Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 5  Chapter  7    Verses:  74-83

74. All free and voluntary causes must have some rea
sonable end or purpose, which move them to act, and
having1 obtained a clear view of this end, they proceed
to choose the means for obtaining it. This is certainly
true of the works of God, who is the first and primary
Cause, and who is infinite Wisdom itself, disposing and
executing all things and reaching from end to end in
sweetness and power, as the wise man says. Nor does
He seek the destruction and annihilation of any creature,
but all of them He has made in order that they may
enjoy life and existence (Wis. 8, 1). The more won
derful and excellent the works of the Most High, so
much the more admirable and exalted are the ends to
which they tend. Although the ultimate end of all
things is the manifestation of his own glory; yet all are
ordained according to infinite knowledge and are con
nected one with each other like the links of a chain. Thus
all creatures succeed each other from the lowest to the
highest and nearest to God, the Author of all.
75. All the excellence and sanctity of our great Lady
is included in her having been moulded by God as the
image or living stamp of his own Son; being so well
adjusted and refined in grace that She seemed another
Christ by communication and privilege (Gal. 4, 4). Thus
was established a singular and divine intercourse between
Her and her Son. She had given Him the form and
existence of man, while the Lord gave Her that other
highest spiritual existence of grace, so that there was a
mutual correspondence and similarity of gifts. The ends
which the Most High had in view, were proportionate
to this rare wonder and to this, the greatest of all his
operations in mere creatures. In the second and sixth
chapter I have said something concerning the honor of
Christ and its being bound up with the efficacy of his
doctrines and merits : that his honor required their power
to be made known in his most holy Mother, and that all
the effects of the evangelical Law and the fruits of his
Redemption should redound to his glory by being ex
hibited in Her. More than in all the rest of his holy
Church and in all the predestined, was this to be found
in the sovereign Lady, his Mother.
76. The second end, which the Lord had in view in
this work, concerned likewise the ministry of the Re
deemer; for the work of our Redemption was to cor
respond with those of the Creation of the world, and
the remedy of sin was to be correlative with its entrance
among men. Therefore, it was befitting that, just as
the first Adam had as a companion in sin our mother
Eve, and was moved and abetted therein by her, causing
the loss of the whole human race, so also, in the repara
tion of this great ruin, the second and heavenly Adam,
Christ our Lord, was to have as a companion and helper
his most pure Mother. She was to concur and co-operate
in the Redemption ; although in Christ alone, who is our
Head, existed the full power and adequate cause of the
general Redemption. In order that this mystery might
not want the proper dignity and correspondence, it was
necessary that what was said by the Most High in the
first formation of man, be also fulfilled in regard to Christ
and his Mother: "It is not good for man to be alone:
let us make him a help like unto himself" (Gen 2, 18).
This the Lord in his Omnipotence did, so that, speaking
of the second Adam, Christ, He could say: "This now
is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall
be called Woman because She was taken out of man"
(Gen. 2, 23). I shall not detain myself in further ex
planation of this sacrament; for it is clearly seen by
reason enlightened by divine faith, and the resemblance
between Christ and his most holy Mother is clearly mani
77. Another motive for this mystery, though here men
tioned in the third place, is first in regard to the inten
tion; for it concerns the eternal predestination of Christ
our Lord, which I have described in the first part of this
history. The primary intention of the eternal Word in
assuming flesh and becoming the Teacher of men, cor
respond with the greatness of that very work, which was
to be performed. This was the greatest of all his works
and it was really the end for which all the rest were to
be executed. Hence the divine wisdom so arranged mat
ters, that among mere creatures there should be One,
which fully met his desire of being our Teacher and
adopting us as his children by his grace. If the Creator
had not thus formed the most holy Mary and furnished
Her with a degree of sanctity like to that of his divine
Son (according to our coarse way of speaking), the
adequate motive for his Incarnation, so far as it is mani
fest to us, would have been wanting. Compare with this
what is said of Moses, when he received the tablets of the
Law written by the finger of God : he broke them as soon
as he saw the people in their idolatry, judging them too
faithless to be worthy of such great benefit. Afterwards
the Law was written on other tablets made by the hands
of man, and these were preserved in the world. The
first tablets, made by the hands of God and having* writ
ten upon them Law of the Lord, were broken by the first
sin; and we would not have had any evangelical Law, if
there had not been other tablets, Christ and Mary, formed
in another way ; She in the ordinary and natural way, He
by the consent and of the substance of Mary. If this
great Lady had not concurred and co-operated as a worthy
instrument, we other mortals would be now without this
evangelical Law.
