Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 7  Chapter  1    Verses:  1-9

1. In finishing the second part of this history I showed
how our great Queen and Lady, most holy Mary,
was privileged by God to be miraculously present in body
at two places, in the Cenacle as well as in the empyrean
heavens, where She was seated at the right hand of her
Son and eternal God (Ps. 44, 10) ; how, in order to make
his glorious Ascension more wonderful, the Son of God
and of the Virgin, took Her with Him for the purpose
of putting Her in possession of the ineffable rewards
She had until then merited and to assign Her the place,
which, for her past and future merits, He had prepared
for Her from all eternity. I said also, that the three
Persons of the most blessed Trinity left it to the free
choice of the heavenly Mother either to return to the
world for the consolation of the first children of the
Church and for its foundation, or permanently to estab
lish Herself even then in the most blessed state and re
main in the possession of the glory They had conferred
upon Her. For, conditional to her choice and in pur
suance of the great love They had for this peerless
Creature, the will of the divine Persons inclined
toward retaining Her in the abyss of their glory and not
to restore Her to the banished children of Adam upon
earth. In a certain sense justice seemed to demand this ;
since the world was already redeemed by the Passion
and Death of her Son, toward which She had co-operated
in all plenitude and perfection. Death had in Her no
further claims, not only because She had suffered its
pains in that of Christ our Savior (as explained by me
in its place) ; but also because the great Lady never was
tributary to death, nor the demon, nor to sin, and there
fore was not subject to the common law of the children
of Adam (Heb. 9, 27). According to our mode of
thinking, the Lord desired that She, without dying like
the others, should pass by another kind of transition
from the state of pilgrimage to that of comprehension,
from mortality to immortality, and that She should not
suffer death upon the earth, who, while remaining upon
it, had committed no fault to merit death; for the Most
High could have passed Her from one state into the
other in another way.
2. Against this, however, stood the charity and hu
mility of this admirable and sweetest Mother; for her
love urged Her to come to the assistance of her children
and to seek the manifestation and exaltation of the name
of the Most High in the new evangelical Church. She
desired also to gather into the faith many faithful fol
lowers by her solicitation and intercession and to imitate
her children and brethren by dying upon the earth;
though, by reason of her sinlessness, She owed no such
tribute (Rom. 6, 23). In her vast wisdom and admirable
prudence She knew how much more precious it is to
merit a reward and crown, than to possess them gratui
tously in advance, even if they happen to be those of
eternal glory. Her wisdom and humility were not with
out their present reward; for the eternal Father made
known to all the courtiers of heaven, at the same time
both his own desires and the choice of most holy Mary
for the good of the militant Church and for the succor
of the faithful. All the inhabitants of heaven then began
to know what is but just that we should know also on
earth; namely: that, as we are told by saint John, the
eternal Father so loved the world as to give not only
his Son for its Redemption (John 3, 16) ; but also his
Daughter, the most holy Mary, sending Her from her
glory to build up the Church, which Christ its Artificer
had established ; and in like manner and for the same pur
pose the Son delivered up his most loving and beloved
Mother, and the Holy Ghost his sweetest Spouse. To this
must be added another circumstance enhancing this bless
ing: namely that it followed closely upon the injuries
which Christ our Redeemer received in his Passion and
frightful Death, making the world altogether unworthy
of this benefit. O infinite love ! O immense charity !
How evident is it become, that the multitudinous waters
of our sins cannot extinguish thee! (Cant. 8, 7).
3. After most holy Mary had remained in heaven
for three entire days and had enjoyed in body and soul
the glory of the right hand of her Son and true God,
She departed with the benediction of the blessed Trinity
from the highest empyrean and returned, according to
her desire, to this nether world of the earth. God or
dered an innumerable multitude of angels, selected from
all the choirs and from the highest seraphim nearest to
his throne, to accompany their Queen. She was enveloped
in a cloud or globe of the most resplendent light, which
served Her as a couch or reliquary and in which She
was borne downward by the seraphim. The beauty
and exterior splendor in which this heavenly Queen
came to the earth can never be compassed by the human
mind in mortal life; and it is certain that no living
creature could have looked upon Her in merely natural
powers without losing its life. On this account it was
necessary, that the Most High should hide her reful
gence from those that saw Her, until the splendors of
her beauty should have moderated. Saint John the
Evangelist alone was privileged to see the Queen in the
full redundance of the divine glory which She had en
joyed. The immense beauty of this magnificent Queen
and Mistress of the heavens, as She descended from the
throne of the blessed Trinity, can easily be understood,
when we consider how the face of Moses, after having
spoken with the Lord and received the law on the moun
tain, shone with such light that the Israelites could
not bear it or look upon his face. We are not informed
that the Prophet saw the Divinity face to face; and
if he saw It, his vision of God certainly did not ap
proach in the least to that enjoyed by the Mother of God.
