The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 7 chapter 6 verses 73-95 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 7 chapter 6 verses 73-95THE APOSTLES LEAVE THE CENACLE TO PREACH TO THE GATHERING MULTITUDE; THEY SPEAK IN VARIOUS TONGUES; AND ABOUT THREE THOUSAND ARE CON VERTED ON THAT DAY; THE DOINGS OF MOST HOLY MARY ON THIS OCCASION.

  INDEX            Book 7  Chapter  6    Verses:  73-95


73. On account of the visible and open signs, by
which the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, the
whole city of Jerusalem with its inhabitants was stirred
to wonder. When the news of the astounding events at
the house of the Cenacle spread about, the multitude of
the people gathered in crowds to know more of the hap
penings (Acts 2, 6). On that day was being celebrated
one of the paschs or feasts of the Jews; and as well
on this account, as on account of the special dispensation
of heaven, the city was crowded with foreigners and
strangers from all parts of the world. For to them the
Most High wished to manifest the wonders of the first
preaching and spreading of the new law of grace, which
the incarnate Word, our Redeemer and Master, had or
dained for the salvation of men.
74. The sacred Apostles, who were filled with charity
by the plenitude of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and who
knew that all Jerusalem was gathering at the doors of
the Cenacle, asked permission of their Mistress and
Queen to go forth and preach to them; in order that
such great graces might not even for a moment fail
to redound to the benefit of souls and to new glory
of their Author. They all left the house of the Cenacle
and, placing themselves before the multitudes, began
to preach the mysteries of the faith and of eternal life.
Though until then they had been so shy and seclusive,
they now stepped forth with unhesitating boldness and
poured forth burning words, that like a flashing fire
penetrated to the souls of their hearers. All the people
were filled with wonder and astonishment at these events,
the like of which had never before been heard or seen
in the world. They looked at each other and in conster
nation asked each other, saying : "What is this that we
witness ? Are not all these that speak Galileeans ? How
then do we hear them speaking in the language in which
we were born? We Jews and Proselytes, Romans,
Latins, Greeks, Cretans, Arabs, Parthians, Medes and
all the rest of us from different parts of the world, hear
them speak and we understand them in our own lan
guages ? O greatness of God ! How admirable is He in
all His works!"
75. This miracle, that all the men of so many dif
ferent tongues then assembled in Jerusalem should hear
the Apostles in their own language, joined to the doc
trine which they preached, caused great astonishment.
Yet I wish to remark, that though all the Apostles, on
account of the plenitude of science and of gifts gratui
tously received, were able to speak in the languages of
all nations, because that was necessary for the preaching
of the Gospel, yet on that occasion they all spoke the
language of Palestine. Using only this idiom they were
understood by all the different nationalities there present,
as if they had spoken in the several idioms. This mir
acle the Lord wrought at the time in order that they
might be understood and believed by those different na
tions, and in order that saint Peter might not be obliged
to repeat in the different languages of those present,
what he preached to them concerning the mysteries of
faith. He preached only once and all heard and under
stood him, each in his own language, and so it happened
also with the other Apostles. For if each one had spoken
in the language of those who heard them, and which
they knew as their mother tongue, it -would have been
necessary for them to repeat what they said at least
seven or eight times according to the different nation
alities mentioned by saint Luke (Acts 2, 9). This would
have consumed a longer time than is intimated by the
sacred text, and it would have caused great confusion
and trouble to repeat the same doctrines over and over
again or to speak so many languages on one occasion;
nor would the miracle be so intelligible to us as the
one mentioned.
76. The people who heard the Apostles did not under
stand the miracle, although they wondered at hearing each
their own idiom. What saint Luke says about their
speaking different languages, must be understood as
meaning, that the Apostles were then and there able to
understand them, as I shall mention later on (Acts 2, 4),
and because on that day, those that came to the Cenacle
understood them all speaking in their own language.
