Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 5  Chapter  18    Verses:  198-208

198. As I have already said in other places the
knowledge of many of the sacramental mysteries of
Jesus and Mary are reserved for the increase of the ac
cidental beatitude of the predestined in eternal life. The
highest and most ineffable of these mysteries took place
during the four years in which they lived together after
the death of saint Joseph and after the public preaching
of our Lord. It is impossible for any mortal worthily
to understand such profound secrets : how much less
can I, rude and untutored as I am, manifest properly
what I have been made to understand concerning them.
But in that which I do manifest, will be seen the cause
of my inability. The soul of Christ our Lord was a
most transparent and flawless mirror, in which the blessed
Mother saw reflected all the mysteries and sacraments
which the Lord, as the Head and Artificer of the holy
Church, the Restorer of the human race, the Teacher
of eternal salvation and the angel of the great council,
wrought and accomplished according to eternal decrees
of the most blessed Trinity.
199. In the execution of this work consigned to Him
by the eternal Father, Christ our Lord consumed his
whole earthly life and lent to it all the perfection pos
sible to a God man. In the measure as He approached its
consummation and the full accomplishment of its sacra-
ments, so also the force of His divine Wisdom and
Omnipotence became more evident. Of all these mysteries
our great Queen and Lady was the eye-witness and her
purest heart was their depository. In all things She
co-operated with her divine Son, as his helpmate in the
works of the reparation of mankind. Accordingly, in
order to understand entirely the designs of eternal Provi
dence and the process of dispensing all the mysteries of
salvation, it was necessary that She comprehend also the
things hidden in the science of Christ our Redeemer, the
works of his love and prudence, by which He prepared
the efficient means of attaining his high purposes. In the
little which I can say of the works of most holy Mary, I
must always presuppose the works of her most Holy Son ;
for She co-operated with Him and imitated Him as her
pattern and model.
200. The Savior of the world was already twenty-six
years of age; and in the measure as his most holy
humanity approached its perfect growth and its earthly
end, Christ proceeded to manifest it by permitting his
operations to show more and more openly the purpose
of the Redemption. All these mysteries the evangelist
Luke includes in those few words, with which he closes
the second chapter : "And Jesus advanced in wisdom,
and age, and grace with God and man." Among men
his blessod Mother co-operated and grew in knowledge
with the increase and progress of her Son, without re
maining ignorant of anything that the Son of God and
man could ever communicate to a mere creature. Among
these hidden and divine mysteries the great Lady also
perceived during these years, how her Son and true God
began more and more to extend his plans, not only those
of his uncreated Divinity, but of his humanity, so as to
include all the mortals in his Redemption as a whole;
how He weighed its value in the eyes of the eternal
Father, and how, in order to close the gates of hell and
call men to eternal happiness, He had come down from
heaven to suffer the bitterest torments and death; and
how, in spite of all this, the folly and wickedness of those
that were to be born after He had thus annihilated
Himself on the Cross, would rather urge Him to widen
the portals and open the lowest abysses of hell, consigning
them to those horrible and dreadful torments, which their
blind ignorance continued to disregard.
201. The knowledge and contemplation of this sad fate
caused great affliction and sorrow to the human nature
of Christ our Lord, and sometimes pressed forth a bloody
sweat. In these agonies the divine Teacher persevered in
his petitions for all that were to be redeemed. In con
formity with the will of his eternal Father He desired
with the most ardent love to be sacrificed for the rescue
of men. For, as not all were to be saved by his merits
and sacrifices, He knew, that at all events the divine
justice must be satisfied and the offenses to the Divinity
be made good by the punishment, which divine equity
and justice had prepared from all eternity for the infidels
and the thankless sinners on the day of retribution. En
tering into these profound secrets by her deep wisdom
the great Lady joined her most holy Son in the sorrowful
contemplation and sighs for those unfortunates, while
at the same time her heart was torn by grief at the heavy
affliction of the blessed fruit of her womb. Many times
the meekest Dove shed ensanguined tears, when She saw
her Son sweat blood in the agonies of his sorrow. For
only this most prudent Lady and her Son, the true God
and man, could ever justly weigh, as in the scales of the
sanctuary, what it meant, on the one hand to see a God
dying upon a cross in order to seal up the infernal
regions, and, on the other hand, the hardness and blind
ness of mortal hearts in casting themselves headlong
into the jaws of eternal death.
202. In these great sorrows it sometimes happened,
that the most loving Mother was overcome by deathly
weaknesses, and they would no doubt have ended her life,
if She had not been preserved by divine intervention.
