Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  8    Verses:  87-98

87. The heavenly Princess, most holy Mary, had now
attained such fullness of grace and beauty and the heart
of God was so wounded by her tender affections and
desires (Cant. 4, 9), that He was so to say irresistibly
drawn to begin his flight from the bosom of the eternal
Father to the bridal-chamber of her virginal womb and
end the long delay of more than five thousand years.
Nevertheless, since this new wonder was to be executed in
the plenitude of his wisdom and equity, the Lord arranged
this event in such a way, that the Princess of the heavens
Herself, being the worthy Mother of the incarnate Word,
should at the same time be also the most powerful Media
trix of his coming and the Redeemer of his people much
more than Esther was of Israel (Esther ch. 7 and 8).
In the heart of most holy Mary burned the flame, which
God himself had enkindled, and without intermission She
prayed for the salvation of the human race. However,
as yet the most humble Lady restrained Herself in
modesty, knowing that on account of the sin of Adam,
the sentence of death and of eternal privation from the
vision of God had been promulgated (Gen. 3, 19).
88. A heavenly strife thus arose in the most pure heart
of Mary between her love and her humility, and, lost in
these sentiments, She repeated many times: "Oh who
shall be able to secure the salvation of my brethren ! Oh
who shall be able to draw from the bosom of the eternal
Father his Onlybegotten and make Him a partaker of our
mortality! Oh who shall oblige Him to give to our
human nature the kiss of his mouth, for which the bride
asks Him! (Cant. 1,1). But how can we, the children
and descendants of the malefactor, who committed the
crime, ask for this favor? How can we draw Him
toward us, whom our fathers repelled? Oh my Love, if
I could but see Thee at the breasts of thy Mother, the
human nature! (Cant 8, 1). Oh Light of lights, God
of the true God, would that Thou descend, bending down
thy heavens (Ps. 143, 5) and shedding thy light upon
those that live sitting in darkness ! ( Is. 9, 2 ) . Would that
Thou pacify thy Father, and, by thy right hand that is
by his Onlybegotten, hurl the proud Aman, thy enemy,
the devil, from his height ! Who shall be the Mediatrix,
who shall draw from the celestial altar, as with tongs
of gold (Is. 6, 6), that ember of the Divinity, for the
purification of the world, as once did the seraphim, ac
cording to the word of the prophet Isaias!"
89. This prayer most holy Mary repeated during the
eighth day of her preparation, and at midnight, being
wrapped and entranced in the Lord, She heard his
Majesty responding to Her : "My Spouse and my Dove,
come, my Chosen one, for the common law does not
apply to thee (Esther 15, 13). Thou art exempt from
sin and thou art free from its effects since the moment
of thy Conception. When I gave being to thee, I turned
away from thee the sceptre of my justice and laid upon
thy neck that of my great clemency, in order that the
general edict of sin might not touch thee. Come to Me,
and be not dismayed in the consciousness of thy human
nature; I am He, that raises the humble, and fills with
riches those that are poor. Thou hast Me for thy Friend
and my liberal mercies shall be at thy disposal."
90. These words our Queen heard intellectually and,
as in the preceding night, She presently felt Herself
raised by the holy angels bodily to heaven, while in her
stead remained one of the angels of her guard. Again
She ascended to the presence of the Most High, so en
riched by the treasures of his graces and gifts, so fortu
nate and beautiful, that She singularly excited the wonder
of the supernal spirits. They broke out in praise of the
Almighty, saying: "Who is this, that ascends from the
desert, overflowing with delights? (Cant. 8, 5). Who is
She, that so attracts and compels her Beloved as to bear
Him with Her to the earthly habitation? Who is She,
that rises as the dawn, more beautiful than the moon,
chosen as the sun? (Cant. 6, 9). How refulgent doth
She rise from the darkness of the earth? How is She
so courageous and strong, being clothed in such fragile
nature? How does She in her strength overcome the
Almighty? And how comes it that the heavens, which
are closed against the children of Adam, are thus thrown
open to this singular Woman, sprung from the same
91. The Most High received his holy and chosen
Bride, most holy Mary, into his presence. Although this
happened not in an intuitive, but in an abstractive
vision of the Divinity; it was accompanied with incom
parable favors of light and purification proceeding from
the Lord himself, such as were specially reserved for this
day. For they were so divine, that, in our way of speak
ing, God himself who wrought them, was astonished and
was charmed with the work of his hand. As if entranced
with love, He spoke to Her and said: "Revertere,
revertere, Sulamitis, ut intueamur te" (Return, return, O
Sulamitess, that We may behold thee). "My Spouse, my
most perfect and beloved Dove, pleasing in my sight.
