The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 8 chapter 14 verses 642-661 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 8 chapter 14 verses 642-661THE WONDERFUL MANNER IN WHICH THE MOST BLESSED MARY CELEBRATED THE MYSTERIES OF THE INCARNA TION AND NATIVITY OF THE GODMAN, AND HOW SHE GAVE THANKS FOR THESE IMMENSE BLESSINGS.

  INDEX            Book 8  Chapter  14    Verses:  642-661


642. As the most holy Mary was so faithful in smaller
things, there can be no doubt that She was faithful in
the greater. If She was solicitous and diligent in giving
thanks for the minor blessings, certainly She would ren
der the full measure of thanks for the more important
benefits conferred by the Most High upon Her and all
the human race. Among these the Incarnation of the
eternal Word in the womb of the most blessed and pure
Mother takes the first place; for this was the most ex
cellent work and the greatest grace possible to God s in
finite power and wisdom in his dealings with men. The
joining of the divine essence with the human being in
the person of the Word through hypostatic union was
the beginning of all the gifts and blessings of the Om
nipotent conferred upon the human as well as upon the
angelic nature. This truth is more intelligible, when we
take into consideration what faith teaches: that the
divine Wisdom foresaw in eternity the ingratitude of
the reprobate and their abuse and waste of the wonder
ful blessing of the Incarnation of the true God, by which
He became the Teacher, Redeemer and model of all the
mortals.
643. Hence the infinite Wisdom marvelously provided,
that among men there should be some One, who could
compensate this injustice and, by worthy thanksgiving,
be the means of placating and satisfying Him as far as
is possible on the part of human nature. This was done
in the first place by the sacred humanity of our Re
deemer and Master, Jesus, who is our Mediator with
the eternal Father, reconciling to Him the whole human
race (I Tim. 2, 5), satisfying for its shortcomings and
paying its debts by the superabundance of his merits.
However, as this Lord was true God and man, human
nature apparently remained a debtor to Him, unless some
one among mere creatures could repay the Redeemer in
as far as with the divine grace it was possible to man.
This return was made by his own Mother and our Queen ;
since She alone was the secretary of the great counsel
and the archive of his mysteries and sacraments. She
was the only one who knew, weighed and thankfully ac
knowledged it in the measure to be expected from a
human being not united personally with the Divinity.
She alone supplied a recompense for all the shortcom
ings and imperfections, and for the total want of grati
tude in the children of Adam. She alone knew how and
was able to appease and satisfy her divine Son for the
unjust behavior of all the mortals in not having received
Him as their Redeemer and Master, as the true God
made man for the salvation of all.
644. The incomprehensible and sacred mystery of the
Incarnation the great Queen kept so constantly present in
her memory, that She never forgot it even for one
instant At the same time She was ever conscious of
the ignorance of this blessing in so many of the children
of Adam ; and in order to give thanks for it in her own
name and in the name of all, She practiced many genu
flections, prostrations and other acts of adoration, repeat
ing continually in diverse variations the following
prayer : "My Lord and highest God, in thy royal pres
ence I prostrate myself and present myself before Thee
in my own name and in that of the human race, I bless
and magnify Thee, I confess and adore Thee in the mys
tery of the hypostatic union of the human and divine
nature of the eternal Word. If the unfortunate chil
dren of Adam are ignorant of this blessing, and if those
that know of it fail in giving worthy thanks for it, re
member, our kindest Lord and Father, that they live in
the weak flesh, so full of darkness and passions, and
that they cannot come to Thee, if Thou in thy loving
condescension dost not draw them on (John 6, 44).
Pardon, my God, the shortcomings of their weak nature
and condition. I, thy slave and vile wormlet of the
earth, with all the courtiers of thy glory, give Thee
thanks for myself and for each one of the mortals in
acknowledgment of this blessing. And I beseech Thee,
my Son and Lord, from the bottom of my soul, to
take up this cause of thy brethren and obtain for them
the forgiveness of thy eternal Father. Favor with thy
immense clemency these unfortunates conceived in sin,
who do not recognize their own misfortune, and do
not know what they are doing nor what they should do.
