The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 14 verses 529-544 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 6  Chapter  14    Verses:  529-544

529. After the seizure of our Savior Jesus, his
prophecy at the Supper, that all of the Apostles would
be greatly scandalized in his Person (Matth. 26, 31)
and that satan would attack them in order to sift them
like wheat, was fulfilled. For when they saw their
divine Master taken prisoner and when they perceived,
that neither his meekness, nor his words so full of
sweetness and power, nor his miracles, nor his doctrine
exemplified by such an unblamable life, could appease
the envy of the priests and pharisees, they fell into
great trouble and affliction. Naturally the fear of per
sonal danger diminished their courage and confidence
in the counsels of their Master, and beginning to wander
in their faith, each one became possessed with anxious
thoughts as to how he could escape the threatening per
secutions foreshadowed by what had happened to their
Captain and Master. The Apostles, availing themselves
of the pre-occupation of the soldiers and servants in
binding and fettering the meek Lamb of God, betook
themselves to flight unnoticed. Certainly their enemies,
if they had been permitted by the Author of life, would
have captured all the Apostles, especially if they had
seen them fly like cowards or criminals (Matth. 26, 56).
But it was not proper that they should be taken and
made to suffer at that time. This was clearly indicated
as the will of the Lord, when He said: that if they
sought Him, they should let his companions go free;
these words had the force of a divine decree and were
verified in the event. For the hatred of the priests and
pharisees extended to the Apostles, and was deep enough
to make them desire the death of all of them. That is
the reason why the highpriest Annas asked the divine
Master about his disciples and his doctrine (John 18, 8).
530. At the flight of the Apostles, Lucifer, already
troubled and vaguely perplexed, betook himself off hesi
tating between different projects of his redoubled malice.
He certainly wished to see the doctrine of the Savior
and all his disciples blotted out from the world, so that
not even the memory of them be left. Hence he would
have been well satisfied, if the Jews had imprisoned and
killed them all. But he had no hope of easily attaining
this wish, and therefore he busied himself in disquieting
the Apostles by various suggestions and inciting them to
flight, in order that they might not witness the patience
and virtues of their Master in his sufferings. The astute
dragon feared, that by this new proof of his doctrine
in his living example the Apostles might be confirmed
and fortified in their faith and thus resist the temptations
which he planned for them ; therefore it seemed to him,
that if he could weaken them now, he could more easily
cause them to fall away entirely by subsequent persecu
tions easily to be raised against them among the only
too ready enemies of their Master. Thus the demon
deceived himself by his own malicious calculations.
When therefore he saw the Apostles filled with cowardly
fear and much disturbed by the sorrow of their hearts,
he rejoiced in their evil plight and considered it the
best time to begin his temptations. He assailed them
with rabid fury, filling them with strong doubts and
suspicions against the Master of life and urging them
to give Him up and betake themselves to flight. They
easily yielded to his suggestions of flight; but they re
sisted many of the doubts against faith, although some
failed more, some less, not all of the Apostles being
equally disturbed or scandalized.
531. They separated from each other, scattering in
different directions; for it would have been difficult for
all of them to hide as they wished, if they remained
together. Only saint Peter and saint John kept each
other company to follow their God and Master and see
the end of his misfortune (Matth. 26, 58). But in the
soul of each one of the eleven Apostles raged a battle
of sorrow and grief, which wrung their hearts and left
them without consolation or the least rest. On the one
side battled reason, grace, faith, love and truth; on the
other temptation, suspicion, fear, cowardice and sorrow.
Reason and truth reproached them with their incon
stancy and disloyalty in having forsaken their Master
by cowardly flying from danger, after having been
warned of it and after having offered themselves so
shortly before to die for Him if necessary. They re
membered their disobedience in neglecting to pray and
strengthen themselves against temptations, as the Lord
had commanded them. Their love for his sweet con
versation and company, for his teaching and miraculous
power, and their conviction that He was true God, urged
them to return and seek Him, and to offer themselves
to danger and death like faithful servants and disciples.
To all this was joined the memory of his most sweet
Mother, the consideration of her intense sorrow, and the
desire to seek Her and attend upon Her in her trouble.