78. In the plenitude of this divine science and grace
Christ our Lord attained all these sublime ends by teach
ing the most blessed Mother the mysteries of the evan
gelical Law. In order that She might be proficient in
all of them and at the same time understand them in
their different aspects ; in order that She might afterwards
be Herself the consummate Teacher and Mother of wis
dom, the Lord used different means of enlightening Her.
Sometimes by abstractive visions of the Divinity, with
which during this part of her life She was more fre
quently favored; at other times by intellectual visions,
which were more habitual though less clear. In the one
as well as in the other She saw the whole militant Church,
with all its history from the beginning of the world until
the Incarnation; and what was to be its lot afterwards
until the end of the world, and later on in eternal
beatitude. This knowledge was so clear, distinct and
comprehensive, that She knew all the just and the saints,
and those who were to distinguish themselves afterwards
in the Church: the Apostles, Martyrs, Patriarchs of the
religious orders, the Doctors, Confessors and Virgins.
All these our Queen knew in particular with all their
merits and graces and the rewards apportioned to them.
79. She was acquainted also with the Sacraments,
which her divine Son was to establish in the Church;
their efficacy, the results in those that receive them, vary
ing according to the different dispositions of the recip
ients, and all their strength flowing from the sanctity and
merits of her most holy Son, our Redeemer. She was
also furnished with a clear understanding of all the doc
trines, which He was to preach and teach; of the new
and old Testament, and of all mysteries hidden under its
four different ways of interpreting them, the literal, moral,
allegoric and anagogic; and all that the interpreters of
the Scriptures were to write in explanation. But her
understanding of all these was much more extensive and
profound than theirs. She was aware that all this knowl
edge was given to Her in order that She might be the
Teacher of the whole Church; for this was her office in
the absence of her most holy Son, after his Ascension
into heaven. In Her the new children of the Church
and the faithful engendered by grace were to have a
loving Mother, who carefully nourished them at the
breasts of her doctrines as with sweetest milk, the proper
food of infant children. Thus the most blessed Lady
during these eighteen years of her hidden intercourse with
her most holy Son fed upon and digested the substance of
the evangelical doctrines, receiving them from their
Author, Christ, the Redeemer. Having tasted and well
understood the scope and efficacy of this law, She drew
forth from it sweet nourishment for the primitive Church,
whose members were yet in their tender years and unfit
for the solid and strong food of the Scriptures and the
perfect imitation of their Master and Redeemer. But
since I am to speak of this part of her history in its
proper place, I do not expatiate farther upon this matter.
80. Besides these visions and instructions concerning
her divine Son and his human nature, the great Lady
had also two other sources of information which I have
already mentioned. The one was the reflection of his
most holy Soul and its interior operation, which She saw
as in a mirror and in which was included at the same
time a reflex image of all his knowledge of things created ;
so that She was informed of all the counsels of the Re
deemer and Artificer of sanctity and also of all the works,
which He intended to undertake and execute either by
Himself or by his ministers. The other source of infor
mation was his own spoken word ; for the Lord conversed
with his most worthy Mother about all things concerning
his Church, from the greatest to smallest, including also
all the happenings contemporary with and bearing upon
the different phases of the history of the Church. On
this account the heavenly Disciple and our Instructress
was so imbued with his doctrine and so proficient in the
most perfect practice of it, that the perfection of her
works corresponded with her immense wisdom and
science. Her knowledge was so clear and deep, that it
comprehended everything and was never equaled by any
creature, nor can it be conceived in its full extent either
in thought or words. Neither was there anything want
ing that is necessary, nor was there anything added that
was superfluous, nor did She ever mistake one thing
for another, nor was She in need of discourse or inquiry
in order to be able to explain the most hidden mysteries
of the Scriptures, whenever such explanation was neces
sary in the primitive Church.
