The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 29 verses 798-828 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 29 verses 798-828CHRIST OUR REDEEMER ASCENDS INTO HEAVEN FOLLOWED BY ALL THE SAINTS IN HIS COMPANY; HE ASSUMES WITH HIM HIS MOST HOLY MOTHER AND PUTS HER IN POSSESSION OF GLORY.

  INDEX            Book 6  Chapter  29    Verses:  798-828


798. The most auspicious hour, in which the Onlybegotten
of the eternal Father, after descending from
heaven in order to assume human flesh, was to ascend
by his own power and in a most wonderful manner to
the right hand of God, the Inheritor of his eternities,
one and equal with Him in nature and infinite glory.
He was to ascend, also, because He had previously
descended to the lowest regions of the earth, as the
Apostle says (Ephes. 4, 9), having fulfilled all that had
been written and prophesied concerning his coming into
the world, his Life, Death and the Redemption of man,
and having penetrated, as the Lord of all, to the very
centre of the earth. By this Ascension he sealed all the
mysteries and hastened the fulfillment of his promise,
according to which He was, with the Father, to send
the Paraclete upon his Church after He himself should
have ascended into heaven (John 16, 7). In order to
celebrate this festive and mysterious day, Christ our
Lord selected as witnesses the hundred and twenty per
sons, to whom, as related in the foregoing chapter,
He had spoken in the Cenacle. They were the most
holy Mary, the eleven Apostles, the seventy-two disciples,
Mary Magdalen, Lazarus their brother, the other Marys
and the faithful men and women making up the abovementioned
number of one hundred and twenty.
799. With this little flock our divine Shepherd Jesus
left the Cenacle, and, with his most blessed Mother
at his side, He conducted them all through the streets
of Jerusalem. The Apostles and all the rest in their
order, proceeded in the direction of Bethany, which was
less than half a league over the brow of mount Olivet.
The company of angels and saints from limbo and
purgatory followed the Victor with new songs of praise,
although Mary alone was privileged to see them. The
Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth was already divulged
throughout Jerusalem and Palestine. Although the per
fidious and malicious princes and priests had spread
about the false testimony of his being stolen by the
disciples, yet many would not accept their testimony,
nor give it any credit. It was divinely provided, that
none of the inhabitants of the city, and none of the
unbelievers or doubters, should pay any attention to
this holy procession, or hinder it on its way from the
Cenacle. All, except the one hundred and twenty just,
who were chosen by the Lord to witness his Ascension
into heaven, were justly punished by being pre
vented from noticing this wonderful mystery, and the
Chieftain and Head of this procession remained in
visible to them.
800. The Lord having thus secured them this privacy,
they all ascended mount Olivet to its highest point.
There they formed three choirs, one of the angels, an
other of the saints, and a third of the Apostles and
faithful, which again divided into two bands, while
Christ the Savior presided. Then the most prudent
Mother prostrated Herself at the feet of her Son
and, worshipping Him with admirable humility, She
adored Him as the true God and as the Redeemer
of the world, asking his last blessing. All the
faithful there present imitated Her and did the same.
Weeping and sighing, they asked the Lord, whether He
was now to restore the kingdom of Israel (Acts 1, 6).
The Lord answered, that this was a secret of the eternal
Father and not to be made known to them; but, for
the present, it was necessary and befitting, that they
receive the Holy Ghost and preach, in Jerusalem, in
Samaria and in all the world, the mysteries of the
Redemption of the world.
801. Jesus, having taken leave of this holy and for
tunate gathering of the faithful, his countenance beaming
forth peace and majesty, joined his hands and, by his
own power, began to raise Himself from the earth,
leaving thereon the impression of his sacred feet. In
gentlest motion He was wafted toward the aerial regions,
drawing after Him the eyes and the hearts of those
first-born children, who amid sighs and tears vented
their affection. And as, at the moving of the first Cause
of all motion, it is proper that also the nether spheres
should be set in motion, so the Savior Jesus drew after
Him also the celestial choirs of the angels, the holy
Patriarchs and the rest of the glorified saints, some of
them with body and soul, others only as to their soul.