1 beg for thy people and for my own ; for as far as Thou
art man we are all of thy nature, which do not Thou
despise; and in as far as Thou art God, Thou givest
infinite value to thy works. Let them be the worthy
return and thanksgiving for satisfying our debt, since
Thou alone canst pay what we have received and what
we owe to the eternal Father for sending Thee from
heaven to earth as the Savior of the poor and Rescuer
of the captives (Luke 4, 18). Give life to the dead,
enrich the poor, enlighten the blind (Matth. 11, 5) ; Thou
art our salvation, our happiness and our restoration."
645. This prayer and others like it were of ordinary
occurrence in the life of the great Queen of the world.
But to her continuous and daily thanksgiving She added
other exercises to celebrate the exalted mystery of the
Incarnation, especially on the anniversaries of the days
in which the divine Word assumed flesh in her purest
womb ; and on these days She was more favored by the
Lord than on others. This feast for Her lasted not
only for one day, but for nine, comprising the nine days
before the feast of the Annunciation, or the twenty-fifth
of March, during which She had prepared Herself for
this sacrament, as described in the beginning of the
second part of this history. I have there recorded in
nine chapters the marvels which preceded the Incarna
tion and by which the heavenly Mother was to be
worthily prepared for the conception of the incarnate
Word in her sacred and virginal womb. It is necessary
here to refer to them and recall them briefly in order to
describe the manner in which She celebrated and renewed
her thanksgiving for this highest of marvels and bless
ings.
646. She commenced the solemnity on the sixteenth
of March in the evening and during the next nine days
until the twenty-fifth of March, She remained in retire
ment without eating or sleeping. Saint John the evan
gelist was the only one who came to Her, and only in
order to minister to Her holy Communion during the
nine days. The Almighty renewed all the favors and
blessings which He had conferred upon Mary during
those days immediately preceding the Incarnation; with
this difference however, that her Son and our Redeemer
now added new ones; for as He was already born of
Her, He took it upon Himself to assist, regale and favor
his most loving and worthy Mother in this feast. On
the first six days of this novena, after the blessed Mother
had passed some hours of the night in her accustomed
exercises, the incarnate Word descended from heaven
refulgent in glory and majesty and accompanied by
myriads of angels ; with them He entered the oratory and
showed Himself to his most blessed Mother.
647. The most pious and prudent Mother adored her
Son and true God with the humility, veneration and
worship, such as She alone in her wisdom knew how to
render. Then by the ministry of the holy angels She
was raised from the earth and placed on the throne at
the right hand of her Son the Lord. There She felt
within Herself an intimate and ineffable union with the
humanity and Divinity, by which She was transformed
and filled with glory and new divine influences unspeak-
able to man. In this condition and state the Lord re
newed in Her the marvels of the nine days before the
Incarnation in the order in which they had then occurred.
And to these He added other favors and admirable ef
fects, conformable to the state attained since then both
by Himself and his blessed Mother. Although the ha
bitual science of all things was always preserved in Her,
yet on such occasions Her knowledge was enhanced by
a new intelligence and divine light, which enabled Her
to apply and exercise her knowledge with greater insight
and with more powerful effect.
