The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 4 verses 35-51 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 4 verses 35-51HOW THE DIVINE DECREES ARE CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO INSTANTS, AND WHAT GOD IN EACH DETERMINED TO COMMUNICATE AD EXTRA.

  INDEX            Book 1  Chapter  4    Verses:  35-51


35. I understood, that this order comprises the follow
ing instants. The first instant is : God recognizing his
infinite attributes and perfections together with the pro
pensity and the ineffable inclination to communicate Him
self outwardly. This knowledge of God as being com
municative ad extra comes first. The Majesty of God,
beholding the nature of his infinite perfections, their vir
tue and efficacy operating with magnificence, saw that
it was just and most proper, and, as it were, a duty and
a necessity, to communicate Himself and to follow that
inclination of imparting and exercising his liberality and
mercy, by distributing outside of Himself with magnifi
cence the plenitude of the infinite treasures, contained
in the Divinity. For, being infinite in all things, it is
much more natural that He communicate gifts and
graces, than that fire should ascend, or the stone should
gravitate toward its center, or that the sun should diffuse
its light. This unfathomable depth of perfections, this
affluence of treasures, this impetuous infinity of riches, is
set in motion by its own inclinations to communicate it
self. At the same time God is in Himself conscious that
to distribute gifts and graces, is not to diminish his
riches, but to increase them in the only possible way, by
giving an outlet to the inexhaustible fountain of his
riches.
36. All this did God see in the first instant after the
communication ad intra by means of the eternal emana
tions. Seeing this He found Himself, as it were, obliged,
in Himself, to communicate Himself ad extra, perceiving
that it was holy, just, merciful, and god-like to do so;
hence nothing could impede Him. According to our
mode of understanding, we can represent God to our
minds as not being satisfied nor at rest with Himself
until He reached the object of his desires, the creatures,
where and with whom, by making them partakers of his
divinity and perfections, He seeks his delight.
37. In this enlightenment and knowledge which I pos
sess, two things hold my lukewarm heart in wonder and
inflame it unto annihilation. The first is the inclination
and urgent desire, which I see in God, and the strong
will, to communicate his Divinity and the treasures of
his grace. The second is the unspeakable and incompre
hensible immensity of the good gifts, which I see He
wishes to distribute according to this decree, assigning
them for this purpose and yet remaining infinite, as if He
had yet given nothing. In this desire and inclination,
which fills his Majesty I see Him prepared to sanctify,
justify, overwhelm with gifts and perfections all crea
tures together and each one in particular for itself. He
would be ready to give to each of the creatures more than
what is held by all the angels and seraphim together;
even if all the drops in the ocean and the grains of sand
on their shores, all the stars, the planets and the elements,
and all creatures were capable of reason and of his gifts,
they would receive them without measure, provided they
would dispose themselves and place no obstacle toward
receiving them. O fearful malice of sin, which alone is
capable of holding up the impetuous stream of such great
and eternal gifts!
38. The second instant was to confirm and determine
the object and intention of this communication of the
Divinity ad extra, namely, that it should redound to his
greater glory and to the exaltation of his Majesty and
the manifestation of his greatness. This his own exal
tation God saw as the end, for which He would communicate
Himself, make Himself known by his liberality
in the distribution of his attributes, and set in motion his
Omnipotence in order that He might be known, praised
and glorified.
39. The third instant consisted in selecting and de
termining the order and arrangement, or the mode of
this communication, so as to realize in an adequate man
ner the most exalted ends The order namely, which it
is proper should be maintained in regard to the communi
cations of the Godhead and its divine attributes; so that
this activity of the Lord may have its proper reasons and
objects, and so that it might proceed with the most beau
tiful and admirable sequence, harmony and subordina
tion. In this instant was decreed first of all, that the di
vine Word should assume flesh and should become vis
ible. The perfection and the composition of the most
holy humanity of Christ our Lord was decreed and
modeled in the divine intelligence. Secondarily, also
were formed the ideals of the rest of men in imitation of
the First The divine mind prearranged the harmony
and adornment of the human nature composed of an
organic body and a vivifying soul, endowed with facul
ties to know and enjoy its Creator, to discern between
good and evil, and with a free will to love that same
Lord.
40. This hypostatic union of the second Person of the
most holy Trinity I understood necessarily to have been
the first incentive and object on account of which, before
all others, the divine intelligence and will issued ad extra;
and the reasons are most exalted, so that I cannot explain.
One of these reasons is, that God, having in Himself
known and loved Himself, should, according to right or
der, know and love that, which approaches most inti
mately to his Divinity, as is the case in the hypostatic
union. Another reason is, that the Divinity, having
communicated Itself ad infra, should also communicate
Itself ad extra; for thus the divine will and intention
would begin to execute its works with the highest end
in view, and his attributes would be communicated in
the most beautiful order. The fire of the Divinity ex
pended itself in its fullest measure on that which was
most immediately connected with It, namely, the hypostatically
united humanity ; and his Divinity communicated
Itself in the highest and most excellent degree to Him,
who was to be closest to God in divine knowledge
and love, and share the works and the glory of the Deity.
