The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 8 chapter 11 verses 595-610 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 8  Chapter  11    Verses:  595-610

595. In the eighth chapter I have stated that the Queen
of heaven for a thousand, two hundred and sixty days
was nourished and maintained in the condition and state
described by the Evangelist, as described in the twelfth
chapter of the Apocalypse. That number of days made
up more or less three and a half years, and brought the
most blessed Mary to the sixtieth year of her life plus two
months and a few days and the forty-fifth of the Lord.
Just as the stone falls the more swiftly the closer it ap
proaches to its centre of gravity, so, in proportion as the
great Queen and Mistress of all the creatures advanced
toward the end of her most holy life, the more swift
became also the flight of her purest spirit and the impulse
of her desires to arrive at the centre of her eternal rest
and repose. From the moment of her Immaculate Con
ception She had issued forth like a vast river from the
ocean of Divinity, where She was conceived in the eternal
ages; and by the inundations of gifts, graces, favors,
virtues, merits and holiness, She was now grown in
greatness beyond the limited sphere of all creation. The
impetuous floods of her wisdom and love resistlessly
rushed back to unite themselves with the ocean of the In
finite; for thence She had isued only in order to shed
forth over and over again her maternal clemency upon
the Church (Eccles. 1,7).
596. In these last years of her life the great Queen
had already, by the violence of her love, begun to suffer
a sort of ceaseless martyrdom. Without a doubt it is
true in the spiritual order, what philosophers claim in the
corporal : that the nearer a moving object approaches
its centre of attraction, the more powerfully is it drawn
to that centre ; and the most blessed Mary had now ap
proached so closely to the infinite and highest Good, that
She was divided from It, as is said in the Canticles
(Cant. 2, 9), only by the grating or partition of mortality.
This did not any more suffice to impede the reciprocal
vision and love, and between Them was only the vast
force of love, impatient of all hindrances, to complete the
union, so that all other desires were swallowed up by
the one immense desire of overcoming and doing away
with these hindrances. Such was the desire of her divine
Son, held back only by his reluctance to deprive his
Church of such a Teacher; such was also the desire of
the most holy Mother, who, although She restrained Her
self from asking for the natural death, could not restrain
the forces of her love and thus felt the violence of the
constraint of mortal life and of the fetters hindering her
597. Yet as long as the conditions predetermined by
the eternal Wisdom had not arrived, She continued to
suffer the pains of that love, which is strong as death
(Cant. 8, 6) . Through them She called upon her Beloved,
who came from his retreat from the mountains to dwell
in the village of the plains (Cant. 7, 11), to view the
flowers and the fragrant fruits of his vineyard. By the
darts of her eyes and of her desires She wounded the
heart of her Beloved and drew Him from the heights
into her presence. Hence it happened once, in the time
of which I am going to speak, that the ardors of love
in the most blessed Mother grew to such proportions, that
She could truly be said to be languishing with love (Cant.
2, 5) ; for without being affected by the infirmities of
our earthly passions, She languished on account of the
impetus of her loving heart drawn toward the Lord, in
order that just as He was the cause of her ailment, He
might also be its glorious medicine and cure. Her holy
angels full of admiration of the effects of their Queen s
impetuous love, spoke to Her angelic words in order to
soothe her ardors by inspiring her with hope of secure
possession. But these remedies allayed not the flame,
but rather enkindled it; and the great Lady answered
only by conjuring them to tell her Beloved, that She was
languishing with love. To Him they brought her message
and presented to Him the tokens She desired. On this
occasion, and on others of this last part of her life, (as I
wish especially to state), were fulfilled in Her, the only
and worthy Spouse, the hidden mysteries of the Canticle
of Solomon, and so it came, that the supreme princes of
heaven, who were present in visible form, were obliged
to support Her in their arms on account of the pains of
love that overcame Her.
