Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 6  Chapter  7    Verses:  404-416

404. Among the works of God, which, because they
are performed outside of his own essence, are called
ad extra, the greatest was that of assuming flesh, suffer
ing and dying for the salvation of men. This sacra
ment human wisdom could never have perceived, if its
Author had not demonstrated it to us by so many proofs
and testimonies. In spite of all these proofs, many who
are wise only according to the flesh, find it difficult to
believe that which is so much to their own salvation and
benefit. Others, though they believe it, do not believe all
the circumstances connected with it. But the true Catho
lics believe and confess this sacrament such as the holy
Church proposes it to them. By explicitly professing our
faith in the mysteries thus revealed, we at the same time
explicitly profess our faith in the mysteries, which are
thereunder included, and which it was not necessary to
define more particularly, because they are not especially
necessary for salvation. Some of these God reserves for
their proper time, while others will be reserved for the
last day, when all of them shall be manifest to men
in the presence of the just Judge (I Cor. 4, 5). The in
tention of the Lord in commanding me to write this
history (as I have often said and yet oftener under
stood), was to manifest many of these hidden mysteries
without admixture of mere human opinion and con-
jecture; many of them I have therefore recorded, just
as they have been made known to me, while I am aware
at the same time, that many other wonderful and vener
able sacraments will still remain hidden. Toward these
mysteries I wish to prepare the pious faith of Catholics.
To believe what is accessory, should not be hard for those
who believe the principal mysteries of the Catholic faith.
For upon these principal mysteries of the faith rests
all that I have written and all that I shall yet write,
especially in regard to the Passion of our Redeemer.
405. On the sabbath following the anointment of
Magdalen in Bethany and after the banquet mentioned
in the preceding chapter, our divine Master sought re
tirement. The most blessed Mother, leaving Judas to
his hard-heartedness, betook Herself to her divine Son,
and, as was her wont, joined Him in his prayers and
sacred exercises. Our Lord was now about to enter
upon the greatest conflict in his career as man, having, as
David says (Ps. 18, 7), reached out from highest heaven
in order to engage in this battle and by it to vanquish
the demon, sin and death. As this most Obedient of
sons accepted freely the torments of the Cross, He now,
at their approach, offered Himself anew to the eternal
Father. Prostrate, with his face touching the ground,
He confessed Him and adored Him, with deepest resigna
tion beseeching Him to accept the insults and pains,
ignominies and death of the Cross for his own glory and
for the rescue of the human race. The most blessed
Mother had retired to one side of the oratory, accom
panying her beloved Son and Lord in his prayers and
shedding with Him tears of inmost affection.
406. On this occasion, before the hour of midnight,
the eternal Father and the Holy Ghost appeared in visible
form with multitudes of angels as witnesses. The eter
nal Father accepted the sacrifice of Christ, his most
blessed Son, and formally consented that the rigor of
his justice should be satisfied upon his Person for the
pardon of the world. Then the eternal Father, address
ing the blessed Mother herself, said: "Mary, our
Daughter and Spouse, I desire that thou now again
ratify this sacrifice of thy Son, since I on my part am
willing to deliver Him up for the Redemption of man."
And the humble and sincerest Dove replied: "Behold,
O Lord, I am but dust and ashes, unworthy that thy
Onlybegotten and the Redeemer of the world should
also be my Son. But I hold myself entirely subject to
thy ineffable condescension, which has given Him being
in my womb, and I offer Him and myself entirely as a
sacrifice to thy divine pleasure, I beseech Thee, O Lord
God and Father, to permit me to suffer with thy and my
Son." The eternal Father received this subjection of
most holy Mary as a pleasing sacrifice. Raising up from
the ground both the Son and the Mother, He said : "This
is the fruit of the blessed earth, which I have desired."
Immediately thereupon He exalted the Humanity of
Christ to the throne of his Majesty, and placed Him on
his right hand equal in authority and pre-eminence with
407. The blessed Mother remained in the place where
She was, but entirely transformed and exalted in won
derful splendor and jubilee of soul. On seeing her
Onlybegotten seated at the right hand of the eternal
Father, She pronounced those first words of the one
hundred and ninth psalm, in which David had mysteri
ously prophesied this event: "The Lord said unto my
Lord: Sit thou at my right hand." Expatiating upon
these words the heavenly Queen composed a mysterious
hymn of praise in honor of the eternal Father and of
the incarnate Word. When She had finished, the Father
added all the rest of the psalm, decreeing then and there
by his immutable will, that all the import of these mys
terious and profound words should now be executed and
fulfilled. It is very difficult for me to mould into the
inadequate words which are within my power, the intel
ligence which was given me of this high mystery; but I
will make an attempt to do so, as far as the Lord will
empower me. Let something of this hidden and wonder
ful sacrament, and of that which most holy Mary and
the angelic spirits understood, be felt also by ourselves.
