The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 8 chapter 6 verses 480-504 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 8  Chapter  6    Verses:  480-504

480. All our efforts are gloriously insufficient to de
scribe the plenitude of perfection of all the doings of
the most blessed Mary; for unfailingly are we over
come by the grandeur of even the smallest virtue (if
indeed there be any of them small) when we come to
consider the matter upon which She wrought them.
But our efforts, shall always be full of blessings for us,
if, without presumptuously attempting to fathom this
ocean of grace, we humble ourselves to glorify and exalt
in Her the Creator and to discover more and more in
what we can imitate Her. I shall esteem myself very
fortunate, if by making known the favors conferred by
God upon our great Queen, I can show to the children
of the Church something of what is so far above that
for which I cannot find adequate and appropriate terms
to describe; for in all that I can say, I shall still speak
as one that is dull, stuttering and without fervor of devo
tion. Wonderful are the events which have been mani
fested to me for the purpose of being recorded in this
and the following chapters.
481. After the most blessed Mary had complied obedi
ently with the will of saint Peter, as I have related in the
preceding chapter, She thought it proper to satisfy her
piety in visiting the sacred spots of our Redemption. She
performed all her works of mercy with such prudence, that
She omitted none, assigning to each one its place in order
that no circumstance necessary to bring it to perfection
might be wanting. Applyingher heavenly wisdom She first
performed that which was greater and foremost in order,
then what seemed of less importance; but, as well the
one as the other, with all the attention of her soul in
the measure as each required. She left the Cenacle to
visit the sacred places and was accompanied by all her
holy angels, as well as followed up by Lucifer and his
legions for further conflict. These dragons, forming in
battle array and presenting the most fearful shapes,
uttered their threats and suggested their temptations.
But as soon as the great Lady approached any of the
holy places to perform her devotions, the demons fell
back, repelled by divine power; they also felt themselves
crushed by the hidden virtue communicated to these
holy places through the Redemption of Christ. Lucifer,
urged on by the temerity of his pride, attempted to come
nearer; for, relying upon his permission to tempt and
persecute the great Lady, he was anxious, if possible,
to gain some victory over Her in the very places where
he had been so signally vanquished ; or at least to hinder
Her from showing the veneration and worship required.
482. But the Most High ordained, that the power of
his arm against Lucifer and his demons should be shown
through this very Queen, and that her exercises, which
he tried to disturb, should be the sword with which he was
to be overcome and cut down. And thus it happened;
for the devotion and piety with which the heavenly
Mother worshipped her divine Son and with which She
renewed the grateful remembrance of the Passion, caused
such terror to the demons, that they could not tolerate
it and they felt a force so oppressive and tormenting
proceeding from Her, that they were obliged to recede
still farther from the invincible Queen. They broke
out into fearful roarings, audible to Her alone, and they
exclaimed : "Let us fly from this Woman, our Enemy,
who so confounds and oppresses us by her virtues. We
seek to blot out the remembrance and the veneration of
these places, in which men were redeemed and in which
we were despoiled of our dominion; and this Woman,
being a mere creature, hinders our designs and renews
the triumphs gained by her Son upon the Cross."
483. The most holy Mary made all the stations of the
holy places in company of her angels; and having ar
rived on mount Olivet, where her Son ascended into
heaven, the Lord himself, in effable beauty and glory,
descended from his throne to visit and console his most
pure Mother. He manifested Himself to Her with the
affection and bounty of a Son, yet as the infinite and
powerful God. He so filled Her with his Divinity and
elevated Her above the terrestrial, that for a long time
She was separated from visible things ; and though She
ceased not to attend to external works, She performed
them with a greater constraint upon Herself, being com
pletely spiritualized and transformed into her Divine
Son. Through her divine Son She perceived that these
favors were part of her reward for her- humility and
obedience toward saint Peter and in attending upon his
commands in preference not only to her devotion, but
also her convenience. He also promised Her anew his
assistance in her battle against the demons and in imme
diate fulfillment of this promise, the Lord ordained that
Lucifer and his hosts should then and there become con
vinced of a power in Her such as they had not ex
perienced before.
