perform the works of thy children: knowing Tihee,
trusting in Thee, and loving Thee for thy own Self.
Let them also receive the virtues by which they restrain
and govern disorderly inclinations and be able to dis
tinguish, without fail, the good from the evil. Let this
Sacrament be the portal of my Church, and the one
which makes men capable of receiving all the other
favors and disposes them to new gifts and blessings of
grace. I ordain also, that besides this Sacrament, they
may receive another, in which they shall be confirmed
and rooted in the holy faith they have accepted, and
become courageous in its defense as soon as they shall
arrive at the use of reason. And because human frailty
easily falls away from the observance of my law and
since my charity will not permit Me to leave them with
out an easy and opportune remedy, I wish to provide the
sacrament of Penance. Through it men, by acknowledg
ing their faults and confessing them with sorrow, may
be reinstated in justice and in the merits of glory prom
ised to them. Thus shall Lucifer and his followers be
prevented from boasting of having so soon deprived
them of advantages of Baptism."
477. "By the justification of these Sacraments men
shall become fit to share in the highest token of my love
in the exile of this their mortal life; namely, to receive
Me sacramentally under the species of bread and wine
in an ineffable manner. Under the species of bread I
shall leave my body, and under the species of wine, my
blood. In each one of them I shall be present really and
truly and I institute this mysterious sacrament of the
Eucharist as a heavenly nourishment proportioned to
their condition as wayfaring men; for their sake shall
I work these miracles and remain with them until the
end of the coming ages (Matth. 28, 20). For the
strengthening and defense of those, who approach the
end of their lives, I moreover appoint the sacrament of
Extreme Unction, which shall at the same time be a
certain pledge of the bodily resurrection of those thus
anointed. In order that all may contribute proportion
ately to the sanctification of the members of the mystical
body of the Church, in which by the most harmonious
and orderly co-operation all must have their proper posi
tion, I institute the sacrament of Ordination to distin
guish and mark some of its members by a special degree
of holiness and place them above the other faithful as
fit ministers of the Sacraments and as my chosen priests.
Although they derive all their powers from Me, I never
theless wish that it should flow from Me through one
of their number, who shall be my Vicar and the Chief,
representing my Person and act as my high priest. Into
his keeping I deposit the keys of heaven and him all
upon earth shall obey. For the further perfection of
my Church I also establish the last of the Sacraments,
Matrimony, to sanctify the natural union of man and
wife for the propagation of the human race. Thus shall
all the grades of my Church be enriched and adorned
by my infinite merits. This, eternal Father, is my last
will, whereby I make all the mortals inheritors of my
merits in the great storehouse of grace, my new Church."
478. This prayer Christ our Redeemer made in the
presence of the Apostles, but without any exterior mani
festation. The most blessed Mother, who from her re
treat observed and followed Him, prostrated Herself
upon the floor and, as his Mother, offered to the eternal
Father the same petitions as her Son. Although She
could not add anything to the merits of the works of her
divine Son, nevertheless, as on other occasions, She, as
his Helpmate, united her petitions with his, in order
that by her faithful companionship She might move the
eternal Father to so much the greater mercy. And the
Father looked upon Them both, graciously accepting the
prayers respectively of the Son and Mother for the sal
vation of men. Besides prayer, her divine Son left the
performance of yet another work in her charge. In
order to understand what this was, it must be remem
bered (as I mentioned in the preceding chapter) that
Lucifer was present at the washing of the Apostles feet,
and that, being forced to remain and witness the doings
of Christ in the Cenacle, he astutely conjectured some
great blessings to be intended for the Apostles. Although
the dragon felt his forces much diminished and altogether
unavailing against the Redeemer, he nevertheless sought
with implacable fury and pride to spy out these mys
teries for the concoction of future malicious plans. The
great Lady perceived these intentions of Lucifer and
knew that the foiling of them was to be left in her
hands. Therefore, inflamed by zeal and love for the
Most High, She, as sovereign Queen, commanded the
dragon and all his squadrons to leave the hall and descend
to the depths of hell.
