Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 2  Chapter  20    Verses:  728-

728. Already our heavenly Princess felt that the day
of the clear vision of the Divinity was approaching and
that like the harbingers of early dawn, the rays of the
divine light were breaking upon her soul. Her heart
began to be inflamed by the nearness of the invisible fire,
which illumines but does not consume; and made atten
tive by this new clearness, She questioned her angels
and said to them : "My friends and lords, my most faith
ful and vigilant sentinels, tell me : what hour is it of my
night? And when will the bright light of the day arise,
in which my eyes shall see the Sun of justice which
illumines them and gives life to my affections and my
soul?" The holy princes answered Her and said:
"Spouse of the Most High, thy wished-for light and
truth is near; it will not tarry long, for already it ap
proaches." At these words the veil which hid the view
of these spiritual substances was slightly lifted; and the
holy angels became visible, showing themselves as dur
ing her first years in their own essence, without hin
drance or dependence of the bodily senses.
729. With these hopes and with the vision of the heav
enly spirits the anxieties of most holy Mary concerning!
the sight of her Beloved were somewhat allayed. But
this kind of love seeks after the most noble Object, and
without It, although enjoying the presence of the angels
and saints, the heart, wounded by the arrows of the Om
nipotent, will not come to rest Nevertheless, our heav
enly Princess, rejoiced by this alleviation, spoke to her
angels and said to them : "Sovereign Princess and flames
of that inaccessible light, in which my Beloved dwells,
why have I for so long a time been unworthy of your
sight? Wherein have I been displeasing to you and
failed to satisfy you? Tell me, my lords and teachers,
wherein I have been negligent, in order that I may not
again be forsaken by you through my own fault." "O
Lady and Spouse of the Almighty," they answered, "we
obey the voice of our Creator and are governed by his
holy will, and as his spirits, He commissions us and sends
us out in his service. He commanded us to conceal our
selves during the time in which He himself withdrew
from sight. But though hidden we remained present,
solicitous for thy protection and defense, fulfilling his
command by remaining in thy company without being
730. "Tell me then, where is my Lord at the present
time, my highest God, my Maker. Tell me, whether
my eyes shall see Him soon, or whether perhaps I have
displeased Him, in order that I may, as a most insignifi
cant creature, bitterly bewail the cause of this punish
ment. Ministers and ambassadors of the highest King,
be moved by my afflicted love and give me tokens of my
Beloved." "Soon, O Lady," they answered, "Thou shalt
see Him whom thy soul desires, let thy sweet sorrows
turn to hope; our God will not withhold Himself from
those that seek Him so truly; great, O Mistress, is his
loving Goodness with all those that cling to Him and He
will not be niggardly in satisfying thy wishes." The
holy angels openly called Her Mistress, as they were sure
of her most prudent humility and as they could conceal
the full meaning of this title under pretense of her posi
tion as Spouse of the Most High ; for She knew that they
had been eye-witnesses of the espousal, which his Ma
jesty had celebrated with their Queen. And as his wis
dom had ordered, that in all else, except in the title and
dignity of Mother of the Word, which was to remain
concealed to Her until the proper time, the holy angels
were to show Her great reverence; so they were solici
tous to give Her many tokens of respect, although they
covertly honored Her much more for what they knew in
secret, than for that which they manifested to Her
731. During these conferences and loving colloquies
the heavenly Princess awaited the approach of her
Spouse and her highest delight, while the seraphim, who
attended Her, commenced to prepare Her by new en
lightenment of her faculties ; a sure pledge of the begin
ning of the Good for which She hoped. But as these
favors augmented the fire of her love without allowing
Her as yet to reach the desired end, they only augmented
the heartrending anguish of her love, and with sighs
She spoke to the seraphim, saying: "Most exalted spirits,
who stand close to my highest Good, ye clear mirrors,
whence reflected I was wont to see Him in the joy of
my soul, tell me, where is the light which illuminates
you and fills you with beauty? Tell me, why does my
Beloved tarry so long? Tell me, what hides Him, and
why my eyes cannot see Him? If it is through my fault,
I will amend my ways ; if I do not merit the fulfillment
of my wishes, I will conform myself to his will; and if
He seeks his pleasure in my sorrow, I will suffer in the
joy of my heart; but tell me, how can I live without
having my own life? How shall I direct myself with
out light?"