But on the other hand was their timidity, exaggerating
their fears of the Jews, their dread of death, of shame
and confusion. In regard to seeking the company of the
sorrowful Mother, they feared lest She would oblige
them to return to their Master, and lest they should be
more easily found if they stayed with Her in the same
house. Dreadful above all were the impious and hor
rible suggestions of the demons. For the dragon rilled
them with harassing doubts, whether it would not be
suicide to thus deliver themselves to a certain death;
that, if their Master could not free Himself, much less
could He free them from the hands of the priests; that
He would now certainly be put to death, and that there
fore all ties between Him and them were dissolved,
since they would not see Him any more; that, although
his life seemed to be blameless, yet He had taught some
very hard doctrines, some of them unheard of until that
time, whence He had incurred the hatred of those learned
in the law and of the priests, as well as the indignation
of all the people. Moreover it was a serious matter to
follow a Man, who was to be condemned to an infamous
and frightful death.
532. Such was the interior contention and strife in the
hearts of the Apostles. Satan under cover of this excite
ment, continually sought to instill into their minds doubts
concerning the teachings of Christ and concerning the
prophecies, that treated of the mysteries of his Passion.
As in their sad interior conflict they failed to see the
least assurance of seeing their Master escape the hands
of the priests alive, their fears settled into a profound
sorrow and melancholy, in which they decided to fly
from the danger and save their own lives. And they
were seized with such timidity and cowardice, that during
this night they felt nowhere safe, and every shadow or
noise made them tremble with fear. The consideration
of the treachery of Judas added still more to their fear;
for, as he had not been seen in the company of any of
the eleven after his treacherous delivery of the Lord,
they dreaded lest he should excite against them the
hatred of the priests. Saint Peter and saint John, being
more fervent in the love of their Master, made a greater
show of resistance to fear and to the demon; and the
two together resolved to follow their Master at a dis
tance. In taking this resolve, they relied much upon the
acquaintance of saint John with the highpriest Annas,
who with Caiphas alternated in the office of highpriest.
In that year it was held by Caiphas, who in the meeting
had given the prophetic counsel, asking whether one man
had not better die in order that the whole world might
not perish (John 18, 15, 49). This acquaintance had
arisen from the fact, that saint John was esteemed as a
man, distinguished and of noble lineage, of affable and
courteous manners and amiable in person. Trusting to
these favorable circumstances the two Apostles followed
the Lord with less fear. The thought of their heavenly
Queen was deep in their hearts, and they reflected on her
bitter sorrow and desired to bring relief and console Her
if possible. In this pious and loving desire especially
saint John excelled all the others.
533. The heavenly Princess, from the Cenacle, clearly
understood and saw all : not only her most holy Son in
captivity and suffering, but all that happened inwardly
and outwardly to the Apostles. She observed their trib
ulation and temptations, their thoughts and resolves,
where each one was and what he did. But although afl
was known to the most gentle Dove, She allowed Herself
no feeling of indignation against the Apostles, nor did
She ever in the least reproach them for their disloyalty ;
on the contrary, She was the One, who was principally
instrumental in restoring them to a better mind, as I
shall show later on (746, 747). From that hour on
She commenced to pray for them. In sweetest charity
and with the compassion of a Mother, She interiorly
addressed them : "O ye simple sheep, chosen by the Lord,
do ye forsake your most loving Pastor, who cares for
you and feeds you on the pastures of eternal life? Why,
being disciples of such a truthful doctrine, do you leave
your Benefactor and Master? How can you forget the
sweet and loving intercourse, which so attracted your
hearts? Why do you listen to the master of lies and
follow the ravenous wolf, who seeks your ruin ? O most
patient and sweetest Lord, how meek, and kind and mer
ciful does the love of men make Thee ! Extend thy gentle
love to this little flock, which is now troubled and dis
persed by the fury of the serpent. Do not deliver over
to the beasts those souls, who have confessed thy name
(Ps. 73, 19). Great hopes hast thou set in those, whom
Thou hast chosen as thy servants and through whom
Thou hast already accomplished great things. Let not
such graces be in vain, nor reject those whom Thou hast
freely chosen for the foundations of thy Church. Let
not Lucifer glory in having, beneath thy very eyes, van
quished the best of thy family and household. My Son
and Lord, look upon thy beloved disciples John, Peter
and James, so much favored by thy love and good will.
Turn an eye of clemency also upon the rest, crush the
pride of the dragon, which now pursues them with im
placable fury."
