Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 5  Chapter  29    Verses:  314-321

314. The mystic edifice of the militant Church which
aspires to the most exalted mysteries of the Divinity,
is founded entirely upon the holy Catholic faith, estab
lished by our Redeemer and Master, its wise and pru
dent Architect. To insure this firmness in the first
foundation stones, his disciples, He began immediately
to imbue them with the truths and mysteries relating to
his Divinity and humanity. In order to make Him
self known as the Messias and the Redeemer of the
world, who had descended from the bosom of his eter
nal Father to assume human flesh, it was urgently nec
essary to explain to them the manner of his Incarna
tion in the womb of his most blessed Mother. It be
hooved Him, therefore, in order that they might know
and venerate Her as a true Mother and Virgin, to speak
to them of this heavenly mystery together with what
relates to the hypostatic union and the Redemption.
With this heavenly doctrine, then, were nourished the
first-born sons of the Savior and, before the Apostles
came into the presence of the great Queen and Lady,
they had already conceived most exalted ideas of her
celestial excellences. They had been informed that She
was a Virgin before, during and after her parturition,
and they had been inspired by Christ with the profoundest
reverence and love and filled with the desire
of immediately seeing and knowing such a heavenly
Creature. Christ thus aimed not only to satisfy his
own zeal in extending the honor of his holy Mother,
but also to excite in his Apostles the highest veneration
and reverence toward Her. Although all of them were
divinely enlightened, yet saint John began to distinguish
himself in this love of Mary before all the rest; from
the very first words of the Master concerning the dignity
and excellence of his purest Mother, he grew in the
loving esteem of her holiness; for he was selected and
prepared for greater privileges in the service of his
Queen, as I shall relate and as is recorded in the Gospels.
315. The five disciples of the Lord begged Him to
grant them the consolation of seeing and reverencing his
Mother. In accordance with their petition, He jour
neyed directly to Nazareth through Galilee, continuing
to preach and teach publicly on the way and proclaiming
Himself as the Master of truth and eternal life. Many,
carried away by the force of his doctrines and by the
light and grace overflowing into their hearts, began to
listen to Him and to follow Him; though He did not,
for the present, call any more to be his disciples. It is
worthy of notice that though the five disciples had
conceived such an ardent devotion to the heavenly Lady
and though they saw with their own eyes how worthy
She was of her eminent position among creatures, yet
they all maintained strict silence about their thoughts.
By the disposition of heaven they seemed as if mute and
ignorant in all that concerned the publication of what
they thought and felt in regard to her excellences ; for it
was not befitting that these mysteries of our holy faith
should be proclaimed to all men indiscriminately. The
Sun of justice was now dawning upon souls (Mai. 4,
2), and it was necessary that its own splendor should
shine forth to illumine all the nations; and although its
resplendent moon, his Mother, was now in the fullness
of her sanctity, it behooved Her to reserve her light for
the night, in which the Church should deplore the ab
sence of that Sun in the bosom of his eternal Father.
And this office She fulfilled, as I shall relate in the third
part; for then the splendor of the great Lady broke
forth, while before that time her holiness and excel
lence were manifested only to the Apostles, in order that
they might know and reverence Her, and that they
might listen to Her as the worthy Mother of the Re
deemer of the world and as the Teacher of all virtue
and perfection.
316. The Savior then pursued his way to Nazareth,
instructing, his new children and disciples not only in
the mysteries of faith, but in all virtues by word and
example, as He continued to do during the whole period
of his evangelical preaching. With this in view He
searched out the poor and afflicted, consoled the sick
and sorrowful, visited the infirmaries and prisons, per
forming miracles of mercy as well for body as for soul.
Yet He did not profess Himself as the Author of any
miracles until he attended the marriage feast at Cana,
as I shall relate in the next chapter. While the Savior
proceeded on his journey his most holy Mother pre
pared to receive Him and his disciples at Nazareth; for
She was aware of all that happened, and therefore hos
pitably set her poor dwelling in order and solicitously
procured the necessary victuals beforehand for their
317. When the Savior of the world approached
the house, his blessed Mother awaited Him at the door,
and, as He entered, prostrated Herself on the ground,
adoring Him and kissing his hands and feet, while She
asked for his blessing. Then She sounded the praise
of the most holy Trinity in exalted and wonderful
words, and also of his humanity in the presence and
hearing of the new disciples. This She did not without
mysterious purpose on her part; for, besides showing to
her divine Son the honor and adoration due to Him as
the true Godman, She wished also to make a return for
the praise with which her Son had exalted Her in the
eyes of his disciples. Thus, just as the Son had in her
absence instilled into their minds the reverence for the
dignity of his Mother, so the most prudent and faithful
Mother, in the presence of her Son, wished to instruct
them in regard to the worship due to their divine Master,
as to their God and Redeemer. The profound humility
and worship with which the great Lady received Christ
the Savior filled the disciples with new devotion and
reverential fear for their divine Master; henceforth She
served them as an example and model of true devotion,
entering at once into her office as Instructress and spirit
ual Mother of the disciples of Christ by showing them
how to converse with their God and Redeemer. They
were immediately drawn toward their Queen and cast
themselves on their knees before Her, asking to be re
ceived as her sons and servants. The first to do this
was saint John, who from that time on distinguished
himself in exalting and reverencing Mary before all
the Apostles, while She on her part received him with
an especial love; for, besides his excelling in virginal
chastity, he was of a meek and humble disposition.
