The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 15 verses 209-225 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 15 verses 209-225OF THU IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE) MOTHER OF GOD THROUGH DIVINE POWER.

  INDEX            Book 1  Chapter  15    Verses:  209-225

209. The divine wisdom had now prepared all things
for drawing forth the spotless image of the Mother of
grace from the corruption of nature. The number and
congregation of ancient Patriarchs and Prophets had
been completed and gathered, and the mountains had
been raised, on which this mystical City of God was to
be built (Ps. 86, 2). By the power of his right hand
He had already selected incomparable treasures of the
Divinity to enrich and endow Her. A thousand an
gels were equipped for her guard and custody, that they
might serve as most faithful vassals of their Queen and
Lady. He had provided a noble and kingly ancestry
from whom She should descend and had selected for
Her most holy and perfect parents, than whom none
holier or more perfect could be found in the world. For
there is no doubt that if better and more apt parents
existed, the Almighty would have selected them for Her,
who was to be chosen by God as his Mother.
210. He endowed these parents with abundant
graces and blessings of his right hand, and enriched
them with all virtues, with enlightenments of divine
science and with the gifts of the Holy Ghost. After
having announced to the two saints, Joachim and Anne,
that He would grant them a Daughter, admirable and
blessed among women, He permitted the work of the
first Conception to take place, namely, that of the most
pure body of Mary. The age of Anne, when She mar
ried Joachim, was twenty-four, and that of Joachim,
forty-six. Twenty years they lived in married life with
out having an issue, and thus Anne, at the same time of
the Conception of her Daughter, was forty-four years
old, and saint Joachim sixty-six. Although the concep
tion happened according to the ordinary course of na
ture, yet the Most High freed it from imperfections and
disorders, permitting only what was strictly required ac
cording to nature, in order that the proper material
might be furnished for the formation of the most per
fect substance within the limits of a mere creature.
211. God limited the natural activity in the two par
ents and by his grace prevented any fault or imperfec
tion, substituting for them virtue and merit, and entire
propriety in the manner of conception, which though
natural and according to the common order, was never
theless directed, supplemented and perfected by the ac
tion of divine grace, without disturbing the proper effect
due to the law of nature. As regards the holy matron
Anne, the divine power was more manifest on account
of her natural sterility ; in her the Conception was mirac
ulous, not only in regard to the manner, but in regard
to its very substance. In regard to the conceptions
which happen entirely according to the natural order and
in virtue of the natural powers, there is no necessity of
recurring to or of depending on any supernatural cause.
The parents in concurring are sufficient causes of the
propagation, even in case they furnish the material and
the concurrent acts of generation with imperfection and
without proper measure.
212. But in this Conception, although the father was
not naturally sterile, yet on account of his age and mod
eration, his natural powers were in a measure suppressed
and weakened; and therefore he was enlivened, restored
and enabled to act on his part with entire perfection and
with the plenitude of his faculties, proportionately to the
sterility of the mother. In both of them nature and
grace concurred; the former briefly, with measure, and
in that which was necessary; the latter overflowingly,
powerfully and generously; absorbing, yet not con
founding nature, exalting it and perfecting it in a mirac
ulous manner. Thus grace was the origin of this Con
ception, while it called into its service the activity of
nature in so far as was necessary for the birth of that
ineffable Daughter from her natural parents.
213. The mode of repairing the sterility of the most
holy mother Anne did not consist in the restitution of
that condition, which was wanting in her natural facul
ties of conception; for thus restored, she would have con
ceived in no way different from the rest of women; the
Lord concurred with her sterile faculties in a more mir
aculous manner for the formation of the body from
natural material. Thus the faculties and the material
were of the natural order, but the manner of moving
them happened by the miraculous power of the Divinity.
As soon as the miracle of this Conception had ceased,
the mother was left in her former sterility never to con
ceive again, since no new quality was taken from or
added to the natural temperament. This wonder, it
seems to me, can be made intelligible by that which our
Savior wrought, when saint Peter walked over the
water (Matth. 14, 29). In order to sustain him, the
water was not necessarily changed into crystal or ice, over
which he and others could have walked without requir
ing any miraculous intervention except that of thus sud
denly changing it into ice ; but without thus changing the
water, the Lord gave it the power to sustain the body of
the Apostle. It remained in a liquid state both during
and after the miracle; for when saint Peter ran over
it, he began to sink and was about to drown. The
miracle therefore was performed without changing the
water by the addition of a new quality.