All of them in heavenly order were raised up together
from the earth, accompanying and following their King,
their Chief and Head. The new and mysterious sacra
ment, which the right hand of the Most High wrought
on this occasion for his most holy Mother, was that
He raised Her up with Him in order to put Her in pos
session of the glory, which He had assigned to Her
as his true Mother and which She had by her merits
prepared and earned for Herself. Of this favor the
great Queen was capable even before it happened; for
her divine Son had offered it to Her during the forty
days which He spent in her company after his Resur
rection. In order that this sacrament might be kept
secret from all other living creatures at that time, and
in order that the heavenly Mistress might be present
in the gathering of the Apostles and the faithful in
their prayerful waiting upon the coming of the Holy
Ghost (Acts 1, 14),.the divine power enabled the blessed
Mother miraculously to be in two places at once; re
maining with the children of the Church for their com
fort during their stay in the Cenacle and at the same
time ascending with the Redeemer of the world to his
heavenly throne, where She remained for three days.
There She enjoyed the perfect use of all her powers and
faculties, whereas She was more restricted in the use
of them during that time in the Cenacle.
802. The most blessed Lady was raised up with
her divine Son and placed at the right hand in
fulfillment of what David said: "The Queen was
at his right hand in vestments gilded by the splen
dors of his glory and surrounded by the variety
of his gifts and graces in the sight of the as
cending angels and saints" (Ps. 44, 10). In order
that this astounding mystery may excite the de
votion and enliven the faith of the faithful, and that
it may draw them to magnify the Author of this ex
traordinary and inconceivable miracle, I again inform
those who read of it, that, from the time in which the
Most High commissioned me, and afterward repeatedly,
through many years, expressly commanded me to write
this history, He has revealed to me many diverse mys
teries and great sacraments, both already written and
yet to be written ; for the exalted nature of this history
demanded such a preparation and predisposition. I
have not received all these revelations at once; for the
limitation of a creature is not capable of such abundance.
But in order that I might be enabled to write, new en
lightenment was given me for each mystery in par
ticular. The enlightenments concerning each were
usually given to me on the feasts of the Christ our
Lord and of the heavenly Lady. Especially the great
sacrament of Mary s being raised to heaven with her
divine Son at his Ascension and of her remaining at
the same time in the Cenacle in a wonderful manner,
was shown to me in several consecutive years on that
feastday.
803. When the divine truth is known and contem
plated in God himself, in whom there is all light without
mixture of darkness and where as well the object as
its cause is evident, it creates a certainty without a touch
of doubt (I John 1, 5). But those who hear these mys
teries told by others, must excite their piety in order to
ask for belief in what is obscure. On this account I
would feel a hesitation in writing of the hidden sacra
ment of this celestial visit of our Queen, if the omission
of such a great and important wonder and prerogative
were not so serious a defect in this history. This hesi
tation occurred to me, when I was made aware of this
mystery for the first time ; but now, after I have already
related in the first part, that the child Mary at its birth
was elevated to the empyrean heavens, and, in this
second part, that She was twice thus elevated during
the nine days of preparation for the incarnation of the
divine Word, I have no such hesitation in writing of
this miracle. If the divine power conferred such ad
mirable favors on the blessed Virgin before She became
the Mother of God in preparation for this dignity; it
is much more credible, that He should repeat it after
She had been consecrated by bearing Him in her vir
ginal womb, after giving Him human form from her
own purest blood, after nursing Him at her breast and
raising Him as a true Son, after serving Him for thirtythree
years, following Him and imitating Him in his
life, in his Passion and Death with a fidelity inexpressible
to human tongue.
804. In the investigation of these mysteries and special
favors of the blessed Mother the reason why the Most
High operated them, is quite a different thing from
the
cause of their being kept secret for so many cen
turies in the Church. In inquiring into the first, we
must be guided by our knowledge of the divine power
and of the love of God for his Mother, as well as by
our knowledge of his desire of raising Her to a dignity
above all other creatures. As men in their mortal flesh
can never perfectly know the dignity of that Mother,
nor her love, nor the love of her Son, or of the blessed
Trinity, nor the merits and holiness conferred upon Her
by the Almighty, their ignorance tends to set limits to
the divine power in its operations. God did for Her
all He could, and that was as much as He wished. But
he communicated Himself to Her in such a special
manner, as to become her Son of her substance, hence
it necessarily follows, that in the order of grace He
dealt with Her in an extraordinary manner, and as
befitted no one else, not even the whole human race.
Hence to Her were due not only extraordinary favors,
benefits and blessings of the Almighty; but the rule of
judging about them must be, that, after his own most
holy humanity, nothing, that could in any manner re
dound to her glory and holiness, was denied Her.