484. The Queen returned to the Cenacle and as the
demons again sought to renew their temptations, they
rebounded like inflated rubber balls, when thrown swiftly
at a stone wall. These vainglorious hosts were hurled
back upon themselves with greater force than that with
which they had assaulted the most holy Mary. They
broke out in still more furious bowlings and, driven to
confess certain truths by their own dismay, they said:
"O we unhappy ones, who are obliged to look upon such
happiness of the human nature ! What great excellence
and dignity man has now attained in this pure Creature !
How ungrateful shall men be, and how foolish, if they
do not profit by the blessings bestowed upon them in
this Daughter of Adam! She is truly its salvation and
our destruction. Great things her Son does with Her;
but She is not unworthy of them. A cruel punishment
is this, that we must confess all these truths. O would
that God conceal from us this Woman, who adds such
torments to our envy! How shall we vanquish Her, if
the mere sight of Her is insufferable to us? Let us
console ourselves in the fact, that men lose so much of
what this Woman merits for them, and that they fool
ishly despise Her. In them shall we avenge our injuries,
through them we shall exercise our fury, filling them
with illusions and errors; for if they but pay attention
to her example, all of them would profit by this Woman
and follow her virtues. But this is not enough to con
sole me (added Lucifer) for this Woman, his Mother,
can please God more than all the sins we can lead men
into shall displease Him; and even if this were not so
my position does not permit me to remain indifferent
at seeing human nature so highly exalted in a mere weak
Woman. This wrong is unbearable : let us return to
persecute Her; let us give vent to the fury of our envy
even in spite of torment : and though we all suffer by it,
let our pride be not dismayed, for possibly some triumph
may yet be gained over this our Enemy."
485. The most blessed Mary knew of and heard all
these wrathful threats; but as the Queen of virtues She
despised them all. Without the least sign of disturbance
in her countenance She retired to her oratory in order
prudently to confer with Herself concerning* the mysteries
of this conflict and concerning the difficult business now
before the Church in seeking to end circumcision and the
ancient law. In this the Queen of the angels labored
for a few days, engaged during her retirement in con
tinual prayers, petitions, tears and prostrations. In her
own affairs She also asked the Lord to stretch out his
almighty arm against Lucifer and grant Her the victory
over him and the demons. Although the great Lady
knew Him to be on her side and that He would not
leave Her in tribulation, She ceased not her prayers and
She acted on her part as if She had been the weakest of
creatures in the time of temptation. She taught us
what we ourselves should do in temptation, since we are
so subject to them and so apt to be overcome. She
prayed for the holy Church, asking the Lord to grant
to it his evangelical law, pure, unsullied, without wrinkle,
and unhampered by the ancient ceremonies.
486. This petition the most blessed Mary urged with
the most burning fervor; for She knew that Lucifer and
all hell sought through the Jews to unite circumcision
with Baptism and the rites of Moses with the truths of
the Gospel. The admission of these fallacies would help
to maintain the Jews in their stubborn adhesion to the
old Law during the coming ages. One of the fruits and
triumphs of the great Lady in her battle with the dragon
was, that circumcision was immediately rejected by the
council of which I shall speak; and from that time on the
pure grain of evangelical truth was separated from the
dried and barren stubble of the mosaic ceremonies, as
it is to this day in our holy mother the Church. All
this the most blessed Mary procured through her merits
and her prayers. She knew, in the meanwhile, that
saint Paul and saint Barnaby were hastening from Antioch
to Jerusalem in order to confer with saint Peter and,
as related by saint Luke in the fifteenth chapter of the
Acts of the Apostles, solve the difficulties raised by the
487. Saint Paul and saint Barnaby were aware of th6
return of the Queen of heaven when they came to Jeru
salem. In his ardent desire of seeing Her saint Paul
with saint Barnaby, at once sought her presence, and
they cast themselves at her feet, shedding abundant tears
of joy. Not less was the joy of the heavenly Mother at
meeting these Apostles, toward whom She bore an es
pecial love in the Lord on account of their zealous labors
for the exaltation of God s name and the spread of the
faith. The Mistress of the humble desired them to
present themselves first to saint Peter and the rest, and
last to Her, judging Herself to be the least of all crea
tures. But they, preserving the proper order in their
reverence and love, thought that none should be preferred
to Her who was the Mother of God, the Mistress of all
creation and the beginning of all our happiness. The
great Lady prostrated Herself before saint Paul and
Barnaby, kissed their hands and asked for their bless
ing. On this occasion saint Paul was favored with a
wonderful ecstatic abstraction, in which were revealed
to him great mysteries and prerogatives of this mystical
City of God, the Blessed Mary, and he saw Her as it
were completely invested with the Divinity.
