Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 5  Chapter  9    Verses:  96-105

96. The unshakable foundation of our justification, and
the beginning of all holiness in men, is the belief in the
truths, which have been revealed by God in his holy
Church. Like a most skillful architect, the Lord has
built his Church on a firm rock, in order that the storms
and floods of her earthly course of existence might find
Her altogether immovable (Luke 6, 48). Thus wisely
provided with a firm foundation in her articles of faith,
the evangelical Church is invincibly established as the
only true one, the Roman Catholic Church. She is one in
the unity of faith, hope and charity, to be found only in
Her; one without the division or contradiction which
reigns in the synagogues of satan. The sects and heresies
are full of darkness and errors and are at war not only
with each other and with right reason, but each one is
at war with itself by maintaining contradictory and erro
neous doctrines at the same or different times. Against
all these our holy faith shall ever remain victorious and
the portals of hell shall never prevail against it in the
least of its points (Matth 16, 18) ; though, according
to the prophecy of the Master of Life, the powers of hell
incessantly winnow and sift it like wheat, as has happened
to saint Peter and his successors.
97. In order that our Queen and Lady, this wonderful
ocean of grace and knowledge, might receive adequate
information concerning the evangelical law, it was neces
sary that She come into possession also of all the truths
of the Catholic faith, which would in all times be believed
by the faithful. She must be especially well instructed
in the first principles of all Christian belief. For all
truths, down to the very dogmas, which were to be defined
and believed concerning her own Self, were within the
capacity of most holy Mary and could be entrusted to her
admirable wisdom. Hence, as I shall describe after
wards, She was informed of all tenets of the Catholic
faith together with the circumstances of time, place and
manner of their publication as they became opportune and
necessary in the course of the history of the Church. In
order to instruct the blessed Virgin especially in these
articles, the Lord sent upon Her an abstractive vision of
the Divinity, such as I have described on other occasions.
In this vision were manifested to her most hidden mys
teries of his inscrutable Judgment and Providence. She
became aware of the infinite bounty, whereby He estab
lished the blessing of infused faith and enabled man
deprived of the vision of the Divinity, easily and quickly
to come to the knowledge of God, without hesitation and
without waiting or searching for this knowledge by
limited and short-sighted investigation of natural science.
For from the first dawn of reason, our Catholic faith
raises us immediately to the certain knowledge, not only
of the Divinity in three Persons, but of the humanity of
Christ our Lord and of the means of gaining eternal life.
All this is not attained by the fruitless and sterile human
science, unless the mind is impregnated with the force and
virtue of divine faith.
98. In this vision then, our great Queen clearly per
ceived all these mysteries and all that is contained in
them. She saw how the holy Church propounded four
teen special articles of Catholic belief from the very begin
ning, and how She afterwards, in diverse times, defined
many truths and dogmas, which are contained in them
and in the holy Scriptures as in roots ready to be cul
tivated and to bring forth fruit. After seeing all this in
her vision, She saw it reflected also in the most holy soul
of Christ, where the whole fabric of divine teachings
originated. Thereupon the celestial Princess entered into
conference with her Lord concerning the practical applica
tion of these articles of faith to her life. He informed
Her, that She was to be the first One, who should, in a
singular and most perfect manner, believe and practically
exhibit each of the articles of divine faith. In regard
to the first of those seven articles that pertain to the
Divinity, She understood that there is but one true God,
independent, necessary, infinite, immense in his attributes
and perfections, unchangeable and eternal. She under
stood also how just and necessary it is for creatures to
believe and confess this truth. She gave thanks for the
revelation of this first article and begged her most holy
Son to continue to favor the human race by conferring
upon men the grace of believing and accepting this truth.
By this infallible, though obscure, light, She saw the
wickedness of idolatry and wept with indescribable sorrow
and bitterness over such aberration. In reparation She
ardently exercised Herself in faith and worship of God,
and performed many other acts inspired by her intimate
sense of this obligation.
99. Then proceeding to the second article, that God is
the Father, She learned how it was to lead on men to
the belief of the Trinity and other doctrines, which ex
plain the three persons in one God, and how men are to
come to the full knowledge of their last end, its proper
attainment and enjoyment. She understood how the
person of the Father could not be born or proceed from
the Others, and how He is, as it were, the origin of all
else ; hence She clearly saw how He created heaven and
earth and all creatures and how He is without beginning
and at the same time the beginning of all things. For
this truth our heavenly Lady gave thanks and in the
name of the whole human race, began to shape her
actions in correspondence with this new knowledge. The
third article, that there is a Son, the Mother of grace
believed with particular clearness of comprehension,
especially as regards the processions of the Deity ad intra.