4. The great Lady arrived at the Cenacle as a sub
stitute of her divine Son in the new evangelical Church.
In the gifts of grace, which She had received for this
ministry, She showed such a plenitude and abundance,
that She excited the wonder of the angels and the as
tonishment of the saints; for She was a living image
of Christ our Redeemer and Master. Beneath the
globe of light, in which, unseen, She arrived in the
Cenacle, She was restored to her natural existence, in
so far as to be thenceforward present only in that place.
Immediately the Mistress of holy humility prostrated
Herself to the ground and abasing Herself to the dust,
said : "Most high God and my Lord, behold this vile
worm of the earth, acknowledging itself formed from
it (Gen. 2, 7), and coming from nothingness to this
existence, which I hold through thy most liberal clem
ency. I acknowledge also, O highest Father, that thy
ineffable condescension, without any merits of mine, has
raised me from the dust, to the dignity of being the
Mother of thy Onlybegotten. From my whole heart I
praise and exalt thy immense goodness in so favoring
me. In gratitude for such great blessings I offer myself
to live and labor anew in this mortal life, according to
all the decrees of thy divine will. I consecrate myself
as thy faithful servant and as the servant of the children
of the Church. All of them I present before thy im
mense charity and implore Thee from my inmost heart
to look upon them as their kindest God and Father. For
them I offer up the sacrifice of being deprived of thy
glory and peace, and of having chosen of my own free
will suffering rather than joy, denying myself the vision
of Thee in order to perform what is so pleasing in
thy sight."
5. The holy angels that had come with the Queen took
leave of Her to return to heaven, congratulating the
earth for again possessing as its inhabitant their great
Queen and Lady. I wish to mention, that while I
wrote of this, the holy princes asked me, why I did not
more frequently call Mary the Queen and Mistress of
the angels, and they told me not to neglect the use of
that title in the balance of this history, since they derived
such great delight therefrom. In order to obey and
please them I shall use it many times from now on.
But returning to our history, we must take notice, that
the heavenly Mother, during the first three days after
her descent from heaven, remained much withdrawn
from earthly things, still lingering in the overflow of
the joy and admirable influences of her triduum of
glory in the heavens. Of all mortals the Evangelist
saint John alone had cognizance of this mystery; for in
a vision he had seen the great Queen of heaven ascend
with her divine Son and had also seen Her descend in
her glory and graces for the enrichment of the Church.
Two days he remained as it were entranced and sus
pended in admiration at this extraordinary mystery.
Knowing that his most holy Mother had descended from
on high he desired to speak to Her, but dared not
6. Battling between the urgency of his love and the
restraint of his humility, the beloved Apostle hesitated
nearly a whole day. Conquered by his filial love, he
at last resolved to seek the presence of his heavenly
Mother in the Cenacle, and on his way thither, he
stopped to argue with himself. "How can I presume
to do what I desire, before knowing the will of the
Most High and of my Mistress? Yet my Redeemer
and Master has given Her to me as a Mother and
favored and bound me to Her as a son; hence it is my
duty to serve and assist Her. She is not ignorant of
my desire, and will not despise it; She is kind and
sweet, and will pardon me. I wish to prostrate myself
at her feet." Therewith saint John came to a resolve,
and he went to the place where the Queen was in prayer
with the rest of the faithful. At the instant in which
he raised his eyes to look upon Her, he fell down pros
trate just as he and the other two Apostles had fallen
at seeing the transfigured Lord on mount Tabor (Matth.
17, 2). For the splendors which he now saw in the
countenance of most blessed Mary were very like to
those seen on our Savior Jesus at that time. As the
impression caused by the vision of her descent from
heaven was also still enduring, his human weakness was
so much the more completely overwhelmed and he fell
to the earth, without power of again rising to his feet
for the space of an hour. Nor were the Apostles and
disciples, who were present in the Cenacle, necessarily
astonished at this fall; because, in imitation of their
divine Master, and moved by the example and instruc
tions of the most holy Mary, they were frequently,
during the time they were expecting the Holy Ghost,
lying prostrate and in the form of a cross praying for
the coming of the Paraclete.