479. To accomplish this the arm of the Almighty gave
new power to the Blessed Virgin, so that neither the re
bellious Lucifer nor all his hosts could resist. They were
hurled into the infernal abysses, there to remain until
they should again be permitted to issue as witnesses to
the passion and death of the Savior in order to be finally
convinced of his being the Messias and Redeemer, true
God and man. Let it then be understood, that Lucifer
and his demons were present at the legal supper and
washing of the feet, and also afterwards at the entire
passion of Christ ! but that they were not present at this
institution of the holy Eucharist, nor at the Communion
of the disciples. Then the great Queen was raised to a
most sublime state of contemplation of the mysteries
about to be enacted, and the holy angels, as to another
valorous Judith, sang to Her of this glorious triumph
over the dragon. At the same time Christ our Lord
offered up to the eternal Father exalted thanksgiving
and praise for the blessings conceded to the human race
in consequence of his petition.
480. Thereupon Christ our Lord took into his vener
able hands the bread, which lay upon the plate, and in
teriorly asked the permission and co-operation of the
eternal Father, that now and ever afterwards in virtue
of the words about to be uttered by Him, and later to
be repeated in his holy Church, He should really and
truly become present in the host, Himself to yield obe
dience to these sacred words. While making this peti
tion He raised his eyes toward heaven with an expression
of such sublime majesty, that He inspired the Apostles,
the angels and his Virgin Mother with new and deepest
reverence. Then He pronounced the words of conse
cration over the bread, changing its substance into the
substance of his true body and immediately thereupon
He uttered the words of consecration also over the wine,
changing it into his true blood. As an answer to these
words of consecration was heard the voice of the eternal
Father, saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I
delight, and shall take my delight to the end of the world;
and He shall be with men during all the time of their
banishment." In like manner was this confirmed by the
Holy Ghost. The most sacred humanity of Christ, in
the Person of the Word, gave tokens of profoundest
veneration to the Divinity contained in the Sacrament
of his body and blood. The Virgin Mother, in her re
treat, prostrated Herself on the ground and adored her
Son in the blessed Sacrament with incomparable rever
ence. Then also the angels of her guard, all the angels
of heaven, and among them likewise the souls of Enoch
and Elias, in their own name and in the name of the
holy Patriarchs and Prophets of the old law, fell down
in adoration of their Lord in the holy Sacrament.
481. All the Apostles and disciples, who, with the
exception of the traitor, believed in this holy Sacrament,
adored it with great humility and reverence according to
each one s disposition. The great high priest Christ
raised up his own consecrated body and blood in order
that all who were present at this first Mass might adore
it in a special manner, as they also did. During this
elevation his most pure Mother, saint John, Enoch and
Elias, were favored with an especial insight into the
mystery of his presence in the sacred species. They
understood more profoundly, how, in the species of the
bread, was contained his body and in those of the wine,
his blood; how in both, on account of the inseparable
union of his soul with his body and blood, was present
the living and true Christ; how with the Person of the
Word, was also therein united the Person of the Father
and of the Holy Ghost; and how therefore, on account
of the inseparable existence and union of the Father, Son
and Holy Ghost, the holy Eucharist contained the perfect
humanity of the Lord with the three divine Persons of
the Godhead. All this was understood most profoundly
by the heavenly Lady and by the others according to
their degree. They understood also the efficacy of the
words of the consecration, now endowed with such di
vine virtue, that as soon as they are pronounced with
the intention of doing what Christ did at that time,
by any priest since that time over the proper material,
they would change the bread into his body and the wine
into his blood, leaving the accidents to subsist in a new
way and without their proper subject. They saw, that
this change would take place so certainly and infallibly,
that heaven and earth would sooner fall to pieces, than
that the effect of these words of consecration, when
pronounced in the proper manner by the sacerdotal
minister of Christ, should ever fail.