Her sweetest Son, in return for her most faithful and
loving compassion, sometimes commanded the angels to
console Her and take Her into their arms, at other times,
to sing her own heavenly canticles of praise in honor of
the Divinity and humanity. At other times the Lord
himself took Her into his arms and gave Her new celes
tial understanding of her exemption from this iniquitous
law of sin and its effects. Sometimes, thus reclining in his
arms, the angels sang to Her in admiration, while She,
transformed and enraptured in heavenly ecstasies, ex
perienced new and exquisite influences of the Divinity.
At such times this chosen One, this perfect and only One,
was truly reclining on the left hand of the humanity,
while rejoiced and caressed by the right hand of the
Divinity (Cant. 2, 6) ; her most loving Son and Spouse
conjured the daughters of Jerusalem not to wake his Be
loved from his sleep, which cured the sorrows and infirmi
ties of her love, until She herself desired to be thus
waked; and the supernal spirits broke forth in wonder,
to see Her raised above them all, resting on her beloved
Son, clothed in varicolored garment at his right hand,
and they blessed and extolled Her above all creatures
(Ps. 44, 10).
203. The great Queen was made acquainted with the
deepest secrets concerning the predestination of the elect
in virtue of the Redemption, and She saw them as they
were written in the eternal memory of her Son. She was
enabled to see how He applied to them his merits and
efficaciously interceded for their salvation; how his love
and grace, of which the reprobate made themselves un
worthy, were awarded to the predestined according to
their different dispositions. Among the predestined She
also saw those, whom the Lord in his wisdom and solici
tude was to call to his apostolate and imitation, and how
by means of his hidden and fore-ordained decrees, He
began to enlist them to the standard of his Cross, which
they themselves afterwards were to unfold before the
world; and how He pursued the policy of a good general,
who, planning a great battle or conquest, assigns the dif
ferent duties to different parts of his army, chooses the
most courageous and well-disposed for the most arduous
positions. Thus Christ our Redeemer, in order to enter
upon the conquest of the world and despoil the demon of
his tyrannical possession by the power of his Godhead
as the Word, disposed of this new army to be enlisted,
assigned the dignities and offices of his courageous and
strong captains and predestined them for their posts of
duty. All the preparations and apparatus of this war
were prearranged in the divine wisdom of his most holy
will just in the order in which all was to take place.
204. All this was also open and manifest to the most
prudent Mother; and to Her was given, by infused
species, to see and personally to know many of the pre
destined, especially the Apostles and disciples, and a
great number of those, who were called to the holy Church
in the primitive and later ages. On account of this super
natural knowledge given to Her by God, She knew the
Apostles and others before coming in contact with them,
and just as the divine Master had prayed and obtained
for them their vocation before He called them, so also
the heavenly Lady had made them the object of her
prayers. Hence, in the favors and graces, which the
Apostles received before hearing or seeing their Master,
and which disposed and prepared them to accept their
vocation to the apostolate, the Mother of grace had like
wise co-operated. In proportion as the time of his public
preaching drew nearer, the Lord redoubled his prayers
and petitions for them and sent them greater and more
efficacious inspirations. In like manner the prayers of
the heavenly Lady grew to be more fervent and effica
cious; and when afterwards they attached themselves to
the Lord and saw Her face to face, She was wont to say
of them as well as of many others, to her Son : "These,
my Son and Master, are the fruits of thy prayers and of
thy holy desires." And She sang songs of praise and
thanksgiving, because She saw his wishes fulfilled, and
because She saw those, who were called from the begin
ning of the world, drawn to his following.
205. In the prudent contemplation of those wonders
our great Queen was wont to be absorbed and to break
out in matchless hymns of admiration and prae, per
forming heroic acts of love and adoring the secret judg
ments of the Most High. Entirely transformed and pene
trated by this fire, which issued from the Lord in order
to consume the world, She was accustomed, some times
in the secret of her heart, at others in a loud voice, to
exclaim : "O infinite love ! O manifestation of goodness
ineffable and immense! Why do mortals not know
Thee? Why should thy tenderness be so ill repaid?
O ye labors, sufferings, sighs, petitions and desires of my
Beloved, altogether more precious than pearls, than all
the treasures of the world! Who shall be so unhappy
and so ungrateful as to despise Thee? O children of
Adam, whom can you find to die for you many times, in
order that your ignorance might be undeceived, your
hardness be softened and your misfortunes relieved?"