But this miracle and wonderment caused in their hearers
different effects and opinions, according to the disposi
tions of each one. Those that listened piously received
a deep understanding of the Divinity and of the Re
demption of man, now so eloquently and fervently pro
pounded to them. They were moved eagerly to desire
the knowledge of the truth; by the divine light they
were filled with compunction and sorrow for their sins
and with desire of divine mercy and forgiveness. With
tears in their eyes they cried out to the Apostles and
asked what they must do to gain eternal life. Others,
who hardened their hearts, altogether untouched by the
divine truths preached by them, became indignant at the
Apostles, and instead of yielding to them, called them
innovators and adventurers. Many of the Jews, more
impious in their perfidy and envy, inveighed against the
Apostles, saying they were drunk and insane (Acts 2,
13). Among these were some of those who had again
come to their senses after having fallen to the ground
at the thunder caused by the coming of the Holy Ghost;
for they had risen still more obstinate and rebellious
against God.
77. In order to refute their blasphemies saint Peter,
as the head of the Church, stepped forth and, speaking
in a louder voice, said : "Ye men of Judea, and all ye that
dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you and with your
ears receive my words. For these are not drunk as
you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet
Joel: And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith
the Lord) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and
your young ones shall see visions, and your old men shall
dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed, and upon
my handmaids I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall
prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above,
and signs on the earth beneath : blood and fire, and vapor
and smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and
the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day
of the Lord arrives ; and it shall come to pass, that who
soever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be
saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of
Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by mir
acles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by Him
in the midst of you, as you also know : This same, being
delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowl
edge of God, you, by the hands of wicked men, have
crucified and slain. He was a holy Man, approved of
God in his virtues, by miracles and prodigies wrought in
the midst of your people, of which you know and are
witnesses. And God has raised Him from the dead,
according to the prophecies of David. For that holy
king could not speak of himself, since you have his
sepulchre in your midst, where lies his body. He spoke
as a prophet of Christ, and we are ourselves witnesses
as having seen Him risen and ascending into heaven by
his own power, to be seated at the right hand of the
Father, as likewise David has prophesied (Os. 15, 8;
Ps. 109, 1). Let the unbelievers understand these words
of truth, which they wish to deny in the perfidy of their
malice ; for against them stand the wonders of the Most
High which wrought in us as witnesses to the doctrine
of Christ and to his admirable Resurrection."
78. "Let then the whole house of Israel understand,
and let them be assured, that God hath made this Jesus,
whom you have crucified, his Anointed and the Lord of
all, and that He has raised Him from the dead on the
third day." On hearing these words the hearts of many,
that stood there, were moved to compunction and with
great wailing they asked saint Peter and the rest of the
Apostles, what they should do for their salvation (Acts
2, 37). Thereupon saint Peter said to them: "Do pen
ance and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins ; and you shall re
ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is
to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off,
whomsoever the Lord our God shall call. Seek there
fore now to make use of the remedy, and to save your
selves from this perverse and incredulous generation."
Many other words of life saint Peter and the other
Apostles spoke to them, by which the perfidious Jews
and the other unbelievers were much confounded; and
as no one could answer, they withdrew and left the
C.enacle. But the number of those that received the
true faith of Jesus Christ amounted to about three
thousand (Acts 2, 41). They all attached themselves
to the Apostles and were baptized by them to the great
consternation and fear of all Jerusalem ; for the wonders
and prodigies performed by the Apostles filled with
terror and dismay all the unbelievers.
79. The three thousand, who were converted by the
first sermon of saint Peter, were from all the nations
then gathered in Jerusalem, so that forthwith all nations,
without excluding any, might partake of the fruits of
the Redemption, all might be gathered to the Church,
and all might experience the grace of the Holy Spirit;
for the holy Church was to be composed of all nations
and tribes. Many were Jews, who had followed Christ
our Savior with kindly feelings and witnessed his suf
ferings and Death with compassion, as I said above.
