The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 21 verses 643-660 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 6  Chapter  21    Verses:  643-660

643. To the great satisfaction and joy of the priests
and pharisees Pilate then decreed the sentence of death
on the Cross against Life itself, Jesus our Savior. Hav
ing announced it to the One they had thus condemned
in spite of his innocence, they brought Him to another
part of the house of Pilate, where they stripped Him
of the purple mantle, in which they had derided Him as
mock-king. All happened by the mysterious dispensa
tion of God ; though on their part it was due to the con
certed malice of the Jews; for they wished to see Him
undergo the punishment of the Cross in his own clothes
so that in them He might be recognized by all.
Only by his garments could He now be recognized by
the people, since his face had been disfigured beyond
recognition by the scourging, the impure spittle, and the
crown of thorns. They again clothed Him with the
seamless tunic, which at the command of the Queen was
brought to Him by the angels ; for the executioners had
thrown it into a corner of another room in the house,
where they left it to place upon Him the mocking and
scandalous purple cloak. But the Jews neither under
stood nor noticed any of these circumstances, since they
were too much taken up with the desire of hastening
his Death.
644. Through the diligence of the Jews in spreading
the news of the sentence decreed against Jesus of Naza
reth, the people hastened in multitudes to the house of
Pilate in order to see Him brought forth to execution.
Since the ordinary number of inhabitants was increased
by the gathering of numerous strangers from different
parts to celebrate the Pasch, the city was full of people.
All of them were stirred by the news and rilled the
streets up to the very palace of Pilate. It was a Friday,
the day of the Parasceve, which in Greek signifies prep
aration, or getting ready; for on that day the Jews pre
pared themselves, or got ready, for the ensuing Sabbath,
their greatest feast, on which no servile work was to
be performed, not even such as cooking meals; all this
had to be done on this Friday. In the sight of all these
multitudes they brought forth our Savior in his own
garments and with a countenance so disfigured by
wounds, blood and spittle, that no one would have again
recognized Him as the One they had seen or known
before. At the command of his afflicted Mother the
holy angels had a few times wiped off some of the
impure spittle; but his enemies had so persistently con
tinued in their disgusting insults, that now He appeared
altogether covered by their vile expectorations. At the
sight of such a sorrowful spectacle a confused shouting
and clamor arose from the people, so that nothing could
be understood, but all formed one uproar and confusion
of voices. But above all the rest were heard the shouts
of the priests and pharisees, who in their unrestrained
joy and exultation harangued the people to become
quiet and clear the streets through which the divine
Victim was to pass, in order that they might hear the
sentence of death proclaimed against Him. The people
were divided and confused in their opinions, according
to the suggestions of their own hearts. At this spectacle
were present different kinds of people, who had been
benefited and succored by the miracles and the kindness
of Jesus, and such as had heard and accepted his teach
ings and had become his followers and friends. These
now showed their sympathy, some in bitter tears, others
by asking what this Man had done to deserve such pun
ishment; others were dumbfounded and began to be
troubled and confused by this universal confusion and
645. Of the eleven Apostles saint John alone was
present. He with the sorrowful Mother and the three
Marys stood within sight of the Lord, though in a
retired corner. When the holy Apostle saw his divine
Master brought forth, the thought of whose love toward
himself now shot through his mind, he was so filled with
grief, that his blood congealed in his veins and his face
took on the appearance of death. The three Marys fell
away into a prolonged swoon. But the Queen of virtues
remained unconquered and her magnanimous heart,
though overwhelmed by a grief beyond all conception of
man, -never fainted or swooned; She did not share the
imperfections or weaknesses of the others. In all her
actions She was most prudent, courageous and admir
able; calmly She comforted saint John and the pious
women. She besought the Lord to strengthen them, in
order that She might have their company to the end
of the Passion. In virtue of this prayer the Apostle and
the holy women were consoled and encouraged, so that
they regained their senses and could speak to the Mis
tress of heaven. Amid all this bitterness and confusion
She did nothing unbecoming or inconsiderate, but shed
forth incessant tears with the dignity of a Queen. Her
attention was riveted upon Her Son, the true God; She
prayed to the eternal Father and offered to Him his sor
rows and torments, imitating in her actions all that was
done by our Savior. She recognized the malice of sin,
penetrated the mysteries of the Redemption, appealed
to the angels and interceded for friends and enemies.
