Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 8  Chapter  16    Verses:  680-695

680. In each one of the works and mysteries of our
great Queen and Lady are found new secrets to penetrate
and new reasons for wonder and praise; but I am run
ning short of new words to make known what I see. From
what I have been made to understand concerning the
love of Christ our Lord for his purest Mother and most
worthy Spouse, it seems to me, that for the sake of this
love, the Lord would have resigned his throne of glory
and the company of the saints to be with his most be
loved Mother, if other reasons had not demanded his
presence in heaven and that of the Virgin upon earth
during the time of her separation and bodily absence.
But let no one say that this high opinion of the excellence
of the Queen derogates from that of her divine Son or
the saints ; for the Divinity of the Father and the Holy
Ghost was in Christ in its highest individual unity; the
three Persons exist in each one in an inseparable manner,
and the Person of the Word cannot exist without the
Father and the Holy Ghost. It is certain, that the com
pany of the angels was less than that of his most holy
Mother in the eyes of her divine Son ; that is, considering
the force of reciprocal love between Christ and his purest
Mother. But for other reasons it was befitting, that the
Lord, after accomplishing the Redemption of man, should
return to the right hand of the Father, and that his most
blessed Mother should remain in the Church, so that,
through her industry and merits, the efficacy of the Re
demption should be proved and that She should bring
forth to light the fruit of the passion and death of her
divine Son.
681. With ineffable and mysterious providence Christ
our Savior arranged his works, showing in them his
divine wisdom, magnificence and glory, confiding entirely
in this strong Woman, as described by Solomon (Prov.
31, 11). And his confidence was not frustrated, since
the most prudent Mother, by uniting her own solicitude
and merits with his passion and blood, purchased for
her Son the field in which She planted the vines of the
Church. These were the souls of the faithful, prop
agated in the Church on earth, and of the predestined,
in whom the Church was to be transplanted to the tri
umphant Jerusalem forever and forever. If it was befitting
the glory of the Most High, that all this great work
should be entrusted to Mary, in order that our Savior
Jesus might enter into the glory of his Father after his
glorious Resurrection, then it was also no more than
just that, as far as was possible, He should keep up his
intercourse with his most blessed Mother, whom He had
left in the world and whom He loved without measure.
To this He was held not only by his own love toward his
Mother, but by her state and the task imposed upon Her
during her sojourn on earth, where the grace, the means,
the favors and blessings must necessarily be in proportion
with the origin and the end of those hidden mysteries.
All these requirements were gloriously fulfilled by the
frequent visits of the Son to his Mother and by her being
raised to the throne of his glory. Thus, neither would
the invincible Queen be totally deprived of her court, nor
would the courtiers for so many years be deprived of the
delightful sight of their Queen and Lady. Hence as
this delight was possible, it was proper that all those con
cerned should also enjoy it.
682. One of the days (in addition to those already
mentioned) on which the celestial wonders were re
newed, was that on which She celebrated each year the
Ascension of her divine Son. This day was a great fes
tival for Her and for all heaven. She prepared for it
during forty days from the day on which She solemnized
the Resurrection of her Son. During all this time She
renewed the memory of the favors and blessings She
had received from her divine Son, and of the glorious
company of the ancient Patriarchs and Saints delivered
from limbo; and of all that had transpired day after day
during those forty days, giving thanks in new hymns
and devotions, as if they were again transpiring before
Her; for all these events were indelibly impressed upon
her memory. I will not enter upon the particulars of what
She did during those times, because I have written about
them sufficiently in the last chapters of the second part.
I will say only, that during this preparation our great
Queen received incomparable favors and experienced new
influences of the Divinity, by which She was made ever
more and more godlike and prepared for the extra
ordinary favors She was to receive on the feast itself.