Some also of those, who had concurred in his Passion,
were converted, though these were few, because many
would not alter their disposition; for, if they had done
so, all of them would have been admitted to mercy and
received pardon for their error. After their preaching
the Apostles retired that evening within the Cenacle, in
order to give an account to the Mother of mercy, the
purest Mary. With them also entered a great number
of the new children of the Church, in order that they
might come to know and venerate the Mother of mercy.
80. But the great Queen of the angels was ignorant
of nothing that had happened; for from her retreat
She had heard the preaching of the .Apostles and She
knew the secret hearts and thoughts of all the hearers.
The tenderest Mother remained prostrate with her face
upon the ground during the whole time, tearfully pray
ing for the conversion of all that subjected themselves
to the faith of the Savior, and for all the rest, if they
should consent to co-operate with the helps and the graces
of the Lord. In order to help the Apostles in their great
work of beginning to preach, and the bystanders in prop
erly listening to them, the most holy Mary sent many of
her accompanying angels with holy inspirations, encour
aging the sacred Apostles and giving them strength to
inquire and to manifest more explicitly the hidden mys
teries of the humanity and Divinity of Christ our Re
deemer. The angels fulfilled all the commands of their
Queen, while She Herself exercised her own power and
gifts according to the circumstances of the occasion.
When the Apostles came to Her with those copious firstfruits
of their preaching and of the Holy Ghost, She
received them with incredible joy and sweetness and with
the most loving kindness of a true Mother.
81. The Apostle saint Peter spoke to the recently
converted and said to them : "My brethren, and servants
of the Most High, this is the Mother of our Redeemer
and Master, Jesus Christ, whose faith you have received
in acknowledging Him as true God and man. She has
given Him the human form, conceiving Him in her
womb, and She bore Him, remaining a Virgin before,
during and after his birth. Receive Her as your Mother,
as your Refuge and Intercessor, for through Her you
and we shall receive light, direction, and release from
our sins and miseries." At these words of the Apostle
and at the sight of most holy Mary these new adherents
of the faith were filled with admirable light and consola
tion ; for this privilege of conferring great interior bless
ings and of giving light to those who looked upon Her
with pious veneration, was renewed and extended in Her
at the time when She was at the right hand of her divine
Son in Heaven. As all of those faithful partook of these
blessings in the presence of their Queen, they prostrated
themselves at her feet and with tears besought her as
sistance and blessing. But the humble and prudent Queen
evaded this latter, because of the presence of the Apostles,
who were priests, and of saint Peter, the Vicar of Christ.
Then this Apostle said to Her: "Lady, do not refuse
to these faithful what they piously ask for the consolation
of their souls." The blessed Mary obeyed the head of
the Church and in humble serenity of a Queen She gave
her blessing to the newly converted.
82. The love which filled their hearts made them de
sire to hear from their heavenly Mother some words of
consolation; yet their humility and reverence prevented
them from asking for this favor. As they perceived how
obediently She had yielded to saint Peter, they turned
to him and begged him to ask Her not to send them away
without some word of encouragement. Saint Peter,
though he considered this favor very proper for these
souls who had been born again to Christ by his preaching
and that of the other Apostles, nevertheless, aware that
the Mother of Wisdom knew well what was to be done,
presumed to say no more than these words ; "Lady, listen
to the petitions of thy servants and children." Then
the great Lady obeyed and said to the converts: "My
dearest brethren in the Lord, give thanks and praise
with your whole hearts to the Almighty God, because
from among all men He has called and drawn you to the
sure path of eternal life in the knowledge of the holy
faith you have received. Be firm in your confession
of it from all your hearts and in hearing and believing
all that the law of grace contains as preached and or
dained by its true Teacher Jesus, my Son and your Re
deemer. Be eager to hear and obey his Apostles, who
teach and instruct you, so that you may be signed and
marked by Baptism in the character of children of the
Most High. I offer myself as your handmaid to assist
you in all that serves toward your consolation, and I
shall ask Him to look upon you as a kind Father and to
manifest to you the true joy of his countenance, com
municating to you also his grace."
