Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 5  Chapter  8    Verses:  84-95

84. Our Redeemer advanced in age and divine activity,
leaving behind Him the years of his boyhood and fulfill
ing the task imposed upon Him by his eternal Father
for the benefit of mankind. He did not engage in the
work of preaching, nor did He perform at that time such
open miracles as afterwards in Galilee, or before, in
Egypt. But under cover of secrecy He produced great
effects in the souls and bodies of men. He visited the
poor and infirm; He consoled the afflicted and sorrow
ful. By special enlightenment and holy inspirations He
led many souls to the way of salvation, inducing them to
turn to their Creator and to withdraw from the devil and
the works of death. These labors were continuous and
He was frequently absent from the house of the blessed
Virgin. Although the persons thus assisted were aware,
that they were moved and converted by the words and
the presence of Jesus, yet, as they were left in ignorance
of the mystery of his assistance and could ascribe it only
to the agency of God himself, they did not speak about
it. The great Lady learned of these wonders by seeing
them reflected in the most holy soul of her Son and by
other means ; and She adored Him and gave Him thanks
for them prostrate at his feet.
85. The rest of the time her most holy Son passed
with his Mother, instructing Her and engaging with
Her in prayer. He spoke to Her of his solicitude for his
cherished flock, of the merits which He wished to ac
cumulate for the benefit of souls, and of the means to be
applied for their salvation. The most prudent Mother
listened to all his words and co-operated with his divine
love and wisdom, assisting Him in his office of Father,
Brother, Friend, Teacher, Advocate, Protector and Re
deemer of the human race. These conferences They held
either by conversation or by interior communications, for
in both ways the Son and the Mother could hold con
verse with each other. Her most holy Son would say:
"My Mother, the fruit of my works and the foundation
upon which I wish to build the Church, is to be a doctrine
founded in holy science, which if believed and followed,
shall be the life and salvation of men : an efficacious and
holy law, which shall be capable of destroying the deathly
poison of Lucifer, instilled by the first sin. I wish that
men, by means of my precepts and counsels, become spirit
ualized and exalted to a participation and likeness of My
self, and that they, in their mortal flesh, become deposi
taries of my riches and afterwards participators of my
eternal glory. I wish to give them the law of Moses,
so renewed and improved, that it shall contain also the
precepts and counsels."
86. All these intentions of the Master of life his
heavenly Mother understood with profoundest insight and
accepted with ardent love, reverencing and thanking Him
in the name of all the human race. And as the Lord
proceeded in all his instructions, She understood more
and more fully the efficacy of all these sacraments, the
powerful influence of the evangelical Law and doctrine
in obedient souls, and the rewards attached to it : and
She labored in its practical fulfillment as if She were the
representative of each one of the creatures. She knew all
the four Gospels word for word as they were to be writ
ten, and all the mysteries, which were to be contained
therein. She of Herself understood all the teachings of
the Gospels; for her knowledge was greater than that
of its authors. She could have explained them without
having seen the text. She knew also that her knowledge
was to be copied from that of Christ, engraved on her
soul as was the Law of the old Testament on the tablets
in the ark. Her knowledge was to serve as the original,
legitimate and veracious manuscript of the new Law of
grace for the guidance of the saints and the just ; for all
of them were to copy the virtues and the holiness con
tained in this archive of grace, most holy Mary.
87. Her divine Teacher also instructed Her in her
obligation of practicing this holy doctrine in its entirety,
so that the high purposes, which He had in view in mak
ing Her partake in such exalted blessings and favors,
might be attained. If we were to relate here, how fully
and exquisitely the great- Queen corresponded with his
designs, it would be necessary to describe her whole life
in this chapter; for it was a complete summary of the
Gospel, copied from her own Son and Teacher. All that
this holy doctrine has effected in the Apostles, Martyrs,
Confessors, Virgins and in all the just and the saints,
which have lived and shall live to the end of the world,
could not be described, much less understood, except by
the Lord himself. Yet we must consider, that all the
saints and the just were conceived in sin and all of
them placed some hindrance to grace; all of them could
have attained higher grace and holiness and fell short
in their correspondence with grace. But our heavenly
Lady had no such defects or failings; She alone was
material adequately disposed and adapted for the power
ful activity of God and his blessings. She was the one
who, without embarrassment and without opposition, re
ceived the impetuous torrent of the Divinity communi
cated to Her by her own Son and God. From all this
we may understand, that only in the beatific vision and
in eternal felicity we shall be able to estimate, how much
was due to this wonder of his Omnipotence.