408. The eternal Father then proceeded and said:
"Until I make thy enemies thy footstool." Since Thou
hast humiliated Thyself in accordance with my eternal
will, Thou hast merited that Thou be exalted above all
the creatures ; and that, in the very nature of man which
Thou hast received from Me, Thou reign at my right
hand forever and ever without end. For all eternity I
place thy enemies under thy feet and dominion, subject
to thy humanity as their God and Redeemer; so that
those who will not obey Thee or acknowledge Thee, shall
see thy humanity exalted and glorified. Although I do
not put this decree into full execution until the Redemp
tion of man shall have been accomplished, I desire that
even now my courtiers shall witness what both the
demons and mankind shall see afterwards; I place Thee
in possession at my right hand at the very moment in
which Thou hast humiliated Thyself to the ignominious
death of the Cross. If I now deliver Thee over to thy
enemies and to the workings of their malice, it is done
for my glory and good pleasure, and in order that after
wards they may be placed beneath thy feet to their entire
confusion. "The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy
power out of Sion : rule Thou in the midst of thy
enemies." For I, the omnipotent God, who am He that
is truly and indeed, control and send forth the invincible
sceptre of my power; so that afterwards, when Thou
shalt have triumphed over death by completing the Re
demption of the human race, they may recognize Thee
as their Savior, their Guide, their Leader and as the
Lord of all; but I desire even now, before Thou sufferest
death, and at the very moment when men are plotting thy
ruin in their contempt of Thee, that Thou triumph in a
wonderful manner. I ordain that Thou triumph both
over their malice and over their death; and that by the
very power of thy virtue they be compelled to honor
Thee, confess Thee, adore and worship Thee of their
own free will; that the demons be vanquished and con
founded by the strength of thy own virtue, that the
Prophets and the Just, who are waiting for Thee in
limbo, together with my heavenly spirits, recognize thy
wonderful exaltation according to my good will and
pleasure. "With Thee is the principality in the day of thy
strength : in the brightness of the saints : from the womb
before the day-star I begot Thee." On the day of this
thy strength and power, by which Thou triumphest over
thy enemies, I am in Thee and with Thee as the Begin
ning. From this Source, by the eternal fecundity of my
intellect, Thou didst issue forth before the light of grace
by which We decreed to manifest Ourselves to creatures,
and from this Beginning didst thou come forth, clothed
in the light of glory, by which the saints are rejoiced and
beatified. And also in as far as Thou art man, thy be
ginning is with Thee and Thou was engendered in the
day of thy virtue; for from the instant in which Thou
hat received human existence by temporal generation
from thy Mother, Thou didst possess the merit of the
works, which is with Thee now, and Thou didst deserve
the glory and honor by which thy virtue is to crown
Thee on this day and in the days of my eternity. "The
Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a
priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech."
I, who am the Lord God Almighty, able to fulfill all my
promises, absolutely decree, as by an immutable oath, that
Thou be the Highpriest of the new Church and of the
evangelical law, according to the order of Melchisedech
of old ; for Thou shalt be the true Priest, who shall offer
the bread and wine prefigured by the oblation of Mel
chisedech (Gen. 14, 18). And I shall not regret this
decree ; for this oblation shall be pure and acceptable, and
a sacrifice of praise in my honor. "The Lord at thy
right hand hath broken kings in the day of his wrath."
This shalt Thou do by the works of thy humanity, as
sisted by the right hand of thy Divinity in the fullness of
its strength. By thy humanity, I who am one God with
Thee, shall crush the tyranny of the princes of darkness
and of this world, as well the apostate angels as also
wicked men, who will not acknowledge, serve and adore
Thee as their Lord and God. This chastisement I will
inflict at a time when neither Lucifer nor his followers
shall yet know Thee, and it shall be for them the day
of my wrath. Afterwards that day will also come for
those men who have not received Thee nor followed thy
holy law. All of them shall I crush and humiliate in
my just indignation. "He shall judge among nations,
He shall fill with ruins; He shall crush the heads in the
land of many." Having then justified my cause with all
the children of Adam, who have not profited of thy mercy
in graciously redeeming them from sin and from eternal
death, I, the Lord, shall judge according to my equity
and justice all the nations; and choosing the just from
the midst of the sinners and the reprobate, I shall fill
up the ruined places of the apostate angels, who have
not preserved for themselves their habitations in the
reign of grace. At the same time I shall crush upon
earth the multitudes of those men who, by their own
obstinate and depraved will, persist in their pride. "He
shall drink of the torrent in the way : therefore He shall
lift up his head." Thy head shall be raised up by the
Lord God of vengeance himself, in order that thou
mayest judge the earth and justly deal with the proud.