534. In all that most holy Mary did on this occasion
and in the pleasure She caused the Almighty by her
holiness, She exceeded in grandeur all that was ever
possible in men and angels. Over and above the sensible
and spiritual sorrows caused by the torments of her
divine Son and the affronts perpetrated against his divine
Person (for which the blessed Mother entertained the
highest veneration attainable by a creature), She was
overwhelmed with the sorrow caused by the fall of the
Apostles, the greatness of which She alone could prop
erly estimate. She was obliged to witness their weakness
and forgetfulness in the face of his divine favors, his
doctrines and exhortations, and in so short a time after
the last Supper, when He had warned them so lovingly,
given them holy Communion and elevated them to such
a high dignity as the priesthood. She saw also the danger
of their falling into even greater sins on account of the
astute and furious attacks of Lucifer and his demons,
and on account of the heedlessness of the Apostles in
their greater or less confusion and fear. Yet notwith
standing this great sea of sorrow She multiplied and
intensified her petitions in order to merit for them suffi
cient assistance and speedy pardon from her Son, so that
they might again return to their faith and to his friend
ship in grace. She alone was the powerful and efficacious
instrument of these results. During these hours the
great Lady united within Herself all the faith, all the
holiness, all the worship and divine cult of the Church;
for in Her was preserved and enclosed as in the living
and incorruptible ark and as in the temple and sanctuary,
the evangelical law and sacrifice. She by Herself alone
then constituted the entire Church, because She alone
preserved full faith, hope and love, complete worship and
adoration for the great object of our faith, not only sup
plying her full share for Herself, but for the Apostles
and for the whole human race. She it was who com
pensated, as far as was possible to a creature, for the
deficiencies and faults in the rest of the mystical mem
bers of the Church. She performed heroic acts of faith,
hope, love toward Her Son and true God, She venerated
and adored Him by her prostrations and genuflections,
She blessed Him with wonderful songs of praise, not
allowing her deep and bitter sorrow to interfere with the
beautiful and harmonious disposition and the full opera
tion of all her faculties, as pre-ordained by the Almighty.
What Ecclesiasticus says of music : that it is inopportune
in time of sorrow (Eccli. 22, 6), does not apply to Her;
for only the blessed Mary was able and knew how to
augment the beautiful harmony of virtues in the midst
of sorrow.
535. Leaving the twelve Apostles in the sad state
above mentioned, I now proceed to relate the most
unhappy end of the traitor Judas, somewhat anticipating
the course of events, in order to have done with his
lamentable and unfortunate lot and continue the narra
tive of the Passion. With the band that had taken the
Lord prisoner, the sacrilegious disciple arrived at the
house of the highpriest, that of Annas first, and then
at that of Caiphas, who, with the scribes and pharisees
were awaiting results. When the perfidious disciple saw
his divine Master overwhelmed with blasphemies and
injuries and how He suffered all with such admirable
silence, meekness and patience, he began to reflect upon
his own treachery and that it alone caused such cruel
injustice to be heaped upon an innocent Man and his
Benefactor. He recalled the miracles he had witnessed,
the doctrines he had heard, and the benefits enjoyed at his
hands, and he remembered the kindness and meekness
of the most holy Mary, the charity with which She had
solicited his conversion, and the malice with which he
had offended the Son and the Mother for such insig
nificant gain. All the sins he had committed piled them
selves up before his interior gaze like a dark and chaotic,
impenetrable mountain.
536. As I have stated above, Judas was forsaken by
divine grace at the time when he consummated his treach
ery by his perfidious kiss and by his contact with Christ
our Savior. According to the hidden judgments of the
Most High, although he was now left to his own coun
sels, the divine justice and equity, ingrained in the natural
reason, permitted these reflections to arise and to be
supplemented by many suggestions of Lucifer who pos
sessed him. But though Judas thus reasoned correctly
in these matters, it was the devil who awakened these
truths and added many other false and deceitful sug
gestions, in order to deduct from them not the salutary
hope of remedy, but to convince him of the impossibility
of repairing the damage and to lead him to the despair
to which he at last yielded. Lucifer roused in him a
keen sorrow for his misdeeds; not however for a good
purpose, nor founded upon having offended the divine
Truth, but upon his disgrace among men and upon the
fear of retribution from his Master, whom he knew to be
miraculously powerful and One whom he would be able
to escape nowhere in the whole world. Everywhere the
blood of the just One would forever cry for vengeance
against him. Filled with these thoughts and others
aroused by the demon, he was involved in confusion,
darkness and rabid rage against himself. Fleeing from
all human beings he essayed to throw himself from the
highest roof of the priests house without being able to
execute his design. Gnawing like a wild beast at the
flesh of his arms and hands, striking fearful blows at his
head, tearing out his hair and raving in his talk, he
rushed away and showered maledictions and execrations
upon himself as the most unfortunate and miserable of
537. Seeing him thus beside himself Lucifer inspired
him with the thought of hunting up the priests, returning
to them the money and confessing his sin. This Judas
hastened to do, and he loudly shouted at them those
words: "I have sinned, betraying innocent blood!"
