The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 2 chapter 2 verses 429-443 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 2  Chapter  2    Verses:  429-443

429. When the heavenly child Mary had dismissed
her parents and entered upon her life in the temple, her
teacher assigned to Her a place among the rest of the
maidens, each of whom occupied a large alcove or little
room. The Princess of heaven prostrated Herself on
the pavement, and, remembering that it was holy ground
and part of the temple, She kissed it. In humble adora
tion She gave thanks to the Lord for this new benefit,
and She thanked even the earth for supporting Her and
allowing Her to stand in this holy place; for She held
Herself unworthy of treading and remaining upon it.
Then She turned toward her holy angels and said to
them: "Celestial princes, messengers of the Almighty,
most faithful friends and companions, I beseech you with
all the powers of my soul to remain with me in this holy
temple of my Lord and as my vigilant sentinels, remind
ing me of all that I should do ; instructing me and direct
ing me as the teachers and guides of my actions, so that
I may fulfill in all things the perfect will of the Most
High, give pleasure to the holy priests and obey my
teacher and my companions." And addressing in par
ticular those whom I mentioned above as the twelve
angels of the Apocalypse, She said: "And I beseech
you, my ambassadors, if the Almighty permit you, go
and console my holy parents in their affliction and soli
430. While the twelve angels executed her command,
Mary remained with the others in heavenly conversa
tion. She began to feel a supernal influence of great
power and sweetness, spiritualizing Her and elevating
Her in burning ecstasy, and immediately the Most High
commanded the seraphim to assist in illumining and pre
paring her most holy soul. Instantly She was filled with
a divine light and force, which perfected and propor
tioned her faculties in accordance with the mysteries
now to be manifested to Her. Thus prepared and ac
companied by her holy angels and many others, in the
midst of a refulgent host, the celestial Child was raised
body and soul to the empyrean heaven, where She was
received by the holy Trinity with befitting benevolence
and pleasure. She prostrated Herself in the presence of
the most mighty and high Lord, as She was wont to do
in all her visions, and adored Him in profound reverence
and humility. Then She was further transformed by
new workings of divine light, so that She saw, intuitively
and face to face, the Divinity itself. This was the second
time that It manifested Itself to Her in this intuitive
manner during the first three years of her life.
431. By no human tongue or any sensible faculty could
the effects of this vision and participation of the divine
Essence ever be described. The Person of the Father
spoke to the future Mother of his Son, and said : "My
Dove, my beloved One, I desire thee to see the treasures
of my immutable being and of my infinite perfections,
and also to perceive the hidden gifts destined for the
souls, whom I have chosen as heirs of my glory and who
are rescued by the life-blood of the Lamb. Behold, my
Daughter, how liberal I am toward my creatures, that
know and love Me ; how true in my words, how faithful
in my promises, how powerful and admirable in my
works. Take notice, my Spouse, how ineffably true it is,
that he who follows Me does not walk in darkness. I de
sire that thou, as my chosen One, be an eye-witness of
the treasures which I hold in reserve for raising up the
humble, enriching the poor, exalting the downtrodden,
and for rewarding all that the mortals shall do and suf
fer for my name."
432. Other great mysteries were shown to the holy
Child in this vision of the Divinity, for, as the object
presented to the soul in such repeated intuitive visions
is infinite, that which remains to be seen will always re
main infinite and will excite greater and greater wonder
and love in the one thus favored. The most holy Mary
answered the Lord and said : "Most high, supreme and
eternal God, incomprehensible Thou art in thy magnifi
cence, overflowing in thy riches, unspeakable in thy mys
teries, most faithful in thy promises, true in thy words,
most perfect in thy works, for Thou art the Lord, in
finite and eternal in thy essence and perfections. But,
most high Lord, what shall my littleness begin to do at
the sight of thy magnificence? I acknowledge myself
unworthy to look upon thy greatness, yet I am in great
need of being regarded by it. In thy presence, Lord, all
creation is as nothing. What shall I thy servant do, who
am but dust ? Fulfill in me all thy desire and thy pleasure ;
and if trouble and persecutions suffered by mortals in
patience, if humility and meekness are so precious in thy
eyes, do not consent, O my Beloved, that I be de
prived of such a rich treasure and pledge of thy love.
