The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 7 verses 80-93 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 1  Chapter  7    Verses:  80-93

80. The Cause of all causes is God, who created all
things that have being. His powerful arm gave exist
ence to all his wonderful works ad extra when and how
He chose. The beginning and succession of the work of
Creation is described by Moses in the opening chapter
of Genesis. Since the Lord has given me an understand
ing thereof, I will mention what I think useful for eluci
dating the mysterious origin of the Incarnation of the
Word and of our Redemption.
81. The words of the first chapter of Genesis are as
follows :
1. "In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
2. "And the earth was void and empty, and dark
ness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of
God moved over the waters.
3. "And God said : Be light made. And light was
4. "And God saw the light that it was good; and
he divided the light from the darkness.
5. "And he called the light day, and the darkness
night ;and there was evening and morning one day," etc.
Of the first day Moses says that "In the beginning God
created heaven and earth." Though He himself is im
mutable in being, the almighty God, in calling creatures
into existence, issued, so to say, forth from his own Self
and gave to creatures a being of their own, in order that
He might, as it were, rejoice in the works of his own
hands, as being the perfect and adequate results of his
operations. And before creating intellectual and ra
tional creatures, desiring also the order of executing these
works to be most perfect, He created heaven for angels
and men; and the earth as a place of pilgrimage for
mortals. These places are so adapted to their end and so
perfect, that as David says of them, the heavens publish
the glory of the Lord, the firmament and the earth an
nounce the glory of the works of his hands (Ps. 18, 2).
The heavens in their beauty manifest his magnificence
and glory, because in them is deposited the predestined
reward of the just. And the earthly firmament an
nounced that there would be creatures and men to in
habit the earth and that men should journey upon it to
their Creator. Before He created them the Most High
wished to provide for them and create that which is
necessary for the attainment of their end, and for living
in the manner ordained for them. Thus all parts of the
creation would be compelled as it were to obey and love
their Maker and Benefactor and by his works to learn
of his holy name and of his perfections (Rom. 1, 20).
82. Of the earth Moses says, that it was void, which
he does not say of the heavens ; for God had created the
angels at the instant indicated by the word of Moses:
"God said : Let there be light, and light was made." He
speaks here not only of material light, but also of the
intellectual or angelic lights. He does not make express
mention of them, but merely includes them in this word,
on account of the proclivity of the Hebrews to attribute
Divinity to new things, even of much greater inferiority
than the angels. But the metaphor of light was very
appropriate to signify the angelic nature and mystically,
the light of their science and grace, with which they
were endowed at their creation. God created the earth
conjointly with the heavens, in order to call into exist
ence hell in its centre; for, at the instant of its creation,
there were left in the interior of that globe spacious and
wide cavities, suitable for hell, purgatory and limbo. And
in hell was created at the same time material fire and
other requisites, which now serve for the punishment of
the damned. The Lord was presently to divide the light
from the darkness and to call the light day and the dark
ness night. And this did happen not only in regard to
the natural night and day, but in regard to the good and
bad angels ; for to the good, He gave the eternal light
of his vision and called it day, the eternal day; and to
the bad, the night of sin, casting them into the eternal
darkness of hell. Thus we were to be taught the inti
mate relation between the merciful liberality of the Cre
ator and Vivifier and the justice of the most just Judge
in punishment.
83. The angels were created in the empyrean heavens
and in the state of grace by which they might be first to
merit the reward of glory. For although they were in
the midst of glory, the Divinity itself was not to be
made manifest to them face to face and unveiled, until
they should have merited such a favor by obeying the
divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones,
remained only a very short time in the state of proba
tion; for their creation and probation with its result
were three distinct instants or moments, separated by
short intermissions. In the first instant they were all
created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into
existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures. Then
followed a short pause, during which the will of the
Creator was propounded and intimated, and the law and
command was given them, to acknowledge Him as their
Maker and supreme Lord, and to fulfill the end for
which they had been created. During this pause, in
stant or interval, Saint Michael and his angels fought
that great battle with the dragon and his followers,
which is described by the apostle Saint John in the
twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse. The good angels,
persevering in grace, merited eternal happiness and the
disobedient ones, rebelling against God, merited the pun
ishment, which they now suffer.