488. Through this vision saint Paul was filled with
admiration and with incomparable love and veneration
for the heavenly Mary. Somewhat recovering himself,
he said to Her: "Mother of all piety and clemency,
pardon this vile and sinful man for having persecuted
thy divine Son, my Lord, and his holy Church." The
Virgin Mother answered and said : "Paul, servant of
the Most High, if He who created and redeemed thee,
deigned to call thee to his friendship and made thee a
vessel of election, how can I, his slave, refuse to pardon
thee? (Acts 9, 15). My soul magnifies and exalts Him,
because He wished to manifest Himself so powerful,
liberal and holy in thee." Saint Paul thanked the heav
enly Mother for the benefit of his conversion and for
the other favors conferred upon him by Her in saving
him from so many dangers. The same also saint Barnaby
did, and both again asked for her protection and
help, which the most holy Mother promised.
489. Saint Peter, as the head of the Church, had called
upon the Apostles and disciples then in and around Jeru
salem, and convoked them to a meeting in the presence
of the Mistress of the world. In order that the most
prudent Virgin, in her profound humility, might not
absent Herself from this council, saint Peter had inter
posed his authority as Vicar of Christ. All of them
being gathered, saint Peter said: "My brethren and
children in Christ our Savior, it was necessary that we
meet in order to solve the difficulties and decide upon the
affairs, which our most beloved brethren Paul and Barnaby
have brought to our notice, and to determine other
matters touching the increase of the holy faith. For
this it is proper that we engage in prayer to obtain the
assistance of the Holy Ghost and we shall persevere
therein for ten days as is our custom. On the first and
on the last day we shall celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass,
by which we shall dispose our hearts to receive the di
vine light." All of them approved of this arrangement.
In order to celebrate the first Mass on the next day the
Queen prepared the hall of the Cenacle, cleaning and
decorating it with her own hands and holding all things
in readiness for the Communion of Herself together with
the Apostles and disciples during those Masses. Saint
Peter alone celebrated, observing all those rites and cere
monies which I have described, when speaking of the
Masses on other occasions.
490. The other Apostles and disciples communicated
at the hands of saint Peter; then the most blessed Mary,
taking the last place. Many angels descended to the
Cenacle. All those present saw them and at the time
of the consecration the Cenacle was filled with a wonder
ful light and fragrance, through which the Lord wrought
wonderful effects in their souls. Having celebrated the
first Mass, they agreed upon certain hours, in which they
were to persevere together in prayer, as far as they
could without neglecting the necessary ministry of souls.