But as for the rewards of these tribulations, give them to
thy servants and friends, who deserve them better than
I, for I have not yet labored in thy service and pleasure."
433. The Most High was much pleased with the peti
tion of the heavenly Child and He gave Her to under
stand that He would admit Her to suffering and labor
for his love in the course of her life, without at the time
revealing to Her the order and the manner in which He
was to dispense them. The Princess of heaven gave
thanks for this blessing and favor of being chosen to labor
and suffer for the glory of God s name. Burning with
desire of securing such favor, She asked of his Majesty
to be allowed to make four vows in his presence:
of chastity, of poverty, of obedience, and of perpetual
enclosure in the temple whither He had called Her. To
this petition the Lord answered and said to Her: "My
Spouse, my thoughts rise above all that is created, and
thou, my chosen one, dost not yet know what is to hap
pen to thee in the course of thy life, and thou dost not yet
understand why it is impossible to fulfill thy fervent de
sires altogether in the manner in which thou now dost
imagine. The vow of chastity I permit and I desire that
thou make it; I wish that from this moment thou re
nounce earthly riches. It is also my will that as far as
possible, thou observe whatever pertains to the other
vows, just as if thou hadst made them all. Thy desire
shall be fulfilled through many other virgins in the com
ing law of grace; for, in order to imitate thee and to
serve Me, they will make these same vows and live to
gether in community and thou shalt be the Mother of
many daughters."
434. The most holy Child then, in the presence of the
Lord, made the vow of chastity and as for the rest with
out binding Herself, She renounced all affection for ter
restrial and created things. She moreover resolved to
obey all creatures for the sake of God. In the fulfillment
of these promises She was more punctual, fervent and
faithful than any who have ever made these vows or ever
will make them. Forthwith the clear and intuitive vision
of the Divinity ceased, but She was not immediately re
stored to the earth. For, remaining in the empyrean
heaven, She enjoyed another, an imaginary vision of the
Lord in a lower state of ecstasy, so that in connection
with it, She saw other mysteries.
435. In this secondary and imaginary vision some of
the seraphim closest to the Lord approached Her and by
his command adorned and clothed Her in the following
manner. First all her senses were illumined with an ef
fulgent light, which filled them with grace and beauty.
Then they robed Her in a mantle or tunic of most ex
quisite splendor, and girded Her with a cincture of varycolored
and transparent stones, of flashing brilliancy,
which adorned Her beyond human comprehension. They
signified the immaculate purity and the various heroic
virtues of her soul. They placed on Her also a necklace
or collar of inestimable and entrancing beauty, which
contained three large stones, symbolic of the three great
virtues of faith, hope and charity; this they hung around
her neck letting it fall to her breast as if indicating the
seat of these precious virtues. They also adorned her
hands with seven rings of rare beauty whereby the Holy
Ghost wished to proclaim that He had enriched Her with
his holy gifts in a most eminent degree. In addition to
all this the most holy Trinity crowned her head with an
imperial diadem, made of inestimable material and set
with most precious stones, constituting Her thereby as
his Spouse and as the Empress of heaven. In testimony
whereof the white and refulgent vestments were emblaz
oned with letters or figures of the finest and the most
shining gold, proclaiming: Mary, Daughter of the eter
nal Father, Spouse of the Holy Ghost and Mother of the
true Light. This last name or title the heavenly Mis
tress did not understand; but the angels understood it,
who, lost in wonder and praise of the Author, were as
sisting at this new and strange ceremony. Finally the
attention of all the angelic spirits was drawn toward the
Most High and a voice proceeded from the throne of the
blessed Trinity, which, addressing the most holy Mary,
spoke to Her: "Thou shalt be our Spouse, our beloved
and chosen One among all creatures for all eternity; the
angels shall serve thee and all the nations and generations
shall call thee blessed" (Luc. 1, 48).