83. By this sweetest of exhortations those new children
of the Church were filled with consolation, light, venera
tion and admiration of what they saw of the Mistress
of the world ; asking again for her blessing, they for that
day left her presence, renewed and replete with the won
derful gifts of the Most High. The Apostles and dis
ciples from that day on continued without intermission
their preaching and their miracles, and through the entire
octave they instructed not only the three thousand, who
had been converted on Pentecost day, but multitudes of
others, who day by day accepted the faith. Since they
came from all parts of the world, they conversed and
spoke with each one in his own language; for as I have
said above, they spoke in various languages from that
time on. This grace was given not only to the Apostles,
although it was more complete and noticeable in them;
also the disciples and all the one hundred and twenty,
who were in the Cenacle at the time, and also the holy
women, who received the Holy Ghost, were thus favored.
This was really necessary at the time on account of the
great multitudes, who came to the faith. Although all
the men and many of the women came to the Apostles,
yet many, after having heard them, went to Magdalen
and her companions, who catechized, instructed and con
verted them and others that came at the report of the
miracles they performed. For this gift was also con
ferred on the women, who, by the imposition of hands,
cured all the sicknesses, gave sight to the blind, tongue to
the mute, motion to the lame, and life to many of the
dead. These and other wonders were principally wrought
by the Apostles, nevertheless both their miracles and
those of the women excited the wonder and astonishment
of all Jerusalem; so that nothing else was talked about
except the prodigies and the preaching of the Apostles
of Jesus, of his disciples, and followers of his doctrine.
84. The fame of these events soon extended beyond
the city; for no one sought a cure in vain. Such mir
acles were at that time very necessary, not only for the
confirmation of the new law and doctrine of Christ our
Savior, but also because the natural desire of health and
life would stimulate men to seek the welfare of their
body and thus bring them within hearing and influence
of the divine word. Thus they returned cured as well
in body as in soul, which generally happened to those,
who came to the Apostles in their maladies. Hence
the number of the faithful daily increased, and their
fervor in faith and charity was so ardent, that all of
them began to imitate the poverty of Christ, despising
their riches and property and laying all their possessions
at the feet of the Apostles without reserving anything
for themselves as their own (Acts 2, 45). They wished
to possess all things in common and thus free themselves
from the dangers of riches, preferring to live in poverty,
sincerity, humility and continual prayer without any other
care than that of eternal life. All of them considered
themselves as brethren and children of one Father in
heaven (Matth. 23, 9). As faith, hope and charity, and
the sacraments were the common blessing of all, and as
they were all seeking the same grace and eternal life, in
equality in other things seemed dangerous to these Chris
tian children of one Father, the inheritors of his goods
and professors of his law. It seemed to them inappro
priate, that, having such a bond of union in the principal
and essential things, some should be rich and others poor,
and that temporal things should not be communicated,
where each one enjoyed those of grace; for all gifts are
from one and the same Father for all of his children.
85. This was the happy beginning and the golden age
of the evangelical Church, where the rushing of the
stream rejoiced the city of God (Ps. 45, 5) and the cur
rent of grace and the gifts of the Holy Ghost fertilized
this new paradise recently planted by the hands of the
Savior Jesus, while in its midst stood the tree of life,
most holy Mary. Then was faith alive, hope firm, charity
ardent, sincerity pure, humility true, justice most equit
able, when the faithful neither knew avarice nor followed
vanity, when they trod under foot vain pomp, were free
from covetousness, pride, ambition, which later pre
vailed among the professors of the faith, who while con
fessing themselves followers of Christ, denied Him in
their works. We are inclined to object, that those were
the first-fruits of the Church, of the Spirit (Rom. 8, 23),
that the faithful were few; that now the times are dif
ferent, that in those times the Mother of wisdom and
grace lived in the Church, whose presence, prayers and
protection, defended and encouraged the faithful to bring
forth heroic works of the faith.