(Matth. 27, 4). But they, not less hardened, answered
that he should have seen to that before. The intention
of the demon was to hinder the death of Christ if pos
sible, for reasons already given and yet to be given
(No. 419). This repulse of the priests, so full of
impious cruelty, took away all hope from Judas and he
persuaded himself that it was impossible to hinder the
death of his Master. So thought also the demon, al
though later on he made more efforts to forestall it
through Pilate. But as Judas could be of no more use
to him for his purpose, he augmented his distress and
despair, persuading him that in order to avoid severer
punishments he must end his life. Judas yielded to this
terrible deceit, and rushing forth from the city, hung him
self on a dried-out figtree (Matth. 27, 5). Thus he that
was the murderer of his Creator, became also his own
murderer. This happened on Friday at twelve o clock,
three hours before our Savior died. It was not becoming
that his death and the consummation of our Redemption
should coincide too closely with the execrable end of the
traitorous disciple, who hated him with fiercest malice.
538. The demons at once took possession of the soul
of Judas and brought it down to hell. His entrails burst
from the body hanging upon the tree (Acts 1, 18). All
that saw this stupendous punishment of the perfidious
and malicious disciple for his treason, were filled with
astonishment and dread. The body remained hanging
by the neck for three days, exposed to the view of the
public. During that time the Jews attempted to take it
down from the tree and to bury it in secret, for it was
a sight apt to cause great confusion to the pharisees and
priests, who could not refute such a testimony of his
wickedness. But no efforts of theirs sufficed to drag
or separate the body from its position on the tree until
three days had passed, when, according to the dispensa
tion of divine justice, the demons themselves snatched
the body from the tree and brought it to his soul, in order
that both might suffer eternal punishment in the profoundest
abyss of hell. Since what I have been made
to know of the pains and chastisements of Judas,
is worthy of fear-inspiring attention, I will according to
command reveal what has been shown me concerning it.
Among the obscure caverns of the infernal prisons was
a very large one, arranged for more horrible chastise
ments than the others, and which was still unoccupied;
for the demons had been unable to cast any soul into it,
although their cruelty had induced them to attempt it
many times from the time of Cain unto that day. All hell
had remained astonished at the failure of these attempts,
being entirely ignorant of the mystery, until the arrival
of the soul of Judas, which they readily succeeded in
hurling and burying in this prison never before occupied
by any of the damned. The secret of it was, that this
cavern of greater torments and fiercer fires of hell, from
the creation of the world, had been destined for those,
who, after having received Baptism, would damn them
selves by the neglect of the Sacraments, the doctrines,
the Passion and Death of the Savior, and the intercession
of his most holy Mother. As Judas had been the first
one who had so signally participated in these blessings,
and as he had so fearfully misused them, he was also
the first to suffer the torments of this place, prepared
for him and his imitators and followers.
539. This mystery I was commanded to reveal more
particularly for a dreadful warning to all Christians,
and especially to the priests, prelates and religious, who
are accustomed to treat with more familiarity the body
and blood of Christ our Lord, and who, by their office
and state are his closer friends. In order to avoid blame
I would like to find words and expressions sufficiently
strong to make an impression on our unfeeling obduracy,
so that we all may take a salutary warning and be
filled with the fear of the punishments awaiting all bad
Christians according to the station each one of us occu
pies. The demons torment Judas with inexpressible
cruelty, because he persisted in the betrayal of his Mas
ter, by whose Passion and Death they were vanquished
and despoiled of the possession of the world. The wrath
which they had conceived against the Savior and his
blessed Mother, they wreck, as far as is allowed them,
on all those who imitate the traitorous disciple and who
follow him in his contempt of the evangelical law, of
the Sacraments and of the fruits of the Redemption.