While giving way to her maternal love and to the sor
rows corresponding to it, She at the same time practiced
all the virtues, exciting the highest admiration of all
heaven and delighting in the highest degree the eternal
Godhead. Since it is not possible for me to describe
the sentiments filling the heart of this Mother of wis
dom, nor those at times also uttered by her lips, I leave
them to be imagined by Christian piety.
646. The servants and priests sought to quiet the mul
titudes, in order that they might be able to hear the
sentence pronounced against Jesus of Nazareth; for
after it had been made known to Him in person, they
desired to have it read before the people and in his pres
ence. When the people had quieted down, they began
to read it in a loud voice, so that all could hear it, while
Jesus was standing in full view as a criminal. The sen
tence was proclaimed also in the different streets and
at the foot of the Cross; and it was afterwards pub
lished and spread in many copies. According to the
understanding given to me, the copies were a faithful
reproduction, excepting some words which have been
added. I will not discuss them, for the exact words of
this sentence have been shown me and I give them here
without change.
647. "I Pontius Pilate, presiding over lower Galilee
and governing Jerusalem, in fealty to the Roman Em
pire, and being within the executive mansion, judge, de
cide, and proclaim, that I condemn to death, Jesus, of
the Nazarean people and a Galileean by birth, a man
seditious and opposed to our laws, to our senate, and
to the great emperor Tiberius Caesar. For the execu
tion of this sentence I decree, that his death be upon the
cross and that He shall be fastened thereto with nails as
is customary with criminals ; because, in this very place,
gathering around Him every day many men, poor and
rich, He has continued to raise tumults throughout
Judea, proclaiming Himself the Son of God and King
of Israel, at the same time threatening the ruin of this
renowned city of Jerusalem and its temple, and of the
sacred Empire, refusing tribute to Caesar; and because
He dared to enter in triumph this city of Jerusalem anc
the temple of Solomon, accompanied by a great multi
tude of the people carrying branches of palms. I com
mand the first centurion, called Quintus Cornelius, to
lead Him for his greater shame through the said city
of Jerusalem, bound as He is, and scourged by my
orders. Let Him also wear his own garments, that He
may be known to all, and let Him carry the Cross on
which He is to be crucified. Let Him walk through all
the public streets between two other thieves, who are
likewise condemned to death for their robberies and
murders, so that this punishment be an example to all
the people and to all malefactors."
"I desire also and command in this my sentence,
that this malefactor, having been thus led through the
public streets, be brought outside the city through the
pagora gate, now called the Antonian portal, and under
the proclamations of the herald, who shall mention all
the crimes pointed out in my sentence, He shall be con
ducted to the summit of the mountain called Calvary,
where justice is wont to be executed upon wicked trans
gressors. There, fastened and crucified upon the Cross,
which He shall carry as decreed above, his body shall
remain between the aforesaid thieves. Above the Cross,
that is, at its top, He shall have placed for Him his
name and title in the three languages ; namely in Hebrew,
Greek and Latin; and in all and each one of them shall
OF THE JEWS, so that it may be understood by all
and become universally known."
"At the same time I command, that no one, no matter
of what condition, under pain of the loss of his goods
and life, and under punishment for rebellion against the
Roman empire, presume audaciously to impede the exe
cution of this just sentence ordered by me to be exe
cuted with all rigor according to the decrees and laws
of the Romans and Hebrews. Year of the creation of
the world 5233, the twenty-fifth day of March."