turn and advance toward Us, that We may behold thee
and be charmed by thy beauty. I do not regret to have
created man and I delight in his formation, since thou
hast been born of him. Let my celestial spirits see how
justly I have desired and do desire to choose thee as my
Spouse and the Queen of all the creatures. Let them
see what good reason I have to rejoice in this my bridal
chamber, from whence my Onlybegotten, next to that of
my own bosom, shall derive the greatest glory. Let all
understand, that if I justly repudiated Eve, the first queen
of the earth, on account of her disobedience, I now place
thee and establish thee in the highest dignity, showing my
magnificence and power in dealing with thy purest
humility and self-abasement."
92. This day was for the angels a day of jubilation
and rejoicing greater than any since their creation. And
when the most blessed Trinity thus chose and appointed
his Spouse and Mother of the Word for the Queen and
Lady of the creatures, the holy angels and all the celes
tial court of Spirits acknowledged and received Her as
their Mistress and Superior, and they sung sweet hymns
of glory in her honor and in praise of her Author. Dur
ing these hidden and admirable mysteries the heavenly
Queen Mary was absorbed in the abyss of the Divinity
and in the light of his infinite perfections: and thereby
the Lord prevented Her from attending to all that hap
pened. Thus the sacrament of her Mothership of the
Onlybegotten still remained hidden to Her until the
proper time. Never did the Lord deal in such a manner
with any nation (Ps. 147, 20), nor did He ever show
Himself so great and powerful in any creature, as on
this day in most holy Mary.
93. The Most High added yet other favors, saying to
Her with extreme condescension : "My chosen Spouse,
since Thou hast found grace in my eyes, ask of Me with
out restraint, what thou desirest, and I assure thee, as
the most faithful God and powerful King, that I shall
not reject thy petitions nor deny thee what thou askest."
Our great Princess humiliated Herself profoundly and
relying on the promise and royal word of the Lord, and
inspired with highest confidence, She answered saying:
"My Lord and highest God, if I have found grace in thy
eyes (Gen. 18, 3, 27), although I am dust and ashes, I
will speak in thy divine presence and pour out to Thee
my heart" (Ps. 61, 9). Again his Majesty assured Her
and commanded Her to ask in the presence of all the
heavenly court, for whatever She desired, even if it were
a part of his kingdom (Esther 5, 3). "I do not ask, O
Lord, for a part of thy kingdom in my own behalf,"
answered most holy Mary, "but I ask for the whole of
it for all the race of men, who are my brothers. I be
seech Thee, highest and powerful King, that according
to thy immense kindness Thou send us thy Onlybegotten
our Redeemer, in order that He may satisfy for the sins
of all the world, that thy people may gain the freedom
so much desired, and that, through the satisfaction thus
rendered to thy justice, peace may be declared among
men upon (Ezech. 34, 25) earth, and that the portals of
heaven, closed by sin, may be thrown open for its in
habitants. Let all flesh see thy salvation (Is. 52, 10) ;
let peace and justice give each other that close embrace
and the kiss, which David asked for (Ps. 84, 11) ; let us
mortals possess a Teacher, a Guide and a Savior
(Is. 30, 20), a Chief, who shall live and dwell with us
(Baruch. 3, 38) . Let the day of thy promises dawn upon
us, O my God, let thy words be fulfilled, and let the
Messias, expected for so many ages, arrive. These are
my anxious desires, and for this do I breathe forth my
sighs, since Thou showest to me the condescension of thy
infinite clemency."