214. Much like to this, though much more wonder
ful, was the miracle of the Conception of Mary most
holy in her mother Anne. The parents were so entirely
governed by grace and withdrawn from concupiscence
and delectation, that the accidental imperfections, which
ordinarily are the material or the instruments of con
ception, and which induce original sin, were altogether
wanting. Thus was furnished a material exempt from
imperfection and furnished in such a manner that the
act itself was meritorious. Hence in so far as this act
was concerned it could easily be free from sin or imper
fection, even if divine Providence had not previously
arranged every particular of this event. This miracle
the Almighty reserved solely for Her, who was to be a
Mother worthy of Himself. For if it was proper that
the material part of his being should have its origin
according to the order maintained in the conception of
the other children of Adam, it was likewise eminently
proper that, without destroying nature, grace should
concur in it with all its efficacy and power, and that it
should excel in Her and act in Her more efficaciously
than in all the children of Adam; yea, be greater than
even in Adam and Eve, who gave origin to the corrup
tion of nature and to its disorderly concupiscence.
215. In the formation of the body of the most holy
Mary the wisdom and power of the Almighty proceeded
so cautiously that the quantities and qualities of the four
natural elements of the human body, the sanguine, mel
ancholic, phlegmatic and choleric, were compounded in
exact proportion and measure ; in order that by this most
perfect proportion in its mixture and composition it
might assist the operations of that holy Soul with which
it was to be endowed and animated. This wonderfully
composed temperament was afterwards the source and
the cause, which in its own way made possible the seren
ity and peace that reigned in the powers and faculties
of the Queen of heaven during all her life. Never did
any of these elements oppose or contradict nor seek to
predominate over the others, but each one of them sup
plemented and served the others, continuing in this wellordered
fabric without corruption or decay. Never did
the body of the most Holy Mary suffer from the taint
of corruption, nor was there anything wanting or any
thing excessive found in it; but all the conditions and
proportions of the different elements were continuously
adjusted, without any want or excess in what was neces
sary for her perfect existence and without excess or de
fault in dryness or moisture. Neither was there more
warmth than was necessary for maintenance of life or
digestion; nor more cold than was necessary for the
right temperature and for the maintenance of the bodily
216. Nor was this body on account of its admirable
composition, less sensible to the influence of heat and
cold and the other inclemencies of the weather, but
rather, as it was more delicately and perfectly constitut
ed, so it was more acutely affected by any extremes, not
being able to furnish a defense against the excess of
temperature in those parts, which were more subject to
them. Certainly, on the one hand, these extremes would
find in such a harmoniously constituted frame much less
material in which they could work their changes; never
theless, on the other hand, the delicacy of its composi178
tion made even ordinary influences much more penetrat
ing than greater ones in other bodies. This admirable
body, thus formed in the womb of holy Anne, was not
capable of spiritual gifts before it was animated by the
soul; but it was capable of receiving the natural ones.
These were given to this body in supernatural degree
and by supernatural power, so as to accord with the high
purpose and the singular gifts for which it was formed;
and in this it surpassed all others in the order of nature
and grace Thus were given to it a complexion and
faculties so excellent that all nature would never of it
self be able to produce one similar to it.
217. Just as the hand of our Lord formed the first
parents Adam and Eve in such a way as to befit original
justice and the state of innocence and therefore also
more excellently than their descendants (for the works
coming directly from the Lord must be more perfect
than those of secondary causes), so his Omnipotence, in
a more excellent and superior manner, operated in the
formation of the virginal body of the most holy Mary.
And this He did with so much the greater solicitude and
abundance of grace, as this Creature was to exceed in
perfection not only the first parents, who were to sin so
soon, but all the other creatures, corporal and spiritual.
According to our way of speaking, God exerted more
care in composing this little body of his most holy
Mother, than in creating all the celestial orbs and the
whole universe. In accordance with this rule are to be
measured the gifts and privileges of this City of God
from its first beginnings and foundations to its highest
pinnacle next to the infinity of the Most High.
218. Such was also the measure of the distance be
tween her miraculous Conception and sin and its cause,
concupiscence; for not only was She, as the dawn of
grace, entirely free from sin, and always so exhibited
and treated by the Lord; but also in her parents, sin
and concupiscence was restrained and withheld in view
of her Conception, in order that nature might not be
disturbed or made imperfect in this work. For nature
was to be subject to grace and served merely as an in
strument to the supreme Artificer, who is superior to the
laws of nature and of grace It was here that He com
menced to destroy sin, and to lay the foundations, build
ing up the castle of the strong armed One (Luc. 11, 22)
who was to undermine evil and deprive it of the posses
sions which it tyrannically held.
219. The day on which the first Conception of the
body of the most holy Mary happened, was a Sunday,
corresponding to the day of the week on which the an
gels were created, whose exalted Queen and Lady She
was to be. For the formation and growth of other
human bodies, according to the natural order, many
days are necessary in order to organize and fit them for
the reception of the rational soul. Thus for a manchild
are required forty and for females eighty days,
more or less, according to the natural heat and disposi
tion of the mothers. In the formation of the virginal
body of Mary the Almighty accelerated the natural time
and that, which according to the natural rule required
eighty days, was accomplished in Her within seven days.
Within these seven days, by accelerated growth, was
organized and prepared in the womb of holy Anne that
wonderful body which was to receive the most holy soul
of her Daughter and of our Lady and Queen.