81. The Most High, who in sheer goodness and bounty
has given existence to all creatures and denies his provi
dential care to none, faithfully supplies all souls with
light, by which they can enter into the knowledge of Him
and of eternal life, provided they do not of their own free
will prevent and obscure this light by sin or give up the
quest of the kingdom of heaven. To the souls, whom,
according to his secret judgments, He calls to his Church,
He shows himself still more liberal. For with the grace
of Baptism He infuses into them not only those virtues,
which are called essentially infused and which the crea
ture cannot merit by its own efforts ; but also those, which
are accidentally infused and which it can merit by its
own labors and efforts. These the Lord gives freely
beforehand, in order that the soul may be more prepared
and zealous in the observance of his holy Law. In other
souls, in addition to the common light of faith, the Lord
in his clemency grants supernatural gifts of knowledge
and virtue for the better understanding of the evangelical
mysteries and for the more zealous practice of good
works. In this kind of gifts He has been more liberal
with thee than with many generations; obliging thee
thereby to distinguish thyself in loving correspondence
due to Him and to humble thyself before Him to the
very dust.
82. In order that thou mayest be well instructed and
informed, I wish to warn thee as a solicitous and loving
Mother, of the cunning of satan for the destruction of
these works of the Lord. From the very moment in
which mortals begin to have the use of their reason, each
one of them is followed by many watchful and relentless
demons. For as soon as the souls are in a position to
raise their thoughts to the knowledge of their God and
commence the practice of the virtues infused by Baptism,
these demons, with incredible fury and astuteness, seek
to root out the divine seed; and if they cannot succeed
in this, they try to hinder its growth, and prevent it from
bringing forth fruit by engaging men in vicious, useless,
or trifling things. Thus they divert their thoughts from
faith and hope, and from the pursuit of other virtues,
leading them to forget that they are Christians and divert
ing their attention from the knowledge of God and from
the mysteries of the Redemption and of life eternal.
Moreover the same enemy instils into the parents a base
neglectfulness and carnal love for their offspring; and
he incites the teachers to carelessness, so that the children
find no support against evil in their education, but be
come depraved and spoiled by many bad habits, losing
sight of virtue and of their good inclinations and going
the way of perdition.
83. But the most kind Lord does not forget them in
this danger and He renews in them his holy inspirations
and special helps. He supplies them with the holy teach
ings of the Church by his preachers and ministers. He
holds out to them the aid of the Sacraments and many
other inducements to keep them on the path of life. That
those who walk in the way of salvation are the smaller
number, is due to the vice and depraved habits imbibed in
youth and nourished in childhood. For that saying of
Deuteronomy is very true : "As the days of thy youth, so
also shall thy old age be" (Deut. 33, 25). Hence the
demons gain courage and increase their tyrannical influence
over souls in the early years of man s life, hoping
that they will be able to induce men to commit so much
the greater and the more frequent sins in later years,
the more they have succedeed in drawing them into small
and insignificant faults in their childhood. By these they
draw them on to a state of blind presumption ; for with
each sin the soul loses more and more the power of
resistance, subjects itself to the demon, and falls under
the sway of its tyrannical enemies. The miserable yoke
of wickedness is more and more firmly fastened upon it;
the same is trodden underfoot by its own iniquity and
urged onward under the sway of the devil from one preci
pice to another, from abyss to abyss (Ps. 41, 8) : a chas
tisement merited by all those, that allow themselves to be
overcome by evil-doing in the beginning. By these
means Lucifer has hurled into hell so great a number of
souls and continues so to hurl them every day, rising
up in his pride against the Almighty. In this manner
has he been able to introduce into the world his tyrannical
power, spreading among men forgetfulness of death,
judgment, heaven and hell, and casting so many nations
from abyss to abyss of darkness and bestial errors, such
as are contained in the heresies and false sects of the
infidels. Do thou therefore beware of this terrible dan
ger, my daughter, and let not the memory of the law of
thy God, his precepts and commands, and the truths of
the Catholic Church and the doctrines of the Gospels ever
fail in thy mind. Let not a day pass in which thou dost
not spend much time in meditating upon all these ; and
exhort thy religious and all those who listen to thee
to do the same. For thy enemy and adversary is labor
ing with ceaseless vigilance to obscure thy understanding
in forgetfulness of the divine law, seeking to withdraw thy
will, which is a blind faculty, from the practice of justi
fication. This, thou knowest, consists in acts of living
faith, trustful hope, ardent love, all coming from a con
trite and humble heart (Ps. 50, 19).
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