Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 7  Chapter  7    Verses:  96-117

96. It is not the object of this history to relate all the
doings of the Apostles in the order followed by saint
Luke, nor to record all that they did after the descent of
the Holy Ghost ; for, though the great Queen and Lady
certainly knew all that passed, yet many things happened
where She was not personally present. Of such it is not
necessary to speak here, nor would it be possible to de
scribe the manner in which the heavenly Queen co
operated in the works of the Apostles and disciples, and
in all else that happened; for in order to do this, there
were need of many large volumes. It is sufficient for my
purpose and for the sequence of this history to select
the salient points of the Acts of the Apostles written by
the Evangelist, and make intelligible much of what he
omits concerning our Queen, and what was not to his
purpose nor proper for him to write at that time.
97. As the Apostles continued their preaching and
wonders in Jerusalem the number of the faithful in
creased and. as saint Luke says in the fourth chapter of
the Acts, after seven days reached five thousand. All
of them were busy catechising the newcomers in prepara
tion for Baptism, though that work was done principally
by the disciples; for the Apostles were preaching and
were conducting some controversies with the pharisees
and sadducees. On this seventh day the Queen of An
gels, being in the retirement of her oratory and consid
ering how the little flock of her divine Son was increas
ing, asked the Lord to give light to the Apostles in order
that they might begin to institute a government for the
better direction of those new children of the faith. Pros
trate upon the floor She adored the Lord and said : "Most
high and eternal God, as a vile worm of the earth I wish
to praise and exalt Thee for the immense love Thou hast
manifested for the human race ; and because Thou showest
the mercy of a Father by calling so many to the
knowledge and faith of thy divine Son, glorifying and
spreading the honor of thy name through the world. I
beseech thy Majesty, O Lord, to enlighten and instruct
thy Apostles, my masters, to dispose and order all that
concerns the government, amplification and preservation
of thy holy Church."
98. Then the most prudent Mother, in the vision of
the Divinity She had at that time, perceived that the Lord
was very well pleased and answered Her: "Mary my
Spouse, what dost thou wish? and for what dost thou
ask Me? Thy voice and thy sighs have sounded sweetly
in my ears (Cant. 2, 14). Ask what thou. wishest, my
will is inclined toward thy petitions." The heavenly
Mary answered: "My Lord and my God, Master of all
my being, my desires and my sighs are not unknown to
thy infinite wisdom (Ps. 37, 10). I desire, seek and so
licit thy greater pleasure and satisfaction, thy greater
glory and the exaltation of thy name in the holy Church.
I present to Thee these new children, with whom Thou
hast so quickly befruited it and also my desire that they
receive holy Baptism, since they have already been in
structed in the faith. And if it is according to thy will
and service, I desire also that the Apostles commence even
now to consecrate the body and the blood of thy and my
Son, in order that by this new and admirable sacrifice
they may give Thee praise and thanks for the blessing
of the Redemption and all the favors Thou hast through
it conferred upon the world, and also that according to
thy will the children of the Church may in it receive the
nourishment of eternal life. I am but dust and ashes,
the least handmaid of thy faithful, and a woman ; and on
that account I hesitate in proposing this to thy priests
and Apostles. But do Thou inspire, O Lord, the heart
of saint Peter, thy Vicar, to ordain what Thou wishest."
99. The Church therefore owes thanks to most holy
Mary for this special blessing : that by her most discreet
attention and intercession the body and blood of her
divine Son was consecrated for the first time after the
Ascension and after the coming of the Holy Ghost. It
was natural, that through her efforts the bread of life
should begin to be distributed among her children ( Prov.
31, 14), since She was the richly laden and prosperous
vessel, which brought it from heaven. The Lord then
answered Her : "My beloved Dove, let what thou wish
est, be done. My Apostles, with saint Peter and John,
shall speak to thee and thou shalt order through them
what thou wishest to be done." Immediately all of the
Apostles entered the presence of the great Queen, and She
received them as usual by reverently falling on her knees
before them and asking their blessing. This Saint Peter,
as the head of the Apostles, imparted. He spoke for all
of them and represented to Mary, how the newly con
verted had already been instructed in the mysteries of the
Lord s faith; how it was just, that they should receive
Baptism, and that they should be marked as the children
of Christ and admitted to the bosom of the Church; he
therefore asked the heavenly Mistress to point out the
order to be followed as most appropriate and pleasing
to the Most High. The most prudent Lady answered:
"My master, thou art the head of the Church and the
vicar of my divine Son in it ; all that- shall be ordained
by thee in his name, shall be approved of Him and his
will with thine shall be mine."