The great Lady retired to a place, where She remained
alone and motionless for those ten days without eating
or speaking to any one. During that time She experi
enced such hidden mysteries as to move the angels to
astonishment; and I find myself unable to describe what
has been manifested to me concerning them. I will
briefly indicate a small part of these mysteries, for to
state all is impossible. The heavenly Mother having
received holy Communion on the first of the ten days
and retired to pray alone, at the command of the Lord,
was immediately raised up by her angels and others there
present to the empyrean heavens. Since She was taken
up body and soul, one of the angels took her shape in
order that the Apostles in the Cenacle might not become
aware of her absence. They bore Her up with the
splendor and magnificence described by me on other oc
casions, and on this occasion it was even greater on
account of the designs of the Lord. When Mary arrived
in a region of the air far removed from the earth, the
almighty Lord commanded Lucifer and all his hellish
hosts to come into the presence of the Queen into those
higher regions. Immediately all of them came before
Her and She saw them and knew them all just as they
were and the condition they were in. The sight was some
what painful to her, because the demons are so abomi
nable and disgusting; but She was armed with divine
virtue, so that She could not be harmed by this horrible
and execrable sight. Not so the demons; for the Lord
gave them to understand by an especial insight the great
ness and superiority of that Woman, whom they were
persecuting as their Enemy. They were made to per
ceive how foolishly presumptuous they had been in their
attempts against Her. To their still greater terror they
saw that She carried in her bosom the sacramental Christ
and that the whole Divinity held Her as it were envel
oped in its Omnipotence for their humiliation, overthrow
and destruction.
491. The demons moreover heard a voice proceeding
from the Deity itself, saying: "With this shield of my
powerful arm, invincible and strong, I shall always de
fend my Church. This Woman shall crush the head
of the ancient serpent (Gen. 3, 15), and shall forever
triumph over its haughty pride for the glory of my holy
name." All these and other mysteries of the most holy
Mary the demons perceived and understood while they
were gathered around Her in dismay. So great
was the despair and crushing pain which they felt,
that they, with loudest clamors, said: "May the power
of the Almighty cast us immediately into hell, and let
it not keep us in the presence of this Woman, who tor
ments us more than the fire. O invincible and strong
Woman ! Recede from us, since we ourselves cannot fly
from thy presence, where we are bound by the chains
of the Almighty. Why dost Thou also torment us be
fore our time? (Matth. 8, 29). Thou alone of all
human nature art the instrument of the Omnipotent
against us ; and through Thee men can acquire the eternal
blessings we have lost. Those that have sunk into de
spair of ever seeing God eternally, are now rewarded
for the accredited good works of their Redeemer by
the vision of Thee, which in our hate is to us a torment
and chastisement. Release us, almighty Lord and God;
let this new punishment, in which Thou renewest that of
our fall from heaven, cease ; for in it Thou executest the
punishment Thou hast threatened us with in this wonder
of thy powerful arms."
492. During these and other lamentations of despair
the demons were held spellbound in the presence of the
Queen for a long time, and although thy made the most
violent efforts to fly, they were not permitted to do it
as fast as their fury urged them on. In order that the
terror of the most holy Mary might strike them so much
the deeper and become the more notorious, the Lord
ordained, that She herself should use her authority as
Mistress and Queen in permitting them to leave. At
the instant in which She did this, all of them cast them
selves, with all the swiftness in their power, from the
upper regions into the abyss. They gave forth dread
ful howls, terrorizing all the damned souls with new
punishments, and, full of dismay and torments in not
being able to deny their defeat, they proclaimed in their
presence the power of the Almighty and of his holy
Mother. Having won this triumph the most serene Em
press proceeded on her way to the empyrean heaven,
where She was received with new and admirable jubilee,
remaining there for twenty-four hours.
493. She prostrated Herself before the throne of the
most blessed Trinity and adored It in the unity of its
undivided nature and majesty. She prayed for the
Church, in order that the Apostles might understand and
resolve what was proper for the establishment of the
evangelical law and the termination of the law of Moses.