683. On the mysterious day on which our Savior Jesus
ascended into heaven, He came down in person to the
oratory of his most blessed Mother, accompanied by in
numerable angels and by the Patriarchs and Saints He had
taken up with Him to heaven. The great Lady awaited
his visit, prostrate upon the ground as usual and an
nihilated in the utmost self-debasement of her ineffable
humility ; yet, at the same time, being elevated above all
human and angelic thought to the highest pinnacle of love
possible to a mere creature. Then her divine Son mani
fested Himself amidst the choirs of saints, and renewing
in Her the sweetness of his blessings, He commanded the
angels to raise Her from the dust and place Her at his
right hand. Executing this command, the seraphim
placed Her, who had given Him human existence, on the
throne of the Lord. Thereupon He asked Her, what
was her request and her desire. To this the most blessed
Mary answered : "My Son and eternal God, I desire the
glory and exaltation of thy holy name; in it I wish to
render Thee thanks for the whole human race, and
acknowledge the blessings of having on this day, through
thy almighty power, raised our nature to eternal glory
and felicity. I beg that all men may know, praise and
magnify thy Divinity and most sacred humanity."
684. The Lord answered: "My Mother and Dove*
chosen from amongst all creatures for my habitation,
come with Me to my celestial country, where thy desires
shall be fulfilled, thy petitions granted, and where Thou
mayest enjoy the solemnity of this day, not among the
mortal children of Adam, but among my courtiers and
among my inhabitants of heaven/* Immediately that
whole celestial procession traversed the regions of the
air, as had happened on the day of the Ascension, and,
the Virgin Mother always remaining at the right hand of
her Son, reached the empyrean heavens. But on arriv
ing at the highest place, the whole celestial company
arranged themselves in choirs, and not only they and all
heaven, but the Holy of the holy Himself, were so to
say, wrapped in a new kind of silence and attention. Then
the Queen asked permission of the Lord to descend from
the throne and, prostrate before the footstool of the most
blessed Trinity, sang an admirable song of praise, in
which She included the mysteries of the Incarnation and
Redemption with all the triumphs and victories of her
divine Son up to his glorious Ascension to the right hand
of his eternal Father.
685. The Most High manifested his pleasure and com
placence at this hymn of praise and all the saints re
sponded with songs of glory, extolling the Omnipotent
in this wonderful Creature and being filled with new joy
by the presence and exaltation of their Queen. Then,
at the command of the Most High, the angels again
placed Her at the right hand of her divine Son, and hav
ing as on other occasions, been illumined and adorned
for the purpose, She looked upon the Divinity in glorious
and intuitive vision. In this beatific vision the Queen
spent part of the day and during it, the Lord again con
firmed upon Her the possession of that place, which
from all eternity He had destined for Her and which was
mentioned on the day of the Ascension. For our greater
admiration and obligation I advert, that each year on
that day the Lord himself asked Her, whether She would
prefer to remain in that eternal joy forever, or return
again to the earth for the benefit of the Church. The de
cision being thus left entirely in her hands, She answered :
that if it was the will of the Almighty, She would return
to labor for men, who were the fruit of the Redemption
and of the death of the Son of God.
686. This answer so full of resignation, repeated each
year, was just as often accepted by the most holy Trin
ity to the wonder of all the blessed. Thus, not only once,
but many times, did the heavenly Mother deprive Her
self of the beatific vision, descending for a new period
of time to the world in order to direct the Church and
enrich it with her incomparable merits. And since the
proper appreciation of these merits can never be reached
by our curtailed faculties, it will be no blemish in this
history not to attempt an estimate of them and defer it
until we shall reach the vision of God. But the rewards
corresponding to these sacrifices were reserved for Her
according to the divine pleasure, in order that afterwards,
in the possession of the beatific vision, She might as much
as possible be like to the most sacred humanity of her Son
and worthily take her place on the throne at his right
hand. As a sequence to these happenings in heaven, the
great Queen added her prayers for the exaltation of
God s name, for the propagation of the Church, for the
conversion of the world and the victories over the devil ;
and all her petitions were granted, and successively exe
cuted in their time and will be executed in all
the ages of the Church. These favors would be greater,
if the sinners of the world would not hinder them and
make mortals unworthy of receiving them. There
upon the angels brought back their Queen to her ora
tory in the Cenacle amid celestial music and harmony,
and She prostrated Herself in deepest humility to give
thanks for these new favors. I wish to mention, that
the evangelist saint John had some knowledge of these
mysteries and participated in some of their effects ; for he
usually saw the Queen so refulgent with heavenly light,
that he could not look upon her face. As the great
Mistress of humility always humbled Herself to the very
ground and often asked his consent kneeling at his feet,
he was often seized by a reverential fear and disquiet in
the presence of the Lady, though it was always mixed
with a wonderful joy and incitement to holiness.