598. Then her divine Son came down from heaven,
seated on a throne of glory and surrounded by myriads
of angels, who gave Him praise and magnificance. Com
ing to the most blessed Lady He refreshed and comforted
Her in her pains, and said to Her: "My Mother, most
beloved and chosen for our delight, the clamors and sighs
of thy loving soul have wounded my heart. Come my
Dove, come to my celestial fatherland, where thy sorrow
shall be turned to delight, thy tears into gladness, and
where thou shalt rest from thy sufferings." Immediately
the holy angels, at his command, placed the Queen at the
side of the Lord, her divine Son, and with celestial music
they all ascended to the empyrean heaven. Mary fell in
adoration at the throne of the most holy Trinity. The
sacred humanity of Christ kept Her at his side, causing
new accidental joy to all the courtiers of heaven and,
according to our mode of speaking, exciting anew the
attention of all the saints, He presented Her and spoke
to the eternal Father, saying :
599. "My Father and eternal God, this is the Woman,
that gave Me my human form in her virginal womb, that
nourished Me at her breast and sustained labors for Me,
that shared in my hardships and co-operated with Me in
the works of the Redemption. This is She, who was
always most faithful and fulfilled our will acording to
our entire pleasure; She, pure and immaculate as my
Mother, through her own works, has reached the summit
of sanctity according to the measure of the gifts We have
communicated to Her ; and when She had merited her re
ward and could have enjoyed it forever, She deprived
Herself of it for our glory and returned to attend to the
establishment, the government, and instruction of the
Church militant; and We, in order that She might live
in it for the succor of the faithful, deferred her eternal
rest, which She has merited over and over again. In
the highest bounty and equity of our Providence it is
just, that my Mother should be remunerated for her
works of love beyond all other creatures; and toward
Her the common law of the other mortals should not
apply. If I have merited for all infinite merits and
boundless graces, it is proper that my Mother should
partake of them above all the others who are so inferior;
for She in her conduct corresponds to our liberality and
puts no hindrance or obstacle to our infinite power of
communicating our treasures and participating them as
the Queen and Mistress of all that is created."
600. To these words of the most sacred humanity of
Christ the eternal Father replied : "My most beloved Son,
in whom I have the plenitude of my pleasure and com
placency (Matth. 17, 5) : Thou art the First-born and the
Head of all the predestined (Rom. 8, 29) and in thy hands
I have placed all things (John 3, 35) in order that Thou
mayest judge with equity all the nations and generations,
and all my creatures (John 5, 22) . Distribute my infinite
treasures and communicate them as Thou desirest to thy
Beloved, who clothed Thee in passible flesh ; reward Her
according to her dignity and merit, which are so pleasing
in our eyes."
601. In accordance with the pleasure of the eternal
Father Christ our Savior decreed and as it were pledged
Himself to his most blessed Mother, in the presence of all
the saints, that from henceforth, as long as She should
live in mortal flesh, She should, on every Sunday after
finishing her exercises of the Passion, be brought by the
holy angels to the empyrean heaven and there, in the
presence of the Most High, celebrate in body and soul
the joys of the Resurrection. The Lord also decreed,
that in her daily Communion He should manifest to Her
his most sacred humanity united to the Divinity in a new
and wonderful manner, different from that in which She
had enjoyed it until that day; so that this might serve
as a pledge and foretaste of the glory, which He had re
served for his most holy Mother in eternity. All the
blessed understood how just were these manifestations of
his glory and greatness in his holy Mother, how well
they corresponded to the dignity and holiness of the
great Queen, and how well they were merited by her
full response to the divine operations in Her. All of
them sang new canticles of praise and glory to the Lord,
who was so holy, just and wonderful in all these works.
602. Then Christ our God turned to his purest Mother
and said : "My most loving Mother, I shall remain with
Thee always as long as thy mortal life shall last; and I
shall be with Thee in a new manner, so wonderful, as
neither men nor angels have known until now. In my
presence thou shalt not feel lonely, and where I am, there
shall be my reign, in Me shalt Thou rest from thy
anxieties; I shall be thy recompense in the narrowed
space of thy exile ; for Thee the fetters of thy mortal body
shall not be irksome and soon shalt Thou be free of them.
Until that day comes, I shall be the end of thy afflictions,
and I shall release the barriers still opposing thy loving
desires. In all this do I give Thee my royal promise."
While these promises and favors were lavished upon Her
the most Holy Mary was immersed in her ineffable hu
mility, praising, magnifying and thanking the Omnipotent
for his beneficent liberality and annihilating Herself in
her own estimation. Such a spectacle can neither be
described nor understood in this life. For here was to
be seen the infinite God freely proclaiming his Mother
worthy of assuming the highest place in the estimation
of his infinite wisdom, while She, in rivalry with the in
finite Power, humiliated Herself, abased and annihilated
Herself, though meriting the exaltation She received.
603. Besides all this She was enlightened and renewed
in all her faculties, (in the manner explained elsewhere),
for the beatific vision. When She was thus prepared,
the veil fell, and for some hours, wrapt in the intuitive
vision of God, She enjoyed the essential fruition and
glory in a manner far above that of the saints. She
drank the waters of life from their own fount; Shv*
satiated her most burning desires ; She reached her centre
and rested from that swift motion, which She was again
to resume as soon as She was to return from her vision.