86. To this we answer by what will be said in the
course of this history, whence it will appear that none
other than the faithful have permitted so many vices to
creep into the fold of the Church; such as the demon
himself, with all his pride and malice, never expected
to see established among Christians. I content myself
with saying, that the power and grace of the Holy Spirit
were not exhausted in those first-fruits. His influence
is always the same and would be just as efficacious with
the many to the end of the Church, as it was with a few in
its beginnings, if those many were as faithful as those
few. It is true that the times have changed; but this
change from virtue to vice, from good to evil, consists
not in any change of the heavens and the stars, but in
a change of men, who have strayed from the straight
way of life eternal and walk the way of perdition. I
do not speak now of the pagans or of the heretics, who
have fallen away not only from the light of true faith,
but even from right reason. I speak of the faithful, who
pride themselves in being children of light, but content
themselves with only the name, and who sometimes use
it merely to cloak their vices and to cover up their crimes.
87. It will not be possible in this third part to describe
even the least part of the wonderful and great works
accomplished by the mighty Queen in the primitive
Church ; but from those which I will describe, and from
her life in this world after the Ascension, much can be
inferred. For She did not rest or lose one moment or
occasion of conferring some singular favor either upon
the whole Church or some of its members. For She con
sumed Herself either in praying and beseeching her
divine Son, without ever experiencing a refusal; or in
exhorting, instructing, counseling, and, as Treasurer and
Dispenser of the divine favors, distributing graces in
diverse manners among the children of the Gospel.
Among the hidden mysteries, which were made known
to me concerning this power of the blessed Mary, was
also this, that in those first ages, during which She lived
in the holy Church, the number of the damned was pro
portionately very small ; and that, comparatively, in those
few years a greater number were saved than in many
succeeding ages.
88. I acknowledge, that, if the lapse of time had de
creased the power, the charity and clemency of that high
est Sovereign, the good fortune of -those living in that
happy time might cause a holy envy in those living by
the light of faith in our more protracted and less favored
times. It is true we have not the happiness of seeing
Her, conversing with Her and listening to Her with
our bodily senses ; and in this respect those first children
of the Church were more fortunate. But let us all remem
ber, that in the heavenly knowledge and charity of this
most loving Mother we were all present to Her, also dur
ing those times (Vol. III., 78) ; for She saw and
knew us all in the order and succession in which we were
to be born in the Church ; and She prayed and interceded
for us no less than for those who lived in her times. Nor
is She at present less powerful in heaven, than She was
then upon earth; nor less our Mother, than of those
first children ; and She held us as her own, just as well
as them. But alas! that our faith and our fervor and
devotion should be so very different! Not She has
changed, nor is her love less ardent, nor would we
experience less of her intercession and protection, if in
these troubled times we would hasten to Her with the
same sentiments of humility and fervor, asking for her
prayers and trustfully relying upon Her for help, as was
the case with those devoted Christians in the first be
ginning. Without a doubt the whole Catholic Church
would then immediately experience the same assistance
of the Queen throughout the whole world.
89. Let us return to the solicitude of the kindest
Mother for the Apostles and for the recently converted,
attending to the consolation and necessities of all and
of each one in particular. She exhorted and animated the
Apostles and the ministers of the divine word, fixing
their attention upon the prodigious manifestation of the
divine power, by which her most holy Son began to plant
the faith of his Church; the virtue which the Holy Ghost
had communicated to them in order to make them fit
ministers; the ever present assistance of the divine right
hand. She exhorted them to acknowledge and praise Him
as the author of all these wonderful works and to render
Him humble thanks for all of them ; to follow up in secure
confidence their preaching and exhortation, the exaltation
of the name of the Lord, in order that He might be
known, extolled and loved by all the faithful. She
herself practiced what She taught and inculcated, by
prostrating and humiliating Herself before the Most
High and by breaking forth in canticles of praise and
exaltation. These duties She fulfilled with such pleni
tude, that for none of the converted did She ever omit
giving thanks and offering fervent prayers to the eternal
Father; all of them remained distinctly present in her
mind.