805. But in regard to the revelation of these wonders
in his Church, the high providence of God, which gov
erns it and procures new splendors for it according to
the circumstances of the times, is guided by other rea
sons. For the happy day of grace, which dawned upon
the world in the Incarnation of the Word and in the
Redemption of man, has its morning and its noontide
as also its eventide, and all this the divine Wisdom
disposes when and how it becomes opportune. Although
all the mysteries of Christ and his Mother are revealed
in the holy Scriptures; yet not all of them are mani
fested at the same time, but little by little the Lord
withdraws the veil of figures, metaphors and enigmas,
under which many of the sacraments have been hidden.
Like the rays of the sun under a passing cloud, they
were covered and concealed until some of the many
rays of divine light should fall upon men; since even
the angels, though they were made aware of the Incar
nation in a general way as being the end of all their
ministry to man, were not informed of all the conditions,
effects and circumstances of this mystery : they grad
ually came to know many of them during the five
thousand two hundred years from the creation to the
Incarnation. This acquisition of new knowledge gave
occasion for continued admiration and renewed praise
and glory to the Author of these mysteries, as I have
shown in the whole course of this history. I mention
this example in answer to any wonder, which might be
caused in those that hear of this mysterious exaltation
of the most blessed Mary, which, with many others
already described and to be described, was hidden until
the Most High was willing to make them manifest.
806. Before I was capable of these reasonings and
when I first came to know of this mystery of Christ s
having taken his blessed Mother to heaven with Him,
I was not a little astounded, not only on my own account,
but on account of those who should hear it. Among
other things which I then heard the Lord tell me, was
that I should remember what saint Paul has left recorded
of himself in the Church, when he refers to his rapture
into the third heaven, which is that of the blessed, and
how he was in doubt whether he was taken up in the
body or out of the body, daring to affirm neither the
one or the other, but supposing that it could have hap
pened in either manner. This at once cleared up my
difficulties; for if such a thing as being taken bodily
to heaven could happen to the Apostle in the beginning
of his conversion and when he had no merits, but only
sins to his credit; and if the concession of such a privi
lege entailed no danger or inconvenience to God s
Church; how can any one doubt that the Lord showed
the same favor to his Mother, especially after her at
taining to such ineffable merit and holiness? The Lord
also added, that if some of the saints, who rose in their
body with the resurrected Christ, were privileged to
ascend in their body with the Savior, surely there was a
better reason for showing this favor to his purest
Mother. Even if none of the mortals ever should have
enjoyed this distinction, it was due to the most blessed
Mary, because She had suffered with the Lord. It was
reasonable that She should share with Him his triumph
and glory in taking possession of it at the right hand
of the Most High; since She, as his Mother, had, from
her own substance, given Him his human nature, in
which He now triumphantly ascended into heaven. And
just as it was befitting, that She should not be sepa
rated from her Son in glory, so it was also due to
Her that none of the human race should come body
and soul to the enjoyment of eternal glory before most
blessed Mary, not even excepted her mother or father,
or her spouse Joseph, or any of the rest. All of them,
and the Savior himself, her Son Jesus, would have
been deprived of this accidental increase of their joy,
if the most blessed Mary, as the Mother of the Re
deemer and as the Queen of all creation, who merited
such a favor and blessing more than all the rest, had
not ascended with them into heaven on that day.
807. These arguments seem to me sufficient to estab
lish the knowledge and excite the pious joy and con
solation of this mystery and of others to be mentioned
in the third part in the further history of the life of
Mary. Returning now to my history, I say that the
Lord took with Him his blessed Mother in his Ascension
into heaven and, amid incredible rejoicing and admira
tion, rilled Her with splendor and glory in the sight of
the angels and saints. It was also very appropriate, that
the Apostles and the other faithful, for the time being,
should be ignorant of this mystery; for if they had
seen their Mother and Mistress ascend with Christ,
their affliction would have been beyond all bounds and
without recourse or relief. Nothing could ever console
them for the departure of Christ more fully than to
feel that they had still with them their most blessed
Lady and kindest Mother. Even then their sighs and
sobbing, and their tears welled up from their inmost
hearts, when they saw their beloved Master and Re
deemer disappearing through the aerial regions. And
when they had almost lost sight of Him, a most re
splendent cloud interposed itself between Him and those
He had left upon earth (Acts 1, 9), intercepting Him
altogether from their view. In it the Person of the
eternal Father descended from heaven to the regions
of the air in order to meet the Son and the Mother,
who had furnished the new mode of existence in which
He now returned. Coming to Them the eternal Father
received Them in his embrace of infinite love, to the
joy of the angels, who had accompanied the Father in
innumerable choirs from his heavenly seat. In a short
space of time, penetrating the elements and the celestial
orbs, that whole divine procession arrived at the supreme
regions of the empyrean. At their entrance the angels,
who had ascended from the earth with their Sovereigns
Jesus and Mary, and those who had joined them in the
aerial regions, spoke to those who had remained in the
heavenly heights and repeated those words of David and
many others referring to this mystery, saying:
808. "Open, ye princes, open your gates eternal; let
them be raised and opened up, and receive into his
dwelling the great King of glory, the Lord of virtues,
the Powerful in battle, the Strong and Invincible, who
comes triumphant and victorious over all his enemies.