Pontius Pilatus Judex et Gubernator Galilaeae inferioris
pro Romano Imperio qui supra propria manu.
(Pontius Pilate, Judge and Governor of lower Galilee
for the Roman Empire, who signed the above with
his own hand.)
648. According to the above reckoning the creation of
the world happened in March; and from the day on
which Adam was created until the Incarnation of the
Word 5199 years; adding the nine months, during which
He remained in the virginal womb of his most holy
Mother, and the thirty-three years of his life, we com
plete the 5233 years and three months, which according
to the reckoning of the Romans intervened between the
anniversary of his birth and the 25th of March, the day
of his death. According to the reckoning of the Roman
Church there are not more than nine months and seven
days to the first year, since it begins its count of years
with the first of January of the second year of the world.
Of all the opinions of the teachers of the Church I have
understood the one which corresponds to the reckoning
of the Roman Church in the Roman martyrology to be
the correct one. This I have also stated in the chapter of
the Incarnation of Christ our Lord in the first book of
the second part, chapter eleventh.
649. The sentence of Pilate against our Savior having
been published in a loud voice before all the people, the
executioners loaded the heavy Cross, on which He was
to be crucified, upon his tender and wounded shoulders.
In order that He might carry it they loosened the bonds
holding his hands, but not the others, since they wished
to drag Him along by the loose ends of the ropes that
bound his body. In order to torment Him the more
they drew two loops around his throat. The Cross was
fifteen feet long, of thick and heavy timbers. The herald
began to proclaim the sentence and the whole confused
and turbulent multitude of the people, the executioners
and soldiers, with great noise, uproar and disorder began
to move from the house of Pilate to mount Calvary
through the streets of Jerusalem. The Master and Re
deemer of the world, Jesus, before receiving the Cross,
looked upon it with a countenance full of extreme joy
and exultation such as would be shown by a bridegroom
looking at the rich adornments of his bride, and on
receiving it, He addressed it as follows :
650. "O Cross, beloved of my soul, now prepared and
ready to still my longings, come to Me, that I may be
received in thy arms, and that, attached to them as on
an altar, I may be accepted by the eternal Father as the
sacrifice of his everlasting reconciliation with the human
race. In order to die upon thee, I have descended from
heaven and assumed mortal and passible flesh ; for thou
art to be the sceptre with which I shall triumph over all
my enemies, the key with which I shall open the gates
of heaven for all the predestined (Is. 22, 22), the sanc
tuary in which the guilty sons of Adam shall find mercy,
and the treasurehouse for the enrichment of their pov
erty. Upon thee I desire to exalt and recommend dis
honor and reproach among men, in order that my friends
may embrace them with joy, seek them with anxious
longings, and follow Me on the path which I through
thee shall open up before them. My Father and eternal
God, I confess Thee as the Lord of heaven and earth
(Matth. 11, 25), subjecting Myself to thy power and to
thy divine wishes, I take upon my shoulders the wood
for the sacrifice of my innocent and passible humanity
and I accept it willingly for the salvation of men. Re
ceive Thou, eternal Father, this sacrifice as acceptable
to thy justice, in order that from today on they may
not any more be servants, but sons and heirs of thy
kingdom together with Me" (Rom. 8, 17).
651. None of these sacred mysteries and happenings
were hidden from the great Lady of the world, Mary;
for She had a most intimate knowledge and understand
ing of them, far beyond that of all the angels. The
events, which She could not see with the eyes of her
body, She perceived by her intelligence and revealed
science, which manifested to Her the interior operation
of her most holy Son. By this divine light She recog
nized the infinite value of the wood of the Cross after
once it had come in contact with the deified humanity
of Jesus our Redeemer. Immediately She venerated and
adored it in a manner befitting it. The same was also
done by the heavenly spirits attending upon the Queen.
She imitated her divine Son in the tokens of affections,
with which He received the Cross, addressing it in the
words suited to her office as Coadjutrix of the Redeemer.