482. The heavenly Queen understood also by a special
vision how the most sacred body of Christ is hidden
beneath the accidents of bread and wine without change
in them or alteration of the sacred humanity ; for neither
can the Body be the subject of the accidents, nor can
the accidents be the form of the body. The accidents
retain the same extension and qualities as before, and
each of their parts retain the same position after the host
has been consecrated; and the sacred body is present
in an invisible form, also retaining the same size without
intermingling of parts. It remains in the whole host,
and all of it in every particle of the host, without being
strained by the host, or the host by the body. For
neither is the extension of his body correlative with the
accidental species, nor do they depend upon the sacred
body for their existence. They therefore have a totally
different mode of existence and the body interpenetrates
the accidents without hindrance. Although naturally the
head would demand a different place than the hands, or
these a different one from the breast or any other part
of the body ; yet by the divine power the consecrated body
places itself unimpaired in its extent in one and the same
place, because it bears no relation to the space which it
would naturally occupy, having thrown aside all these
relations though still remaining a quantitative body.
Moreover it need not necessarily remain in one deter
mined place only, or in only one host, but at the same
time it can be present in many innumerable consecrated
483. She understood likewise, that the sacred body,
although not naturally depending upon the accidents as
above declared, yet does not continue to exist sacramentally
in these accidents after the corruption of the species
of the bread and wine ; and this for no other reason than
because it was so willed by Christ the Author of these
wonders. The co-existence of the sacred body and blood
of our Lord with the incorrupted species of bread and
wine therefore rests upon the arbitrary and voluntary
disposition of the Creator of this Sacrament. As soon
as they deteriorate and disappear on account of the nat
ural process destructive of these species (for instance,
as happens in holy Communion with the sacramental
host, which is changed and corrupted by the heat of the
stomach, or when this is effected by other causes) then
God, in the last instant, when the species are ready for
their last transformation, again creates another substance.
This new substance, being now devoid of the Divinity,
nourishes the human body and finally coalesces with the
human form of existence, which is the soul. This won
derful creation of a new substance for the assumption of
the changed and corrupted species is consequent upon the
will of the Lord, who wishes not to continue the exis
tence of his body in the corrupted accidents, and this pro
cess is demanded also by the laws of nature ; for the sub
stance of man cannot grow except by some other sub
stance, which, being newly added, prevents the accidents
from continuing to exist.
484. All these and other wonders the right hand of
the Almighty perpetuated in this most august sacrament
of the holy Eucharist. All of them the Mistress of
heaven and earth understood and comprehended pro
foundly. In like manner saint John, the Fathers of the
ancient Law, and the Apostles who were present, per
ceived these mysteries each in their degree. Aware of
the great blessing contained therein for all men, Mary
foresaw also the ingratitude of mortals in regard to this
ineffable Sacrament, established for their benefit, and
She resolved to atone, with all the powers of her being,
for our shameless and ungrateful behavior. She took
upon Herself the duty of rendering thanks to the eternal
Father and to his divine Son for this extraordinary and
wonderful benefit to the human race. This earnest desire
dwelled in her soul during her whole life and many times
did She shed tears of blood welling forth from her purest
heart in order to satisfy for our shameful and torpid
485. Still greater was my admiration when Jesus our
God, having raised the most holy Sacrament, as I said
before, for their adoration, divided it by his own sacred
hands, first partook of it Himself as being the First and
Chief of all the priests. Recognizing Himself, as man,
inferior to the Divinity, which He was now to receive
in this his own consecrated body and blood. He humili
ated and, as it were, with a trembling of the inferior part
of his being, shrank within Himself before that Divinity,
thereby not only teaching us the reverence with which
holy Communion is to be received; but also showing us
what was his sorrow at the temerity and presumption of
many men during the reception and handling of this
exalted and sublime Sacrament. The effects of holy
Communion in the body of Christ were altogether mirac
ulous and divine; for during a short space of time the
gifts of glory flowed over in his body just as on mount
Tabor, though the effects of this transfiguration were
manifest only to his blessed Mother, and partly also to
saint John, Enoch and Elias. This was the last conso
lation He permitted his humanity to enjoy as to its in
ferior part during his earthly life, and from that moment
until his Death He rejected all such alleviation. The
Virgin Mother, by a special vision, also understood how
Christ her divine Son received Himself in the blessed
Sacrament and what was the manner of its presence in
his divine Heart. All this caused inestimable affection
in our Queen and Lady.