436. The sovereign Child being thus attired in the
court dress of the Divinity, then celebrated a more glo
rious and marvelous espousal than ever could enter the
mind of the highest cherubim and seraphim. For the
Most High accepted Her as his sole and only Spouse and
conferred upon Her the highest dignity which can befall
a creature; He deposited within Her his own Divinity
in the person of the Word and with it all the treasures of
grace befitting such eminence. Meanwhile the most
Humble among the humble was lost in the abyss of love
and wonder which these benefits and favors caused in
Her, and in the presence of the Lord She spoke : "Most
high King and incomprehensible God, who art Thou and
who am I, that thy condescension should look upon me
who am dust, unworthy of such mercy? In Thee, my
Lord, as in a clear mirror seeing thy immutable being, I
behold and understand without error my lowliness and
vileness, I admire thy immensity and deprecate my noth
ingness. At the sight of Thee I am annihilated and lost
in astonishment, that the infinite Majesty should stoop to
so lowly a worm, who can merit only oblivion and con
tempt of all the creatures. O Lord, my only Good, how
art Thou magnified and exalted in this deed! What
marvel dost Thou cause through me in thy angelic spirits,
who understand thy infinite bounty, magnificence and
mercy in raising up from the dust her who in it is poor,
and placing her among the princes (Ps. 112, 7) ! I ac
cept Thee, O my King and my Lord, as my Spouse and
I offer myself as thy slave. Let not my understanding
attend to any other object, nor my memory hold any
other image, nor my will seek other object or pleasure
than Thee, my highest Good, my true and only Love.
Let not my eyes look upon human creature, nor my fac
ulties and senses attend upon anything beside Thee and
whatever thy Majesty shall direct Thou alone for thy
spouse, my Beloved, and she for Thee only, who art the
immutable and eternal Good."
437. The Most High received with ineffable pleasure
this consent of the sovereign Princess to enter into the
new espousal with her most holy soul. As upon his True
Spouse and as Mistress of all creation, He now lavished
upon Her all the treasures of his grace and power, in
structing Her to ask for whatever She desired and assur
ing Her that nothing would ever be denied Her. The
most humble Dove at once proceeded to beseech the Lord
with the most burning charity, to send his Onlybegotten
to the world as a remedy for mortals ; that all men be
called to the true knowledge of his Divinity ; that her nat
ural parents, Joachim and Anne, receive an increase of
the loving gifts of his right hand; that the poor and af
flicted be consoled and comforted in their troubles; and
that in Herself be fulfilled the pleasure of the divine will.
These were some of the more express petitions addressed
by the new Spouse on this occasion to the blessed Trinity.
And all the angelic host sang new songs of admiration in
praise of the Most High, while those appointed by his
Majesty, midst heavenly music, bore back the holy Child
from the empyrean heaven to the place in the temple,
from which they had brought Her.
438. In order to commence at once to put in practice
what She had promised in the presence of the Lord, She
betook Herself to her instructress and offered her all that
her mother, saint Anne, had left for her comfort and sus
tenance, with the exception of a few books and clothes.
She requested Her to give it to the poor or use it for any
other purpose according to her pleasure, and that She
command and direct Her what She was to do. The dis
creet matron, (who was, as I have already said, the
prophetess Anne) by divine impulse accepted and ap
proved of the offering of the beautiful Child and dis
missed Her entirely poor and stripped of everything ex
cept the garments which She wore. She resolved to take
care of Her in a special manner as one destitute and
poor; for the other maidens each possessed their spend
ing money and a certain sum assigned and destined for
their wearing apparel and for other necessities according
to their inclinations.
439. The holy matron, having first consulted the high
priest, also gave to the sweetest Child a rule of life. By
thus despoiling and resigning Herself the Queen and
Mistress of creation obtained a complete freedom and
detachment from all creatures and from her own Self,
neither possessing nor desiring anything except only the
most ardent love of God and her own abasement and hu
miliation. I confess my great ignorance, my vileness and
insignificance, which make me entirely unworthy to ex
plain such supernal and hidden mysteries. For where
the expert tongues of the wise, and the science and the
love of the highest cherubim and seraphim are compelled
to be mute, what can a useless and abject woman say? I
know how much such an attempt would offend against
the greatness of these mysteries, if obedience furnished no
excuse. But even in obeying I tremble, and I fear that
what I omit and am ignorant of, is the greater, and what
I know and say is the more insignificant part of all the
mysteries and the doings of this City of God, the most
holy Mary.