687. The great Queen availed Herself of the effects and
blessings of the festivity of the Ascension in order to
celebrate more solemnly the coming of the Holy Ghost,
and by means of them She prepared Herself for it during
the nine days that intervene. She continued without in
termission her holy exercises, exciting the most ardent
desires for the renewal of the gifts of the divine Spirit
in Her. When the day arrived these desires were ful
filled with manifestations of an almighty power; for at
the same hour in which He had descended the first time
upon the apostolic college in the Cenacle, He descended
each year upon the Mother of Jesus, the Spouse and the
temple of the Holy Ghost ; and although this coming was
not less solemn than the first, for He came in the form
of visible fire of a wonderful brightness and with a
mysterious noise, yet these signs were not manifest to
all, as had happened at the first coming. At that first time
this was necessary, but afterwards it was not proper that
any one except the most blessed Mary, and to a certain
extent, saint John, should know of this miracle. Myriads
of angels attended upon Her at such times singing the
canticles of the Lord in sweetest harmony ; and the Holy
Ghost entirely inflamed and renewed Her with super
abundant gifts and increase of the blessings She already
possessed. Then the great Lady gave humble thanks not
only for this favor, but because He had filled the Apostles
with wisdom and charismatic gifts, to make them worthy
ministers of the Lord and founders of his holy Church,
and because through his coming He had sealed the works
of the human Redemption. In a prolonged prayer She
then asked the divine Spirit to continue the influences
of his grace and wisdom through the present and the
future ages, and not to suspend it on account of the sins
and unworthiness of men at any time. All these peti
tions the Holy Ghost granted to his only Spouse, and
the holy Church is now reaping the fruit of them and
shall enjoy them until the end of the world.
688. To these mysterious celebrations of the feasts of
the Lord and of Herself, the great Queen, in the course
of the year, added others for her especial jubilee and
devotion : namely, one in honor of the holy angels, and one
in that of the saints. In order to celebrate the excellences
and holiness of the angelic nature She prepared herself
for some days by exercises such as mentioned for some of
the other feasts, adding new songs of glory and praise
and retracing in them the work of the creation of the
angels, and especially their justification and glorification
with all the mysteries and secrets known to Her of all
of them and of each one in particular. When the day
She had assigned for this feast arrived, She invited them
all. Many thousands of the celestial choirs and orders
descended and manifested themselves in wonderful beauty
and glory in her oratory. Then, forming two choirs, one
of which was our Queen and the other all the supernal
spirits, the Lady and the angels sang songs of celestial
harmony in alternate verses during that entire day. If it
were possible to make known to the world the mysterious
canticles composed on those days by the most blessed
Lady and the angels, they would no doubt be reckoned
among the great miracles of the Lord and astonish all
the mortals. I cannot find words nor time to describe
what I have come to know concerning this mystery ; for
they began by praising the essence of God in Himself, and
in all his perfections and attributes known to them. Then
the Queen proceeded to bless and magnify Him for hav
ing manifested his Majesty, Wisdom and Omnipotence in
the creation of so many and beautiful spiritual beings;
for having favored them with so many gifts of nature
and grace, and appointed them as ministers and executors
of his will in the government of men and of all the lower
and visible creation. The angels on their part responded
by due and thankful acknowledgment of their obligation,
and all of them sang to the Almighty wonderful songs
of praise for having created and chosen for his Mother a
Virgin so pure, so holy, so worthy of his greatest gifts
and given Her command and dominion over all, in order
that they might proclaim and honor Her as the worthy
Mother of God and Restoratrix of the human race.