100. Thereupon saint Peter ordained that on the fol
lowing day (which corresponds to the Sunday of the
most holy Trinity), Baptism should be given to those
who had been converted during that week ; this arrange
ment of saint Peter was satisfactory to our Queen and to
the other Apostles. Immediately there arose a doubt as
to what Baptism was to be given to them : the baptism
of saint John, or the Baptism of Christ our Savior. To
some it seemed that the baptism of saint John, which was
that of penance, should be given to them, and that through
it they were to enter into the faith and justification of
their souls. Others, on the contrary, said, that with the
Baptism and the Death of Christ the baptism of saint
John had expired, since it had served merely to prepare
the souls for the reception of Christ the Redeemer, and
that the Baptism of the Lord gives grace sufficient for
justifying the souls and for washing off all the sins from
those properly disposed; and that it was necessary to
introduce it immediately into the Church.
101. This opinion was approved of by saint John and
saint Peter, and was confirmed by the most holy Mary.
Hence they determined to institute at once the Baptism
of Christ our Lord and to confer it on the new converts
and the rest who came to the Church. In regard to the
material and form of that Baptism there was no doubt
among the Apostles; for all of them agreed that the
material should be natural and elementary water, and
the form should be: I baptize thee in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; because
these were the matter and form designated by the Lord
our Savior and these words He had made use of in the
Baptism He had himself administered. This way of
baptizing was observed always from that day on. Wher
ever in the Acts of the Apostles it is said that they bap
tized in the name of Jesus, this saying does not refer to
the form, but to the Author of the Baptism, namely Jesus,
in contradistinction to the author of the other baptism,
that of saint John. To baptize in the name of Jesus was
the same as to baptize with the Baptism of Jesus; but
its form was that which the Lord himself had given and
contains the express mention of the three Persons of the
most holy Trinity (Math. 27, 19), as the foundation and
beginning of all the Catholic truth and faith. The Apos
tles therefore ordained, that all the catechumens should
gather in the house of the Cenacle in order to be bap
tized; and that the seventy-two disciples should have
charge of preparing them for that occasion.
102. Then the great Lady, having asked permission,
spoke to that whole congregation and said : "My masters,
the Redeemer of the world, the true God and my Son,
out of the love which He had for men, offered to the
eternal Father the sacrifice of his sacred body and blood,
consecrating Himself under the species of bread and wine.
Under these appearances He resolved to remain in his
Church, in order that its children might have in it the
sacrifice and food of eternal life they are to expect here
after. Through this sacrifice, which embodies the mys
teries of the life and death of the Son, the Father is to be
placated ; and in it and through it, the Church shall give
the thanks and praise which it owes to Him as its God
and Benefactor. You are the priests and ministers, who
alone are to offer it. It is my desire, if such be your
will, that you begin to offer this unbloody sacrifice and
that you consecrate the body and blood of my divine
Son, in order that we may render fit thanks for the benefit
of his Redemption and of the sending of the Holy Ghost
into the Church; and in order that the faithful, by re
ceiving this Sacrament, may begin to enjoy this bread
of life in all its divine effects. All those may partake of
the sacred body, who shall have received Baptism and
who seem to be more fit and better prepared; but Bap
tism is the first requisite for its reception."
103. All the Apostles and disciples conformed to the
wish of the blessed Mary, and they thanked Her for Her
solicitude and her instruction. It was resolved, that on
the following day, after the Baptism of the catechumens,
the body and blood of Christ should be consecrated, and
that Saint Peter should be the celebrant, since he was the
head of the Church. The holy Apostle consented. But
before dismissing them he proposed another difficulty to
the consideration of all, namely, concerning the order to
be observed in receiving and distributing the alms and
the goods of the newly converted.
104. He therefore said: "My dearest brethren, you
already know, that our Redeemer and Master, Jesus, by
his example, his doctrines and commands ordained and
taught the true poverty (Matthew 8, 20) in which we
should live, abhorring and shunning the cares entailed
by riches and possessions, and neither desiring or amass
ing wealth in this life. Besides this salutary doctrine we
have before our eyes the recent and formidable example
of the perdition of Judas, who was an Apostle as we our
selves, and who, by his avarice and covetousness, went
astray and has fallen from the dignity of the apostolate
into the abyss of wickedness and eternal damnation.