After this vision She gave thanks to the most blessed
Trinity and again interceded for the Church. Then, en
tirely refreshed and comforted, the holy angels brought
Her back to/ her oratory. There, as described on other oc
casions, her body had remained in visible form, in order
that She might not be missed by the faithful. On leaving
the cloud, in which She had been borne from heaven,
She prostrated Herself as usual upon the ground and
humiliated Herself for all these favors and benefits more
deeply than all the children of Adam ever humiliated
themselves for all their sins and miseries. From that
time on, as long as She lived, the promise of the Savior
in regard to Her was fulfilled ; and on all Sundays, after
She had done with the exercises of the Passion, at the
hour of the Resurrection, all her angels raised Her in a
cloud-throne to the empyrean heaven, where Christ, her
most Holy Son, came forth to meet Her and unite Her
with Himself. The Divinity did not always manifest
Itself intuitively; but aside of this, the effects and par
ticipation of this visit were glorious beyond human ca
pacity to comprehend. On these occasions the angels
were wont to sing that hymn: "Regina Coeli laetare,
alleluia ;" and these were days of solemn festivity for all
the saints, especially for saint Joseph, saint Joachim and
Anne, and those more closely connected with Her, as well
as for her guardian angels. At these visits She consulted
with the Lord about the arduous affairs of the Church,
pray for it, particularly for the Apostles, and return to
the earth laden with riches like that ship of the merchant,
of which Solomon speaks in the thirty-first chapter of
the Proverbs.
604. This privilege, although it was a special grace
of the Most High, nevertheless was due to the most
blessed Mary on two accounts. First because, for the
sake of watching over the Church, She voluntarily de
prived Herself of the joys of the beatific vision, and
therefore, by the ardors of her love and of seeing God,
many times suffered the agonies of death. Hence, in
order to preserve her life it was very proper, that She
should sometimes enjoy the divine presence; and what
ever was possible and proper, was due to the Mother from
her Son. Secondly, in renewing every week the memory
of the passion of her divine Son, She as it were suffered
it on her own Person and died with the Lord: conse
quently, it was proper that She should rise with Him.
As He however was already glorified in heaven, it was
reasonable that She should, through his presence, be
made a participant in the joy of his Resurrection, and
thus reap the fruits of the sorrows and tears She had
sown (Ps. 125, 5).
605. With regard to the second privilege, which the
Lord promised her, namely, daily Communion, I advert
that, up to the time of which I am speaking, the great
Queen omitted holy Communion on some days; as
for instance during the journey to Ephesus, during some
absences of saint John, and on other occasions. Her pro
found humility induced Her to submit to these omissions,
resigning Herself without complaint in obedience to the
Apostles ; for in all things the great Lady was the model
and Mistress of perfection, teaching us self denial also in
such things as appear most holy and proper. But the
Lord, who seeks his rest in humble souls and above all
desired to rest and live in the heart of his Mother for the
purpose of frequently renewing his wonders, ordained
that from this time on, She should communicate every
day for the rest of her life. This will of the Most High,
Mary perceived in heaven; but, being most prudent in
all her actions, She resolved to wait until it could be
executed in obedience to saint John; for She did all
things as an humble inferior and as a subject of those
by whom She was to be governed in such things.
606. Therefore She did not herself tell saint John of
what She had recognized as the will of God. But it hap
pened one day that the Evangelist was very much taken
up with preaching and he let the hour for Communion
pass. She spoke to her holy angels, asking their advice;
and they answered, that the command of her divine Son
ought to be fulfilled, and that they would inform saint
John and intimate to him this order of his Master. Then
one of the angels manifested himself to saint John where
he was preaching and said : "John, the Most High wishes
that his Mother, our Queen, receive Him sacramentally
every day during her life upon the earth." Thus reminded,
the Evangelist immediately returned to the Cenacle,
where the most blessed Mary was waiting for holy Com
munion, and said : "My Mother and Lady, the angel
has told me of the command of the Lord, that I administer
his sacramental body to Thee each day without excep
tion/ The most blessed Mother answered : "And thou,
Sir : what dost thou command in regard to this?" Saint
John replied : "That the command of thy Son, my Lord,
be fulfilled." And the Queen said : "Behold me ready
to obey in all things as thy servant." From that day on
She received holy Communion every day without excep
tion to the end of her life. Fridays and Saturdays, the
days of her exercises, were not excepted ; while on Sun
days, instead of holy Communion, She was raised to
the empyrean heavens.