689. In this manner the supernal spirits rehearsed the
great prerogatives of their Queen and blessed God in Her ;
while She recounted those of the angels for the same pur
pose. Hence, this day was one of admirable joy and
jubilee to the Queen, and of accidental joy to the angels,
especially to the thousand of her ordinary guard; for they
participated in the glory given to their Lady and Queen.
As neither on the one side, nor on the other, there was
the obstacle of ignorance, nor any want of the apprecia
tion of the mysteries rehearsed, this interchange of
heavenly songs was full of incomparable reverence. And
such it shall also be for us, when we shall experience it in
the Lord.
690. The other festival in the course of the year was
that of the Saints. For this also She prepared Herself
with many prayers and exercises of devotion as on other
festivals. All the Patriarchs, Prophets and the rest of
the Saints, also those who had died after the Resurrec
tion, came from heaven in order to celebrate with their
Reparatrix this joyful day. She composed new canticles
of thanksgiving for the glory of the saints and efficacy
of the death of her divine Son. Great was the jubilee of
the Queen on this occasion, because She knew the secret
of their predestination, and because, in spite of the dan
gers of mortal life, they had now attained secure and eter
nal felicity. For this blessing She extolled the Lord and
Father of mercies and rehearsed in her thanksgiving the
favors, graces and benefits, which each of the saints had
received at his hands. She asked them to intercede for
the holy Church, and for all those who were fighting its
battles and were still encountering the danger of losing
the crown. After this She remembered also and gave
thanks for the victories and triumphs She herself had
attained through the divine power over the demons.
Finally She added new canticles of humble and fervent
thanksgiving for Herself, and for all the souls to be
snatched from the powers of darkness.
691. It is a subject of astonishment to men, as it was
to the angels, that a mere Creature in mortal flesh should
accomplish so many incessant wonders, which would have
appeared impossible to multitudes of souls united to
gether, even if they had been as ardent as the highest
seraphim; but our great Queen certainly participated in
something of the omnipotence of God, which made easy
for Her what for other creatures would have been im
possible. In these last years of her most holy life her
activity increased to such an extent, that there was no
cessation or relaxation in her operations so as to exceed
all our powers of comprehension; for She was not any
more hindered by the mortality and weight of human
nature, but operated like the indefatigable spirits, and
more than all of them together ; and She had become one
devouring flame and conflagration of immense activity.
To her divine virtues all her days seemed short, all
occasions few, and all her exercises limited; since her
divine love continually tended to exceed all bounds of
what She was doing, though that was without limit. In
comparison with what her activity was in reality, all I
have said is little or nothing : I am bound to confess and
assert my deficiency in this regard, because I see an abyss
or distance as it were infinite between what has been
shown to me and what I am capable of understanding in
this life. And if I cannot form an idea of what has been
manifested to me, how shall I speak of that which I saw
not, since I have no gage except my own ignorance ? Let
us beware lest we make ourselves unworthy of the light,
which awaits us in heaven for seeing all in God ; for this
reward and joy by themselves, even if we receive no
other, should make us willing to endure all the labor,
pains and torments of the martyrs to the end of the
world. We would be richly repaid by the delight of un
derstanding the dignity and excellence of most holy
Mary, seated at the right hand of her Son and true God
and raised above all the angels and saints of heaven.