648. On the first of these nine days were shown Her
all the works performed by God on the first day of the
creation of the world ; the order and mode of their cre
ation; the heaven, the earth and the abysses, with their
length, breadth and depth; the light and the darkness,
their separation and all the conditions, changes and quali
ties of these material and visible things. Of the invisible
things She saw the creation of the angels, all their spe
cies and perfections, their perseverance in grace, the
strife between the obedient and the disobedient, the fall
of the apostates and the confirmation of the others in
grace, and all the other mysteries, which Moses includes
in the works of the first day (Gen. 1, 1). She recog
nized likewise the intentions of the Almighty in the crea
tion of these and other things : namely to communicate
and manifest his Divinity, so that all the angels and men,
according to their faculties, might know and praise Him
in them. And lest the renewal of this knowledge be
fruitless in the most prudent Mother, Her divine Son said
to Her : "My Mother and my Dove ! I gave thee knowl
edge of all these works of my infinite power, in order
to manifest to thee my greatness before assuming flesh
in thy virginal womb, and I renew it in thee now, in
order to confirm in thee thy possession and dominion
over the angels, the heavens, the earth, the light, and the
darkness, all of which shall serve and obey thee as my
Mother ; and in order to afford thee an occasion worthily
to thank and praise the eternal Father for the blessings
of creation, which men do not know how to appreciate."
649. The great Queen faithfully responded to this
will of the Lord and satisfied for the indebtedness of
mankind in its entirety, giving thanks in her own name
and in that of all men for these incomparable blessings.
In these exercises, and in other mysterious ones, She
passed the day until the Lord returned to heaven. On
the second day at midnight the Lord again descended
in the same manner and recalled in the heavenly Mother
the knowledge of the works of the second day of the
creation: how in the midst of the waters was formed
the firmament, dividing the one from the other, the num
ber of the heavens, their harmonious arrangement, na
ture and qualities, their greatness and beauty. All this
She knew with infallible certainty, just as they came into
being, without admixture of mere opinions; She knew
also what were the views of the learned and of authors.
On the third day was refreshed in Her the knowledge
of what is indicated in the Scriptures for the third day
of creation; that the Lord congregated the waters upon
the earth and formed the sea and the dry land; and how
the dry land, upon the command of its Creator, imme
diately produced plants, herbs, trees and other things
for its beauty and adornment. She knew the nature and
qualities of all these plants and the manner in which they
are useful or hurtful to man. On the fourth day She
recognized particularly the formation of the sun, the
moon and the stars of heaven, their material, their form,
properties, influences and all their movements, dividing
the time into seasons, days and years (Gen. 1, 14). On
the fifth day was manifested to Her the creation and
generation of the birds of the air, of the fishes of the
sea, how in the beginning they were formed of the wa
ters, and how these animals afterwards are reproduced
and propagated; how many were the species, the condi
tions and faculties of the animals of the land and the
sea. On the sixth day She received new enlightenment
and insight into the creation of man, as the terminus
of all the material creatures; and in understanding his
exquisite and harmonious nature as a recapitulation of
all the rest of the world of creatures, She comprehended
also the mystery of the Incarnation, which was the end
and purpose of his creation, and She possessed the other
secrets of the divine Wisdom hidden in this and the
other works, testifying to his infinite greatness and
majesty.
650. On each of these days the great Queen composed
a special hymn of praise to the Creator for the works
performed on the corresponding day of creation and for
the mysteries made known to Her. Then She prayed
for all men, especially for the faithful, asking for their
reconciliation to God and their enlightenment concerning
the Divinity and his works, in order that they might
thereby be helped to know, love and praise the Almighty.
And as She was aware of the ignorance of so many un
believers, who would not come to the knowledge and
belief of the true faith, and as She considered the ingrati
tude and sluggishness of so many believers, who know
of these works of the Most High, the most blessed
Mother performed heroic and admirable works in com
pensation for these defects of the children of Adam.
Because She so faithfully responded, her divine Son
raised Her to a new participation in the gifts of his
Divinity and attributes, accumulating upon Her all that
the rest of mortals lost by their most ungrateful forgetfulness.
Over all the works of that day He confirmed
upon Her anew full possession and dominion, in order
that all might acknowledge Her and serve Her as the
Mother of their Creator, and as the supreme Queen over
all creatures in heaven and earth.