94. The highest Lord, who wished to bind Himself
by her prayer, disposed and incited the petitions of his
beloved Spouse ; benignly He inclined toward Her and
answered Her with singular clemency : "Pleasing to my
Will are thy requests, and acceptable are thy petitions:
it shall be done as thou askest. I desire, my Daughter
and Spouse, what thorn seekest ; and as a pledge of this,
I give thee my word and promise thee, that very shortly
my Onlybegotten shall descend to the earth and shall vest
Himself and unite Himself with the human nature. Thus
thy acceptable wishes shall be executed and fulfilled."
95. With this assurance and divine promise our great
Queen Princess felt new enlightenment and security in
her spirit, convincing Her, that the end of that long pro
tracted and prolix night of sin and of the ancient Law
was approaching and that the brightness of human Re
demption was about to dawn. And because the rays of
the Sun of Justice, whose dawn was soon to arise from
Her, so closely and so intensely enveloped Her about,
She became Herself the most beautiful aurora, inflamed
and refulgent as it were with the fiery clouds of the
Divinity, which transformed all things within Her. All
afire with love and gratitude for the approaching Re
demption, She gave unceasing praise to the Lord both
in her own name and in that of all the mortals. In this
occupation She passed that day, after the angels had again
restored Her to the earth. 1 must grieve at my igno
rance and shortcomings in explaining these so exalted
mysteries; and if learned men and great students can
not give an adequate explanation of these things, how
shall it be given by a poor and lowly woman? May my
ignorance be supplemented by the light of Christian
charity and my presumption be atoned for by my
96. My dearest daughter, how far removed is worldly
wisdom from the admirable operations of the divine
power in these sacraments of the Incarnation of the
divine Word in my womb ! Flesh and blood cannot reach
them, and not the angels and seraphim, though they be
of the highest; nor can they know mysteries so deeply
hidden and so far above the ordinary course of grace.
Praise thou, my beloved, the Lord for them with inces
sant love and thankfulness. Be thou not any longer
slow in understanding the greatness of his divine love
and his readiness to benefit his friends and dear ones,
whom He desires to elevate from the dust and enrich
in diverse manners. As soon as thou hast penetrated
into this truth, it will oblige thee to thank Him and incite
thee to undertake the great things, that become a most
faithful daughter and spouse.
97. And in order that thou mayest dispose thyself and
be inspired so much the more, I remind thee, that the
Lord often says these same words to his chosen ones:
"Revertere, revertere, ut intueamur te." For He de
rives just as great pleasure from their deeds, as when
a father rejoices in his beloved and well-behaved son,
whom he looks upon many times with great affection;
or as an artist, when he beholds with pride the perfect
works of his hands; or as a king, who inspects the rich
city, which he has added to his dominions; or as one,
who is pleased with his much beloved friend. There is
only this difference: the Most High finds incomparably
more delight than all these in the souls, which He has
chosen for his blessings; and in proportion as they dis
pose themselves and advance in virtue, the Lord also
multiplies his favors and benefits. If the mortals, that
attain to the light of faith, would enter into this truth,
they would, merely on account of this complacence of
the Almighty in their good deeds, not only preserve
themselves from sin, but they would zealously engage
in great works until death and eagerly show their loving
servitude to Him, who is so liberal in rewarding, and
so generous in his favors.
98. When, on this eighth day which thou hast de
scribed, the Lord in heaven spoke to me these words :
"Revertere, revertere," asking me to turn toward Him
and allow the celestial spirits to look upon me; I was
made aware, that the pleasure, which his divine Majesty
derived in beholding me, by itself exceeded all the de
light and complacency, which He ever derived from all
the most saintly souls in the height of their sanctity. In
his gracious condescension He was more pleased in me
than in all the Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins
and all the rest of the saints. And this pleasure and
complacency of the Most High overflowed and enriched
my spirit with such an influx of grace and participation
of the Divinity, that thou canst neither understand nor
explain it as long as thou art in the mortal flesh. But
I tell thee of this hidden mystery, in order that thou
mayest bless its Author, and that, while yet thy exile from
the fatherland continues, thou dispose and exert thyself
in my place and name to extend and reach out thy hands
to great things (Prov. 31, 19). Give to the Lord the
satisfaction expected of thee, and strive after it, thus
earning his blessings and soliciting them for thyself and
thy neighbor with perfect charity.
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