88. Whenever I wish to explain some of the more
important things manifested to me in this matter, I am at
a loss what terms to use. For our great Queen and Lady
observed the precept and doctrines of the Gospel accord
ing to the measure of her profound understanding of them
and no creature is capable of reaching the limits of the
science and intelligence of the Mother of wisdom in these
teachings of Christ. Moreover, that which is under
stood of it exceeds the capacity of human words and
speech. Let us take for an example the doctrine of that
first sermon, which the Teacher of life gave on the moun
tain to his disciples, and which is recorded by saint
Matthew (Matth. 5, 1). In it is contained the sum of
Christian perfection, on which the Church is founded and
which makes those blessed that observe them.
89. "Blessed are the poor in spirit," says our Lord and
Teacher, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This
was the first and solid foundation of all evangelical life.
Although the Apostles and our holy Father saint Francis
understood it in a most exalted manner, yet Mary alone
penetrated and fully weighed the greatness of this poverty
in spirit; and just as She understood it, so She practiced
it to its last limits. Into her heart the image of temporal
riches found no entrance, nor did She feel the inclination
toward them; but, while loving created things as the.
handiwork of the Lord, She at the same time detested
them in so far as they were a hindrance or a burden to
the love of God. She made use of them in moderation
and only in so far as they were useful toward divine
love. This admirable and most perfect poverty entitled
Her to possess all things as Queen of heaven and earth.
What I have said here in regard to poverty, though strictly
true, is but little in comparison to what our great Lady
really understood and practiced in regard to this poverty
of spirit, the first beatitude.
90. The second beatitude is: "Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth/ By her sweetest meek
ness the most holy Mary excelled in the practice of this
beatitude not only over all mortals, just as Moses excelled
all men of his time, but She surpassed the angels and
seraphim themselves ; for this sincerest Dove, being yet
in mortal flesh, was interiorly and exteriorly no more
exposed to disturbance and excitement of her faculties,
than these pure spirits, who are not endowed with senses.
In such an unlimited degree was She Mistress of all her
bodily faculties and powers, as well as of the hearts of
all with whom She had intercourse, that She possessed
the earth in every day and reduced it to peaceful sub
jection. The third beatitude is: "Blessed are they that
mourn, for they shall be comforted." The most holy
Mary understood, more than any tongue can explain,
the value and excellence of tears, and at the same time
the foolishness and danger of laughter and human en
joyment. For, while all the children of Adam, though
they are conceived in original sin and afterwards incur
many other actual sins, give themselves over to laughter
and gaiety, this heavenly Mother, being without sin at
her Conception and ever after, was aware, that this mor
tal life should be consumed in weeping over the absence
of the supreme Good and over the sins, which have been
and are committed against God. For the sake of all men
She wept over their sins, and merited by her most inno
cent tears the great consolations and favors of the Lord.
Her most pure heart was in continual distress at the sight
of the offenses committed against her Beloved and her
God; her eyes distilled incessant tears (Jer. 9, 1), and
her bread day and night was to weep over the ingratitude
of sinners toward their Creator and Redeemer (Ps. 41,
4). No creatures, not all of them together, wept more
than the Queen of angels, though for men, on account
of their sins, there is abundant cause of wailing and
weeping, while in Her there was cause only for joy and
delight on account of her treasures of grace.
91. The fourth beatitude, "Blessed are they that hunger
and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill,"
helped our heavenly Lady to enter into the understanding
of this mysterious hunger and thirst. In Her this hunger
and thirst for justice was greater than all the disgust
ever entertained against it by the enemies of God. Hav
ing arrived at the pinnacle of justice and sanctity, her
desire for it increased in proportion; while the plenitude
of graces, poured out upon Her in a continual stream
from the treasury of the Divinity, satiated her longing
desires. As for the fifth beatitude: "Blessed are the
merciful for they shall obtain mercy," She possessed it in
such a high degree, that She alone deserved to be called
the Mother of mercy, just as the Lord alone is called
the Father of mercies (II Cor. 1, 3). She, who was
most innocent and without any fault in the eyes of God,
exercised mercy in its highest degree for the benefit and
for the salvation of the human race. As She knew by
her exalted science the excellence of this virtue, She never
denied and never will deny mercy to any one, whoever
may ask ; nor will She ever cease to seek out and hasten
to the relief of the poor and needy, in order to offer
them her assistance.
92. Without compeer was She also in the exercise of
the sixth beatitude : "Blessed are the clean of heart, for
they shall see God." For She was elect as the sun (Cant.