84. Although all this of the second instant could have
happened in a very brief time on account of the subtle
nature of the angels and the power of God, never
theless I understood, that the kind consideration of the
Most High permitted a certain delay. With the inter
position of some intervals of time, He proposed to them
the good and the bad, truth and falsehood, justice
and injustice, divine grace and friendship as op
posed to sin and enmity of God. They were enabled to
see eternal reward and eternal punishment, the perdition
of Lucifer and of those that would follow him. His
Majesty showed them hell and its pains. They saw it
all ; for, by virtue of their superior and excellent nature,
they understood the essence of other more qualified
and limited creatures; so that, before falling from grace,
they were clearly aware of the place of their chastise
ment. Although they did not know in the same man
ner the reward of glory, they had of it other knowledge
and besides they had the manifest and express promise
of the Lord The Most High had therefore justified
his cause and proceeded with the greatest equity and
justice. But as all this goodness and equity did not suf
fice to restrain Lucifer and his followers, they were
chastised in their stubbornness and hurled into the depths
of the hellish caverns, while the good angels were con
firmed in eternal grace and glory. All this was con
summated in the third instant, and thus it became truly
manifest that no being outside of God himself is im
peccable by nature, since the angel, who held such an
exalted position and was adorned with so many great
gifts of knowledge and grace, nevertheless sinned and was
lost. What will become of human frailty, if the divine
power does not defend it and if it forces God to forsake it ?
85. It remains to investigate the motive, which urged
Lucifer and his confederates to sin and what was the
occasion of their disobedience and fall, for this is the
point to which I wanted to come. In regard to this, it
was made known to me that they could commit many
sins as far as the guilt of sin (secundum reatum) is con
cerned, although they did not consummate them in acts.
However, on account of those which they did actually
commit freely and of their own depraved will, they ac
quired the disposition to all bad acts, inducing others to
commit and approving in others those sins, which they
could not commit themselves. Following the bad incli
nations which from that time on filled Lucifer, he fell
into a most disorderly selflove, which arose from the
consciousness of being endowed with greater gifts and
greater beauty of nature and grace, than the other in
ferior angels. He tarried with inordinate pleasure in
this consciousness; and thus self-satisfied he became lax
and remiss in the gratitude, which was due to God as
the sole cause of all that he had received. Turning
again and again in admiration toward himself, he took
pleasure in his own beauty and grace, attributing them
to himself and loving them as his own. This disorderly
selflove not only caused him to exalt himself on account
of the superior virtues, which he had received, but also
induced him to harbor envy and covetousness for other
gifts and for excellences not his own. Then, because he
could not attain them, he conceived a mortal hatred and
indignation against God, who created him out of noth
ing, and against all his creatures.
86. Hence arose his disobedience, presumption, injus88
tice, infidelity, blasphemy, and perhaps also a certain
kind of idolatry, for he coveted for himself the adora
tion and reverence due to God. He blasphemed the di
vine magnificence and holiness, he failed in the trust
and loyalty due to Him; he plotted to destroy all the
creatures, and presumed to be able to do all this and
much more by his own power. Thus his pride ascends
continually (Ps. 73, 23) and perseveres, though his ar
rogance is greater than his strength, for in this he can
not increase (Is. 16, 6) and in sin, one abyss calls the
other (Ps. 14, 8). The first angel who sinned was Luci
fer, as is described in the fourteenth chapter of Isaias.
He induced others to follow him and therefore he is
called the prince of the demons; not on account of his
natural gifts, for these would not secure to him that
title, but on account of his guilt. Those that sinned
were not all of one order or hierarchy, but among all
hierarchies there were many who sinned.
87. It is proper, that 1 also explain what was made
known to me concerning the kind of honor and excel
lence, which Lucifer aspired to and envied. As in the
works of God there is measure, number and weight
(Wis. 11, 21), his Providence decided to show to the
angels, immediately after their creation and before they
could incline to diverse ends, the purpose for which He
had created them with such an exalted and perfect na
ture. Of all this I obtained the following information:
At first they received a more explicit intelligence of the
being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that
they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as
their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence
and attributes. All subjected themselves to this com
mand and obeyed it, but with a certain difference; the
good angels obeyed through love and on account of the
justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely
admitting and believing what was above their intelli
gence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other
hand, submitted himself, because the opposite seemed
to him impossible. He did not do it with perfect char
ity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between
himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. In conse
quence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a
measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was
wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he
exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not perse
vering. Although grace did not leave him on account
of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment
of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition be
gan with them; for there remained with him a certain
weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfec
tion of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It
appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Luci
fer, is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a
deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mor
tally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the
precept of God; but this fulfillment was remiss and im
perfect, springing more from a sense of overwhelming
compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey.