651. On the seventh day these divine favors were still
further increased and enhanced, although her divine Son
did not descend from heaven in the last three days; but
instead She herself was raised up to Him, in correspon
dence with what had happened on the three days before
the Incarnation. Accordingly at midnight, at the com
mand of the most high Lord, the angels carried Her up
to the empyrean heaven, where, while She was adoring
the immutable being of God, the supreme seraphim
clothed Her in a vestment more pure and white than
the snow and more refulgent than the sun. They girded
Her with a girdle of jewels so rich and beautiful that
there are none in nature for comparison ; each one shone
more brilliantly than the globe of the sun, yea of many
suns combined. Then they added bracelets and neck
laces, and other adornments befitting Her whom they
adorned ; and all these adornments the seraphim brought
from the throne of the most blessed Trinity, each of them
in its own way signifying a new participation and com
munication of the Divinity. And not only these adorn
ments signified a new participation and communication
of the divine perfections in their Queen, but also the
seraphim, those six that adorned Her, likewise repre
sented mysteries contained in their ministry.
652. To these succeeded six other seraphim who, in
another manner, adorned the Queen, as it were, retouch
ing her faculties and giving them subtlety, beauty and
grace unspeakable in human words. And still other six
seraphim furnished the celestial light by which her un
derstanding and will was made capable of the beatific
vision and fruition. Having thus adorned and beautified
the great Queen, all of the eighteen seraphim raised Her
to the throne of the most blessed Trinity and placed
Her at the right hand of the Onlybegotten, our Savior.
There She was asked what was her petition and desire.
And the true Esther answered : "I ask mercy for my
people, O Lord (Esther 7, 3) ; and in their name and
mine I desire and long to thank thy almighty clemency
for giving human form to the eternal Word in my womb
for their salvation." To these petitions and prayers
She added others of incomparable love and wisdom, sup
plicating for the whole human race and especially for the
holy Church.
653. Then her divine Son spoke to the eternal Father
and said : "I confess and praise Thee, my Father, and I
offer to Thee this creature, the daughter of Adam, pleas
ing in thy eyes as the one chosen for my Mother from
all the creatures and as a testimony to our infinite attri
butes. She alone knows worthily and fully to estimate
and thankfully to acknowledge the favor I have shown
to men in vesting Myself in their nature for the purpose
of teaching them the way of eternal life and saving them
from death. We have chosen Her in order that She
might appease our indignation at the ingratitude and
small return We receive from mortals. She makes up
for what the others are either unable or unwilling to
give; and We cannot despise the prayers which our Be
loved offers for them in the plenitude of her holiness and
entirely to our pleasure."
654. All these marvels were repeated on each of the
last three days of the novena; and on the last, which was
the twenty-fifth of March, at the hour of the Incarnation,
the Divinity manifested Itself to Her intuitively and
with a greater glory than to all the blessed. The saints
received an addition to their accidental joy on all those
days; but the last was one of greater festivity and of
extraordinary jubilee for the whole of Jerusalem tri
umphant. The favors received by the most blessed
Mother on that day far exceed all human thought; for
all her privileges, graces and gifts were on that day rati
fied and increased by the Almighty in an ineffable man
ner. As She was still a Pilgrim and knew all the con
ditions of the holy Church in the present and the future
ages, She asked and merited great blessings for all times ;
to say it more briefly, She obtained all the blessings
which the divine power wrought for men from the be
ginning and shall work unto the end of the world.