As if Thou hadst drunk of the torrent of his wrath,
Thou shalt dip thy arrows in the blood of thy enemies
and, with the sword of his chastisement, Thou shalt con
found them in their expectation of happiness. Thus shall
thy head be lifted up and exalted above all thy enemies,
who are disobedient to the law and faithless to thy doc
trines and teachings. For this shall be thy just reward
for thy having drunk of the torrent of reproaches and
affronts even to the death of the Cross for their Re
409. Such and much deeper understanding was given
to most holy Mary concerning this mysterious psalm,
which the eternal Father repeated on this occasion. Al
though some of the verses are quoted as of another per
son, yet they all referred to Himself and to the incarnate
Word. The mysteries contained therein may be reduced
to two principal heads: threats against sinners, infidels,
and wicked Christians, because they do not acknowledge
the Redeemer of the world or observe his laws; and
promises of the eternal Father to his incarnate Son,
that He will glorify his name and exalt it in spite of and
above all his enemies. As if in pledge or advance pay
ment of the universal exaltation of Christ after his
Ascension, and especially at the final judgment, the
Father decreed that the inhabitants of Jerusalem should
meet Him with great applause and honor at his entrance
into Jerusalem on the day following this mysterious
vision. Thereupon the Father and the Holy Ghost, with
the holy angels, that wonderingly had assisted at this
great sacrament, disappeared, while Christ and his
blessed Mother remained to spend the rest of that blessed
night in divine colloquies.
410. On the morning of the next day, which corres
ponds to our Palm Sunday, the Lord proceeded with his
disciples toward Jerusalem, being accompanied by many
angels, who sang hymns of praise at seeing Him so
enamored of men and so solicitous for their eternal sal
vation. Having walked more or less of two miles and
arrived in the village of Bethphage, He sent two dis
ciples to an influential man of that neighborhood. From
him they brought two beasts of burden, one of which had
not yet been used or ridden by any one. The Lord
progressed on his way to Jerusalem while they spread
some of their cloaks and other garments both upon
the ass and her colt. The Lord was to make use of
both of them according to the prophecies of Isaias (Is.
62, 11), and Zacharias (Zach. 9, 9), who had foretold
these particulars many ages before, in order that the
priests and scribes should not be able to allege ignorance
as an excuse. All the four Evangelists describe this
wonderful triumph of Christ and relate what was seen
by the bodily eyes of those present. As they proceeded
on their way the disciples, and with them all the people,
the infants as well as the grown persons, hailed Jesus as
the true Messias, the Son of David, the Savior of the
world and as their legitimate King. Some of them ex
claimed : "Peace be in heaven and glory in the highest :
blessed be He that cometh as the King in the name of
the Lord," others : "Hosanna to the Son of David : save
us, Son of David : blessed be the kingdom which now has
arrived, the kingdom of our forefather David. * Some
others lopped branches from palms and other trees in
sign of triumph and joy, and spread their garments upon
the ground to prepare a way for the triumphant Con
queror, Christ our Lord.
411. All these demonstrations of worship and admira
tion, which these men gave to the divine and incarnate
Word, were calculated to manifest the power of his
Divinity, especially at this time, when the priests and
pharisees were watching Him and seeking to put an end
to his life in that very city. For if they had not been
moved interiorly by a divine power, above and beyond
that of their admiration for the miracles wrought by
Him, it would have been impossible to draw such a
gathering. Many of them were heathens and his de
clared enemies, who nevertheless hailed Him as the true
Messias, Savior and King, and subjected themselves to
a poor, despised and persecuted Man, who came not in tri
umphal chariots, or in the prancing of steeds and osten
tation of riches, but without any show of arms or out
ward human power. Outwardly all this was wanting, as
He thus entered seated on a beast contemptible in the
sight of human vanity and pretension. The only signs
of his dignity were in his countenance, which showed
forth the gravity and serene majesty of his soul; while
all the rest fell far short and was opposed to what the
world is wont to applaud and celebrate. Hence the out
ward happenings of this day proclaimed his divine
power, which directly moved the hearts of men to ac
knowledge Him as their Christ and Redeemer.