Thus he put himself in danger of falling.
88. In the second place, the angels were informed that
God was to create a human nature and reasoning crea
tures lower than themselves, in order that they too
should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author
and eternal Good. They were informed that these were
to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of
the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume
their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to
divine Personality ; that therefore they were to acknowl
edge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God
and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God90
man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his in
feriors in dignity and grace and were to be his serv
ants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety
and equity, of the justice and reasonableness of such a
position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen
of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of
the grace which they now possessed and of the glory
which they were to obtain. They understood also that
they themselves had been, and all the rest of the crea
tures should be created for his glory, and that He was
to be their Head. All those that were capable of know
ing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son
of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief.
These commands were at once given to the angels.
89. To this command all the obedient and holy angel*,
submitted themselves and they gave their full assent and
acknowledgment with an humble and loving subjection
of the will. But Lucifer, full of envy and pride, resisted
and induced his followers to resist likewise, as they in
reality did, preferring to follow him and disobey the
divine command. This wicked prince persuaded them,
that he would be their chief and that he would set up a
government independent and separate from Christ. So
great was the blindness which envy and pride could cause
in an angel, and so pernicious was the infection that the
contagion of sin spread among innumerable other angels.
90. Then happened that great battle in heaven, which
St. John describes (Apoc. 12). For the obedient and
holy angels, filled with an ardent desire of hastening the
glory of the Most High and the honor of the incarnate
Word, asked permission and, as it were, the consent of
God, to resist and contradict the dragon, and the per
mission was granted. But also another mystery was con
cealed in all this: When it was revealed to the angels
that they would have to obey the incarnate Word, an
other, a third precept was given them, namely, that they
were to admit as a superior conjointly with Him, a
Woman, in whose womb the Onlybegotten of the Father
was to assume flesh and that this Woman was to be the
Queen and Mistress of all the creatures. The good an
gels by obeying this command of the Lord, with still in
creasing and more alert humility, freely subjected them
selves, praising the power and the mysteries of the Most
High. Lucifer, however, and his confederates, rose to
a higher pitch of pride and boastful insolence. In dis
orderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the
human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was
to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be con
summated in him.
91. The decree constituting him inferior to the
Mother of the Incarnate Word, our Mistress, he op
posed with horrible blasphemies. Turning against the
Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation
and calling upon the other angels, he exhorted them,
saying: "Unjust are these commands and injury is done
to my greatness; this human nature which Thou, Lord,
lookest upon with so much love and which thou favorest
so highly, I will persecute and destroy. To this end
I will direct all my power and all my aspirations. And
this Woman, Mother of the Word, I will hurl from the
position in which Thou hast proposed to place Her, and
at my hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall come
to naught."
92. This proud boast so aroused the indignation of
the Lord that in order to humble it, He spoke to Luci
fer: "This Woman, whom thou refusest to honor, shall
crush thy head and by Her shalt thou be vanquished and
annihilated (Gen. 3, 15). And if, through thy pride,
death enters into the world (Wis. 2, 24), life and salva
tion of mortals shall enter through the humility of this
Woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of
that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the
crowns, which thou and thy followers have lost." To
all this the dragon, filled with indignation against what
ever he understood of the divine will and decrees, an
swered only with pride and by threatening destruction
to the whole human race. The good angels saw the just
indignation of the Most High against Lucifer and his
apostates and they combated them with the arms of the
understanding, reason and truth.
93. The Almighty at this conjuncture worked an
other wonderful mystery. Having given to all the angels
a sufficiently clear intelligence of the great mystery of
the hypostatic Union, He showed them the image of
the most holy Virgin by means of an imaginary vision
(I speak here according to our way of understanding
such things). They were shown the perfection of the
human nature in the revelation of an image represent
ing a most perfect Woman, in whom the almighty arm
of the Most High would work more wonderfully than
in all the rest of the creatures. For therein He was to
deposit the graces and gifts of his right hand in a higher
and more eminent manner. This sign or vision of the
Queen of heaven and of the Mother of the incarnate
Word was made known and manifest to all the angels,
good and bad. The good ones at the sign of it broke
forth in admiration and in canticles of praise and from
that time on began to defend the honor of the God in
carnate and of his holy Mother, being armed with ardent
zeal and with the invincible shield of that vision. The
dragon and his allies on the contrary conceived implac
able hatred and fury against Christ and his most holy
Mother. Then happened all that which is described in the
twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, which I will explain,
as far as it has been given me, in the following chapter.
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