Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 6  Chapter  17    Verses:  572-585

572. The holy Evangelists pass over in silence what
and where the Savior suffered after the ill-treatment in
the house of Caiphas and the denial of saint Peter. But
they all take up again the thread of events, when they
speak of the council held by them in the morning in
order to deliver Him over to Pilate, as will be related in
the next chapter. I had some doubts as to the propriety
of speaking of this intervening time and of manifesting
that which was made known to me concerning it : for it
was intimated to me, that all cannot be known in this
life, nor is it proper that all should be made known to
all men. On the day of judgment these and many other
sacraments of the life and the Passion of our Lord shall
be published to the whole world. I cannot find words
for describing that which I might otherwise manifest:
I do not find adequate expressions for my concepts, and
much less for the reality itself; all is ineffable and above
my capacity. But in order to obey the orders given me,
I will say what I am able, so as not to incur the blame
of concealing the truth, which directly reproaches and
confuses our vanity and forgetfulness. In the presence
of heaven I confess my own hardness of heart, in not
dying of sorrow and shame for having committed such
great sins at such a cost to my God, the Originator of
my life and being. We cannot ignore the wickedness and
gravity of sin, which caused such ravages in the Author
of grace and glory. I would be the most ungrateful of
all the woman-born, if I would not now abhor sin more
than death and as much as even the demon, and I cannot
but intimate and assert, that this is the duty likewise of
all the children of the holy Catholic church.
573. By the ill-treatment, which the Lord received in
the presence of Caiphas, the wrath of this highpriest and
of all his supporters and ministers was much gratified,
though not at all satiated. But as it was already past
midnight, the whole council of these wicked men resolved
to take good care, that the Savior be securely watched
and confined until the morning, lest He should escape
while they were asleep. For this purpose they ordered
Him to be locked, bound as He was, in one of the sub
terranean dungeons, a prison cell set apart for the most
audacious robbers and criminals of the state. Scarcely
any light penetrated into this prison to dispel its dark
ness. It was filled with such uncleanness and stench, that
it would have infected the whole house, if it had not
been so remote and so well enclosed ; for it had not been
cleaned for many years, both because it was so deep down
and because of the degradation of the criminals that were
confined in it; for none thought it worth while making
it more habitable than for mere wild beasts, unworthy
of all human kindness.
574. The order of the council of wickedness was exe
cuted; the servants dragged the Creator of heaven and
earth to that polluted and subterranean dungeon there
to imprison Him. As the Lord was still bound with the
fetters laid upon Him in the garden, these malicious
men freely exercised all the wrathful cruelty with which
they were inspired by the prince of darkness; for they
dragged Him forward by the ropes, inhumanly causing
Him to stumble, and loading Him with kicks and cuffs
amid blasphemous imprecations. From the floor in
one corner of the subterranean cavern protruded part
of a rock or block, which on account of its hardness
had not been cut out. To this block, which had the
appearance of a piece of column, they now bound and
fettered the Lord Jesus with the ends of the ropes, but
in a most merciless manner. For they forced Him to
approach it and tied Him to it in a stooping position,
so that He could neither seat Himself nor stand upright
for relief, forcing Him to remain in a most painful and
torturing posture. Thus they left Him bound to the
rock, closing the prison-door with a key and giving it
in charge of one of the most malicious of their number.
575. But the infernal dragon rested not in his ancient
pride. In the desire of finding out who this Christ was
and of overcoming his imperturbable patience, he invented
another scheme, to the execution of which he incited the
jailer and some others of the servants. He inspired the
one who held the key of the divine Treasure Trove, the
greatest in heaven and earth, with the idea of inviting
some of his equally evil-minded companions to descend
to the dungeon and entertain themselves for awhile with
the Master of life by forcing Him to speak of prophecy,
or do some other strange or unheard of thing; for they
believed Him to be a diviner or magician. Moved by
this diabolical suggestion, he invited some of the soldiers
and servants, who readily consented. While they were
discussing this matter, a multitude of angels, who assisted
the Redeemer in his Passion, when they saw Him so
painfully bound in such an improper and polluted place,
prostrated themselves before Him, adoring Him as their
true God and Master, and showing Him so much the
more reverence and worship the more they admired the
love which moved Him to subject Himself to such abuse
for the sake of mankind. They sang to Him some of
the hymns and canticles which his own Mother had com
posed in his praise, as I have mentioned above. The
whole multitude of angelic spirits begged Him, in the
name of the same Lady, that, since He would not permit
his own almighty power to alleviate the sufferings of
his humanity, He give them permission to unfetter and
relieve Him of this torturing position and to defend Him
from that horde of servants now instigated by the
demons to heap upon Him new insults.