This tremendous danger we must avoid, so that no one
may hold in possession or handle money and that all may
imitate and follow the strictest poverty of our Captain
and Master. I know that all of you desire this, well
understanding that in order to preserve us from this con
tagion the Lord has placed this risk and chastisement be
fore our eyes. Therefore that we all may be free from the
hindrances connected with the gifts and alms brought us
by the faithful, it is necessary to arrange some form of
administration. It is proper that you now determine
upon the manner and order to be maintained in the re
ception and the distribution of the moneys and gifts of
the faithful."
105. The whole gathering of the Apostles and disci
ples were somewhat at a loss to find the proper course to
be pursued; and several opinions were proposed. Some
of them suggested that a chief Stewart be chosen, who
should receive all the money and gifts, and who should
distribute it according to the necessities of all. But this
suggestion was not favored by this gathering of the poor
and of the disciples of the Master of poverty, on ac
count of the example of Judas so recently before their
eyes. To others it seemed good to make a deposit of all
the goods into the hands of a reliable person not belong
ing to the apostolic college, who should be master of it
and apply the profits or rents according to the needs of
the faithful; but also this seemed inappropriate, just as
other measures also proposed. The great Mistress of
humility, the blessed Mary, listened to all without say
ing a word; as well because She wished to show this
reverence to the Apostles, as because no one would have
advanced his own opinion, if She had first made known
her view. Although She was the Teacher of all, She
always conducted Herself as a disciple anxious to listen
and learn. But saint Peter and saint John, perceiving
the diversity of opinion among the rest, besought the
heavenly Mother to show them the right way in their
doubts and to declare what should be most pleasing to
her divine Son.
106. She obeyed and speaking to the whole gathering,
She said : "My masters and brethren, I was in the school
of our true Teacher, my divine Son, from the time when
He was conceived in my womb, until He died and as
cended into heaven; I have never seen Him touch or
handle money, nor accept a gift of much value or price.
When, shortly after his birth, He accepted the presents
offered to Him by the Kings at their adoration (Matth.
2, 11), it was because of the mysterious signification
connected with them and in order that He might not
frustrate the pious intentions of those Kings, who were
the first-fruits among the heathens. But without delay,
while resting on my arms, He ordered me immediately
to distribute them among the poor and the temple, as I
also did. Many times during his life He told me, that
one of the high purposes of his coming into the world
was to raise up poverty and to teach it to mortals, who
stand in horror of it. In his conversations, his teachings
and his most holy life He manifested to me, and made
me understand, that the holiness and perfection, which
He had come to teach, was to be founded on the most
perfect voluntary poverty and the contempt of riches.
The more earnestly these were cultivated in the Church,
so much greater would be her sanctity in the course of
the ages; and this will be evident in the coming times."
107. "Since we are to follow the footsteps of our true
Master and practice his teachings, in order that we may
found his Church by imitating his example ; it is neces
sary that we all embrace the most strict poverty and
that we honor and revere it as the mother of all virtues
and holiness. Hence I am of opinion that we all should
detach our hearts from the love of money and riches and
that all of us should refuse to handle it or to accept val
uable and precious gifts. In order that no one may be
defiled by avarice, six or seven persons of approved life
and established virtue might be appointed, who are to
receive the alms and offerings and whatever else the
faithful wish to deposit in their desire to live more se
curely and to follow Christ my divine Son without the
embarrassment of possessions. All this must be given in
the form of alms, not in the manner of rents, or income,
or capital. All of it should be used for supplying the
needs of the community and of our brethren and poor,
the needy and the infirm; and let none of the congre
gation, nor the Church, consider any of these goods as
belonging to themselves any more than to any of the
brethren. If the alms thus offered for the sake of God
should not suffice for the maintenance of all, let those
that are appointed for this work ask for more in the
name of God. Let all of us understand, that our lives
depend upon the most high Providence of my divine Son
and not upon the solicitude for acquiring money, nor
upon increasing our possessions under pretext of pro
viding for our sustenance. Let us rather have confidence
and if necessary, rely on the beneficence of almsgiving."