90. Not only did She do all these things for each one
of them; but She received all, listened to all, and enendeared
Herself to them with words of light and life.
During those days following upon the coming of the
Holy Ghost many conversed with Her in private, open
ing up their inmost souls, and the same happened also
with those who were converted afterwards in Jerusalem.
Not that She was ignorant of their secrets ; for She knew
the hearts of all, their affections, inclinations and condi
tions, enabling her by this divine knowledge and wisdom
to accommodate Herself to the necessities and natural
character and to render salutary assistance against the
maladies of each of her clients. Hence the most blessed
Mother conferred such exquisite blessings and vast favors
to innumerable souls, that they never can be known in
this world.
91. There were many who were privileged to be in
structed and catechized in the holy faith by the heavenly
Mother and not one of them was lost ; for at that time,
and as long as they lived, She continued to offer special
prayers for them, so that all of them were written in
the book of life. In order to bind her divine Son She
said to Him : "My Lord and life of my soul ! According
to thy will and pleasure have I returned to the world in
order to be the Mother of thy children, my brethren and
the faithful sons of the Church. Let not my heart be
torn by seeing the fruit of thy priceless blood fail in
any one of these that seek my intercession; and let
them not reap unhappiness from their having availed
themselves of me, the insignificant worm of the earth,
for obtaining thy clemency. Admit them, my Son, into
the number of thy friends, predestined for thy glory."
To these her prayers the Lord immediately responded,
promising that what She asked would be done. And I
believe the same happens in our day to all those that
merit her intercession and ask for it with all their hearts ;
for if this purest Mother comes to her Son with sim
ilar petitions, how can it be imagined, that He shall
deny to Her that little, to whom He has given his own
Self, in order that She might clothe it in human flesh
and nature, and then nurse Him at her own virginal
breast ?
92. Many of those new faithful, highly impressed with
her greatness by their conversation with the heavenly
Mistress, returned to present to Her jewels and the rich
est gifts; especially the women despoiled themselves of
fineries to lay them at her feet. But She would receive
or permit none of these gifts. When it seemed to Her
appropriate not to refuse entirely, She secretly inspired
the minds of the givers to bring them to the Apostles, in
order that they might be equitably and justly distributed
in charity among the most poor and needy of the faith
ful. But the humble Mother gratefully acknowledged
them as if they had been given to Her. The poor and
the sick She received with ineffable kindness, and many
of them she cured of inveterate and long-standing infirm
ities. Through the hands of saint John She supplied
many secret wants, never omitting the least point of vir
tue. As the Apostles and disciples were engaged all day
in preaching the faith and in converting those that came,
the great Queen busied Herself in preparing their food
and attending to their comfort ; and at stated times She
served the priests on her knees and with incredible hu
mility and reverence asked to kiss their hands. This She
observed especially with the Apostles, knowing and be
holding their souls confirmed in grace, endowed with
all that the Holy Ghost had wrought in them and exalted
by their dignity of being the highpriests and the found
ers of the Church (Eph. 2, 20). Sometimes She saw
them clothed in great splendor, which elicited from
Her increased reverence and veneration.
INSTRUCTION WHICH THE GREAT QUEEN OF THE ANGELS
GAVE ME.