692. My daughter, in the measure as thou advancest
in the history of my works and life, I desire that thou
also advance in the perfect following and imitation of
me. This desire increases in me in proportion to the
growth of thy enlightenment and admiration of what
thou seest and writest. It is now time that thou make up
for what thou hast so far missed and that thou wing the
flight of thy spirit to the heights, to which the Almighty
calls thee and to which I invite thee. Fill thy works with
all perfection and sanctity ; remember that the opposition
of thy enemies, the devil, the world and the flesh is most
hateful and cruel; and that thou canst not overcome so
many difficulties and temptations, if thou do not enkindle
thy heart with the most ardent fervor and the emulation
invincibly to repel and crush the poisonous serpent, which,
with diabolical astuteness, avails itself of many deceits,
either to cause thy fall or to detain thee in thy course,
prevent thee from gaining thy end, and make thee unfit
for the state chosen for thee by the Lord.
693. Thou must not ignore, my daughter, that the
demon keeps a constant minute watch over the least care
lessness, forgetfulness or inadvertence of souls, and that
he is constantly prowling around and lying in ambush to
avail himself of every negligence for tempting the in
cautious to sin and misleading them by means of their pas
sions before they have a chance to know the full extent of
the wound he tries to inflict. When afterwards they
come to know it and desire to r,ise from their fall, they
feel still greater difficulty and need much more abundant
graces and efforts to resist the evil than before they fell.
In guilt the soul weakens in virtue, the enemy acquires
more influence, and the passions tend to become indomit
able and invincible; hence many fall, but not so many
rise from their sins. The remedy against these dangers
is to live in continual and unremitting anxiousness to
merit the divine grace, in ceaseless striving to do the more
perfect, not giving the enemy any chance to find the soul
off its guard or unoccupied with some exercise or work of
virtue. Thereby the weight of the lower human nature
will be lightened, the passions and bad inclinations will
be crushed, the demon intimidated, the soul will be raised
up and will gain strength against the flesh and dominion
over the inferior and sensitive faculties, subjecting them
to the divine will.
694. In all this thou wilt have a living example in my
works, of which thou now writest and which thou hast
seen manifested in such great light in order that thou
mayest not forget them. Attend then, my dearest, to all
that thou seest in this clear mirror; and if thou knowest
and confessest me as thy Teacher and thy Mother and
as the Mistress of all holiness and true perfection, do not
delay in imitating me and following me. It is not pos
sible that either thou or any other creature arrive at the
perfection and excellence of my works, nor does the Lord
bind any one to that ; but with his divine grace thou canst
fill thy life with works of virtue and holiness, and spend
in them all thy time and all thy faculties ; so that, adding
exercise to exercise, prayer to prayer, petition to petition,
virtue to virtue, thou let no time, no day, no Hour of thy
life be bare of good works learned of me. For this pur
pose I joined other works with those necessary for the
government of the Church, and celebrated the festivals
in the manner and with the preparations thou hast come
to know and describe. As soon as one was solemnized, I
began to prepare me for another, so that not for one mo
ment was my life void of works holy and pleasing in the
sight of the Lord. All the children of the Church, if they
wish, can imitate me and thou shouldst do it more zeal
ously than the others. This is the purpose for which the
Holy Ghost ordained the solemnities and commemora
tions of my divine Son and of myself and of the saints
recurring in the holy Church.
695. As I have exhorted thee many times, I wish that
thou distinguish thyself by their devout celebration,
especially by the celebration of the mysteries of the Divin
ity and humanity of my divine Son, those of my life and
of my glory. Then I desire in thee a special devotion to
the angels, as well on account of their great excellence,
holiness, beauty and ministry, as also on account of the
great favors and blessings thou hast received through
these celestial spirits. I desire that thou assimilate thy
self to them in purity of thy soul, in the exaltedness of
thy thought, in the fervor of thy love, and in living as
if thou hadst neither an earthly body nor its passions.
They are to be thy friends and companions in thy pil
grimage, in order that they may be such also in the
Fatherland. With them thou shouldst now maintain con
versation and familiar intercourse, in which they will
show thee the attributes and the tokens of thy Spouse,
give thee certain knowledge of his perfections, lead thee
to the straight ways of justice and of peace, defend thee
from the demon, warn thee of his deceits. In the con
tinued teaching of these spirits and ministers of the
Most High thou shalt hear the laws of divine love. Hear
and obey them exactly.
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