The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 2 chapter 5 verses 481-487 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 2  Chapter  5    Verses:  481-487

481. Virtue is a habit, which ennobles and adorns the
rational powers of the creature, and inclines it toward
doing good. It is called a habit, because it is a quality
which is permanently connected with the faculties from
which it is not so easily separated, thereby differing from a
virtuous act, which does not remain, but passes away. It
creates an alertness and facility of action tending toward
the good ; this quality is not inherent in the faculty itself,
for these faculties are indifferent toward good or evil.
Most holy Mary was adorned from the first instant of her
life with all virtues in a most eminent degree, and they
were continually augmented by new graces and by new
perfection in practice. All the virtues and merits, which
the hand of the Lord had showered upon Her, She
brought to their fullest perfection.
482. Although the faculties of this Lady and sover
eign Princess were in no sense subject to disorder, nor to
any of the repugnance, which other children of Adam
must first overcome (for sin had not touched Her, nor the
leaven of sin, which draws toward evil and resists the
good) ; yet, by virtuous habits, these already well ordered
faculties were capable of being inclined more and more to
what was most perfect, holy and praiseworthy. More
over She was a mere creature capable of suffering, and as
such She was also subject to pain, to the inclination to
ward licit repose, and to the inertia, disinclining Her
toward the performance of some supererogatory works,
which without sin She could have omitted. In order to
overcome this natural disinclination and repugnance
habits of the most exalted virtues assisted Her, so that this
Queen of heaven vanquished them without any weakness
and was in no way hindered in pursuing the utmost per
fection in all her works.
483. On account of this beauty and harmony regarding
the habits of virtue, the soul of the most holy Mary was
so enlightened, ennobled and entirely bent on the highest
Good and last End of all creation ; so alert, prompt, effi
cient and joyful in the practice of virtue, that, if it were
possible for our weak insight to penetrate into the interior
of her sacred soul, we would there find a more wonderful
beauty than that of all creatures combined and inferior
only to that of God himself. All the perfection of crea
tures were in purest Mary as if in their own sphere and
center, and all virtues reached in Her the highest perfec
tion, so that in no manner could it ever be said of Her :
this or that is wanting in order to make Her altogether
beautiful and perfect. Besides the infused virtues, She
possessed all the acquired ones, which She augmented by
practice and exercise. In other souls, one single act can
not be called virtue, because many repeated acts are neces
sary to constitute virtue ; but in the most holy Mary each
act was so efficacious, intense and consummate, that each
one was superior to the virtues of all the other creatures.
Accordingly, as her acts of virtue were so frequent and
did not fall short in the least point of the highest degree
of perfection, how incomparably excellent were not the
habits of virtue, which the heavenly Mistress attained by
her personal exertion? The end for which something is
done is that which makes an act virtuous as being well
done. In Mary, our Mistress, this end was God himself,
highest possible end of all activity; for She did nothing
through which She was not certain to advance the greater
glory and pleasure of the Lord and She looked upon this
as the motive and ultimate end of all her actions.
484. The two kinds of virtues, the infused and the ac
quired, are founded upon a third kind, called natural vir
tue ; this is born within us as part of our rational nature
and is called synteresis. It is a certain knowledge of the
first foundations and principles of virtue, perceived by
the light of reason, and a certain inclination in the will,
corresponding to this light. Such for instance is the senti
ment, that we must love those who do us good, or that
we should not do unto others, what we do not wish to be
done to ourselves, etc. The most holy Queen possessed
this natural virtue or synteresis in the most superlative
degree, so that from the natural principles She drew all
their consequences and relations up to the universal Good,
though ever so remote ; for She reasoned from these first
principles with profoundest insight, and incredible swift
ness and accuracy. To arrive at these conclusions, She
availed Herself of her infused knowledge of created
things, especially of the more noble and vast ones, of the
heavens, the sun, the moon and stars, the arrangement of
all the heavenly bodies and of the elements. Taking in
their whole scope from beginning to end, She invited these
creatures to praise their Creator and commanded them,
as far as was in them, to raise and draw men toward their
God until they should arrive at the knowledge of the
Creator and Author of all.
485. The infused virtues are divided into two classes.
To the first belong only those, that have God himself for
their immediate object ; therefore they are called theologi
cal virtues, being faith, hope, and charity. To the second
class belong all those other virtues, which have as their
proximate object some means or some honorable good,
which advances the soul toward its last end, namely God.
These are called the moral virtues, because they are inti
mately connected with established customs, and, although
they are many in number, they can be reduced to four,
which are called the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice,
fortitude and temperance. Of all these virtues and their
different species I will say farther on as much as I can in
order that I may make clear, how all of them and each
one in particular adorned the faculties of the most holy
Mary. At present I only mention in general, that none
of them was wanting in Her, and that all were possessed
by Her in the most perfect manner ; moreover they were
supplemented by the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the fruits
of the Spirit, and the Beatitudes. God did not fail to in
fuse into Her from the first moment of her Conception,
all of the graces and gifts conducive to the highest beauty
of the human soul and faculties ; and this was true of the
will as well as of the understanding, so that She had as
well the knowledge as the habit of the sciences. In order to
say it all in one word : all the good, which the Most High
could give Her as the Mother of his Son and as a mere
creature, He conferred upon Her in the most exalted de
gree. In addition to all this her virtues continually aug
mented : the infused virtues, because She added to them by
her own merits, and the acquired virtues, because She nur
tured and multiplied them by the intensity of her merito
rious acts.
486. My daughter, the Most High communicates to
all mortals without distinction the light of the natural
virtues; to those who dispose themselves by means of
them and by his graces, He concedes also the infused
virtues at the time of their justification. As He is the
Author of nature and of grace, He distributes these gifts
with greater or less abundance, according to his equity
and pleasure. In Baptism He instills the virtues of faith,
hope and charity, and with these, other virtues, by which
the creature is to co-operate and exert itself toward the
pursuit of Good, not only preserving within itself those
received in the sacraments, but acquiring others by its
own merits and exertions. This will be the greatest hap
piness and blessedness of men, that they correspond to
the love, which the Creator and Redeemer shows them,
adorning their soul and, by the infused habits, familiariz
ing themselves with the virtuous exercise of their own
will. But the failure to correspond to those inestimable
benefits brings on their greatest misfortune, because in
this disloyalty consists the first great victory of the demon
over man.
487. Of thee, my soul, I require that thou exercise
thyself and co-operate with the natural and the supernat
ural, gifts of virtue with an unceasing diligence, and that
thou acquire the habits of other virtues, which thou
shouldst augment by the frequent exercise of those, which
God so liberally and graciously has communicated to
thee. The infused gifts, joined to the virtues nurtured
and attained by the soul itself, are an adornment and ac
quisition of marvelous beauty, and very pleasing in the
eyes of the Most High. I remind thee also, my dearest,
that the Almighty has been so generous in conferring
these blessings on thy soul and has enriched it with such
great treasures of grace, that if thou shouldst fall into
disgrace, it would be thy fault, and thou wouldst incur a
greater guilt, than many generations of men. Consider
and always remember the great nobility of virtue, how it
so enlightens and beautifies the soul, that even if there
were no other gain or object, the desire of possessing it
for its own sake would be entirely justifiable. Now, that
which exalts virtue beyond all comparison is, that its final
end is God himself, for whom truth and perfection, which
are its constituents, must be primarily intended; and as
soon as virtues attain this their end, namely God himself,
they will be the foundation of the happiness and blessed
ness of the creature.
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