486. While receiving his own body and blood Christ
our Lord composed a canticle of praise to the eternal
Father and offered Himself in the blessed Sacrament as
a sacrifice for the salvation of man. He took another
particle of the consecrated bread and handed it to the
archangel Gabriel who brought and communicated it to
the most holy Mary. By having such a privilege con
ferred on one of their number, the holy angels considered
themselves sufficiently recompensed for being excluded
from the sacerdotal dignity and for yielding it to man.
The privilege of merely having even one of their number
hold the sacramental body of their Lord and true God
filled them with a new and immense joy. In abundant
tears of consolation the great Queen awaited holy Com
munion. When saint Gabriel with innumerable other
angels approached, She received it, the first after her
Son, imitating his self-abasement, reverence and holy
fear. The most blessed Sacrament was deposited in the
breast and above the heart of the most holy Virgin
Mother, as in the most legitimate shrine and tabernacle
of the Most High. There the ineffable sacrament of the
holy Eucharist remained deposited from that hour until
after the Resurrection, when saint Peter said the first
Mass and consecrated anew, as I shall relate in its place.
The Almighty wished to have it so for the consolation
of the great Queen and in order to fulfill his promise,
that He would remain with the children of men until
the consummation of the ages (Matth. 28, 20) ; for
after his death his most holy humanity could not remain
in his Church any other way than by his consecrated body
and blood. This true manna was then deposited in the
most pure Mary as in the living ark together with the
whole evangelical law, just as formerly its prophetic fig
ures were deposited in the ark of Moses (Heb. 9, 4).
The sacramental species were not consumed or altered in
the heart of the Lady and Queen of heaven until the
next consecration. Having received holy Communion,
the blessed Mother gave thanks to the eternal Father and
to her divine Son in new canticles similar to the ones the
incarnate Word had rendered to his Father.
487. After having thus favored the heavenly Princess,
our Savior distributed the sacramental bread to the Apos
tles (Luke 22, 17), commanding them to divide it among
themselves and partake of it. By this commandment He
conferred upon them the sacerdotal dignity and they
began to exercise it by giving Communion each to Him
self. This they did with the greatest reverence, shedding
copious tears and adoring the body and blood of our
Lord, whom they were receiving. They were established
in the power of the priesthood, as being founders of the
holy Church and enjoying the distinction of priority over
all others (Ephes. 2, 20). Then saint Peter, at the com
mand of Christ the Lord, administered two of the par
ticles of holy Communion to the two patriarchs, Enoch
and Elias. This holy Communion so rejoiced these two
holy men, that they were encouraged anew in their hope
of the beatific vision, which for them was to be deferred
for so many ages, and they were strengthened to live on
in this hope until the end of the world. Having given
most fervent and humble thanks to the Almighty for
this blessing, they were brought back to their abidingplace
by the hands of the holy angels. The Lord desired
to work this miracle in order to pledge Himself to in
clude the ancient natural and written laws in the benefits
of the Incarnation, Redemption and general resurrection ;
since all these mysteries were contained in the most holy
Eucharist. By thus communicating Himself to the two
holy men, Enoch and Elias, who were still in their mortal
flesh, these blessings were extended over the human race
such as it existed under the natural and the written laws,
while all the succeeding generations were to be included
in the new law of grace, the Apostles at the head. This
was all well understood by Enoch and Elias, and, return
ing to the midst of their contemporaries, they gave thanks
to their and our Redeemer for this mysterious blessing.