732. To her sweet complaints the holy seraphim an
swered : "Lady, thy Beloved is not absent when for thy
good He tarries and withholds Himself ; in order to con
sole his beloved, He afflicts them, in order to give so
much the more joy, He aggrieves them, in order to be
sought after, He withdraws from them. He wishes that
Thou sow in tears (Psalm 125, 5), and so gather after
wards the sweet fruits of sorrow. If the Beloved did
not hide Himself, He would not be sought after with
that anxiety which is caused by his absence, nor would
the soul renew its affections, nor increase in the apprecia
tion due to that Treasure."
733. They transmitted to Her that light, of which I
have spoken (No. 625), in order to purify her faculties;
not because there were any defects to be remedied, for
She could not be guilty of any defects. On the contrary
all her actions and operations during the absence of the
Lord had been meritorious and holy. Nevertheless it
was necessary that She be endowed with new gifts, in
order to tranquilize her spirit and her faculties, which
had been moved by affectionate labors and anxieties
during the absence of the Lord, and also in order to with
draw Her from her present state and raise Her to a posi
tion, where She could enjoy new and different favors,
for in order that her faculties might again be propor
tioned to the high Object and to the manner of enjoying
It, they must necessarily be renewed and redisposed. All
this the holy seraphim proceeded to do with Her in the
manner already described in book second, chapter four
teenth. When the Lord conferred upon Her the final
adornment and the quality necessary for the immediate
vision about to take place.
734. As far as I can explain, this successive elevation
of the faculties of the heavenly Queen engendered those
particular affections and sentiments of love and virtues
which the Lord desired, and in the midst of these eleva
tions his Majesty withdrew the veil. Then after his
long concealment He manifested Himself to his only
Spouse, his beloved and most holy Mary, by an abstrac
tive vision of the Divinity. Although this vision was
given through abstractive images and not intuitive, yet it
was most clear and exalted in its kind. By it the Lord
dried the continual tears of our Queen, rewarded her
affection and her loving anxiety, satisfied all her desires
and overwhelmed Her with delight as She reclined in the
arms of her Beloved (Cant. 8, 5). Then was renewed the
youth of that aspiring Eagle, winging its flight into the
impenetrable regions of the Divinity (Psalm 102, 5), and
by the after-effects of this vision She ascended whither no
other creature can ascend, or no other intellect can reach
outside of God s.
735. The joy which filled the most pure Mistress on
the occasion of this vision must be measured as well by
the extreme sorrow through which She had passed as by
the accumulation of merits which She had gained. I can
only say that, in so far and by how much sorrow had
abounded, so also now overflowed her joy; and that her
patience, her humility, her fortitude, her constancy, her
loving anxieties were the most remarkable and the most
exquisite that ever until that time or ever after could
have existed or can exist in any creature. This most
unparalleled Lady alone could understand the excellence
of that wisdom and could appreciate the greatness of the
loss sustained in being deprived of the vision of God and
in being far from his presence. She alone having suf
fered and measured this great loss in humility, and with
fortitude, to make it conducive to her sanctification by
ineffable love, and afterwards to appreciate the blessings
and the joy of its recovery.
736. Being1 then elevated to this vision and having
prostrated Herself in the divine presence, the most holy
Mary said to his Majesty: "Lord and most high God,
incomprehensible and highest Good of my soul, since
Thou raisest up such a poor and worthless worm as my
self, receive, O Lord, in humble thankfulness of my soul,
the homage due from me to thy goodness and glory, to
gether with that which thy courtiers render unto Thee;
and if any of the service which came from me, so low
and earthly a creature, has displeased Thee, reform that,
which in my works has been unsatisfactory to Thee, my
Lord. O Goodness and Wisdom incomparable and in
finite, purify my heart and renew it, in order that it may
be pleasing, humble, penitent and acceptable in thy sight.
If I have not borne the insignificant troubles and the
death of my parents as I should, and if I have in any
thing erred from that which is pleasing to Thee, perfect
my faculties and all my works, O most high God, as my
powerful Lord, as my Father, and as the only Spouse of
my soul."