108. None of the Apostles nor the other faithful of
that gathering objected to the decision of their Great
Queen and Teacher; but all of them heartily embraced
her doctrine, knowing that She was the only and legiti
mate disciple of the Lord, and that She was the Teacher
of the Church. The most prudent Mother, by divine
disposition, would not delegate to one of the Apostles
this instruction and the laying of this solid foundation
of evangelical and Christian perfection in the Church;
because such an arduous task required the authorship and
example of Christ and his most holy Mother. They
were the Inventors and Institutors of this most noble
poverty and They were the first to honor it by an open
profession of it. These two Leaders were followed by
the Apostles and by all the children of the primitive
Church. This kind of poverty flourished afterwards for
many years. Later on, through human frailty and
through human malice of the enemy, it decayed in some
of the Christians, so that finally it came to be restricted
to the ecclesiastical state. And because the course of
time made this form of poverty difficult or impossible
also for this state, God raised up the religious communi
ties, where, with some diversity, the primitive poverty
was renewed and kept alive in its entirety or in its main
intent. Thus it will be preserved in the Church to the
end, securing its privileges to its devotees according to
the degree in which they follow, honor and love this
virtue. None of the states of life approved by the Church
is excluded from its proportionate measure; and none
of those living in those states are excused from striving
after its highest perfection in their own lives. But as
in the house of God there are many mansions (John 14,
2), so there are also different orders and grades of in
habitants; let each one live up to the poverty which is
in accordance with his state. But let all of us under
stand, that the first step in the imitation and following of
Christ is voluntary poverty; and those that pursue it
more closely, can so much the more freely rejoice in
sharing with Christ its advantages and perfections.
109. With the decision of the blessed Mary the meet
ing of the apostolic college was closed, and six prudent
men were chosen to receive and dispense the alms. The
great Lady asked the blessing of the Apostles, who
again returned to their work of preparing the catechu
mens for Baptism on the following day. The Queen,
with the assistance of her angels and of the other Marys,
proceeded to prepare and adorn the hall, in which her
divine Son had celebrated the last Supper ; and with her
own hands She cleansed it and scrubbed it for his return
in the consecration to be performed on the next day.
She asked the owner to furnish it in the same way as I
have described for the Thursday of the Last Supper and
the devout host deferred to her wishes with deepest rev
erence. She also prepared the unleavened bread and the
wine necessary for the consecration, together with the
same paten and chalice in which the Savior had conse
crated. For the Baptism She provided pure water and
the basins for administering it with ease and reverence.
Then the loving Mother retired and passed the night in
most fervent aspirations, prostrations, thanksgiving and
other exercises of exalted prayer ; offering to the eternal
Father all that She, in her heavenly wisdom, knew would
help worthily to prepare Herself and all the rest for the
worthy administration of Baptism.
110. Early the next day, which was the octave of the
coming of the Holy Ghost, all the faithful and catechu
mens gathered with the Apostles and disciples in the
house of the Cenacle. Saint Peter preached to this
gathering instructing them in the nature and excellence
of Baptism, the need in which they stood of it and its
divine effects, how they would, through it, be made mem
bers of the mystical body of the Church, receive an in
terior character; be regenerated to a new existence as
children of God and inheritors of his glory through the
remission of sins and sanctifying grace. He exhorted
them to the observance of the divine law, to which they
subjected themselves by their own free will, and to
humble thanksgiving for this benefit and for all the
others, which they received from the hands of the Most
High. He explained to them also the mysterious and
sacred truth of the holy Eucharist, which was to be cel
ebrated in the consecration of the true body and blood of
Jesus Christ, and he admonished all those especially,
who were to receive holy Communion after their Bap
111. Through this sermon all the converts were in
spired with additional fervor ; for their dispositions were
altogether sincere, the words of the Apostles full of life
and penetration, and the interior grace very abundant.
Then the Apostles themselves began to baptize amid the
most devout and orderly attention of the others. The
catechumens entered one door of the Cenacle and after
being baptized, they passed out through another, while the
disciples and others of the faithful acted as ushers. The
most holy Mary was present at the entire ceremony, al
though keeping to one side of the hall. She prayed for
all of them and broke forth in canticles of praise. She
recognized the effects of Baptism in each one, according
to the greater or less degree of virtues infused in their
souls. She beheld them renewed and washed in the blood
of the Lamb, and their souls restored to a divine purity
and spotlessness. In witness of these effects, a most clear
light, visible to all that were present, descended upon
each one that was baptized. By this miracle God wished
to authenticate the first beginnings of this Sacrament in
his holy Church, and to console both those first children
and us, who are made partakers of this blessing without
much adverting to it or giving thanks for it.