318. The great Lady received them all as her guests,
serving them their meals and combining the solicitude
of a Mother with the modesty and majesty of a Queen,
so that She caused admiration even in the holy angels.
She served her divine Son on her knees in deepest rever
ence. At the same time She spoke of the Majesty of
their Teacher and Redeemer to the Apostles instructing
them in the great doctrines of the Christian faith. Dur
ing that night, when the Apostles had retired, the Savior
betook himself to the oratory of his purest Mother as
He had been wont to do, and She, the most Humble
among the humble, placed Herself at his feet as in the
years gone by. In regard to the practice of humility,
all that She could do seemed little to the great Queen,
and much less than She ought to in view of his infinite
love and the immense gifts received at his hands. She
confessed Herself as useless as the dust of the earth.
The Lord lifted Her from the ground and spoke to Her
words of life and eternal salvation, yet quietly and
serenely. For at this period He began to treat Her with
greater reserve in order to afford Her a chance of
merit, as I have mentioned when I spoke of this depart
ure for the desert and for his Baptism.
319. The most blessed Lady also asked Him for
the Sacrament of Baptism, which He had now instituted,
and which He had promised Her before. In order that
this might be administered with a dignity becoming as
well the Son as the Mother, an innumerable host
of angelic spirits descended from heaven in visible
forms. Attended by them, Christ himself baptized his
purest Mother. Immediately the voice of the eternal
Father was heard saying: "This is my beloved
Daughter, in whom I take delight." The incarnate
Word said: "This is my Mother, much beloved, whom
I have chosen and who will assist Me in all my works."
And the Holy Ghost added: "This is my Spouse,
chosen among thousands." The purest Lady felt and
received such great and numerous effects of grace in her
soul, that no human words can describe them; for She
was exalted to new heights of grace and her holy soul
was made resplendent with new and exquisite beauty
of heaven. She received the characteristic token im
pressed by this Sacrament, namely, that of the children
of Christ in his holy Church. In addition to the ordi
nary effects of this Sacrament (outside of the remis
sion of sins, of which She stood in no need), She merited
especial graces on account of the humility with which
She submitted to this Sacrament of purification. By it
She accumulated blessings like to those of her divine
Son, with only this difference: that She received an in
crease of grace, which was not possible in Christ There
upon the humble Mother broke out in a canticle of praise
with the holy angels, and prostrate before her divine
Son, She thanked Him for the most efficacious graces
She had received in this Sacrament.
320. My daughter, I see thee much moved to emula
tion and desire by the great happiness of the disciples
of my most holy Son, and especially that of saint John,
my favored servant. It is certain that I loved him in
a special manner; because he was most pure and candid
as a dove; and in the eyes of the Lord he was very
pleasing, both on account of his purity and on account
of his love toward me. His example should serve thee
as a spur to do that which my Son and I expect of thee.
Thou art aware, my dearest, that I am the most pure
Mother and that I receive with maternal affection all
those who fervently and devoutly desire to be my chil
dren and servants in the Lord. By the love which He
has given me, I shall embrace them with open arms and
shall be their Intercessor and Advocate. Thy poverty,
uselessness and weakness shall be for me only a more
urgent motive for manifesting toward thee my most
liberal kindness. Therefore, I call upon thee to become
my chosen and beloved daughter in the holy Church.
321. I shall, however, make the fulfillment of my
promise depend upon a service on thy part: namely,
that thou have a true and holy emulation of the love
with which I loved saint John, and of all the blessings
flowing from it, by imitating him as perfectly as thy
powers will allow. Hence, thou must promise to fulfill
all that I now command thee, without failing in the
least point. I desire, then, that thou labor until all love
of self die within thee, that thou suppress all the effects
of the first sin until all the earthly inclinations con
sequent upon it are totally extinguished; that thou seek
to restore within thee that dove-like sincerity and sim
plicity which destroys all malice and duplicity. In all
thy doings thou must be an angel, since the condescen
sion of the Most High with thee was so great as to
furnish thee with the light and intelligence more of an
angel than that of a human creature. I have procured
for thee these great blessings and, therefore, it is but
reasonable on my part to expect thee to correspond with
them in thy works and in thy thoughts. In regard to
me thou must cherish a continual affection and loving
desire of pleasing and serving me, being always attentive
to my counsels and having thy eyes fixed upon me in
order to know and execute what I command. Then
shalt thou be my true daughter, and I shall be thy
Protectress and loving Mother.
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