576. The Lord would not permit the angels to render
this service and He said to them: "Ministering spirits
of my eternal Father, I do not wish to accept any alle
viation in my sufferings at present and I desire to undergo
these torments and affronts in order to satiate my burning
love for men and leave to my chosen friends this example
for their imitation and consolation in their sufferings;
and in order that all may properly estimate the treasures
of grace, which I am gaining for them in great abundance
through my pains. At the same time I wish to justify
my cause, so that, on the day of my wrath, all may
know how justly the reprobate shall be condemned for
despising the most bitter sufferings by which I sought
to save them. Tell my Mother to console Herself in this
tribulation, since the day of rest and gladness shall
come. Let Her accompany Me now in my works and
sufferings for men ; for her affectionate compassion and
all her doings, afford Me much pleasure and enjoyment."
Thereupon the holy angels betook themselves to their
great Queen and Lady and consoled Her with this mes
sage, although She already knew in another way the will
of her divine Son and all that happened in the house of
Caiphas. When She perceived the new cruelty with
which they had left Christ the Lord bound in a posture
so painful arid hard, She felt in her purest body the same
pains; just as She had felt that of the blows and cuffs
and other insults inflicted upon the Author of life. All
the sufferings of the Lord miraculously reacted upon
the virginal body of this sincerest Dove ; the same pains
beset the Son and Mother, and the same sword pierced
both their hearts; with only this difference, that Christ
suffered as Godman and sole Redeemer of mankind,
while Mary suffered as a creature and as a faithful helper
of her most holy Son.
577. When the blessed Queen perceived that this band
of vile miscreants, incited by the devil, would be per
mitted to enter the dungeon, She wept bitterly at what
was to happen. Foreseeing the malicious intentions of
Lucifer, She held Herself ready to make use of her
sovereign power to prevent the executions of any designs
upon the person of Christ that would imply indecency,
such as the dragon sought to induce those unhappy men
to carry out. For although all they did was most unbe
coming and irreverent in his regard, yet there were in
sults, which would have been still more indecent, and by
which the demon, not having succeeded hitherto, desired
now to try the meek forbearance of the Lord. So exqui
site and rare, wonderful and heroic, were the doings of
the Lady at this time and during the whole Passion,
that they could not worthily be mentioned or becomingly
extolled, even if many books were written for this sole
object; and as they are indescribable in this life, we must
leave their full revelation to the beatific vision.
578. The ministers of wickedness therefore broke into
the dungeon, blasphemously gloating over the expected
feast of insult and ridicule, which they were now to
hold with the Lord of all creation. Going up to Him
they began to defile Him with their loathsome spittle
and rain blows and cuffs upon Him with unmentionable
and insulting mockery. The Lord opened not his mouth
or made any answer; He raised not his divine eyes and
lost not the humble serenity of his countenance. The
sacrilegious buffoons wished to drive Him to some ridicu
lous or extraordinary saying or action, so that they
might make a laughing-stock of Him as a sorcerer; and
when they were compelled to witness his unchanging
meekness, they allowed themselves to be incited still more
by the demons. They untied the divine Master from
the stone block and placed Him in the middle of the
dungeon, at the same time blindfolding Him with a
cloth; there they began to come up one after the other
and strike Him with their fists, or slap or kick Him,
each one trying to outdo the other in vehemence of their
blasphemous cruelty and asking Him to prophesy who
had struck Him. This kind of sacrilegious treatment
these servants repeated even more often and continued
longer than before the tribunal of Annas, to which saint
Matthew (26, 67), saint Mark (14, 65), and saint Luke
(22, 64) refer, tacitly including all that followed.