Open the gates of the heavenly paradise, and let them
remain open and free forever, since the new Adam is
coming, the Repairer of the whole human race, rich in
mercy, overflowing with the merits of his copious Re
demption wrought by his Death in the world. He has
restored our loss and has raised human nature to the
supreme dignity of his own immensity. He comes with
the reign of the elect and the redeemed, given to Him
by his eternal Father. Now his liberal mercy has given
to mortals the power of regaining in justice the right
lost by their sin, to merit, by the observance of his
law, as his brothers and co-inheritors of the goods of
his Father eternal life; and, for his greater glory and
to our greater rejoicing, He brings with Him and at
his side the Mother of piety, who gave Him the form
of man for overcoming the demon; She comes as our
charming and beautiful Queen delighting all that behold
Her. Come forth, come forth, ye heavenly courtiers,
and you shall see our most beautiful King with the
crown given to Him by his Mother, and his Mother
crowned with the glory conferred upon Her by her Son."
809. Amidst this jubilee and other rejoicings exceed
ing all our conceptions that new divinely arranged pro
cession approached the empyrean heavens. Between the
two choirs of angels and saints, Christ and his most
blessed Mother made their entry. All in their order
gave supreme honor to Each respectively and to Both
together, breaking forth in hymns of praise in honor
of the Authors of grace and of life. Then the eternal
Father placed upon the throne of his Divinity at his
right hand, the incarnate Word, and in such glory and
majesty, that He filled with new admiration and rever
ential fear all the inhabitants of heaven. In clear and
intuitive vision they recognized the infinite glory and
perfection of the Divinity inseparably and substantially
united in one personality to the most holy humanity,
beautified and exalted by the pre-eminence and glory due
to this union, such as eyes have not seen, nor ears
heard, nor ever has entered into the thoughts of crea
tures (Is. 54, 4).
810. On this occasion the humility and wisdom of
our most prudent Queen reached their highest point; for,
overwhelmed by such divine and admirable favors, She
hovered at the footstool of the royal throne, annihilated
in the consciousness of being a mere earthly creature.
Prostrate She adored the Father and broke out in new
canticles of praise for the glory communicated to his Son
and for elevating in Him the deified humanity to such
greatness and splendor. Again the angels and saints
were filled with admiration and joy to see the most
prudent humility of their Queen, whose living example
of virtue, as exhibited on that occasion, they emulated
among themselves in copying. Then the voice of the
eternal Father was heard saying : "My Daughter, ascend
higher !" Her divine Son also called Her, saying : "My
Mother, rise up and take possession of the place, which
I owe Thee for having followed and imitated Me."
The Holy Ghost said: "My Spouse and Beloved, come
to my eternal embraces!" Immediately was proclaimed
to all the blessed the decree of the most holy Trinity,
by which the most blessed Mother, for having furnished
her own life-blood toward the Incarnation and for
having nourished, served, imitated and followed Him
with all the perfection possible to a creature, was exalted
and placed at the right hand of her Son for all eternity.
None other of the human creatures should ever hold
that place or position, nor rival Her in the unfailing
glory connected with it; but it was to be reserved to
the Queen and to be her possession by right after her
earthly life, as of one who pre-eminently excelled all the
rest of the saints.
811. In fulfillment of this decree, the most blessed
Mary was raised to the throne of the holy Trinity at
the right hand of her Son. At the same time She,
with all the saints, was informed, that She was given
possession of this throne not only for all the ages of
eternity, but that it was left to her choice to remain
there even now and without returning to the earth.