By her prayers to the eternal Father She followed Him
in his exalted sentiments as the living original and ex
emplar, without failing in the least point. When She
heard the voice of the herald publishing and rehearsing
the sentence through the streets, the heavenly Mother,
in protest against the accusations contained in the sen
tence and in the form of comments on the glory and
honor of the Lord, composed a canticle of praise and
worship of the innocence and sinlessness of her all-holy
Son and God. In the composing of this canticle the
holy angels helped Her, conjointly with them She ar
ranged and repeated it, while the inhabitants of Jeru
salem were blaspheming their own Creator and Savior.
652. As all the faith, knowledge and love of creatures,
during this time of the Passion, was enshrined in its
highest essence in the magnanimous soul of the Mother
of wisdom, She alone had the most proper conception
and correct judgment of the suffering and Death of God
for men. Without for a moment failing in the attention
necessary to exterior actions, her wisdom penetrated all
the mysteries of the Redemption and the manner in
which it was to be accomplished through the ignorance
of the very men who were to be redeemed. She entered
into the deepest consideration of the dignity of the One,
who was suffering, of what He was suffering, from
and for whom He was suffering. Of the dignity of the
person of Christ our Redeemer, uniting within Himself
the divine and the human natures, of their perfections
and attributes, the most blessed Mary alone possessed
the highest and intuitive knowledge outside of the Lord
himself. On this account She alone among all mere
creatures attached sufficient importance to the Passion
and Death of her Son and of the true God. Of what
He suffered, She was not only an eye-witness, but She
experienced it personally within Herself, occasioning the
holy envy not only of men, but of the angels themselves,
who were not thus favored. But they well knew that
their great Queen and Mistress felt and suffered in soul
and body the same torments and sorrows as her most
holy Son and that the holy Trinity was inexpressibly
pleased with Her ; and therefore they sought to make up
by their praise and worship for the pains which they
could not share. Sometimes, when the sorrowful Mother
could not personally witness the sufferings of her Son,
She was made to feel in her virginal body and in her
spirit the effects of his torments before her intelligence
made Her aware of them. Thus surprised She would
say : "Ah ! what new martyrdom have they devised for
my sweetest Lord and Master?" And then She would
receive the clearest knowledge of what the Lord was
enduring. The most loving Mother was so admirably
faithful in her sufferings and in imitating the example
}f Christ our God, that She never permitted Herself
my easement either of her bodily pains, such as rest, or
lourishment, or sleep; nor any relaxation of the spirit,
>uch as any consoling thoughts or considerations, except
when She was visited from on high by divine influence.
Then only would She humbly and thankfully accept
relief, in order that She might recover strength to attend
still more fervently to the object of her sorrows and to
the cause of his sufferings. The same wise consideration
She applied to the malicious behavior of the Jews and
their servants, to the needs of the human race, to
their threatening ruin, and to the ingratitude of men,
for whom He suffered. Thus She perfectly and inti
mately knew of all these things and felt it more deeply
than all the creatures.
653. Another hidden and astonishing miracle was
wrought by the right hand of God through the instru
mentality of the blessed Mary against Lucifer and his
infernal spirits. It took place in the following manner :
The dragon and his associates, though they could not
understand the humiliation of the Lord, were most atten
tive to all that happened in the Passion of the Lord.
Now, when He took upon Himself the Cross, all these
enemies felt a new and mysterious tremor and weakness,
which caused in them great consternation and confused
distress. Conscious of these unwonted and invincible
feelings the prince of darkness feared, that in the Passion
and Death of Christ our Lord some dire and irreparable
destruction of his reign was imminent. In order not to
be overtaken by it in the presence of Christ our God,
the dragon resolved to retire and fly with all his fol
lowers to the caverns of hell. But when he sought to
execute this resolve, he was prevented by the great
Queen and Mistress of all creation; for the Most High,
enlightening Her and intimating to Her what She was
to do, at the same time invested Her with his power.