7. The kindest Mother then approached the humble
and blessed Apostle, and raised him from his prostrate
position, and, assuming a more natural appearance, fell
herself upon her knees, and said to him: "My master
and son, thou already knowest that I am to be governed
in all my actions by obedience to thee; for thou takest
the place of my divine Son and Master, in order to
command me in all that I am to do. I now ask thee
anew to be solicitous in commanding me, on account of
the consolation I derive from obeying in all things.
Hearing these words, saint John felt great confusion and
perplexity on account of what he had seen and experi
enced concerning Her, and he once more prostrated
himself before Her, offering himself as her slave and
begging Her to command and govern Him entirely. In
this urgent request saint John persevered for some time,
until, overcome by the humility of our Queen, he sub
jected himself to her will and was persuaded to yield
to Her, agreeing to command Her as She wished. For
this was of the greatest profit for his own advance
ment, and for us a unique and efficacious example, re
minding us of our pride and teaching us to crush it.
If we acknowledge ourselves devout children of this
heavenly Mother and Mistress of humility, we are justly
obliged to imitate and follow Her. The vision of the
great Queen of the angels in her state of glory was so
deeply impressed upon the understanding and the in
terior faculties of the Evangelist, that the image of it
remained within Him during all His life. At the moment
when he saw Her descend from heaven, he cried out
in great wonder. The intelligence he then received con
cerning Her he afterwards manifested in the Apocalypse,
and especially in the twelfth chapter, as I will explain
later on.
8. My daughter, though I have until now so
many times urged thee to detach thyself from all visible
and earthly things and to die to thyself and to all that
savors of a child of Adam, and though I have fully
exhorted and instructed thee in the first and second part
of my life already written; yet I now call upon thee
anew, with the affection of a kind and loving Mother,
and I invite thee in the name of my divine Son, in
my own name and in that of the angels, who also love
thee so much, that, forgetting all else, thou raise thy
self to another life, more exalted and heavenly, approach
ing that of the eternal felicity. I desire that thou leave
entirely the ancient Babylon, thy enemies and all their
false and harassing vanities, and that thou approach
the holy and celestial Jerusalem, live in its porches,
where thou art to occupy thyself in the true and per
fect imitation of my life and thus arrive by the divine
grace at the intimate union of my Lord and thy most
faithful Spouse. Hear me then, my dearest; with a
joyful attention and alacrity of soul follow me fervently,
reproducing in thy life the image of what thou writest,
and study what works I performed after I came back
from the right hand of my divine Son to this world.
Meditate upon and penetrate into all my doings, in order
that, according to the graces thou receivest, thou mayest
continually copy, what thou understandest and writest.
Divine favor will not fail thee, for the Most High will
not deny it to those, who on their part exert themselves
according to their power, and He will not refuse thee his
assistance to attain what is pleasing and acceptable to
Him, if thou do not by thy negligence make thyself
unworthy. Prepare and expand thy heart, inflame thy
will, purify thy understanding, and cast out from thy
faculties every image and impression of visible crea
tures. For thus will none of them interfere with thee,
nor any of them draw thee into venial sin or imperfec
tions; the Most High will deposit in thee his hidden
wisdom and thus thou shalt be prepared and anxious
to execute all that is most pleasing in our eyes and en
joined upon thee by Us.
9. From now on thy life is to be like that of one
newly called from the grave. Just as such a one is apt
to turn to a new life, as if estranged and foreign to all
that he loved in his former life, changed in all his
desires, reformed and alienated from all his former in
clinations; so I desire, that thou, my daughter, be re
newed. For thou must live as if thou wert re-endowed
with the highest possible gifts of the soul by the divine
power within thee. But for these divine operations it
is necessary that thou use thy own efforts and prepare
thy whole heart, so that thou mayest be entirely free
and become a blank tablet as it were, whereon the
Lord, with his own ringers, may write and stamp, as
in soft and yielding wax, the seal of my virtues. His
Majesty desires thee to be an instrument in his hands
wherewith to operate his own holy and perfect will ; and
thou knowest, that an instrument does not offer re
sistance to the artisan, and if it possesses free will, it uses
it only in order to permit itself to be freely moved.
Now then, my dearest, come, come whither I call thee;
and remember that if it is natural to the highest Good
to bestow favors and communicate Itself to the creatures
at all times, yet in the present age, this Lord and Father1
of mercies seeks to manifest more abundantly his liberal
kindness toward mortals. For the times have advanced
toward their end and there are few, who are willing
to dispose themselves for the reception of his divine
gifts. Do not thou lose such a favorable occasion; fol
low me, and tread in my footsteps; and since I invite
thee to such a happiness in motherly love and by such
high and perfect doctrine, do not grieve the Holy Ghost
by thy tardiness.
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