579. The most meek Lamb silently bore this flood of
insults and blasphemies. Lucifer, tormented by his anx
ious desire of seeing some sign of impatience in Him,
was lashed into fury at the equanimity with which the
Savior bore it all. Therefore he inspired those slaves
and friends of his with the project of despoiling the Lord
of all his clothes and pursuing their ill-treatment accord
ing to suggestions which could only originate in the exe
crable demon. They readily yielded to this new inspira
tion and set about its execution. But the most prudent
Lady was moved to most tearful prayers and aspiration? j
at this abominable attempt and interfered with her
power as the Queen. She asked the eternal Father to
withdraw his co-operation with the secondary or created
causes toward such a beginning and She commanded the
faculties of these servants not to perform their natural
functions. Thus it happened that none of the ruffians
could execute the indecencies, which the demon or their
own malice suggested to them. Some of these suggestions
they forgot immediately and others they could not follow
up, because their limbs became as it were frozen or par
alyzed until they again changed their intent. As soon
as they desisted the use of their limbs would again be
restored, for this was not intended as a punishment, but
merely in order to prevent their practicing any indecen
cies. They were left entirely free to practice those cruel
ties or indulge in other irreverence, which were not so
indecent, or were permitted by the Lord.
580. The powerful Queen also commanded the demons
to be silent and forbade them to follow out the indecent
intentions of Lucifer, their leader. By this command of
the powerful Lady the dragon completely lost his power
in those matters which Mary wished to include in her
prohibition. Neither could he further irritate the foolish
anger of those depraved men, nor could they go any
further in their indecency than She permitted. But while
experiencing within themselves the wonderful and ex
traordinary effects of her commands, they did not merit
to be undeceived or recognize the divine power, although
they thus saw themselves alternately paralyzed and sud
denly restored to the full use of their powers. They
attributed it merely to the sorcery and magic of the
Master of truth. In their diabolical infatuation they con
tinued to practice their insulting mockery and tortures
upon the person of Christ, until they noticed that the
night had already far advanced; then they again tied
Him to the column and leaving Him thus bound, they
departed with all the demons. It was ordained by the
divine Wisdom, that the power of the blessed Mother
safeguard propriety and decency due to the person of her
most pure Son against the improper intentions of Lucifer
and his ministers.
581. Again the Savior was alone in the dungeon, sur
rounded by the angelic spirits, who were full of admira
tion at the doings and the secret judgments of the Lord
in what He wished to suffer. They adored Him with
deepest reverence and magnified his holy name in exalted
praise. The Redeemer of the world addressed a long
prayer to his eternal Father for the children of the evan
gelical Church, for the spreading of the holy faith, and
for the Apostles, especially for saint Peter, who during
that time was beweeping his sin. He prayed also for
those who had injured and tormented Him; above all
He included in his prayer his most holy Mother and all
those who in imitation of Him were to be afflicted and
despised in this world. At the same time He offered
up his Passion and his coming Death for these ends.
His grief-stricken Mother followed Him in these prayers,
offering up the same petitions for the children of the
Church and for its enemies without any movements of
anger, indignation or dislike toward them. Only against
the demon was She incensed, because he was entirely in
capable of grace on account of his irreparable obstinacy.
In sorrowful complaints She addressed the Lord, saying :
582. "Divine Love of my soul, my Son and Lord,
Thou art worthy to be reverenced, honored and praised
by all creatures, since Thou art the image of the eternal
Father and the figure of his substance (Heb. 1, 3), infi
nite in thy being and in thy perfections. Thou art the be
ginning of all holiness (Apoc. 1, 8). But if the creatures
are to serve Thee in entire subjection, why do they now,
my Lord and God, despise, vilify, insult and torture thy
Person, which is worthy of the highest worship and
adoration? Why has the malice of men risen to such
a pitch ? Why has pride dared to raise itself even above
heaven? How can envy become so powerful? Thou
art the only and unclouded Sun of justice, which en
lightens and dispels the darkness of sin (John 1, 9).