The heavenly Mother, turning toward Lucifer and his
squadrons, by her imperial command hindered them
from flying; ordering them to await and witness the
Passion to the end on mount Calvary. The demons
could not resist the command of the mighty Queen;
for they recognized and felt the divine power operating
in Her. Subject to her sway they followed Christ as
so many prisoners dragged along in chains to Calvary,
where the eternal wisdom had decreed to triumph over
them from the throne of the Cross, as we shall see later
on. There is nothing which can exemplify the discour
agement and dismay, which from that moment began
to oppress Lucifer and his demons. According to our
way of speaking, they walked along to Calvary like
criminals condemned to a terrible death, and seized by
the dismay and consternation of an inevitable punish
ment. This punishment of the demon was in conformity
with his malicious nature and proportioned to the evil
committed by him in introducing death and sin into the
world, to remedy which, God himself was now under
going Death.
654. Our Savior proceeded on the way to Calvary
bearing upon his shoulders, according to the saying of
Isaias, his own government and principality (Is. 9, 6),
which was none else than his Cross, from whence He
was to subject and govern the world, meriting thereby
that his name should be exalted above all other names
and rescuing the human race from the tyrannical power
of the demon over the sons of Adam (Col. 2, 15). The
same Isaias calls it the yoke and sceptre of the op
pressor and executor, who was imperiously exacting the
tribute of the first guilt. In order to destroy this tyrant
and break the sceptre of his reign and the yoke of our
servitude, Christ our Savior placed the Cross upon his
shoulders; namely, upon that place, where are borne
both the yoke of slavery and the sceptre of royal power.
He wished to intimate thereby, that He despoiled the
demon of this power and transferred it to his own
shoulders, in order that thenceforward the captive chil
dren of Adam should recognize Him for their legitimate
Lord and true King. All mortals were to follow Him in
the way of the Cross (Matth. 14, 24) and learn, that
by this Cross they were subjected to his power (John 12,
32) and now become his vassals and servants, bought
by his own life-blood (I Cor. 4, 20).
655. But alas, the pity of our most ungrateful forgetfulness!
That the Jews and ministers of the Passion
should be ignorant of this mystery hidden to princes of
this world, and that they should not dare touch the
Cross of the Savior, because they considered it the
wood of ignominy and shame, was their own fault and
a very great one. Yet not so great as our own, since
its mystery being already revealed to us, we spend our
indignation only on the blindness of those who were
persecuting our Lord and God. For, if we blame them
for being ignorant of what they ought to have known,
how much should we blame ourselves, who, knowing and
confessing Christ the Redeemer, persecute and crucify
Him by our offenses (Heb. 6, 6) ? O my sweetest Love,
Jesus, light of my intellect and glory of my soul! Do
not, O my Lord, trust in my sluggish torpidity to follow
Thee with my Cross on thy way! Take it upon Thee
to do me this favor; draw me after Thee, to run after
the fragrance of thy sweetest love (Cant. 1, 3) of thy
ineffable patience, of thy deepest humility, that I may
desire for contempt and anguish, and seek after partici
pation in thy ignominy, insults and sorrows. Let this
be my portion and my inheritance in this mortal and
oppressing life, let this be my glory and my repose;
and outside of the Cross and its ignominy, I desire not
to live or be consoled or to partake of any rest or enjoy
ment. As the Jews and all of that blind multitude
avoided the touch of the Cross of Him, who was so
innocently sentenced to die upon it, He opened with it
a passage and cleared for Himself a way. His perfidious
persecutors looked upon his glorious dishonor as a con
tagion and they fled from its approach, though all the
rest of the streets were full of shouting and clamoring
people, who crowded aside as the herald advanced pro
claiming the sentence.
656. The executioners, bare of all human compassion
and kindness, dragged our Savior Jesus along with in
credible cruelty and insults. Some of them jerked Him
forward by the ropes in order to accelerate his passage,
while others pulled from behind in order to retard it.