For it was the conditional will of the divine Persons,
that as far as they were concerned, She should now
remain in that state. In order that She might make
her own choice, She was shown anew the state of the
Church upon earth, the orphaned and necessitous con
dition of the faithful, whom She was left free to assist.
This admirable proceeding of the divine Providence
was to affofd the Mother of mercy an occasion of going
beyond, so to say, even her own Self in doing good
and in obliging the human race with an act of tenderest
love similar to that of her Son in assuming a passible
state and in suspending the glory due to his body during
and for our Redemption. The most blessed Mother
imitated Him also in this respect, so that She might be in
all things like the incarnate Word. The great Lady
therefore, having clearly before her eyes all the sacri
fices included in this proposition, left the throne and,
prostrating Herself at the feet of the Three Persons,
said: "Eternal and almighty God, my Lord, to accept
at once this reward, which thy condescending kindness
offers me, would be to secure my rest; but to return
to the world and continue to labor in mortal life for
the good of the children of Adam and the faithful of
thy holy Church, would be to the glory and according
to the pleasure of thy Majesty and would benefit my
sojourning and banished children on earth. I accept
this labor and renounce for the present the peace and
joy of thy presence. Well do I know, what I possess
and receive, but I will sacrifice it to further the love
Thou hast for men. Accept, Lord and Master of all
my being, this sacrifice and let thy divine strength govern
me in the undertaking confided to me. Let faith in
Thee be spread, let thy holy name be exalted, let thy
holy Church be enlarged, for Thou hast acquired it by
the blood of thy Onlybegotten and mine; I offer myself
anew to labor for thy glory and for the conquest of
the souls, as far as I am able."
812. Such was the sacrifice made by the most loving
Mother and Queen, one greater than ever was conceived
by creature, and it was so pleasing to the Lord, that
He immediately rewarded it by operating in Her those
purifications and enlightenments, which I have at other
times mentioned as necessary to the intuitive vision of
the Divinity; for so far She had on this occasion seen
It only by abstractive vision. Thus elevated She par
took of the beatific vision and was filled with splendor
and celestial gifts, altogether beyond the power of man
to describe or conceive in mortal life.
813. The Most High renewed in Her all the gifts,
which until then He had communicated to Her and con
firmed and sealed them anew in the degree then befitting,
in order to send Her back as Mother and Instructress
of holy Church, confirming all the titles He had con
ferred upon Her as the Queen of all creation, as the
Advocate and Mistress of all the faithful; and just as
wax receives the form of the seal, so the blessed Mary,
by the divine Omnipotence, became the image of the
humanity of Christ, in order that She might thus return
to the militant Church and be the true garden, locked
and sealed to preserve the waters of grace (Cant. 4, 12).
O secrets of the highest Majesty, worthy of all rev
erence! O mysteries, as venerable as they are exalted!
O charity and kindness of the most holy Mary, never
comprehended by the ignorant children of Eve! The
choice made by God of this only and sweetest Mother
for a refuge of his faithful children was not without
its great mystery; it was a contrivance for manifesting
to us this maternal love, which perhaps in her other
great deeds we would not succeed in finding out. It
was in accordance with the divine decree, by which
neither She should be deprived of an occasion to attain
such excellence, nor we be deprived of the blessed obli
gation of imitating her example. To whom should it
now seem much in comparison with this excess of love,
when he sees the saints and the martyrs rejecting mo
mentary contentment in order to arrive at their eternal
rest, since our most loving Mother has deprived Herself
of this complete beatitude in order to succour her little
children? How can we avoid direst confusion, when,
neither in gratitude for this favor, nor for the imitation
of her example, nor in order to please this Lady, nor
in order to secure us Her company or that of her Son,
we on our part will not deny ourselves of a slight and
deceitful pleasure, that brings us only their enmity and
death itself ? Blessed be that Woman, let all the heavens
praise Her, and let all generations call her fortunate
and happy (Luke 1, 48).
814. I finished up the first part of this history with
the thirty-first chapter of the parables of Solomon, set
ting forth in its explanation the exalted virtues of this
great Lady, the only strong Woman of the Church, and
by referring to the same chapter I close this second part.