And in this the demons are but executing just punish
ment on those members of the mystical body of Christ,
who have severed their connection with its head Christ,
and who have voluntarily drifted away and delivered
themselves over to the accursed hate and implacable fury
of his enemies. As the instruments of divine justice they
chastise the redeemed for their ingratitude toward their
Redeemer. Let the children of the Church consider well
this truth, for it cannot fail to move their hearts and in
duce them to evade such a lamentable fate.
540. During the whole course of the Passion Lucifer
with his demons moved about, eagerly spying out all the
circumstances of each event in order to ascertain whether
Christ the Lord was really the Messias and Redeemer of
the world. On the one hand the miracles seemed to argue
the truth of his suspicions, on the other very often the
doings and the sufferings, so much like those of weak
human nature, argued the contrary. The strongest argu
ment for the truth of his suspicions was Lucifer s per
sonal experience of the power of the Redeemer, when
He said "I am He," which caused him and all his asso
ciates to fall prostrate, annihilated in the presence of the
Lord ; and this had happened only a short time after he
had been permitted to issue from hell, whither the demons
.had been hurled from the Cenacle. It was true, Mary
had routed them from the hall of the last Supper; yet
Lucifer with his ministers connected it with the power
exercised by Jesus and they could not but admit, that
this power of both Mother and Son was something alto
gether new and unexperienced by them. When he had
received permission to rise from his fall in the garden,
he conferred with the rest and expressed his opinion,
that this could not be merely human power, but without
doubt the power of One, who is God and at the same
time man. "If He shall die, as we have planned, He
will accomplish the Redemption of man and satisfy the
justice of God; then our sway will cease and all our
intentions will be frustrated. We have erred in seeking
his death. If now we cannot prevent his death, let us
see how far his endurance will go and excite his enemies
to torture Him with most impious cruelty. Let us stir
up their fury against Him ; let us suggest to their minds
new insults, affronts, ignominies and torments to be
inflicted upon his Person ; let us drive them to vent upon
Him all their wrath in order to exhaust his patience,
and let us carefully study the results." These proposals
the demons sought to realize, although, on account of
the hidden mysteries alluded to above (and to be men
tioned later, No. 579, 627, 631), they found that not
all of their plans succeeded. Whenever they incited the
executioners to inflict tortures unbecoming his royal and
divine Person, the Lord would not permit such indigni
ties farther than was becoming, while He gave free scope
to their inhuman barbarities and savage fury in all the
541. The great Lady of heaven, Mary, likewise inter
fered in order to curb the insolent malice of Lucifer;
for She was well aware of all the designs of the infernal
dragon. At times She would make use of her sovereign
power as Queen to prevent some of the hellish sugges
tion to reach the ministers of the Passion ; at others She
prevented their execution by her prayers, or She enlisted
the service of her holy angels to drive away and confuse
the persecutors of her Son. Those sufferings, which by
her great wisdom She knew, that her Son wished to
undergo, She permitted, fulfilling in all things the divine
will. She knew all about the unhappy death of Judas,
his torments and place of imprisonment in hell; the bed
of fire, which He was to occupy for all eternity, as the
master of hypocrisy and the leader of all those who were
to deny Christ our Redeemer, as well in thought as in
their works, who, according to Jeremias (17, 3), leave
the veins of living waters, that is Christ, and whose names
are written and sealed upon the earth, far from heaven,
where are written the names of the predestined. All this
the Mother of mercy knew and She wept over his fate
most bitterly, praying for the welfare of men and for
their salvation from such great blindness and ruinous
destruction. Yet in all this She conformed Herself to
the just and hidden decrees of divine Providence.