6, 9), a true imitation of the real Sun of justice and an
image of our material sun, which is not defiled by things
beneath it. Into the heart and mind of our most pure
Princess no touch of defilement has ever found entrance ;
on the contrary, defilement was made impossible in Her
on account of the exquisite purity of her thoughts and
because, from the first moment of her existence and
many times afterwards, She was favored with the vision
of the Divinity, although, being yet in a state of pilgrim
age, these visions were not continual. The seventh
beatitude : "Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall
be called the children of God," was conferred upon Her
in admirable measure. She stood in need of this blessing
in order to preserve the peace of her heart and of her
faculties in the trials and tribulations of her life and in
the passion and death of her most holy Son. Never was
She inordinately disturbed, and She knew how to accept
the greatest sufferings with supreme peace of mind, being
in all things a perfect Daughter of the heavenly Father.
Yea, it was especially by the exercise of this beatitude,
that She deserved to be called the Daughter of the eternal
Father. In the eighth beatitude : "Blessed are they that
suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the king
dom of heaven," Mary reached the pinnacle of perfec
tion. For She alone besides God was capable of bearing
with equanimity the sacrifice of the life and honor of
Christ our Lord, and the atrociousness with which it
was consummated. For we must remember that She was
the true Mother, as God was the true Father of his Onlybegotten.
This Lady alone imitated the Lord in his Pas
sion and understood fully, that to such extremes must
be executed the law of her divine Teacher in the Gospels.
93. In this manner I am able to explain part of what
I have understood of the knowledge of the Gospel pos
sessed and put into practice by this great Lady. In the
same way She comprehended the evangelical precepts,
counsels and parables of the Gospel; as for instance, the
precepts of loving enemies, pardoning injuries, doing
good works in secret and without vainglory, avoiding
hypocrisy; the counsels of perfection and the teachings
contained in the parables of the recovered treasures, the
lost pearl, the virgins, the seed scattered on the ground,
the talents and all other parables of the four Gospels.
All of them She understood, together with the doctrines
which they inculcate, and the high ends which the Master
had in view. She knew all things in the most holy and
perfect manner, and thus She also accomplished them to
the last point Of this Lady we can say what Christ said
of Himself : that She came not to abrogate the law, but
to fulfill it.
94. My daughter, it was proper that the Teacher of
virtue should make known to us what He did, and that
He should fulfill what He taught. For both word and
action belong to the office of teaching. The words should
instruct, while the example should move and give wit
ness to the teaching, in order that it may be accepted
and practiced. All this was fulfilled by my most holy
Son, and by me in imitation of Him (Matth. 5, 9). As
neither He nor I was to remain always upon this earth,
He wished to leave behind Him the holy Gospels as a
summary of his life and of mine, in order that the chil
dren of the light, by believing and practicing its teach
ings, might regulate their lives in imitation of his. For
in it the practical results of the teachings of Christ are
exhibited, such as they brought forth in me by imitating
Him. Of great value are the sacred Gospels, and for this
reason thou must look upon them with utmost veneration.
I call thy attention to the fact, that my most holy Son and
I are much honored and pleased to see the divine sayings
and the doings of his life properly esteemed and respected
among men. On the other hand, the Lord considers the
forgetting and the neglecting of the doctrines contained
in the Gospels a great injury done to Him by the chil
dren of the Church in our times. For there are many
who do not listen or attend to them, who give no thanks
for this blessing, and who make no more of them than if
they were pagan writings, or as if they did not contain
in them the light of faith.
95. Thy debt is great in this regard; for thou hast
received insight into the veneration and esteem in which
I held the evangelical doctrines, and thou wast made
aware, how I labored in order to put them into practice.
Thou hast not been able to learn all of what I practiced
and understood, as thy capacity is too limited; yet re
member at least, that with no entire nation have I been
so condescending as with thee alone in lavishing this
blessing. Therefore, be very careful how thou corre
spond with it, lest thou render fruitless the love which
has been instilled into thee for the divine Scriptures, and
particularly for the Gospels and their exalted doctrines.
They are to serve thee as a shining beaconlight, and
my life should be thy model for forming thy own. Take
heed how important and necessary it is for thy welfare to
attend to this with all diligence ; how much pleasure thou
canst thereby give to my Son and Lord, and how I shall
consider myself obliged anew to treat with thee as a
Mother and as a Teacher. Fear the danger of not attend
ing to the divine calls, for that is the cause of the loss of
innumerable souls. Since thou receivest so many and so
wonderful calls from thy merciful and omnipotent God,
how reprehensible will be thy rudeness, how abominable
thou wilt make thyself to the Lord, to me and the saints,
if thou fail to correspond with them!
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