412. In order that the promise of the eternal Father
might be entirely fulfilled, He not only moved the hearts
of men in the city of Jerusalem by his divine light, to
acknowledge Him as Redeemer, but He caused his tri
umph to be felt among all creatures especially those who
were capable of reasoning (No. 408). For the entry
of Jesus into Jerusalem was announced by the archangel
Michael to the holy Fathers and Prophets in limbo; and
moreover, by a special vision, they were made to see
whatever happened on this occasion. From those cavern
ous abodes they acknowledged, confessed and adored
Christ, our Lord and Master, as their true God and as
the Redeemer of the world. They composed new hymns
of praise in honor of his admirable triumph over death,
sin, and hell. The divine influence was also active in the
hearts of many of those yet living in the world. For
those that had faith or knowledge of Christ our Lord,
not only in Palestine and its surroundings, but in Egypt
and in other countries, were moved to adore the Re
deemer in spirit; and this they did with unwonted joy,
caused in them by the divine visitation of grace, although
they did not expressly know the cause or the object of
this movement in their hearts. But it came to them not
without profit for their souls: for they were confirmed
in their faith and in their well-doing. In order that the
triumph of our Savior over death might be more glori
ous, the Most High ordained, that on that day death
should have no power over any of the mortals, so that,
although in the natural course many would have died,
not one of the human race died within those twenty-four
413. To this triumph over death was added the tri
umph over hell, which, though it was more hidden, was
even more glorious. For as soon as the people began
to proclaim and invoke Christ as their Savior and King
who came in the name of the Lord, the demons felt the
power of the right hand of God, and all of them, in
whatever place they lurked throughout the world, were
hurled into the dark caverns of the infernal abyss. Dur
ing the short space of time in which Christ proceeded on
his triumphal march, not a demon remained upon the
earth, but all of them were trembling with wrath and
terror in the depths of hell. Hence they began to be
filled with a still greater dread, lest the Messias be al
ready in the world, and they immediately communicated
their suspicions to each other, as I shall relate in the next
chapter. The Savior proceeded on his triumphal way to
the gates of Jerusalem, while the angels, who witnessed
and followed his march, chanted new hymns of praise
and glory in wonderful harmony. Having entered the
city amid the jubilee of all its inhabitants, Jesus dis
mounted from the foal, and directed his divinely beauti
ful footsteps toward the temple, where He roused the
admiration of all the multitudes by the wonders, which,
according to the Evangelists, He wrought on that occa
sion (Matth. 21, 12; Luke 19, 45). Burning with zeal
for the house of his Father, He overthrew the tables
of those that bought and sold within the sacred precincts
and cast forth those who made it a place of business and
a den of thieves. Yet with the triumphal march the Lord
suspended also the divine influence, which had disposed
so well the hearts of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Al
though the just had been much benefited, and many
others had been justified, others returned to their vices
and imperfections, because they did not profit by the light
and inspiration sent to them from on high. Though so
many had hailed and acknowledged Christ our Savior
as King of Jerusalem, not one tendered Him hospitality
or received Him in his house (Mark 11, 11).
414. The Lord remained in the temple teaching and
preaching until nightfall. Wishing by his own example
to confirm his teaching in regard to the veneration and
worship due to that place, He would not permit even a
glass of water to be brought to Him, and without hav
ing partaken either of this or any other refreshment, He
returned that evening to Bethany (Matth. 21; 17, 18),
whence He daily made his way to the city until the day
of his Passion. The heavenly Mother and Mistress, most
holy Mary, remained that day in Bethany, where from
her retirement She saw by a supernatural vision all that
happened in the wonderful triumph of her Son and
Master. She witnessed all the doings of the sovereign
spirits of heaven and of the mortals upon earth, and
what befell the demons in hell; and how in all this the
eternal Father merely fulfilled the promises, which He
had made to his incarnate Son in giving Him command
and power over all his enemies. She saw also all that
the Savior did on this occasion and in the temple. She
heard the heavenly Father s voice answering the prayer
of Christ, our Redeemer: "I have glorified, and will
glorify again." By these words He gave men to under
stand that besides the glory and triumph conceded to
the incarnate Word on that day and on other occasions,
as described in this history, He would glorify and exalt
Him after his Death, for such was the meaning of the
words of the eternal Father; in this sense also it was
understood and fully comprehended by the most blessed
Mother in wonderful exultation of her spirit.