488. Another very wonderful miracle happened at the
Communion of the Apostles. The perfidious and treach
erous Judas, hearing the command of his Master to par
take of holy Communion, resolved in his unbelief not to
comply, but if he could do so without being observed,
determined to secrete the sacred body and bring it to
the priests and pharisees in order to afford them a chance
of incriminating Jesus by showing them what He had
called his own body ; or if he should not succeed therein,
to consummate some other vile act of malice with the
divine Sacrament. The Mistress and Queen of heaven,
who by a clear vision was observing all that passed and
knew the interior and exterior effects and affections in
the Apostles at holy Communion, saw also the accursed
intentions of the obstinate Judas. All the zeal for the
glory of her Lord, existing in Her as his Mother, Spouse
and Daughter, was aroused in her purest heart. Knowing
that it was the divine will, that She should make use of
her power as Mother and Queen, She commanded the
holy angels to extract from the mouth of Judas the con
secrated particles as well of the bread as of the wine
and replace them from whence they had been taken. It
well befitted Her on this occasion to defend the honor of
her divine Son and prevent Judas from heaping such an
ignominious injury upon Christ the Lord. The holy
angels obeyed their Queen, and when it was the turn of
Judas to communicate, they withdrew the consecrated
species one after the other, and, purifying them from
their contact with Judas, the most wicked of living men,
they restored them to their place, altogether unobserved
by the disciples. Thus the Lord shielded the honor of
his malicious and obstinate Apostle to the end. This was
attended to by the angels in the shortest space of time
and the others then received holy Communion, for Judas
was neither the first nor the last to communicate. Then
our Savior offered thanks to the eternal Father and there
with ended both the legal and the sacramental Supper
in order to begin the mysteries of his Passion, which I
will relate in the subsequent chapters. The Queen of
heaven attended to all full of wonder and joyful praise,
magnifying the Most High.
489. O my daughter ! Would that the believers in the
holy Catholic faith opened their hardened and stony
hearts in order to attain to a true understanding of the
sacred and mysterious blessing of the holy Eucharist!
If they would only detach themselves, root out and reject
their earthly inclinations, and, restraining their passions,
apply themselves with living faith to study by the divine
light their great happiness in thus possessing their eternal
God in the holy Sacrament and in being able, by its
reception and constant intercourse, to participate in the
full effects of this heavenly manna! If they would only
worthily esteem this precious gift, begin to taste its
sweetness, and share in the hidden power of their omnip
otent God ! Then nothing would ever be wanting to them
in their exile. In this, the happy age of the law of grace,
mortals have no reason to complain of their weakness
and their passions; since in this bread of heaven they
have at hand strength and health. It matters not that
they are tempted and persecuted by the demon; for by
receiving this Sacrament frequently they are enabled to
overcome him gloriously. The faithful are themselves
to blame for all their poverty and labors, since they pay
no attention to this divine mystery, nor avail themselves
of the divine powers, thus placed at their disposal by my
most holy Son. I tell thee truly, my dearest, that Lucifer
and his demons have such a fear of the most holy Eucha
rist, that to approach it, causes them more torments than
to remain in hell itself. Although they do enter churches
in order to tempt souls, they enter them with aversion,
forcing themselves to endure cruel pains in the hope of
destroying a soul and drawing it into sin, especially in
the holy places and in the presence of the holy Eucha
rist. Their wrath against the Lord and against the souls
alone could induce them to expose themselves to the tor
ment of his real sacramental presence.
490. Whenever He is carried through the streets they
usually fly and disperse in all haste ; and they would not
dare to approach those that accompany Him, if by their
long experience they did not know, that they will induce
some to forget the reverence due to their Lord. There
fore they make special efforts to tempt the faithful in the
churches; for they know what great injury they can
thereby do to the Lord himself, who in his sacramental
love is there waiting to sanctify men and to receive the
return of his sweetest and untiring love. Hence thou
canst also understand the strength of those who prepare
themselves to partake of this bread of the angels and how
the demons fear the souls, who receive the Lord worthily
and devoutly and who strive to preserve themselves in
this purity until the next Communion. But there are
very few who live with this intention, and the enemy is
ceaselessly alert in striving to throw them back into their
forget fulness, distraction and indifference, so that he
may not be obliged to encounter such powerful weapons
in the hands of men. Write this admonition in thy
heart; and since without thy merit the Almighty has
ordained, that thou receive holy Communion daily, seek
by all possible means to preserve thyself in the good dis
positions from one Communion to the other. It is the
will of the Lord and my own, that with this sword thou
fight the battles of the Almighty in the name of the holy
Church against the invisible enemies. For in our days
they are heaping affliction and sorrow upon the mistress
of nations, while there is none to console her or to take
it to heart (Thren. 1,1). Do thou thyself weep for
the same reason and let thy heart be torn in sorrow.