In answer to these petitions She heard a voice from the
throne, by which the three divine Persons, One after the
Other and each One for Himself, promised to assist the
Apostles and disciples in declaring and establishing the
divine truth, assuring Her, that the Father would direct
its establishment by his Omnipotence, the Son, as head
of the Church, assist it by his Wisdom, and the Holy
Ghost, as its Spouse, by his Love and his enlightening
gifts. Then the heavenly Mother saw, that the most
holy humanity of her Son presented to the Father the
prayers and petitions, which She Herself had offered
for the Church, and how, approving of them, He pro
posed the reasons why they should be fulfilled, in order
that the faith of the Gospel and his entire holy law might
be established in the world in accordance with the de
crees of the divine will and mind.
494. Immediately, in execution of this will and pro
posal of Christ our Savior, the Lady saw issuing forth
from the Divinity and immutable essence of God the
form of a temple or Church, beautiful, clear and re
splendent as if built of diamond or of sparkling crystal,
adorned with many enamels and reliefs to enhance its
beauty. The angels and saints saw it and in astonish
ment exclaimed: "Holy, holy, holy and powerful art
Thou, Lord, in thy works" (Apoc. 4, 8). This Church
or temple the most blessed Trinity placed in the hands
of the most holy humanity of Christ, and, in a manner
which cannot be described in words, He united it with
Himself. Thereupon He turned it over to the most
holy Mother and as soon as Mary received it, She was
filled with new splendor. She annihilated Herself within
Herself and then saw the Divinity, clearly and intui
tively, by eminent and beatific vision.
495. The great Queen remained in this joy for many
hours, truly introduced into the cellar of fermented
wine spoken of in the Canticles (Canticle 8, 2). Since
what She experienced and received there surpasses all
created thought or capacity, it suffices here to say, that
anew was ordered in Her love (Cant. 2, 4) and di
rected with new fervor toward the Church consigned
to Her under the above symbol. Enriched by these fa
vors, She was borne back by the angels to the Cenacle,
having in her hands the mystical temple She had re
ceived from her divine Son. She remained in prayer
during the other nine days without motion and without
interrupting the acts, in which She had been left by the
beatific vision. They fall not within human thought,
and can much less be indicated by human words. Among
other things which She did, was to distribute the
treasures of the Redemption among the children of the
Church. Commencing with the Apostles and going
through the different ages, She applied them separately
to the just and the saints, according to the secret dispo
sition of eternal predestination. The execution of these
decrees her divine Son had consigned to the most holy
Mary, giving Her dominion over the whole Church and
the dispensation of all the graces, that each one earns
through the merits of the Redemption. Regarding a
mystery so exalted and hidden, I cannot say more than
496. On the last of the ten days saint Peter celebrated
the other Mass and all received holy Communion as in the
first. Then, all being gathered in the name of the Lord,
they invoked the Holy Ghost and began to consult about
the solution of the difficulties that had arisen in the
Church. Saint Peter, as the head and the highpriest,
spoke first, then saint Paul and Barnaby, and saint James
the Less, as is related by saint Luke in the fifteenth chap
ter of the Acts. The first decision of this council was,
that the exact law of the circumcision and the law of
Moses should not be imposed upon the baptized; since
eternal salvation was given through Baptism and faith
in Christ. Although saint Luke principally mentions
only this decision, yet there were others, which defined
certain matters concerning the government and the cere
monies of the Church, in order to stop some abuses in
troduced by the indiscreet piety of some of the faithful.
This is held to be the first council of the Apostles, al
though they had also gathered to establish the Credo
and other things as mentioned before. However, at
that only the Apostles had convened, whereas now also
those disciples took part, who could come. Also the
manner of conferring and of resolving was different,
being a formal decision, as is clear from the words of
saint Luke : "It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and
to us," etc. (Luke 15, 28).
497. Couched in these terms the decision of the coun
cil was sent by letter to the faithful and to the churches
of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia; and they remitted these
letters through the hands of saint Paul and Barnaby and
of other disciples. In order that the approbation of
the Lord might not be wanting, it happened, that, both
in the Cenacle at coming to their decision, and in Antioch
when the letters were read before the faithful, the
Holy Ghost descended in visible fire, so that all the faith
ful were consoled and confirmed in the Catholic truth.