For the Holy Ghost includes all concerning Her in the
mysterious fecundity of the words of that passage. The
great sacrament, of which I have here spoken that fe
cundity is verified more particularly in the supreme exal
tation of the most blessed Mary consequent upon this
blessing. But I will not tarry to repeat what I have
there said; for much of what I could say can be under
stood by the perusal of that portion. There I said, that
this Queen is the strong Woman, whose price and value
is as of things from afar (Prov. 31, 10), from the
farthest confines of the empyrean heavens, measured by
the esteem shown Her by the most blessed Trinity; and
the heart of her Man was not deceived, since She failed
in nothing that He had expected of Her. She was the
ship of the merchant, who brought from heaven the
sustenance of his Church ; She was the One who planted
it by the fruit of her hands; She, who girded Herself
with strength; it was She who put forth her arras to
great things; She who extended her hands to the poor,
and opened her palms to the destitute; She, who tasted
and saw how good was this negotiation, seeing with her
own eyes the reward of eternal beatitude; She, who
clothed her servants in double garments; it was She,
whose light was not extinguished in the night of tribula
tion, and needed not to fear the rigor of temptation.
Before descending from the heavens, She, in order to
fulfill these offices, besought the eternal Father for his
power, the Son for his wisdom, and the Holy Ghost for
the fire of his love, and all the three divine Persons,
for their assistance and their blessing. This They gave
Her, as She prostrated Herself before the throne, and
They filled Her with new influences and communications
of the Divinity. Then They lovingly permitted Her to
depart with ineffable treasures of grace. The holy angels
and saints magnified Her in wonderful exaltation and
praise and She returned to the earth, as I will relate
in the third part. There I shall also relate all that She
did in the holy Church during the time of her stay;
and her doings were the admiration of heaven and of
exceeding benefit to men; for all her labors and suf
ferings were undergone to secure eternal felicitude for
her children. As She had come to know the excellence
of charity in its origin and source, namely in the eternal
God, who is charity (I John 4, 16), She continued to
be inflamed by its ardors, and her bread day and night,
was charity. Like a busy bee She descended from the
triumphant to the militant Church, charged with the
flower-dust of charity, to construct the honey-comb of
the love of God for the nourishment of the little chil
dren of the primitive Church. She raised them Up to
manhood, so robust and consummate in perfection that
they formed a foundation abundantly strong enough for
the high edifice of the holy Church (Ephes. 2, 20).
815. In order to finish this chapter, and with it this
second part, I return to the congregation of the faithful,
whom we left so sorrowful on mount Olivet. The most
holy Mary did not forget them in the midst of her
glory; as they stood weeping and lost in grief and, as
it were, absorbed in looking into the aerial regions, into
which their Redeemer and Master had disappeared, She
turned her eyes upon them from the cloud on which
She had ascended, in order to send them her assistance.
Moved by their sorrow, She besought Jesus lovingly to
console these little children, whom He had left as orphans
upon the earth. Moved by the prayers of his Mother,
the Redeemer of the human race sent down two angels
in white and resplendent garments, who appeared to all
the disciples and the faithful and spoke to them: "Ye
men of Galilee, do not look up to heaven in so great
astonishment, for this Lord Jesus, who departed from
you and has ascended into heaven, shall again return
with the same glory and majesty in which you have
just seen Him" (Acts 1, 11). By such words and others
which they added they consoled the Apostles and dis
ciples and all the rest, so that they might not grow faint,
but in their retirement hope for the coming and the
consolation of the Holy Ghost promised by their divine
Master.
816. But I must remark, that these words of the
angels, though they consoled these men and women, at
the same time contained a reproach of their want of
faith. For if their faith had been well-founded and
permeated by the pure love and charity, it would not
have been necessary to remain there with their gaze
so intently fixed on the heavens, since they could not
see their Master, nor detain Him by the outward and
sensible demonstration of their love, which they showed
in looking up in the air where they had seen Him dis
appear; but they should have enlivened their faith and
looked for Him and sought Him there, where He really
was and where they would certainly have found Him.
Theirs was a useless and imperfect manner of seeking
Him; for in order to obtain the presence and assistance
of his grace, it was not necessary that they should see
and converse with Him corporally. That they did not
understand this truth was a blamable defect in men
so enlightened and perfected. For a long time had the
Apostles and disciples attended the school of Christ our
God and they had drawn the doctrine of perfection from
its very fount, from a source so pure and exquisite,
that they should have been far advanced in spirituality
and highest perfection. But this is the misfortune of
our nature, that in its dependence upon the senses and
its satisfaction in exercising its lower faculties, it wishes
to love and enjoy even the most divine spiritual blessings
in a sensible manner. Accustomed to this grossness,
it is very dilatory in purifying and cleansing itself from
those lower elements; and sometimes it is thus deceived,
even when it firmly and eagerly pursues the highest aims.