737. To this humble prayer the Most High an
swered: "My Spouse and my Dove, the grief for the
death of thy parents and the sorrow occasioned by the
other troubles is the natural effect of human nature and
no fault; and by the love with which Thou has con
formed Thyself to the dispositions of my Providence in
all things, Thou hast merited anew my graces and my
blessings, I am the One that distributes the true light
and its effects by my wisdom ; I am the Lord of all, that
calls forth the day and the night in succession; I cause
tranquillity and I set bounds to the storms, in order that
my power and my glory may be exalted and in order
that through them the soul might steer more securely
with the ballast of experience and hasten more expedi
tiously through the violent waves of tribulation, arriv
ing- at the secure harbor of my friendship and grace,
and obliging Me by the fullness of merit to receive it
with so much the greater favor. This, my Beloved, is
the admirable course of my wisdom and for this reason
I concealed Myself during all that time from thy sight;
for from Thee I seek whatever is most holy and most
perfect Serve Me then, my beautiful One, who am thy
Spouse, thy God of infinite mercy and whose name is
admirable in the diversity and variety of my great
738. Our Princess issued from this vision altogether
renovated and made godlike; full of the new science of
the Divinity and of the hidden sacraments of the King,
confessing Him, adoring Him, and praising Him with
incessant canticles and by the flights of her pacified and
tranquilized spirit. In like proportion also was the in
crease of her humility and of all the other virtues. Her
most ardent prayer was to penetrate more and more
deeply into that which is most perfect and most pleas
ing to the will of the Most High, and to fulfill and exe
cute it in her actions. Thus passed a number of days,
until that happened, which is to be related in the next
739. My daughter, many times I shall repeat to thee
the lesson containing the greatest wisdom for souls,
which consists in the knowledge of the cross, in the
love of sufferings, and in putting this knowledge into
practice by bearing afflictions with patience. If the con
dition of mortals were not so low, they would covet
sufferings merely for the sake of their God and Lord,
who has proclaimed them to be according to his will
and pleasure; for the faithful and loving servant should
always prefer the likings of his lord to his own con
venience. But the worldlings in their torpidity are
moved neither by the duty of conforming to their
Father and Lord, nor by his declaration that all their
salvation consists in following Christ in his sufferings
and that his sinful children must reap the fruit of the
Redemption by imitation of their sinless Chief.
740. Accept then, my dearest, this doctrine and en
grave it deeply into thy heart. Understand that as a
daughter of the Most High, as a spouse of my Son,
and as my disciple, even if from no other motive, thou
must acquire the precious gem of suffering and thus be
come pleasing to thy Lord and Spouse. I exhort thee,
my daughter, to select the sufferings of his Cross in
preference to his favors and gifts and rather embrace
afflictions than desire to be visited with caresses; for in
choosing favors and delights thou mayest be moved by
selflove, but in accepting tribulations and sorrows, thou
canst be moved only by the love of Christ. And if pref
erence is to be given to sufferings rather than to de
lights, wherever it can be done without sin, what fool
ishness is it, when men pursue so blindly the deceitful
and vile delights of the senses, and when they abhor so
much all that pertains to suffering for Christ and for
the good of their soul?
741. Thy incessant prayer, my daughter, should be
always to repeat : here I am, Lord, what wilt Thou do
with me? Prepared is my heart, I am ready and not
disturbed; what dost Thou wish me to do for Thee?
These sentiments should fill thy heart in their full and
true import, repeating them more by sincere and ardent
affection, than by word of mouth. Let thy thoughts be
exalted, thy intentions most upright, pure and noble,
desiring to fulfill in all things the greater pleasure of
the Lord, who with measure and weight dispenses both
sufferings and the favors of his graces. Examine and
search within thyself without ceasing, by what senti
ments, by what actions, and in what occasion thou mayest
guard against offense and in what thou canst please
thy Beloved most perfectly, and thus learn what thou
must strive to correct or what thou must aspire to with
in thyself. Every disorder, be it yet so small, and all
that may be less pure and perfect, see thou curtail and
expunge immediately, even though it seem allowable or
even of some profit; all that is not most pleasing to the
Lord, thou must consider as evil, or as useless for thy
self ; and no imperfection must appear small to thee, if
it is displeasing to God. With this anxious fear and
holy solicitude thou shalt walk securely; and be certain,
my dearest daughter, that it cannot enter into the mind
of man, what copious reward the most high Lord re
serves for those souls that live in this kind of attention
and solicitude.
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