The most holy Mary gave thanks to the Lord for the
blessings thus bestowed upon the Church. She imme
diately despatched saint Paul and Barnaby with the rest
and for their consolation She gave them as relics part
of the clothes of Christ our Lord and some objects She
had still left of the Passion. Offering them her protec
tion and prayers, She sent them filled with new consola
tion and spiritual force upon the labors still awaiting
them. During all these days of the council, on account
of the terror with which most holy Mary had inspired
him, Lucifer and his ministers could not come near the
Cenacle ; yet they prowled about in the distance, without
being able to execute any of their malice against its
members. Happy age, and fortunate congregation!
498. Since, in spite of his continual prowling about
the Queen and his roarings as of a hungry lion, Lucifer
saw that he could gain no advantage himself, he engaged
some sorceresses, with whom he had made an express
pact, and persuaded them to attempt the life of Mary
by magic means. These unhappy dupes tried it in sev
eral ways; but their enchantments were of no avail.
Many times, when they purposely placed themselves in
the way of the Queen, they were struck dumb and mo
tionless. The most blessed Mary, in her boundless char
ity, labored much to undeceive and convert them by kind
words and deeds; but of the four, who were thus sent
on by the demon, only one was converted and received
Baptism. And thus all his attempts came to naught,
Lucifer was so confused and enraged, that he would
many times have given up tempting the most blessed
Mary, if his unquenchable pride had permitted him. The
Lord almighty ordained all this, in order that the vic
tories and triumphs of his Mother might be more glo
rious, as we shall see in the following chapter.
499. My daughter, in the constancy and invincible for
titude with which I vanquished the demons, thou hast one
of the most urgent motives for persevering in grace and
acquiring great crowns. The human nature and that
of the angels (even though they be devils) are subject
to contrary and opposite conditions; for the spiritual
nature is indefatigable, and that of mortals weak and
so prone to fatigue, that it soon tires and succumbs in
labor. As soon as it finds any difficulty in the practice
of virtue it is discouraged and turns back; what it pur
sues with pleasure on one day, it contemns the next ; what
seemed agreeable today, it finds hard tomorrow; now it
wishes, then again it does not wish; sometimes it is fer
vent, sometimes lukewarm. But the demon is never
fatigued or weakened in his efforts at tempting souls.
The Almighty, however, is not wanting in his providence ;
for He limits and restrains the power of the demons, so
that they cannot pass the measure set for them, nor exert
all their indefatigable powers for the persecution of
souls. On the other hand He supports the weakness of
men, giving them grace and strength to resist and over
come their enemies on the prescribed battleground.
500. Hence the inconstancy of souls in virtuously
maintaining their position during temptation and in not
bearing with fortitude and patience the inconveniences
of doing good and fighting against the demons, is not
excusable. The bent of passion, drawing man toward
the sensible and pleasurable, suddenly presents itself
across the path of duty and the demons, with diabolical
astuteness, seek to exaggerate the hardship and disagreeableness
of mortification, representing it as dangerous
to health and life. Thus he deludes innumerable souls
to precipitate themselves from one abyss to another. In
this thou hast before thy eyes, my daughter, a very com
mon aberration of the worldly-minded, but which is very
abominable in the sight of the Lord and myself. Hence
it is, that many men are weak, wavering and indisposed
toward the practice of virtue or penitential mortification
for their sins. And the very ones who are so weak in
doing good, are strong in doing evil. In the service of
the devil they are constant and are ready to undergo
much more difficult and arduous tasks in sinning, than
the law of God commands for the practice of virtue.
They show themselves tardy and imbecile in the work of
saving their souls, eager and strong to load upon them
selves eternal damnation.