655. On all these feasts celebrated by the great Queen,
She obtained the conversion of innumerable souls, which
at that time and at succeeding times were to come to
the Catholic faith. On this feast of the Incarnation,
however, this privilege was made still more extensive;
for on these days She merited for many kingdoms, prov
inces and nations the blessings and favors they have re
ceived in being called to the holy Church. Those that
have persevered more faithfully in the Church are so
much the greater debtors to the petitions and merits of
the heavenly Mother. But it has especially been shown
me, that on the day on which She celebrated the Incar
nation, She liberated all the souls from purgatory; and
that from heaven, where this favor was granted to the
Queen of all creation and the Mother of the Redeemer,
She sent the angels to bring them to Her in order that
She might offer them as the fruit of the Incarnation to
the eternal Father. For in that mystery He had sent
his Onlybegotten Son to regain for Him the souls from
the tyranny of their enemies. For all these souls Mary
composed new canticles of praise, and in the jubilee of
having thus augmented the heavenly court of heaven She
returned to the earth, where She continued her thanks
giving with her accustomed humility. This miracle is
not at all incredible, for it is not strange that on the day
on which the most holy Mary was raised to the immense
dignity of Mother of God and Mistress of all creation, all
the treasures of the Divinity should be opened to the chil
dren of Adam, her brethren and her children ; for on that
same day the Divinity itself was poured out on Her,
entering her womb and uniting Itself hypostatically with
the substance derived from Her. She alone in her wis
dom could worthily appreciate this blessing special to
Her and for the common good of all.
656. The solemnity of the birth of Christ her Son
She celebrated in still another manner. On the evening
before She commenced with the exercises, hymns and
other devotions as for the other feasts ; and at the hour
of the Birth, her divine Son descended with myriads
of angels and in glorious majesty as on other occasions.
He was accompanied also by the patriarchs saint Joachim,
saint Anne, saint Joseph and saint Elisabeth, the mother
of the Baptist, as well as other saints. Then the angel
at the command of the Lord raised Her from the ground
and placed Her at his divine right hand amid celestial
harmony, rehearsing the hymn of glory as on the day
of Nativity and other canticles, which the Lady herself
had composed in honor of this mystery and in praise of
God s infinite perfections. After having united with
them in these praises for a long time, the heavenly
Mother, with the permission of her Son, descended from
the throne and prostrated Herself anew at his feet. In
this posture She adored Him in the name of all the
human race and thanked Him for his having been born
into the world for their salvation. In addition to this
thanksgiving She prayed most fervently for all men,
especially for the children of the Church, urging the
weakness of human nature, its need of grace and divine
help for raising itself and for meriting eternal life. As
an argument She alleged the mercy of the Lord in being
born for their salvation, the poverty of his Birth, the
labors and hardships it entailed, how He was nursed at
her breast and cherished by Her as his Mother, and
how many were the other works connected with these
mysteries. This prayer was accepted by her Son, our
Savior; and in the presence of all the angels and saints
that accompanied Him, He acknowledged his obligation
to listen to the charitable pleadings of his most blessed
Mother for her people. Again He confirmed Her as
Mistress and Dispenser of all his treasures of grace and
commissioned Her to apply and distribute them to men
according to her pleasure. This the most prudent Lady
proceeded to do with admirable wisdom and to the im
mense benefit of the Church. At the close of this solem
nity of the birth of Christ She begged all the saints to
praise the Lord for the mystery of His birth in her
name and for all the other mortals. She then asked
the blessing of her divine Son, who in giving it, returned
to heaven.
INSTRUCTION WHICH THE GREAT LADY OF THE ANGELS,
MOST HOLY MARY, GAVE ME.
657. My daughter and disciple, I desire that thy ad
miration in writing of the mysteries of my life and holi
ness induce thee to praise the Omnipotent for his liberality
toward Me; and thy confidence in my powerful inter
cession and protection should raise thee above thyself.
But if thou art astonished that my divine Son should
thus add grace upon grace and gifts upon gifts, and that
He should visit me so frequently and raise me to his
presence in heaven, remember what thou hast already
recorded concerning my depriving myself of the beatific
vision for the sake of governing the Church. And even
if this charity had not merited this recompense during
my mortal life, He was ready, on account of my being
his Mother and He my Son, to work such wonders with
me as are beyond created thought and were due to no
other creature. The dignity of Mother of God so far
exceeds the sphere of all the other creatures, that it would
be base ignorance on the part of men to deny me favors
greater than those bestowed upon other saints. Taking
human flesh of my substance carried with it such an ob
ligation in the eternal Word, that (according to thy
mode of understanding) God himself could not meet
it, without a return adequate to his Omnipotence and
corresponding fully to my capacity of receiving. This
power of God is infinite and inexhaustible, and will
always remain so; but that which God communicates, is
finite and limited. I, too, am a mere created being, and
in comparison with the being of God, all created beings
are nothing.