415. My daughter, thou hast partly described, and
hast understood much more concerning the mysterious
triumph of my most holy Son on his entrance into Jeru
salem and its preparations; but thou wilt understand
much more of it, when thou shalt come face to face with
the Lord, for as pilgrims, mortals cannot penetrate into
such secrets. Nevertheless thou canst learn and under
stand enough from what thou hast written to perceive
how exalted are the judgments of the Lord and how far
removed from all the thoughts of men (Is. 55, 9). The
Most High looks into the hearts of men and at the
interior, where is hidden the beauty of the King s daugh
ter (Ps. 44, 14); while men look only at the exterior
and at what is perceived by the senses. On this account
the just and the chosen ones are highly esteemed by the
Lord in their humiliation and self-abasement; while the
proud are cast down and rejected by Him in their
self-sufficiency. This truth, my daughter, is understood
by few, and therefore the children of darkness know not
how to strive after any other honor or exaltation than
that of the world. Sad to s-ay, also the children of the
Church, although well knowing and confessing that this
worldly honor is vain and without substance, and that it
does not have any more stability than the flowers or
herbs of the field, do not live up to this knowledge. As
their conscience does not give them witness of faithful
co-operation with the light of grace and the practice of
virtue, they seek after the false and deceitful applause
and commendation of men ; whereas God alone can truly
honor and exalt those, who merit his regard. The world
ordinarily and fraudulently misjudges true merit, lavish
ing its honors upon those who least deserve it, or upon
those who know how to solicit and strive after it most
cunningly and inconsiderately.
416. Fly from this deceit, my daughter, and let the
praise of men make no impression upon thee; repel its
flatteries and compliments. Give to each the importance
and consideration due to it; for the children of the world
are very much blinded in their judgments. None of the
mortals could ever merit the honor and applause of men
so much as my most holy Son; yet He readily yielded
it up and judged at its true worth that which the people
gave Him at his entrance into Jerusalem. He permitted it
merely in order that the divine power might be mani
fested and in order that his Passion might afterwards
be so much the more ignominious. He wished to teach
men, that no one should accept honors for their own
value, but in order that the higher end, that is the glory
of God and the exaltation of the Most High, might
thereby be advanced; that without this object in view
they are altogether vain and useless, void of profit or
advantage of any kind; for they can never procure the
true happiness of a creature capable of eternal glory.
Since I see thee desirous of knowing why I was not
present at this triumph of my most holy Son, I shall
fulfill thy desire, and I refer thee to what thou hast
often related in this history about the clear vision of
the interior of my Son, which was always present to
me. By this vision I was enabled to perceive, when and
why He wished me to absent myself from Him. On
such occasions I would throw myself at his feet, be
seeching Him to declare his will and pleasure in regard
to what I should do. Then the Lord would sometimes
give his orders plainly and in express commands; at
others He would leave it to my own discretion and
choice, permitting me to act according to my prudence
and divine enlightenment. This was the course He
pursued at the time, when He resolved to enter in tri
umph the gates of Jerusalem. He left it altogether to
my own judgment, whether I should accompany Him or
remain in Bethany. Thereupon I asked his permission
to absent myself from this mysterious event, begging
Him to take me with Him to his Passion and Death.
I thought it more befitting and more pleasing in his eyes
to offer myself as participant in the ignominies and sor
rows of his Passion, than to share in the outward honor
given to Him by men. For, as I was his Mother, some
of this honor would certainly have devolved upon me,
if I had shown myself to those who were praising and
blessing Him. I knew that this triumph, beside its not
being desired by me, was ordained by the Lord for the
manifestation of his infinite power and Divinity, and
therefore in no wise pertaining to me; nor would the
honor, which they would have extended to me, augment
that which was due to Him as the Savior of the human
race. At the same time, in order that I might properly
rejoice in this mystery and duly glorify the Almighty
for these wonders, I was made to see by divine enlight
enment and especial vision all that thou has already
written concerning this event. This behavior should in
struct thee and teach thee to imitate me; follow thou
my humble footsteps, withdraw thy affections from all
that is earthly, lift thy aspirations on high, despising and
fleeing all human honors and in divine enlightenment
esteeming them as vanity of vanities and affliction of
spirit (Eccles. 1, 14).
the Work of God Apostolate - mcog #146                                                

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