The first and most important of these acts ad intra is none
other than the eternal generation of the Son. This takes
place from all eternity by the operation of the divine in
tellect through which the Son is engendered of the
Father, being not inferior, but equal in Divinity, eternity,
and infinite attributes. She believed and comprehended
also in the fourth article, that there is a Holy Ghost, the
third Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son
as from one principle, by an act of the will, equal to the
other Persons in all things and having only these per
sonal distinctions, which result from the emanations
and processions of the infinite intellect and will. Al
though, concerning these mysteries, most holy Mary
possessed the knowledge, which She had already attained
in her former visions, it was supplemented in this vision
by the knowledge of the circumstances and qualifications
attached to these truths and articles of the Catholic faith,
and by the discernment of the heresies, which Lucifer
concocted and sowed in opposition to these articles ever
since he fell from heaven and knew of the Incarnation
of the Word. In satisfaction for all these errors the
most blessed Lady excited acts of supreme faith, in the
manner already described.
100. Also the fifth article, that the Lord is the Creator,
most holy Mary believed and understood. She perceived
that the creation of all things, though it is attributed to
the Father, is common to the three Persons, in as far as
they are one only God, infinite, omnipotent and the
first cause of the existence and preservation of all crea
tures; that no other being has the power to create or
produce out of nothing any other being, even if there
were question of an angel creating the lowest worm.
For only He, who is independent of any inferior or
superior cause can create. She understood the neces
sity of this article of the holy faith for counteracting
the errors of Lucifer, in order that God might be known
and acknowledged as the Author of all things. In the
sixth article She understood anew all the mysteries of
predestination, vocation and final justification; how the
reprobate, because they did not profit by the means of
fered to them by divine mercy, lose eternal happiness. The
most faithful Lady perceived also how the work of sal
vation is common to the three persons; and how it per
tains especially to the Word in as far as He is man;
because He was to be the price of the rescue, which
would be accepted by God in satisfaction for original
and actual sins. The great Queen took notice of all the
Sacraments and mysteries accepted and believed by the
holy Church; and She accompanied the understanding of
each of them with heroic acts of many virtues. In the
seventh article which contains the doctrine of God s
activity in bringing about the eternal happiness of man,
She understood all that pertains to the eternal felicity
of mortal creatures in the fruition of the beatific vision;
how important it is for them to believe in this truth in
order to attain eternal happiness and how they should
consider themselves not a progeny of this earth, but
citizens of heaven, who are only making a pilgrimage
and ought, therefore, be much consoled in this faith and
hope of heaven.
101. Of the seven articles which pertain to the divine
humanity, our great Queen had a similar knowledge, yet
accompanied by new affections of her purest and hum
blest heart. That He was conceived as man by the opera
tion of the Holy Ghost She had experienced in Herself
and She knew that this would be an article of the holy
faith. Indescribable were the effects which this knowl
edge wrought in the most prudent Lady. She humbled
Herself below the most insignificant of creatures and
to the very dust of the earth. She was profoundly pene
trated by the consciousness of having been created out
of nothing. She completed the deep trenches and built
the strong foundations of humility, upon which the
Almighty was to erect the high and exquisite edifice of
infused science and exalted perfection. She extolled
the Almighty and gave thanks to Him for Herself and
for the whole human race, because He had chosen such
an excellent way of drawing toward Him the hearts of
men by his human presence and by the intimate relations
established with them by the Christian faith. The same
effects were produced in Her by the second of these
articles, that Christ our Lord was born of Mary, a
Virgin. She had full understanding of the mysteries
contained in this dogma : that She was the One chosen by
God to retain intact her Virginity and yet be also selected
among all creatures as the Mother of the Lord ; that as
well the Almighty as She herself should share in the
dignity and excellence of such divine handiwork; and
that the holy Church should believe and hold such a
doctrine as one of her certain tenets. Enraptured by
the consideration of these and many other truths, the
heavenly Lady excited within Herself such acts of
exalted virtue as cannot be expressed by any human
terms. She spent Herself in returning a full measure
of praise, worship, and thankful acknowledgment for
each of them, humbling Herself in proportion as She
was exalted and annihilating Herself to the dust.