658. In addition to this, on my part, I placed no ob
stacle, but deserved the unlimited and unrestrained liber
ality of the Omnipotent in all his gifts, graces and favors
as far as they could be communicated to a creature. As
these, notwithstanding their wonderful greatness, were
always finite and the power and essence of God is always
infinite and without limit, it can easily be understood
how I could accumulate grace upon grace and blessings
upon blessings. And not only was I capable of thus
receiving, but it was equitable that I should thus receive,
in order that I might correspond with entire perfection
to his marvelous work of making me the Mother of God;
for none of his works remain imperfect or defective.
Since this dignity of being made the Mother of God con
tains all graces as in their origin and fount, therefore,
as soon as men know me to be Mother of God, they im
plicitly also know, as in their cause, the perfections due
to such excellence in dignity. It was left to the devo
tion, piety and good will of the faithful to earn the
regard of my divine Son and my protection, by searching
properly into my holiness and gifts and by recording and
confessing them in evidence of their devotion and my
dignity. For this purpose, special knowledge and en
lightenment has been given to many saints, to authors
and writers, besides special revelations to others con
cerning some favors and privileges conceded to me by the
Almighty.
659. As nevertheless many of the mortals, even the
zealous ones, have been timid in this matter, and others,
in their want of piety, unduly sluggish, my divine Son
has, in his fatherly condescension and at the time most
opportune for his holy Church, manifested to them these
hidden mysteries, without depending upon human insight
and knowledge, but upon the enlightenment of his own
truth, in order that they might gather new joy and hope
from the knowledge of my privileges, and give to the
Almighty new glory and praise for the blessings coming
from me and from the works of the Redemption.
660. I wish, my daughter, that thou consider thyself
more under this obligation than all the rest of men, since
I have chosen thee for my special disciple and daughter,
in order that, by the writing of my life, thy heart may
be raised to a more ardent and anxious desire to imitate
and follow me. The lesson of this chapter for thee should
be, that thou follow me in the ineffable thanksgiving for
the blessed Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word in
my womb. Write in thy heart this marvel of the Om
nipotent, in order never to forget it, and signalize espe
cially the days corresponding to the mysteries which thou
hast there described. In them and in my name I desire
that thou celebrate this festivity with great fervor and
joy of thy soul, thanking God in the name of all mortals
for his having become incarnate in me for their salvation ;
and also praising Him for having raised me to the dig
nity of being his Mother. And remember that nothing
ever caused so much astonishment in the saints and an
gels, who have a knowledge of the infinite essence of
God, than to see Him united to the human nature; and,
although they continue to understand more and more of
this mystery, there will always remain more to find out
through all the ages.
661. In order that thou mayest properly renew and
celebrate these benefits of the Incarnation and Nativity
of my divine Son, thou must try to acquire humility
and purity as of an angel ; for by these virtues thy thanks
giving will be pleasing to the Lord and by them thou
wilt in a measure give some return for his having made
Himself of thy nature. Ponder deeply how heavy are
the sins of men who, while having Christ as their
Brother, fall from such excellence and neglect their
obligations. Consider thyself as a portrait or image of
the Godman, and that any kind of sin is equivalent to thy
despising it and blotting it out of thy soul. This new
dignity to which human nature was raised is much for
gotten by the children of Adam and they refuse to for
sake their old habits and miseries in order to put on
Christ (Rom. 13, 14). But thou, my daughter, forget
the house of thy father and thy people (Ps. 44, 11), and
seek to renew thyself with the beauty of thy Savior, in
order that thou mayest be pleasing in the eyes of the
supreme King.
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