For God (speaking according to our lowly comprehen
sion) could not endanger the attainment of this end, since
He alone could be an object proportionate and worthy of
so wonderful an operation. It was also befitting and, as
it were, necessary, that if God should create many crea
tures, He should create them in such harmony and sub
ordination, as would be the most admirable and glorious
within the reach of possibility. In conformity with this
therefore, they must be subordinate to a supreme Chief,
who should be as far as possible united immediately with
God, so that through Him they may have communication
and connection with his Divinity. For these and for other
reasons (which I cannot explain), the dignity of the
works of God could be provided for only by the Incarna
tion of the Word ; through Him Creation should possess
the most beautiful order, which without Him was im
possible.
41. The fourth instant was to determine the gifts and
graces, which were to be conferred upon the humanity
of Christ, our Lord, in union with the Divinity. Here
the Most High opened the liberal hands of his Omnipo
tence and his other attributes, in order to enrich the most
sacred humanity and the soul of Christ with the highest
possible plenitude of his gifts and graces. Then was
fulfilled what afterward David said : "The stream of the
river maketh the city of God joyful" (Ps. 45, 5). When
the stream of his gifts flowed toward the humanity of
the Word, communicating to it all the infused science,
the grace and goodness of which his blessed soul was
capable, and which fitted that Being, which was to be
God and true man, and at the same time, the Head of all
creatures capable of grace and glory, in order that from
this impetuous stream they might partake in the manner
in which it afterwards really happened.
42. To this instant also, and, as it were, in natural
sequence, pertain the decree and predestination of the
Mother of the Divine Word incarnate ; for here, I under
stand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else
whatever. Thus, before all other creatures, was She con
ceived in the divine mind, in such manner and such state
as befitted and became the dignity, excellence and gifts
of the humanity of her most holy Son. To Her flowed
over, at once and immediately, the river of the Divinity
and its attributes with all its impetuosity, in as far as a
mere creature is capable and as is due to the dignity of
the Mother of God.
43. In the knowledge of these exalted mysteries and
decrees, I confess myself ravished in admiration and
transported beyond my proper self. Perceiving this most
holy and pure Creature formed and conceived in the di
vine mind from the beginning and before all the ages, I
joyously and exultingly magnify the Omnipotent for the
admirable and mysterious decree, by which He formed
for us such a pure and grand, such a mysterious and
godlike Creature, worthy rather to be admired and
praised by all beings, than to be described by any one.
In my admiration I can say with St.Dionysius the Areopagite:
"If faith would not instruct me, and if the un
derstanding of what I see would not teach me, that it is
God, who has conceived Her in his mind, and who alone
could and can in his Omnipotence form such an image of
his Divinity, if this all were not present to my mind, I
might begin to doubt, whether the Virgin Mother con
tain not in Herself Divinity."
44. O what tears flowed from my eyes, and what sor
rowful astonishment possessed my soul, to see that divine
prodigy not acknowledged and that wonder of the Most
High not manifest to all the mortals. Much is known
of it, but much more is unknown, as this sealed book has
not been opened. I am ravished in the perception of this
tabernacle of God, and I perceive that the Author of it
is more admirable in her creation, than in that of all the
rest of the world, although the diversity of the creatures
manifests the wonderful power of their Creator. In this
Queen alone are comprehended and contained more treas
ures than in all the rest of things joined together, and
the variety and the preciousness of her riches honor the
Lord above all the multitudes of the other creatures.
45. Here (according to our way of understanding)
the promise and, as it were, the contract was made with
the Word as to the degree of sanctity, and perfection and
the gifts and graces, which were to be possessed by Mary
his Mother. Also as to the protection, support and de
fense, which was to be provided for this true City of
God, in which his Majesty contemplated the graces and
merits, which She earned for Herself, as well as the
fruits to be gathered for his people by the loving returns,
which She was to make to his Majesty. In the same in
stant, and as it were in the third and last place, God de
termined to create a locality and an abode, where the in
carnate Word and his Mother should converse and dwell.
For Them primarily did He create the heaven and earth
with its stars and elements and all that is contained in
them. Secondarily the intention and decree included the
creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the
Head, and of whom He would be the King; in order that
with kingly providence, all the necessary and befitting ar
rangements might be made beforehand.