102. The third of these articles is, that Christ our
Lord underwent suffering and death; the fourth, that
He descended into hell and freed the souls of the just,
who were in limbo awaiting his coming; the fifth, that
He rose from the dead; the sixth, that He ascended
into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the
eternal Father; the seventh, that thence He is to come
to judge the living and the dead in the general judgment
in order to give to each according to his works. These
truths, just as the others, the most holy Mary believed
and understood profoundly as well in themselves as in
regard to the order, sequence and necessity with which
they are to be held and believed by mortals. She alone
made up for the faults of those who have not or will
not believe in these truths and for the deficiencies caused
by our slowness in believing them and by our want of
proper esteem, veneration and thankfulness due to these
divine teachings. The whole Church calls our Queen
most fortunate and blessed, not only because She gave
belief to the messenger of heaven (Luke 1, 45), but
because She unswervingly trusted in the fulfillment of
the mysteries wrought and accomplished in her virginal
womb; and She believed them both for Herself and for
all the children of Adam. She was the Champion of the
divine faith, who, in the sight of the heavenly court,
unfurled the banner of holy faith to all the faithful on
earth. She was the first Queen of the Catholic faith
in this world and was to have no equal. In Her all
Catholics have a true Mother ; and on this account, those
that call upon Her, are especially her children ; for with
out a doubt this kind Mother and Commandress of the
Catholic faith looks with an especial love upon those
who follow Her in this great virtue of faith and who
exert themselves in its spread and defense.
103. My discourse would be too prolix, if I were to
say all that I have learned of the faith of our great Lady,
of all her penetration into the circumstances and secrets
of these articles of faith, and into all the truths con
nected with these Catholic doctrines. Certainly I have
not words enough to rehearse the mysteries revealed to
Her in her conferences with her divine Teacher, Jesus,
in her humble and prudent inquiries, in the answers of
her most sweet Son, in the profound secrets laid bare
before her eyes, and in the sacraments manifest only to
Mother and Son. Moreover, I was informed that it is
not proper to reveal all of them to men in this mortal
life. But in most holy Mary the whole of this new and
divine Testament was deposited and She alone pre
served it most faithfully, in order that She might in
proper time dispense whatever the necessities of the holy
Church might demand. O most fortunate and happy
Mother! For if a wise son is the delight of his father
(Prov. 10, 1), who can describe the joy of this great
Queen, when She saw the glory resulting to the Eternal
Father through the work *, of his Onlybegotten, who was
also her Son, and when She fully penetrated the vast
mysteries contained in the doctrines of the holy Catho
lic faith?
104. My daughter, mortal mind is not capable of com
prehending what I was made to feel through the infused
knowledge and faith of the articles established by my
most holy Son as those of the holy Church, and what
were the effects wrought thereby upon my faculties.
Necessarily, therefore, thy words fail thee in seeking to
declare what thou hast understood concerning them;
for all the concepts of the mind fall short of compre
hending and expressing these mysteries. But what I
desire and command, is this ; that thou preserve with all
reverence and solicitude the precious knowledge and
understanding of these venerable sacraments. For as
Mother I remind and warn thee of the cruel and cunning
efforts of thy enemies to rob thee of them. Be thou ever
on thy guard, that they may find thee full of strength,
and that thy domestics, which are the faculties of thy
body and mind, be clothed with the double vestments of
interior and exterior watchfulness in order to be able
to resist the onslaught of their temptation (Prov. 31,
17). The powerful arms for battling against those who
make war on thee, must be the doctrines of the Catholic
faith (Rom. 1, 17), for the firm belief in them and the
continual exercise of them, the incessant meditation and
remembrance of them, illumine the souls, drives
away errors, disclose the deceits of satan and disperse his
falsehoods just as the rays of the sun dispel the dark
clouds. Moreover, all these exercises serve as substan
tial nourishment of the spirit to strengthen the soul for
the battles of the Lord.
105. If the faithful do not feel these and even more
wonderful effects of faith, it is not because faith has
not the strength and efficacy to produce them, but it is
because some of the faithful are so forgetting and negli
gent, while others give themselves up so much to a carnal
and bestial life and thereby counteract the blessing of
faith. They think so rarely of it, that they might as
well not have received it at all. As they live like the
infidels who have never enjoyed its advantages and as
they gradually become conscious of their unhappy infi
delity, they fall into greater wickedness than the unbe
lievers. For such is the result of their abominable ingrati
tude and contempt for this exalted and sovereign gift.
I ask of thee, my dearest daughter, that thou give thanks
for the blessings of holy faith with profound humility
and fervent love; that thou practice it with unceasing
and heroic acts; that thou continually meditate on its
mysteries. Thus shalt thou enjoy without hindrance its
sweet and godlike effects. The more vivid and penetrat
ing thy knowledge of the mysteries of faith, so much
the greater and more powerful will be its effects upon
thee. If thou concurrest with proper diligence, thou
wilt grow in the understanding of the exalted and won
derful mysteries and sacraments pertaining to the essence
of the triune God, to the hypostatical union of the divine
and human nature, to the life, death and resurrection of
my most holy Son, and to the other activities of the
God-man. Thus wilt thou taste of his sweetness and
gather plentiful fruits of peace and of eternal life.
the Work of God Apostolate - mcog #119                                                

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