93. My daughter, in what thou hast come to know
of the events related in this chapter, thou wilt find a
great deal that points to the mystery of the predestina
tion of souls. Be convinced that, since the Redemption
was so overflowing and copious, it was sufficient for the
salvation of all men (Rom. 5, 20). The divine truth
was made known to all, whoever heard its preaching or
who saw the effects of the coming of the Godman into
the world. Besides the outward preaching and knowl
edge of the remedy, all received interior inspirations and
helps in order to seek and accept the means. You are
surprised that, in spite of all this, only three thousand
were converted by the first sermon of the Apostle among
all that great multitude then in Jerusalem. It should
cause a greater surprise that in our times so few are con
verted to the way of eternal life, as the Gospel is more
widespread, its preaching is frequent, its ministers nu
merous, the light of the Church clearer and the knowl
edge of the divine mysteries more definite. With all this
men are blinder, the hearts more hardened, pride more
inflated, avarice more bold, and all the vices are practiced
without fear of God and without consideration.
94. In this most perverse and unhappy state mortals
cannot complain of the most high and equitable provi
dence of the Lord, who offers to all and every one his
fatherly mercy, and points out to them both the way of
life and the way of death; so that if any man hardens
his heart, God can permit it in strictest justice. The rep
robate will have none but themselves to blame, if after
wards, when there is no more time, they shall be uselessly
dismayed with what in opportune time they could and
should have known. If in the short and transient life,
which is given to them in order to merit the eternal, they
close their eyes and ears to the truth and to the light, and
if they listen to the demon, giving themselves up to all the
promptings of his malice; if they thus abuse the good
ness and clemency of the Lord, what can they then allege
as their excuse? If they do not know how to pardon an
injury and for the slightest offense meditate the direst
vengeance; if, for the sake of increasing their property,
they pervert the entire order of reason and of natural
brotherhood; if for a passing delight they forget the
eternal pains, and if, in addition to all this, they despise
the warnings, helps and admonitions sent to them by
God to inspire them with the fear of perdition and induce
them to avoid it, how shall they afterwards find fault
with the divine clemency? Let then mortals, who have
sinned against God, undeceive themselves : without pen
ance there shall be no grace, without reform no pardon,
without pardon no glory. But just as these are not con
ceded to those that are unworthy, so they are also never
denied to those that are worthy ; nor is ever the mercy
of God withheld from any one who seeks to obtain it.
95. From all these truths I desire, my daughter, that
thou collect for thyself what will be for thy welfare.
Let the first be, that thou receive attentively each holy
inspiration, each advice or instruction, although it come
from the most inferior minister of the Lord, or from
whatever creature. Thou must prudently consider, that
none comes to thy notice by chance and without divine
predisposition ; for there is no doubt that the Providence
of the Most High ordains all things for thy instruction,
and in this light must thou look upon them with humble
thanks, trying to find the virtue, which thou canst and
shouldst practice in accordance with the reminder and
to exercise it in the manner in which thou understandest
and knowest it. Do not despise any one of them, though
it may seem only a trifle; for by it thou must dispose
thyself for other works of greater virtue and merit.
Consider secondly, what a damage is wrought in souls
by the neglect of so many helps, inspirations, callings
and other blessings of the Lord; for their ingratitude
vindicates the justice of the Most High in allowing so
many sinners to become hardened in their sins. If this
is such a formidable danger for all men, how much more
will it be a danger for thee, if thou abuse the abundant
graces and favors, which the kindness of the Lord has
showered upon thee in preference to many generations of
men ? And since my divine Son ordains all these things
for thy own good and for the good of other souls, I wish,
lastly, that in imitation of me, as has been shown thee,
thou impregnate thy heart with a most sincere determina
tion to assist all the children of the Church, and all other
men, as far as thou canst, clamoring to the Lord from
thy inmost heart and asking Him to look upon trie souls
with mercy for their salvation. And in order that they
may gain this blessing, offer to suffer for them as a
victim if necessary; remembering, that they cost my
divine Son and thy Spouse the shedding of his blood
and his life, and remembering my own labors in the
Church. Do thou continually implore the divine mercy
for the fruit of that Redemption, and this practice I com
mand thee under obedience.
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