440. My daughter, among the great and ineffable
favors of the Omnipotent in the course of my life, was
the one which thou has just learned and described; for
by this clear vision of the Divinity and of the incompre
hensible essence I acquired knowledge of the most hidden
sacraments and mysteries, and in this adornment and es
pousal I received incomparable blessings and felt the
sweetest workings of the Divinity in my spirit. My de
sire to take the four vows of poverty, obedience, chastity
and enclosure pleased the Lord very much, and I mer
ited thereby that the godfearing in the Church and in the
law of grace are drawn to live under these vows, as is the
custom in the present time. This was the beginning of
that which you religious practice now, fulfilling the words
of David in the forty-fourth psalm: "After Her shall vir
gins be brought to the King;" for the Lord ordained
that my aspirations be the foundation of religious life
and of the evangelical law. I fulfilled entirely and per
fectly all that I proposed to the Lord, as far as was possi
ble in my state of life ; never did I look upon the face of a
man, not even on that of my husband Joseph, nor on that
of the angels, when they appeared to me in human form,
though I saw and knew them all in God. Never did I in
cline toward any creature, rational or irrational, nor to
ward any human operation or tendency. But in all things
I was governed by the Most High, either directly by
Himself or indirectly through the obedience, to which I
freely subjected myself.
441. Do not forget, my dearest, that the religious state
is consecrated and ordained by the Most High for main
taining the doctrine of Christian perfection and the close
imitation of the life of my Son, and that therefore the
souls, who in religious life are sunk in sleepy forgetfulness
of their high blessing and lead a life more listless
and lax than many worldly men, are objects of great
wrath of the Lord, and a severer judgment and chastise
ment await them than others. The demon also, ancient
and astute serpent as he is, uses more diligence in his at
tempts to overcome religious men and women, than to
conquer all the rest of worldly men ; and if one of these
religious fall, all hell exerts the greatest solicitude and
care to prevent his using the many means which religion
affords for rising from a fall, such as obedience and holy
exercises and the frequent use of the Sacraments. To
make all these remedies miscarry and be of no use to the
fallen religious, the enemy applies so many cunning snares
that it would fill with terror any one who saw them.
However, much of this is recognized in the actions and
artifices by which a lax religious soul tries to defend its
remissness, excusing it by specious arguments, if it does
not break out in disobedience and yet greater disorders
and faults.
442. Be careful therefore, my daughter, and fear so
dreadful a danger; by divine assistance of grace raise
thyself above thyself, never permitting thy will to consent
to any disorderly affection or movement. I wish thee to
consume thyself in dying to thy passions and in becom
ing entirely spiritualized, so that having extinguished
within thee all that is of earth, thou mayest come to lead
an angelic life and conversation. In order to deserve the
name of spouse of Christ, thou must pass beyond the
limits and the sphere of a human being and ascend to
another state and divine existence. Although thou art
earth, thou must be a blessed earth, without the thorns of
passion, one whose fruit is all for the Lord, its Master.
If thou hast for thy Spouse that supreme and mighty
Lord, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords,
consider it beneath thy dignity to turn thy eyes, and much
more thy heart, toward such vile slaves, as are the human
creatures, for even the angels love and respect thee for
thy dignity as spouse of the Most High. If even among
men it is held to be a daring and boundless insolence in a
plebeian to cast longing eyes upon the spouse of a prince,
what a crime would it be to cast them on the spouse of
the heavenly and omnipotent King? And it would not be
a smaller crime if she herself would receive and consent
to such familiarity. Consider and assure thyself that the
punishment reserved for this sin is inconceivably terrible
and I do not show it to thee visibly, lest thou perish in thy
weakness. I wish that for thee my instructions suffice
to urge thee to the fulfillment of all I admonish and to
imitate me as my disciple, as far as thy powers go. Be
also solicitous in recalling this instruction to the mind of
thy nuns and in seeing that they live up to it.
443. My Mistress and my most kind Queen, in the joy
of my soul I listen to thy sweetest words, so full of spirit
and of life, and I wish to inscribe them in the interior of
my heart together with the graces of thy most holy Son,
which I beseech thee to obtain for me. If Thou give me
permission I will speak in thy presence as an ignorant
disciple with her Mistress and Teacher. I desire, O my
Mother and Protectress, though I am so unworthy and
remiss, to fulfill the four vows of my profession accord
ing to thy commands and according to my obligation,
though I am so unworthy and remiss therein; yet I be
seech Thee, give me a more full instruction, which may
serve me as a guide and direction in the fulfillment of this
duty and as a complement of these vows, which Thou
hast placed in my heart.
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