On account of this jerking and the weight of the Cross
they caused Him to sway to and fro and often to fall
to the ground. By the hard knocks He thus received on
the rough stones great wounds were opened, especially
on the two knees and they were widened at each re
peated fall. The heavy Cross also inflicted a wound
on the shoulder on which it was carried. The unsteadi
ness caused the Cross sometimes to knock against his
sacred head, and sometimes the head against the Cross ;
thus the thorns of his crown penetrated deeper and
wounded the parts, which they had not yet reached. To
these torments of the body the ministers of evil added
many insulting words and execrable affronts, ejecting
their impure spittle and throwing the dirt of the pave
ment into his face so mercilessly, that they blinded the
eyes that looked upon them with such divine mercy.
Thus they of their own account condemned themselves
to the loss of the graces, with which his very looks were
fraught. By the haste with which they dragged Him
along in their eagerness to see Him die, they did not
allow Him to catch his breath; for his most innocent
body, having been in so few hours overwhelmed with
such a storm of torments, was so weakened and bruised,
that to all appearances He was ready to yield up life
under his pains and sorrows.
657. From the house of Pilate the sorrowful and
stricken Mother followed with the multitudes on the
way of her divine Son, accompanied by saint John and
the pious women. As the surging crowds hindered Her
from getting very near to the Lord, She asked the
eternal Father to be permitted to stand at the foot of
the Cross of her blessed Son and see Him die with
her own eyes. With the divine consent She ordered her
holy angels to manage things in such a way as to make
it possible for Her to execute her wishes. The holy
angels obeyed Her with great reverence; and they
speedily led the Queen through some bystreet, in order
that She might meet her Son. Thus it came that both ;
of Them met face to face in sweetest recognition of each ;
Other and in mutual renewal of each other s interior
sorrows. Yet They did not speak to one another, nor
would the fierce cruelty of the executioners have per- j
mitted such an intercourse. But the most prudent
Mother adored her divine Son and true God, laden
with the Cross ; and interiorly besought Him, that, sin
She could not relieve Him of the weight of the Cro
and since She was not permitted to command her holy
angels to lighten it, He would inspire these ministers of
cruelty to procure some one for his assistance. This
prayer was heard by the Lord Christ; and so it hap
pened, that Simon of Cyrene was afterwards impressed
to carry the Cross with the Lord (Matth. 27, 32). The
Pharisees and the executioners were moved to this meas
ure, some of them out of natural compassion, others for
fear lest Christ, the Author of life, should lose his life
by exhaustion before it could be taken from Him on
the Cross.
658. Beyond all human thought and estimation was
the sorrow of the most sincere Dove and Virgin Mother
while She thus witnessed with her own eyes her Son
carrying the Cross to Mount Calvary; for She alone
could fittingly know and love Him according to his true
worth. It would have been impossible for Her to live
through this ordeal, if the divine power had not strength
ened Her and preserved Her life. With bitterest sorrow
She addressed the Lord and spoke to Him in her heart :
"My Son and eternal God, light of my eyes and life of
my soul, receive, O Lord, the sacrifice of my not being
able to relieve Thee of the burden of the Cross and carry
it myself, who am a daughter of Adam; for it is I who
should die upon it in love of Thee, as Thou now wishest
to die in most ardent love of the human race. O most
loving Mediator between guilt and justice ! How dost
Thou cherish mercy in the midst of so great injuries
and such heinous offenses! O charity without measure
or bounds, which permits such torments and affronts
in order to afford it a wider scope for its ardor and
efficacy! O infinite and sweetest love, would that the
hearts and the wills of men were all mine, so that they
could give no such thankless return for all that Thou
endurest ! O who will speak to the hearts of the mortals
to teach them what they owe to Thee, since Thou hast
paid so dearly for their salvation from ruin!" Other
most prudent and exalted sentiments besides these were
conceived by the great Lady, so that I cannot express
them by words of mine.