Thou art the fountain of grace, withholding its waters
from no one. Thou art the One, who in his liberal love
givest being and life to all that live upon this earth, and
all things depend upon Thee, while Thou hast need of
none (Acts 17, 28). What then have they seen in thy
doings, what have they found in thy Passion, that they
should treat Thee in so vile a manner ? O most atrocious
wickedness of sin, which has so disfigured the heavenly
beauty and obscured the light of thy countenance! O
cruel sin, which so inhumanly pursues the Repairer of
all thy evil consequences! But I understand, my Son
and Master, I understand that Thou art the Builder of
true love, the Author of human salvation, the Master
and Lord of virtues (Ps. 23, 10) : Thou wishest to
put in practice Thyself what Thou teachest the humble
disciples of thy school : Thou wishest to humble pride,
confound haughtiness and become the example of eternal
salvation to all. And if Thou desirest that all imitate
thy ineffable patience and charity, then that is my duty
before all others, since I have administered to Thee the
material and clothed Thee in this body now subjected to
suffering, and wounded, spit upon and buffeted. O would
that I alone should suffer these pains, and that Thou, my
most innocent Son, be spared ! And since this is not pos
sible, let Me suffer with Thee unto death. You, O
heavenly spirits, who full of wonder at the long-suffering
of my Son recognize his immutable Deity and the inno
cence and excellence of his humanity, seek ye to com
pensate for these injuries and blasphemies heaped upon
Him by men. Give Him glory and magnificence, wisdom
honor, virtue and power (Apoc. 5, 12). Invite the
heavens, the planets and the stars and the elements to ac
knowledge and confess Him; and see whether there is
another sorrow equal to mine!" (Thren. 1, 12). Such
and many more were the sorrowful aspirations of the
most pure Lady, in giving vent to the bitterness of her
grief and pain.
583. Peerless was the patience of the heavenly Prin
cess in the Death and Passion of her beloved Son and
Lord; so that what She suffered never seemed to Her
much, nor her afflictions equal to those demanded by her
affection, which was measured only by the love and the
dignity of her Son and the greatness of his sufferings.
Nor did She in any of the injuries and affronts against
the Lord take any account of their being committed
against Herself. She reflected not on the share which
She herself had in them, although She was made to
suffer so much by all of them : She deplored them only
in so far as they outraged the divine Personality and
caused damage to the aggressors. She prayed for them
all, that the Most High might pardon them and grant
them salvation from the evils of sin and enlightenment
for gaining the fruits of Redemption.
584. My daughter, it is written in the holy Gospels
(John 5, 57) that the eternal Father has given to his
only Son and mine the power to judge and condemn
the reprobate on the last day, the day of universal judg
ment. This was eminently proper, not only in order that
all the sinners may see their Judge, who will sentence
them according to the most just will of God; but also
in order that they may behold and recognize his hu
manity, by which they were redeemed, and be confronted
in it with the torments and injuries it suffered in order
to rescue them from eternal damnation. The same Judge
and Lord, who shall judge them, shall also advance the
charge. As they cannot answer or satisfy for the
crimes with which He charges them, their confusion will
be only the beginning of the eternal torments, which they
merit by their obstinate ingratitude; for then shall be
come evident to all the world the greatness of his most
merciful and kind Redemption and the justice of their
damnation. Great was the sorrow, most bitter the grief,
of my most holy Son, that not all should make use of
the fruits of his Redemption. This same thought also
pierced my heart and immensely added to the sorrow of
seeing Him spit upon, buffeted, and blasphemed more
cruelly than can ever be understood by living man. But
I understood all these sufferings clearly and as they
should be understood; therefore my sorrow was great
in proportion to this knowledge, just as it was also the
measure of my reverence and love of the person of
Christ, my Son and Lord. But next to this sorrow, my
greatest one was to know, that after all these deathdealing
sufferings of the Lord, so many men should still
damn themselves even within sight of all the infinite
treasures of grace.
585. I wish that thou imitate and follow me in this
sorrow and that thou lament this fearful misfortune;
for among all the losses sustained by men, there is none
which deserves to be so deplored, nor which can ever
be compared to it. My Son and I look with especial
love upon those who imitate this sorrow and afflict
themselves on account of the perdition of so many souls.
Seek thou, my dearest, to distinguish thyself in this
exercise and continue to pray: for thou canst scarcely
imagine how acceptable are such prayers to the Almighty.
But remember his promise, that those who pray shall
receive (Luke 11, 9), and that to those who knock the
gates of his infinite treasures shall be opened. In order
that thou mayest have something to offer in return,
write into thy heart, what my most holy Son and thy
Spouse suffered at the hands of those vile and depraved
men, and the invincible patience, meekness and silence
with which He submitted to their wicked whims. With
this example, labor from now on, that no anger, nor
any other passion of a daughter of Adam have any sway
over thee. Let an interior and ever active horror of
pride, and a dread of injuring thy neighbor, be engen
dered in thy bosom. Solicitously ask the Lord for
patience, meekness, and peacefulness and for a love of
sufferings and Christ s Cross. Embrace this Cross with
a pious affection and follow Christ thy Spouse, in order
that thou mayest at last possess Him (Matth. 16, 14).
the Work of God Apostolate - mcog #156                                                

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