607. At the moment when She received in her heart
the sacramental species, the sacred humanity of Christ
manifested itself through them in the form He had when
He instituted the blessed Sacrament. Although the
Divinity did not manifest Itself in any other than by the
abstractive vision now habitual to Her, yet the humanity
manifested Itself to Her glorious, much more resplendent
and wonderful than at the Transfiguration on mount
Tabor. This vision She enjoyed for three consecutive
hours after receiving holy Communion, and its effects
upon Her were such as cannot be described in words. This
was the second reward offered to Her by her divine Son
to recompense Her somewhat for the eternal glory, which
He had delayed at her own desire. Besides this there
was another reason for this wonder : the Lord wished to
recompense Himself and counteract beforehand the in
gratitude, the lukewarmness and evil disposition, with
which the children of Adam were to receive and handle
the sacred mystery of the Eucharist during the ages of
the Church. If the most blessed Mary had not made up
for these shortcomings of creatures, the Lord would have
earned no sufficient thanks from his creatures, nor could
He have been satisfied with the returns made by men for
the institution of this Sacrament.
608. My daughter, when mortals, having run the short
course of their lives, come to the end at which God ex
pects them to merit eternal life, then will they also by their
own experience, see the finish of all their errors and
deceits. Then the just will see in what consisted their
real salvation and happiness, and the reprobate, wherein
lay their lamentable and everlasting perdition. O how
happy, my daughter, is the man, who during the short
instant of his life seeks to anticipate the divine science,
which he is so soon to possess by experience! This is
the true wisdom, not to wait for the end until knowing
that end, but look to the end in the beginning of the
course, and enter upon it, not with so many doubts
whether we shall attain the end, but with some security
of attaining it. Consider then, with what sentiments
those must be animated, who, at the beginning of a race,
see a great prize, which they can attain by pressing on
their course for a time with great diligence (I Cor. 9, 24).
Certainly they will set out with all speed, without turning
aside or permitting themselves to be detained by any cause
whatsoever. And if they press not on or if they cease to
look to the prize at the end of their course, they will be
held either as foolish, or as ignorant of what they were
609. Such is mortal life of men, a short course, the end
of which shall bring to the runner either eternal glory
or everlasting torment as a reward or punishment. All
men are born to run this race by the use of their reason
and free will; and no one, much less the children of the
Church, can plead ignorance as an excuse. Hence, where
is the judgment and good sense of those in the Catholic
faith ? Why does vanity still retain its hold upon them ?
Why do they ensnare themselves in the love of what is
only apparent and deceitful? Why do they ignore the
end to which they shall come so soon? Why will they
not understand what there awaits them ? Do they perhaps
not know that they are born but to die (Ps. 138, 49),
that life is but momentary, death infallibly certain, the
reward or punishment unavoidable and eternal? (II
Cor. 4, 17). What can the lovers of this world answer
to these questions? Those that consume all of their short
life (for even the longest lives are very short), in ac
cumulating honors, or riches, in wasting their strength
and powers in the enjoyment of corruptible and most
vile pleasures ?
610. Alas, my friend, consider how false and treach
erous is the world in which thou art born and which thy
eyes behold. In it I desire thee to show thyself as my
disciple, my follower, a child of my desires, and a fruit
of my prayers. Forget it entirely with a heartfelt abhor
rence : do not lose sight of the end toward which thou
runnest so swiftly, the purpose for which thy Creator
formed thee out of nothing; sigh for it continually, and
direct toward it thy anxious solicitude; do not permit
thyself to be drawn away by the fleeting, vain and deceit
ful things of the world; let the divine love alone dwell
in thee and engage all thy forces; for that is not a true
love, which permits any part of them to be diverted to
other things, or which does not free them and mortify
them entirely from passing things, and subject them to
the one great end. Let this love be in thee strong as
death (Cant. 8, 6), so that thou mayest be renewed en
tirely as I desire. Do not hinder the will of my divine
Son in all that He wishes to accomplish in thee, and be
assured of his fidelity, which rewards a hundredfold
(Matth. 19, 29). Keep in mind with humble veneration
what He has until now wrought in thee ; and I exhort thee
and admonish thee to experience in thee anew his truths,
as I have commanded thee. For all this continue thy
exercises with new solicitude in finishing this history.
And give thanks to the Lord for the great and inesti
mable benefits of his having ordered and disposed thy
superiors to permit thee to receive Him daily in holy
Communion. Preparing thyself for it in imitation of
me, continue also the petitions I have recommended and
enjoined upon thee.
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