659. As the Evangelist tells us, there were other
women among the crowds, who followed the Savior in
bitter tears and lamentations (Luke 23, 27). The
sweetest Jesus turning toward them, addressed them and
said: "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me; but
weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold,
the days shall come, wherein they shall say: Blessed
are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne,
and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they
begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us, and to
the hills : Cover us. For if in the green wood they do
these things, what shall be done in the dry?" By these
mysterious words the Lord acknowledged the tears shed
on account of his Passion, and to a certain extent, by
showing his appreciation of them, He approved of them.
In these women He wished to teach us for what purpose
our tears should be shed so that they may attain their
end. These compassionate disciples of the Lord were
at that time ignorant of the true reason for their teai
since they wept over his sufferings and injuries, anc
not over the cause of these sufferings; and therefore
they merited to be instructed and admonished of
truth. It was as if the Savior had said to them : Weep
over your sins and over the sins of your children, and
attribute what I suffer to those sins. I suffer not for
my sins, for I am guilty of none and it is not even possi
ble that I be guilty of any. If I approve of your com
passion for Me as good and just, much more do I
desire you to weep over your sins, for which I suffer,
and by this manner of weeping you shall acquire for
yourselves and your children the price of my blood and
of my Redemption, ignored by this blind people. For
there shall come days, namely the days of universal judg
ment and chastisement, in which those shall be held for
tunate, who have not begotten children; and the fore
known shall call upon the mountains and the hills to
shield them against my wrath. For if their sins, now
only assumed by Me, have such effects on me, who am
innocent, what horrible punishments will they draw upon
those, who are so barren and without any fruits of
grace and merits?
660. As a reward for their tears and their compassion
these women were enlightened so as to understand this
doctrine. In fulfillment of the prayerful wish of the
blessed Mother the pharisees and ministers were inspired
with the resolve to engage some man to help Jesus our
Savior in carrying the Cross to mount Calvary. At
this juncture, Simon, of Cyrene, the father of the dis
ciples Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15, 21), happened
to come along. He was called by this name because he
was a native of Cyrene, a city of Lybia, and had come
to Jerusalem. This Simon was now forced by the Jews
to carry the Cross a part of the way. They themselves
would not touch it, yea would not even come near it, as
being the instrument of punishment for One whom they
held to be a notorious malefactor. By this pretended
caution and avoidance of his Cross they sought to im
press the people with a horror for Jesus. The Cyrenean
took hold of the Cross and Jesus was made to follow
between the two thieves, in order that all might believe
Him to be a criminal and malefactor like to them. The
Virgin Mother walked very closely behind Jesus, as She
had desired and asked from the eternal Father. To his
divine will She so conformed Herself in all the labors
and torments of her Son that, witnessing with her
own eyes and partaking of all the sufferings of her Son
in her blessed soul and in her body, She never allowed
any sentiment or wish to arise interiorly or exteriorly,
which could be interpreted as regret for the sacrifice She
had made in offering her Son for the death of the Cross
and its sufferings. Her charity and love of men, and
her grace and holiness, were so great, that She van
quished all these movements of her human nature.
661. I desire that the fruit of the obedience with
which thou writest the history of my life shall be, that
thou become a true disciple of my most holy Son and
of myself. The main purpose of the exalted and ven
erable mysteries, which are made known to thee, and
of the teachings, which I so often repeat to thee, is that
thou deny and strip thyself, estranging thy heart from
all affection to creatures, neither wishing to possess
them nor accept them for other uses. By this precau
tion thou wilt overcome the impediments, which the
devils seek to place in the way of the dangerous softness
of thy nature. I who know thee, thus advise and lead
thee by the way of instruction and correction as thy
Mother and Instructress. By the divine teaching thou
knowest the mysteries of the Passion and Death of
Christ and the one true way of life, which is the Cross;
and thou knowest that not all who are called, are chosen.