This truth was well exemplified for our instruction in
the Apostles, who had been taught by the Lord that He
was the light and the truth, and at the same time the
way (John 14, 6), and that they were to come to the
knowledge of the eternal Father through Him, the true
way; since light shines not merely for its own self, and
a road is not made for the purpose of resting upon it.
817. This teaching, so often repeated in the Gospels,
heard from the lips of its Author, and confirmed by the
example of his life, should have raised the hearts and
the understanding of the Apostles to its comprehension
and practice. But the very pleasure which they found for
their spirit and for their senses in the intercourse and
conversation with their Master, the security of their love,
and the assurance of the just love of their Master, kept
the forces of their will bound to their senses, so that
they did not know how to free themselves from the
encroachments of their lower faculties, nor ever became
aware how much of self-seeking there really was in their
piety and how much they were carried away by the
spiritual delight coming only from the senses. If their
divine Master had not left them by ascending into
heaven, they could not have separated from Him without
great bitterness and sorrow, and therefore would not
have been as fit to preach the Gospel; for this was to
be preached throughout the world at the cost of much
labors and difficulties, and at the risk of life itself.
This could not be the work of small-minded men, but
of men courageous and strong in love, men not ham
pered or softened by the sensible delights clinging to
the spirit, but ready to go through abundance or want,
infamy or renown, honors or dishonors, sorrows or
joys, preserving throughout it all their love and zeal
for the Lord, and a magnanimous heart, superior to
all prosperity and adversity (II Cor. 6, 8). After they
had therefore been admonished by the angels they left
mount Olivet and returned to the Cenacle with most
holy Mary, persevering in prayer and in their expectation
of the coming of the Holy Ghost, as \ve shall see in the
last part.
INSTRUCTION WHICH MOST HOLY MARY, THE QUEEN OF
HEAVEN, GAVE ME.
818. My daughter, thou wilt appropriately close this
second part of my life by remembering the lesson con
cerning the most efficacious sweetness of the divine love
and the immense liberality of God with those souls, that
do not hinder its flowing. It is in conformity with the
inclinations of his holy and perfect will to regale rather
than afflict creatures, to console them rather than cause
them sorrow, to reward them rather than to chastise
them, to rejoice rather than grieve them. But mortals
ignore this divine science, because they desire from the
hands of the Most High such consolations, delights and
rewards, as are earthly and dangerous, and they prefer
them to the true and more secure blessings. The divine
Love then corrects this fault by the lessons conveyed in
tribulations and punishments. Human nature is slow,
coarse and uneducated; and if it is not cultivated and
softened, it gives no fruit in season, and on account of
its evil inclinations, will never of itself become fit for
the most loving and sweet intercourse with the highest
Good. Therefore it must be shaped and reduced by the
hammer of adversities, refined in the crucible of tribula
tion, in order that it may become fit and capable of the
divine gifts and favors and may learn to despise ter
restrial and fallacious goods, wherein death is concealed.
819. I counted for little all that I endured, when I saw
the reward which the divine Goodness had prepared for
me; and therefore He ordained, in his admirable Provi
dence, that I should return to the militant Church of
my own free will and choice. This I knew would
redound to my greater glory and to the exaltation of
his holy name, while it would provide assistance to his
Church and to his children in an admirable and holy
manner (I Tim. 1,17). It seemed to me a sacred duty,
that I deprive myself of the eternal felicity of which I
was in possession and, returning from heaven to earth,
gain new fruits of labor and love for the Almighty;
all this I owed to the divine Goodness, which had raised
me up from the dust. Learn therefore, my beloved,
from my example, and excite thyself to imitate me most
eagerly during these times, in which the holy Church
is so disconsolate and overwhelmed by tribulations and
in which there are none of her children to console her.
In this cause I desire that thou labor strenuously, ready
to suffer in prayer and supplication, and crying from
the bottom of thy heart to the Omnipotent. And if it
were necessary thou shouldst be willing to give thy life.
I assure thee, my daughter, thy solicitude shall be very
pleasing in the eyes of my divine Son and in mine.
820. Let it all be for the glory and honor of the
Most High, the King of the ages, the Immortal and In
visible (I Tim. 1, 17), and for that of his Mother, the
most blessed Mary, through all the eternities !
END OF SECOND PART
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