112. This administration of Baptism was continued
on that day until all were baptized, although there were
about five thousand to receive it. While the baptized
were making their thanksgiving for this admirable bless
ing, the Apostles with all the disciples and the faithful
spent some time in prayer. All of them prostrated them
selves on the ground adoring the infinite and immutable
God, and confessing their own unworthiness of receiv
ing Him in the most august sacrament of the Altar. In
this profound humility and adoration they prepared
themselves more immediately for Communion. And
then they recited the same psalms and prayers which
Christ had recited before consecrating, imitating faith
fully that sacred function just as they had seen it per
formed by their divine Master. Saint Peter took in his
hands the unleavened bread, and, after raising up his
eyes to heaven with admirable devotion, he pronounced
over the bread the words of consecration of the most
holy body of Christ, as had been done before by the Lord
Jesus (II Cor. 11, 24). Immediately the Cenacle was
filled with the visible splendor of innumerable angels;
and this light converged in a most singular manner on
the Queen of heaven and earth and was seen by all those
present. Then saint Peter consecrated the chalice and
performed all the ceremonies, which Christ had observed
with the consecrated body and blood, raising them up for
the adoration of all the faithful. The Apostle partook
himself of the Sacrament and communicated it to the
eleven Apostles as most holy Mary had instructed him.
Thereupon, at the hands of saint Peter, the heavenly
Mother partook of it, while the celestial spirits there
present attended with ineffable reverence. In approach
ing the altar the great Lady made three profound pros
trations, touching the ground with her face.
113. She returned to her place, and it is impossible
to describe in words the effects of this participation of
the holy Eucharist in this most exalted of creatures. She
was entirely transformed and elevated, completely ab
sorbed in this divine conflagration of the love of her most
holy Son, whom She had now received bodily. She re
mained in a trance, elevated from the floor ; but the holy
angels shielded Her somewhat from view according to
her own wish, in order that the attention of those pres
ent might not be unduly attracted by the divine effects
apparent in Her. The disciples continued to distribute
holy Communion, first to the disciples and then to the
others who had been believers before the Ascension.
But of the five thousand newly baptized only one thou
sand received Communion on that day; because not all
were entirely prepared or furnished with the insight and
attention required for receiving the Lord in this great
sacrament and mystery of the Altar. With regard to the
manner of Communion in that day, the Apostles ob
served the distinction of giving to the most holy Mother
and the one hundred and twenty, upon whom the Holy
Ghost had come, both species, of bread and of wine; but
the recently baptized partook only of the species of
bread. But this difference was not made because the
new faithful were less worthy of the one species than of
the other; but because the Apostles knew, that in either
one of the species they received the same Object in its en
tirety, namely the sacramental God ; and that there was
no precept, and likewise no necessity that each one re
ceive both species. They considered, that there would
be great danger of irreverence and other very grave in
conveniences to permit the multitude to partake of the
species of the blood, while this was not to be feared in
the Communion of the few, who then partook of them at
that time. I have been made to understand, that, for all
those who were not consecrating or celebrating, the prac
tice of communicating only the specie of bread obtained
from the very beginning of the Church. Although some,
that were not priests, for some time partook of both
species ; yet, as soon as the Church increased and spread
over the whole world, she, being guided by the Holy
Ghost, very wisely ordained, that laymen and those not
celebrating Mass should communicate only in the specie
of the sacred body; and that it was to pertain to those
who were celebrating these divine mysteries, to partake
of both species. Such is the secure practice of the Roman
Catholic Church.