Many there are who wish to follow Christ and very few
who truly dispose themselves to imitate Him ; for as soon
as they feel the sufferings of the Cross they cast it
aside. Laborious exertions are very painful and averse
to human nature according to the flesh; and the fruits
of the spirit are more hidden and few guide themselves
by the light. On this account there are so many among
mortals, who, forgetful of the eternal truths, seek the
flesh and the continual indulgence of its pleasures. They
ardently seek honors and fly from injuries: they strive
after riches, and contemn poverty; they long after pleas
ure and dread mortification. All these are enemies of
the Cross of Christ (Phil. 3, 18), and with dreadful
aversion they fly from it, deeming it sheer ignominy,
just like those who crucified Christ, the Lord.
662. Another deceit has spread through the world:
many imagine that they are following Christ their Mas
ter, though they neither suffer affliction nor engage in any
exertion or labor. They are content with avoiding bold
ness in committing sins, and place all their perfection
in a certain prudence or hollow self-love, which prevents
them from denying anything to their will and from
practicing any virtues at the cost of their flesh. They
would easily escape this deception, if they would con
sider that my Son was not only the Redeemer, but their
Teacher; and that He left in this world the treasures
of his Redemption not only as a remedy against its
eternal ruin, but as a necessary medicine for the sick
ness of sin in human nature. No one knew so much
as my Son and Lord; no one could better understand
the quality of love than the divine Lord, who was and
is wisdom and charity itself ; and no one was more able
to fulfill all his wishes (I John 4, 16). Nevertheless,
although He well could do it, He chose not a life of
softness and ease for the flesh, but one full of labors
and pains; for He judged his instructions to be incom
plete and insufficient to redeem man, if He failed to
teach them how to overcome the demon, the flesh and
their own self. He wished to inculcate, that this magnifi
cent victory is gained by the Cross, by labors, pen
ances, mortifications and the acceptance of contempt:
all of which are the trade-marks and evidences of true
love and the special watchwords of the predestined.
663. Thou, my daughter, knowest the value of the
holy Cross and the honor which it confers upon igno
minies and tribulations; do thou embrace the Cross and
bear it with joy in imitation of my Son and thy Master
(Matth. 16, 24). In this mortal life let thy glory be
in tribulations, persecutions (Rom. 5, 3), contempt, in
firmities, poverty, humiliation and in whatever is painful
and averse to mortal flesh. And in order that in all
thy exercises thou mayest imitate me and give me pleas
ure, I wish that thou seek no rest or consolation in any
earthly thing. Thou must not dwell in thy thoughts
upon what thou bearest, nor seek to relieve thyself by
enlisting the compassion of others. Much less must
thou make much of, or try to impress others with the
recital of the persecutions or molestations of creatures,
nor should it ever be heard from thy lips, how much
thou endurest, nor shouldst thou compare thy sufferings
with those of others. I do not wish to say, that it is a
sin to accept of some reasonable and moderate allevia
tion, or to mention thy afflictions. But in thee, my dear
est, much alleviation, if not a sin, would be an infidelity
to thy Spouse and Lord ; for He has put thee personally
under more obligation than many generations of men
and thy response in suffering and love will be defective
and wanting, if it is not complete and loyal in all respects.
So faithful does the Lord wish thy correspondence to be,
that thou must allow thy weak nature not even one sigh
for mere natural relief and consolation. If love alone
impels thee, thou wilt allow thyself to be carried along
by its sweet force and rest in it alone ; and the love of
the Cross would immediately dispense with such natural
relief, in the same way as thou knowest I have done in
my total self-sacrifice. Let this be to thee a general
rule : that all human consolation is an imperfection and
a danger, and that thou shouldst welcome only tthhaatt,
which the Most High sends to thee Himself or through
his holy angels. And even these favors of the divine
right hand thou must accept only in so far as they
strengthen thee to suffer more constantly and to with
draw thee from all that ministers to the senses.
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