501. This damage also those who profess a life of
perfection are wont in part to incur, if they unduly
consider the hardships attached to such a life. Drawn
into this deception, they either hinder their advance in
perfection or afford the devil many victories in tempta
tion. In order that thou, my daughter, tnayest not incur
this danger, thou shouldst consider the fortitude and
constancy with which I resisted Lucifer and all hell, and
the magnanimity with which I despised his illusions and
temptations, not permitting myself to be disturbed, or
to pay any attention to them; for this is the best way
to overcome his haughty pride. Nor was I ever led by
temptation to remissness in my labors or in my exercises ;
but I augmented them, together with my prayers, peti
tions and tears, as is necessary in the time of battle with
those enemies. Hence I exhort thee to do the same in
eager watchfulness; because thy temptations are not of
the ordinary kind, but are directed against thee in highest
malice and astuteness. Of this I have warned thee many
times and this experience teaches thee.
502. Since thou hast noticed the great terror caused
to the demons at perceiving the sacramental Lord rest
ing in my bosom, I wish to call thy attention to two
things. First, that for the overthrow of hell and for
causing fear in the demons, all the holy Sacraments of
the Church are most powerful means; but above all the
holy sacrament of the Eucharist. This was one of the
hidden purposes of the Lord my Son, in the institution
of this sovereign mystery and of the other Sacraments.
If in our time men do not ordinarily feel these powerful
effects, it is because in the frequency of the reception
of the Sacraments much of the veneration and estimation
in receiving them has been lost. But do not doubt, that
souls who frequent them with devotion and piety, are
formidable to the demons and that they exercise great
power and dominion over them in the same way as thou
hast seen and described it of me. The explanation of
this fact is : that this divine fire, in the pure souls, finds
itself as it were in its own element. In me it was active
to the limit of possibility in a mere creature, and there
fore I inspired such terror to the demons.
503. In further proof of what I said, I wish secondly
to inform thee, that these blessings were not to have
an end with me; for in proportion God has wrought
the same effects in other souls. In our own times it has
happened that, in order to vanquish the demon, God
showed and opposed to him a soul bearing within it the
sacramental species and thereby so humiliated and anni
hilated the dragon, that for many days he dared not
approach this soul and begged the Omnipotent not to be
shown any soul bearing within it holy Communion. On
another occasion Lucifer, in conjunction with some here
tics and other bad Christians, schemed to do severe harm
to these Spanish kingdoms; and if God had not cut them
short through this same person, the whole of Spain would
now be lost and in the hands of the enemies. The divine
clemency interfered for its defense by showing this per
son to the devil and his ministers after Communion. In
their terrors the demons dropped their malicious designs
for the immediate destruction of all Spain. I will not
tell thee who this person was; for it is not necessary,
and I reveal this secret to thee for no other purpose than
to show how favorably the Almighty looks upon a soul
which tries to merit its favors and worthily receives Him
in holy Communion; and how He manifested Himself
liberal and powerful not only to me, on account of my
dignity and sanctity of Mother, but how He wishes also
in other souls to be known and glorified as relieving the
needs of the Church according to time and occasion.
504. From this thou wilt understand, that, in the same
proportion as the demons fear the souls that worthily
receive holy Communion and other fortifying Sacra
ments, so they exert all their powers to cause those souls
to fall and to hinder them from accumulating all this
strength of the Lord against them. Labor then against
these tireless and astute enemies and seek to imitate me
in fortitude. I desire also that thou hold in great ven
eration the councils of the Church and all such gather
ings, and whatever is resolved and established by them;
for the Holy Ghost assists at these councils and He ful
fills his promise, that He will be with those who gather
together in his name (Matth. 8, 20). Hence what is
thus ordained and commanded must be obeyed. Al
though in our times no visible signs of the assistance of
the Holy Ghost occur in such councils, yet He does not
fail to govern them invisibly; for signs and wonders
are not any more so necessary as in the first beginnings
of the Church. Such as are necessary are not with
held by the Lord. For all these blessings exalt and
praise his liberal kindness and mercy, and especially for
those which He conferred on me during my mortal life.
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