But while the omnipotent and just Judge who is so
greatly incensed against the Catholics for having out
raged his justice by their unmeasurable and continual
transgressions even under the aegis of their grand faith,
none are found to consider and weigh the fearful damage,
nor to approach the easy remedy of receiving the holy
Eucharist with a contrite and humble heart ; nor does any
one ask for my intercession.
491. Though all the children of the Church largely
incur this fault, yet more to be blamed are the un
worthy and wicked priests; for by the irreverence with
which they treat the blessed Sacrament the other Catho
lics have been drawn to undervalue it. If the people see
that their priests approach the divine mysteries with holy
fear and trembling, they learn to treat and receive their
God in like manner. Those that so honor Him shall shine
in heaven like the sun among the stars ; for the glory of
my divine Son s humanity will redound in a special
measure in those who have behaved well toward Him
in the blessed Sacrament and have received Him with
all reverence ; whereas this will not happen to those who
have not frequented this holy table with devotion. More
over the devout will bear on their breast, where they
have so often harbored the holy Eucharist, most beauti
ful and resplendent inscriptions, showing that they were
most worthy tabernacles of the holy Sacrament. This
will be a great accidental reward for them and a source
of jubilation and admiration for the holy angels and all
the rest of the blessed. They will also enjoy the special
favor of being able to penetrate deeper into the mystery
of the presence of the Lord in the sacrament and to
understand all the rest of the wonders hidden therein.
This will be such a privilege, that it alone would suffice
for their eternal happiness, even if there were no other
enjoyment in heaven. Moreover the essential glory of
those, who have worthily and devoutly received the holy
Eucharist, will in several respects exceed the glory of
many martyrs who have not received the body and blood
of the Lord.
492. I wish thee also to hear, my dearest daughter,
from my own mouth, what were my sentiments when
in mortal life I was about to receive holy Communion.
In order that thou mayest better understand what I say,
reflect on all I have commanded thee to write about my
gifts, merits and labors in life. I was preserved from
original sin and, at the instant of my Conception, I
received the knowledge and vision of the Divinity, as
thou hast often recorded. I knew more than all the
saints ; I surpassed the highest seraphim in love ; I never
committed any fault; I constantly practiced all the vir
tues in a heroic degree and in the least of them I was
greater than all the saints in their highest perfection;
the intention and object of my actions were most exalted
and my habits and gifts were noble without measure;
I imitated my most holy Son most closely; I labored
most faithfully; I suffered with eagerness and co-oper
ated with the doings of the Lord exactly as was becoming
to me; I ceased not to exercise my love and gain new
and supereminent merits of grace. Yet I thought my
self to have been fully repaid by being allowed to receive
Him even once in the holy Eucharist ; yea, I did not con
sider myself worthy of this one favor. Reflect then
what should be thy sentiments, and those of the rest of
the children of Adam, on being admitted to the reception
of this admirable Sacrament. And if for the greatest
of saints one holy Communion is a superabundant re
ward, what must the priests and the faithful think, when
they are allowed to receive it so frequently? Open thy
eyes in the deep darkness and blindness which over
whelm men around thee, and raise them up to the divine
brightness in order to understand these mysteries. Look
upon all thy works as insufficient, all thy sufferings as
most insignificant, all thy thanksgiving as falling far
short of what thou owest for such an exquisite blessing
as that of possessing in the holy Church, Christ my
divine Son, present in the holy Sacrament in order to
enrich all the faithful. If thou hast not wherewith to
show thy thanks for this and the other blessings which
thou receivest, at least humiliate thyself to the dust and
remain prostrate upon it; confess thyself unworthy in
all the sincerity of thy heart. Magnify the Most High,
bless and praise Him, preserving thyself at all times
worthy to receive Him and to suffer many martyrdoms
in return for such a favor.
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