After these ardent exclamations, the blessed Mother con
versed with her Son mouth to mouth, and the highest
King consoled and dilated her heart reminding Her, how
pleasing She herself was to the Most High, how great a
grace and glory were to be merited for the predestined
in comparison with the ingratitude and hardness of the
reprobate. Especially He showed Her the love of Him
self toward Her, that of the blessed Trinity, and how
much God was pleased with her faithful correspondence
and immaculate purity.
206. At other times the Lord showed Her, what He
was to do in his public preaching; how She was to co
operate with Him and help Him in the affairs and in the
government of the new Church. She was informed of
the denial of saint Peter, the unbelief of Thomas, the
treachery of Judas, and other events of the future. From
that moment on the dutiful Lady resolved to labor zeal
ously in order to save that treasonous disciple, and She
followed her resolve, as I shall relate in its place. The
perdition of Judas began by his despising her good will
and by conceiving against the Mother of Grace a sort of
ill-will and impiety. Of these great mysteries and sacra
ments the heavenly Lady was informed by her most holy
Son. So great was the wisdom and science deposited in
Her, that all attempts at fully explaining them is vain;
for only the knowledge of the Lord could exceed that of
Mary, which far excelled that of all the seraphim and
cherubim. But if our Lord and Redeemer Jesus, and
Mary, his most holy Mother, employed all these gifts of
grace and science in the service of mortals ; and if a single
sigh of Christ our Lord was of incalculable value for all
creatures, and if those of his Mother, though they had
not the same value as his, being those of a mere creature,
were worth more in the eyes of God than the doings of
all creation taken together, to what an immense value
will both their united merits swell, when we add together
what Son and Mother did for us, in their petitions, tears,
bloody sweat, fearful torment and death of the Cross and
all the other actions, in which the Mother joined the
divine Son as his helpmate and partaker of all his acts !
ingratitude of men! O hardness of our carnal heart,
more than adamantine! Where is our insight? Where
our reason ? Where is even the most common compassion
or gratitude of human nature? Is it not moved to pity
and compassion by the sensible objects, the causes of its
eternal damnation? Why then does it so completely
forget to be moved by the life and sufferings of the Lord,
the cause of everlasting happiness and peace in the life
to come?
207. My daughter, it is certain, that even if thou or
any of the mortals were able to speak in the language of
the angels, they would not on that account be able to
describe the blessings and favors, which the right hand
of the Most High showered upon me in those last years
of the life of my Son with me. These works of the
Lord are of an order, far above thy capacity and that
of the rest of the mortals. But since thou hast received
such special enlightenment concerning these sacraments,
1 wish that thou praise and extol the Almighty for all
that He did for me and for raising me out of the dust by
such exalted favors. Although thy love of the Lord must
be spontaneous as that of a devoted daughter and of a
most loving spouse, not selfish or forced ; yet I wish, that,
for the support of thy human weakness and the strength-
ening of thy hope, thou fondly remember, how delightful
the Lord is in his charity toward those who love Him
with filial fear. O my dearest Daughter, if men would
place no hindrance by their sins, and if they would not
resist this infinite bounty, how measureless would be the
favors and blessings upon them! According to thy way
of understanding thou must look upon Him as being out
raged and made sorrowful by the opposition of mortals
to his boundless desires of doing them good. And they
carry their opposition so far, that they accustom them
selves not only to be unworthy of tasting of his sweetness,
but also not to believe, that others ever participate in his
sweetness and blessings, which He desires so much to
communicate to all.
208. Be careful also to give thanks for the incessant
labors of my most holy Son for all men, and for what I
have done in union with Him, as has been shown thee.
Catholics should bear in mind more constantly the passion
and death of the Lord, because the Church so often re
calls it to their remembrance, although few show them
selves grateful. But there are still fewer who take thought
of the other works of my Son and of mine. For the
Lord allowed not one hour, yea not a moment, to pass,
in which He did not employ in gaining gifts and graces
for rescuing all men from eternal damnation and making
them participants of his glory. These works of the Lord
God incarnate will be witnesses against the forgetfulness
and hard-heartedness of the faithful, especially on the day
of judgment If thou, who possessest the light and the
doctrine of the Most High and my teachings, wilt not be
grateful, thy confusion will be even greater than that of
others, since thy guilt is more heinous. Thou must not
only correspond to the many general blessings, but also
to the special and particular ones, which thou experiencest
every day. Guard against the danger of forgetfulness
and conduct thyself as my daughter and disciple. Do not
delay for one moment to apply thyself to a good life in
the best way possible to thee. For this purpose attend
well to the interior lights and to the instructions of thy
spiritual guides, the ministers of the Lord. Be assured,
if thou correspond to some of the graces and favors, the
Most High will open up his almighty hands and fill thee
with riches and treasures.
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