114. All having received holy Communion, saint Peter
ended the sacred mysteries by reciting some psalms and
prayers, which he and the other Apostles offered up in
thanksgiving; for at that time the other rites and cere
monies, which later on were added for the worthy cele
bration of Mass, as well before as after the Consecra
tion and Communion, had not yet been instituted. In our
times the most blessed and wise Roman Church has es
tablished all that is contained in the holy Mass as cele
brated by the priests of the Lord. The Apostles spent
some more time in prayer, and when the day had already
declined toward evening they proceeded to other busi
ness and to partake of the necessary nourishment. Our
great Queen and Lady gave thanks to the Most High
for all of them, and the Lord was pleased with her
thanksgiving, granting the petitions which his Beloved
offered up for the present and the absent in his holy
115. My daughter, although in the present life thou
canst not penetrate into the mystery of the love which
I had and still have for men; yet, in addition to that
which thou hast understood, I wish, for thy better in
formation, that thou consider again, how the Lord has
given me the title of Mother and Teacher of the Church.
With it He infused into my soul an ineffable participation
of charity and mercy for the children of Adam. As I
was a mere creature and since this blessing was so im
mense, its effects would have deprived me many times
of life, if the divine power had not miraculously sus
tained me. These effects I felt frequently in my thanks
giving, when souls were received into the Church or were
made partakers of the eternal glory; for I alone could
know and estimate this happiness in its entirety, and
since I realized it, I gave thanks for it to the Almighty
with intense fervor and deepest humility. But the oc
casions in which I was affected most deeply, was when I
asked for the conversion of sinners and when any of the
faithful fell into eternal perdition. At such and other
times, experiencing the extreme opposite of my joys, I
suffered much more than the martyrs in all their tor
ments. I exerted myself for each soul with an eminent
and supernatural force. For all this the children of
Adam stand in debt to me, since I offered up for them so
many times my own life. Though at present I am not
any more in a condition to offer it for them, yet my love,
which seeks their eternal salvation, is not diminished,
but is more exalted and perfect.
116. If such was the force of my love of God, when
my fellow-men were concerned, thou canst understand
what was my love toward the Lord himself, when re
ceiving Him in the blessed Sacrament. I will tell thee a
secret concerning what happened when I received holy
Communion for the first time from the hands of saint
Peter. On this occasion the Most High gave such sway
to the violence of my love, that my heart opened up in
fact and, as was my desire, permitted the sacramental
Lord to enter and take his rest there as in his legitimate
throne and tabernacle. From this thou wilt understand,
that, if in the glory which I now enjoy I could be sorrow
ful, one of the reasons for being so would be the dreadful
carelessness and presumption with which mortals ap
proach to receive the sacred body and blood of my di
vine Son; some of them unclean and abominable, others
without veneration and respect, and nearly all of them
without attention, without appreciation or consideration
for the value of that food, which is nothing less than
God himself for eternal life or eternal death.
117. Fear then, my daughter, this dreadful danger;
weep to see it in so many children of the Church and ask
the intervention of the Lord. In pondering over my
teachings make thyself worthy to understand profoundly
this mystery of love, and when thou art permitted to re
ceive Him, detach and cleanse thy interior from all
earthly things, attending only to the fact, that thou art
about to receive the infinite and incomprehensible God
himself. Surpass thyself in love, in humility, and
thanksgiving; since all that thou canst ever do, will be
less than is demanded by such an exalted mystery. For
thy better preparation, let that which I did on such oc
casions be thy model and example. I desire especially
that thou imitate me interiorly, as in the three bodily
prostrations. Observe also that which thou hast added
thyself in order to do reverence to the sacramental flesh
and blood as coming from my womb and as having been
nourished and grown from my milk. Ever keep up this
devotion; for the truth thou hast perceived, that this
consecrated body contains part of my own blood and
substance, is in fact real. And if in thy love thou wouldst
deeply grieve to see the sacred body and blood ignominiously
and sacrilegiously trampled under foot; thou
shouldst feel the same grief and shed bitter tears at see
ing so many children of the Church treat it with irrever
ence and without any fear or decorum. Weep then over
this misfortune ; weep, because there are few who weep
over it, and weep, because the evident designs of the love
of my divine Son are thus frustrated. And in order that
thou mayest weep more bitterly, I tell thee, that, just as
in the primitive Church there were so many, who were
saved by it, now there are countless souls, who damn
themselves through it. I do not tell thee what happens
in this regard every day; lest, if thou knew it, and have
within thee any love, thou shouldst die of grief. This
damage is done, because the children of the faith are
following darkness, love vanity, covet riches, and nearly
all of them seek after vain and deceitful pleasure, which
blinds and obscures the understanding and covers up the
light with darkness, which knows no distinction between
the good and the bad and penetrates not the truths of the
evangelical doctrine.
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