46. I pass over to the fifth instant, although in reality
I have found that, which I sought. In this fifth decree
the creation of the angelic nature which is more excellent
and more like unto the spiritual being of the Divinity,
was determined upon, and at the same time the division
or arrangement of the angelic hosts into nine choirs and
three hierarchies, was provided and decreed. As they
are created first of all for the glory of God, to assist
before his divine Majesty and to know and love Him, so
secondarily they are ordained to assist, glorify and honor,
reverence and serve the deified humanity of the eternal
Word, recognizing Him as Head, and honoring Him
also in his Mother, the most holy Mary, Queen of these
same angels. Commission was given to these angels, "to
bear them up in their hands" in all their ways (Ps. 90,
12). In this instant Christ our Lord earned for them by
his infinite merits, present and foreseen, all the grace,
which they were to receive. He was constituted as their
Head, Exemplar and supreme King, of whom they should
be subjects. Even if the number of angels had been
infinite, the merits of Christ our highest Good, would be
abundantly sufficient to supply them all with grace.
47. To this instant belongs also the predestination of
the good, and the reprobation of the bad angels. God
saw in it, by means of his infinite science, all the works
of the former and of the latter and the propriety of pre
destinating, by his free will and by his merciful liberality,
those that would obey and give honor, and of reprobating
by his justice those who would rise up against his
Majesty in pride and disobedience on account of their
disordered selflove. In the same instant also was de
creed the creation of the empyrean heaven, for the man
ifestation of his glory and the reward of the good ; also
the earth and other heavenly bodies for the other crea
tures ; moreover also in the center or depth of the earth,
hell, for the punishment of the bad angels.
48. In the sixth instant was decreed the creation of a
people and congregation of men for Christ, who was al
ready formed in the divine mind and will, and according
to whose image and likeness man was to be made, in
order, that the incarnate Word might find brethren, sim
ilar but inferior to Himself and a people of his own na
ture, of whom He might be the Head. In this instant
was determined the order of the creation of the whole
human race, which was to begin from one man and
woman and propagate itself, until the Virgin and her
Son should be born in the predestined order. On account
of the merits of Christ, our Savior, the graces and gifts
were prearranged, and also original justice, if they would
only preserve it. The fall of Adam was foreseen and in
him that of all others, except of the Queen, who did not
enter into this decree. As a remedy was it ordained, that
the most holy humanity should be capable of suffering.
The predestined were chosen by free grace, and the fore
known were reprobated with exact justice. All that was
convenient and necessary for the conservation of the
human race and for obtaining the end of the Redemp
tion and the Predestination, was preordained, without in
terfering with the free will of men; for such ordainment
was more conformable to God s nature and to divine
equity. There was no injustice done to them, for if with
their free will they could sin, so also could they abstain
from sin by means of grace and the light of reason. God
violated the right of no one, since He forsook no one nor
denied to any one that which is necessary. Since his law
is written in the hearts of men, nobody is excused for not
knowing and loving Him as the highest Good of all cre
ation.
49. In the perception of these mysteries I saw with
great clearness and force the high motives which caused
God to manifest and magnify Himself and which should
induce men to praise and adore the greatness of the Cre
ator and Redeemer of all. I also saw how tardy they
are in the acknowledgment of these obligations and in
making return for these benefits ; and I was made aware
of the complaints and the indignation of the Most High
on account of this forgetfulness. His Majesty com
manded and exhorted me not to be guilty of such in
gratitude, but to offer Him a sacrifice of praise, and a
new song, and that I magnify Him in the name of all
creatures.
50. O most high and incomprehensible Lord ! Would
that I had the love and the perfections of all the angels
and the just in order to confess and praise worthily thy
greatness! I acknowledge, great and mighty Lord, that
such a vile creature as I cannot merit the memorable
benefit of receiving this clear and exalted knowledge and
light concerning thy exalted Majesty. At the sight of
thy greatness I perceive my littleness, which before that
happy hour was unknown to me; and I was ignorant of
the greatness and excellence of the virtue of humility,
which is learnt in this science. I do not wish to say that I
now possess that virtue, but neither can I deny that I have
been shown the certain path which leads to it. Thy light,
O most high Lord, illumines me and thy lamp shows me
the paths (Ps. 118, 105), so that I see what I have been
and what I am, and fear what I may become to be. Thou
hast lighted up, most high King, my understanding and
inflamed my will with its most exalted object. Thou hast
entirely drawn me on to seek Thee, and I wish to make
this known to all mortals in order that they may leave me
in peace and I them: I am for my Beloved (Cant.
2, 16), and (although I am unworthy), my Beloved is
for me. Strengthen then, O Lord, my weakness that I
may run after Thee, and reaching Thee, I may never
leave Thee or lose Thee.
51. Very short and stammering is this chapter, for of
this matter many books could be written; but I refrain,
because I do not know how to speak and I am an ig
norant woman. My sole object has been to explain, how
the Virgin Mother has been formed and preordained in
the divine mind before the ages (Ecclus. 24, 14). That
which I have seen over and above concerning this high
est mystery, transforms my interior, and in silent admira
tion makes me praise the Author of such magnificence in
company with the blessed, saying: Holy, holy, holy, is
the Lord God Sabaoth (Is. 6, 3).
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