220. On the Saturday next following this first Con
ception, the Almighty wrought the second Conception
by creating the soul of his Mother and infusing it into
the body; and thus entered into the world that pure
Creature, more holy, perfect and agreeable to His eyes
than all those He had created, or will create to the end
of the world, or through the eternities. God maintained
a mysterious correspondence in the execution of this
work with that of creating all the rest of the world in
seven days, as is related in the book of Genesis. Then
no doubt He rested in truth, according to the figurative
language of Scripture, since He has now created the
most perfect Creature of all, giving through it a be
ginning to the work of the divine Word and to the Re
demption of the human race. Thus was this day a
paschal feast for God and also for all creatures.
221. On account of this Immaculate Conception of
most holy Mary the holy Spirit has provided that Satur
day be consecrated to the Virgin in the holy Church,
since that was the day on which She received the great
est benefit through the creation of her soul and its
union with its body without entailing sin or its effects.
The day of the Immaculate Conception, which the Church
now celebrates, is not the day of her first conception,
when the body alone was conceived, but it is the day of
he* second Conception or the infusion of her soul. Body
and soul, therefore, remained for nine months in the
womb of holy Anne, which are the days that intervene
between the Conception to the Nativity of that Queen.
During the other seven days preceding the vivification
of the inanimate body, it was disposed and organized by
the divine power, in order that this work might corre
spond with the account that Moses gives of the Creation
of all things, comprising the formation of the whole
world at its beginning. At the instant of the creation
and infusion of the soul in the most holy Mother, the
most blessed Trinity, repeated with greater affection of
love the words, recorded by Moses at that time concern
ing man : "Let us make Mary to our image and like
ness to be our true Daughter and Spouse and a Mother
to the Onlybegotten of the Father."
222. By the force of this divine pronouncement and
through the love with which it issued from the mouth of
Almighty, was created and infused into the body of most
holy Mary her most blessed Soul At the same time
She was filled with grace and gifts above those of the
highest seraphim of heaven, and there was not a single
instant in which She was found wanting or deprived
of the light, the friendship and love of the Creator, or
in which She was touched by the stain or darkness of
original sin. On the contrary She was possessed of the
most perfect justice, superior to that of Adam and Eve
in their first formation. To Her was also conceded the
most perfect use of the light of reason, corresponding
to the gifts of grace, which She had received Not for
one instant was She to remain idle, but to engage in
works most admirable and pleasing to her Maker. In
the perception of this great mystery I confess myself
overcome, so that my heart, unable to express itself in
words, is dumbfounded in sentiments of admiration and
of praise. I see the Ark of the Testament joined to
gether, enriched and placed in the temple of a sterile
mother with greater glory than the figurative one in the
house of Obededon, and of David, or in the temple of
Solomon (II Reg. 6, 11 III Reg. 8, 6). I see the altar
of the Holy of holies (Is. 65, 17), whence is to be of
fered the first sacrifice that is to overcome and prove
acceptable to God ; I see the order of nature break from
its laws to be rearranged; I see new laws established
against sin, disregarding those of the common order,
overpowering those of guilt, conquering those of na
ture and supervening even those of grace itself; I see
the formation of a new earth, and of a new heaven (Is.
65, 17) being the womb of a most humble woman,
whither the eyes of the most holy Trinity are directed,
where the Divinity presides, where the courtiers of the
ancient heavens gather, and whither a thousand angels
are delegated to form a guard over a tiny, animated
body not larger than that of a little bee.
223. In this new creation is heard with a greater
force the voice of its Maker, who, pleased with the work
of his Omnipotence, says that it is very good (Gen. 1,
31). Let human frailty with humble piety approach this
wonder, confessing the grandeur of the Creator, and let
it rejoice at this new benefit conceded to all the human
race in this its Reparatrix. Let the heat of disputation
cease, overcome by thy divine light; for if the divine
Bounty, as was shown to me, in the Conception of the
most holy Mother, looked upon Her with such pleasure
and upon original sin with such hostility that He gloried
in the occasion and just cause of restraining and with
holding its baneful currents, how can that appear proper
to human wisdom, which was so abhorrent to God?
224. At the time of the infusion of the soul into the
body of this heavenly Lady, the Almighty desired that
her mother, the holy Anne, should feel and recognize
the presence of the Divinity in a most exalted manner.
She was filled with the Holy Ghost and was moved in
teriorly with a joy and devotion altogether above the
ordinary. She was wrapped in exalted ecstasy, in which
she was enlightened with deep intelligences of the most
hidden mysteries and praised the Lord with new canti
cles of Joy. These effects lasted during all the rest of
her life; but they were greater during the nine months
in which she bore in her womb the Treasure of heaven.
For during that time these benefits were more constantly
renewed and repeated with continual intelligences of the
holy Scriptures and of their most profound sacraments.
O most fortunate woman ! let all the nations and gen
erations of the world extol thee and call thee blessed!
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