542. My daughter, thou art astonished, not without
cause, at what thou hast learned and recorded of the
unhappy fate of Judas and of the fall of the Apostles,
who were all disciples in the school of Christ, nursed at
his breast by his doctrine, by the example of his life,
and by his miracles, enjoying his sweetest and gentlest
intercourse, and many other benefits of my assistance and
intercession. But I truly say to thee, if all the children
of the Church would attentively consider this example,
they would find a salutary exhortation and warning in
this mortal state of life against the danger surrounding
them even in the midst of the favors and blessings they
continually receive at the hands of the Lord. All of them
cannot be equal to seeing Him with bodily eyes and
having intercourse with Him as the living image of all
sanctity. The Apostles received from me personal ex
hortations and they were eye-witnesses of my blameless
and holy conduct ; they received great tokens of my kind
ness and my charity flowed directly from God through
me upon them. If they, in the very act of receiving
such favors and in the very presence of their God and
Savior, forgot all of them and all of their obligation
of corresponding to them: who then shall be so pre
sumptuous in this mortal life as not to fear the danger
of eternal ruin, no matter how many favors he has
received from the Almighty ? They were Apostles chosen
by their divine Master, their true God; yet one of them
fell lower than any other individual of the human race;
and the others failed in faith, the foundation of all
virtue. Yet all this was conformable to the just judg
ments of the Most High. Why then should those who
are not Apostles, be without fear, who have not so
labored in the school of Christ and who have not so
merited my intercession?
543. Concerning the perdition of Judas and of his
most just punishment thou hast written enough in order
to set forth to what extremes a man can be brought by
yielding to vices and to the devil, and by refusing to
hear and follow the pleading of grace. I moreover
inform thee, that not only the torments of the traitorous
disciple Judas, but also those of many other Christians,
who condemn themselves and shall be sent to the same
place of punishment, which was assigned to them and
Judas from the beginning of the world, are greater than
the torments of many demons. For my most holy Son
did not die for the angels, but for men; nor were the
fruits and results of the Redemption for the demon,
but entirely at the disposal of the children of the Church
in the holy Sacraments. The contempt for these incom
parable benefits is not properly the sin of the devils,
but of the Christians ; and therefore they must expect a
special and appropriate punishment for this contempt.
The mistake of not having recognized Christ as the true
God causes the deepest and most tormenting regret to
Lucifer and his evil spirits for all eternity. Hence, on
account of this error, they are filled with special wrath
against those that were redeemed, particularly against
the Christians, who derived the greatest benefits from
the Redemption and the blood of the Lamb. That is
why the devils are so eager to cause forgetfulness and
misuse of these graces in them and why afterwards in
hell, they are permitted to vent so much the greater fury
and wrath upon the wicked Christians. If it were not
for the equitable dispositions of divine justice by which
the pains are proportioned to the guilt, they would wreck
still fiercer vengeance upon them. But the goodness of
the Lord extends even to this place and restrains the
malice of the demons by his infinite power and wisdom.
544. In the fall of the other eleven Apostles, I wish,
my dearest, that thou learn the frailty of human nature,
since even in such great blessings and favors received
of the Lord, it easily falls into the habit of gross negli
gence and ingratitude, such as the Apostles manifested
in flying from their heavenly Master and leaving Him
in a spirit of doubt. Men incur this danger from their
earthly and sensuous inclinations, the result of past sins
and of the habits formed by a terrestrial, carnal and
sensuous life, void of spirituality. On account of it
they desire and love the divine favors and benefits only
in a carnal manner. As soon as they fail to find that
kind of enjoyment in them, they turn to other sensible
enjoyments, are moved by them and lose the true con
ception of a spiritual life; for they treat it and estimate
it according to the low standard of mere sensuality.
Hence the Apostles, though they were so greatly favored
by my most holy Son, fell into such gross heedlessness
and sins ; for the miracles, the teachings and the examples
affected them only in a sensible manner; and as they, in
spite of their being raised to justice and perfection, per
mitted themselves to be affected by them only outwardly,
they were presently disturbed by temptation and yielded
to it. They acted like men who had done little to pene
trate into the mysteries and into the spirit of what they
had seen and heard in the school of their Master. By
this example, my daughter, and by my teachings thou
oughtest to be well instructed, a spiritual disciple of
mine, and not a terrestrial, accustoming thyself to de
spise mere outwardness, even in favors bestowed upon
thee by the Lord or myself. When thou receivest them,
do not attach thyself merely to the material or sensible
in them, but raise thy mind to the exalted and the spir
itual contained therein; to that which is perceived by
the interior and spiritual, and not by the animal senses
(I Cor. 2, 14). If even the merely sensible can hinder
the spiritual life, how much is this true of that which
pertains altogether to earthly, animal and carnal life?
Clearly I desire of thee to forget and blot out of thy
faculties all images and remembrances of mere creatures
in order that thou mayest be fit to receive my salutary
teaching and be capable of imitating me.
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