Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  10    Verses:  109-122

109. For infinite ages had been appointed the con
venient hour and time, in which the great mystery of
piety (I Tim. 3, 16), which was approved by the Spirit,
prophesied to men, foretold to the angels, and expected
in the world, was to be drawn from the hidden recesses of
the divine wisdom in order to be appropriately mani
fested in the flesh. The plenitude of time (Gal. 4, 4)
had arrived, that time which until then, although filled
with prophecies and promises, was nevertheless void and
empty. For it wanted the fullness of the most holy
Mary, by whose will and consent all the ages were to
receive their complement, namely the eternal Word
made flesh, capable of suffering and redeeming man.
Before all ages this mystery was prearranged in such a
way, that it should be fulfilled through the mediation
of this heavenly Maiden. Since now She existed in the
world the Redemption of man and the coming of the
Onlybegotten of the Father was not longer to be de
layed. For now He would not need to come and live
as if by sufferance merely in tents (II Kings 7, 6) or
in a strange house; but He could enjoy a free welcome
as in His temple and as in his own house, one that had
been built and enriched at his own preordained expense,
more so than the temple of Solomon at the expense of
his father David (I Par. 22, 5).
110. In this predetermined time then the Most High
resolved to send his onlybegotten Son into the world.
And comparing, (according to our way of understand
ing and speaking), the decrees of his eternity with the
prophecies and testimonies made to man from the be
ginning of the world, and all this together with the po
sition of sanctity to which He had raised most holy Mary,
He judged that all the circumstances were favorable for
the exaltation of his holy name, and that the execution
of his eternal will and decree should be made manifest to
the angels and be commenced by them. His Majesty
spoke to the archangel Gabriel in such words or lan
guage as He was accustomed to use in intimating his
will to the holy angels. Although God usually illumines
the holy spirits by commencing with the higher angels,
who in turn purify and illumine the others in their order
down to the least among them, thus making known the
revelations of the Divinity; yet on this occasion this
usage was not maintained, for the holy archangel re
ceived his message immediately from the mouth of God.
111. At the bidding of the divine will the holy Ga
briel presented himself at the foot of the throne intent
upon the immutable essence of the Most High. His Ma
jesty then expressly charged him with the message,
which he was to bring to the most holy Mary and in
structed him in the very words with which he was to
salute and address Her. Thus the first Author of the
message was God himself, who formed the exact words in
his divine mind, and revealed them to the holy archangel
for transmission to the most pure Mary. At the same
time the Lord revealed to the holy prince Gabriel many
hidden sacraments concerning the Incarnation. The
blessed Trinity commanded him to betake himself to the
heavenly Maiden and announce to Her, that the Lord
had chosen Her among women to be the Mother of the
eternal Word, that She should conceive Him in her vir
ginal womb through operation of the Holy Ghost with
out injury to her virginity. In this and in all the rest
of the message, which he was to declare and manifest to
this great Queen and Mistress, the archangel was in
structed by the blessed Trinity itself.
112. Thereupon his Majesty announced to all the
other angels that the time of the Redemption had come
and that He had commanded it to be brought to the
world without delay ; for already, in their own presence,
the most holy Maty had been prepared and adorned to
be his Mother, and had been exalted to the supreme dig
nity. The heavenly spirits heard the voice of their Crea
tor, and with incomparable joy and thanksgiving for the
fulfillment of his eternal and perfect will, they intoned
new canticles of praise, repeating therein that hymn of
Sion : "Holy, holy, holy art thou, God and Lord Sabaoth
(Is. 6, 3). Just and powerful art Thou, Lord our God,
who livest in the highest (Ps. 112, 5) and lookest upon
the lowly of the earth. Admirable are all thy works,
most high and exalted in thy designs."
113. The supernal prince Gabriel, obeying with sin
gular delight the divine command and accompanied by
many thousands of most beautiful angels in visible forms,
descended from the highest heaven. The appearance of
the great prince and legate was that of a most hand
some youth of rarest beauty; his face emitted resplen
dent rays of light, his bearing was grave and majestic,
his advance measured, his motions composed, his words
weighty and powerful, his whole presence displayed a
pleasing, kindly gravity and more of godlike qualities
than all the other angels until then seen in visible form
by the heavenly Mistress. He wore a diadem of exqui
site splendor and his vestments glowed in various colors
full of refulgent beauty. Enchased on his breast, he
bore a most beautiful cross, disclosing the mystery of
the Incarnation, which He had come to announce. All
these circumstances were calculated to rivet the affec
tionate attention of the most prudent Queen.
114. The whole of this celestial army with their
princely leader holy Gabriel directed their flight to Naz
areth, a town of the province of Galilee, to the dwelling
place of most holy Mary. This was an humble cottage
and her chamber was a narrow room, bare of all those
furnishings which are wont to be used by the world in
order to hide its own meanness and want of all higher
goods. The heavenly Mistress was at this time fourteen
years, six months and seventeen days of age; for her
birthday anniversary fell on the eighth of September and
six months seventeen days had passed since that date,
when this greatest of all mysteries ever performed
by God in this world, was enacted in Her.
115. The bodily shape of the heavenly Queen was
well proportioned and taller than is usual with other
maidens of her age ; yet extremely elegant and perfect in
all its parts. Her face was rather more oblong than
round, gracious and beautiful, without leanness or grossness;
its complexion clear, yet of a slightly brownish
hue; her forehead spacious yet symmetrical; her eye
brows perfectly arched; her eyes large and serious, of
incredible and ineffable beauty and dovelike sweetness,
dark in color with a mixture tending toward green; her
nose straight and well shaped; her mouth small, with
red-colored lips, neither too thin nor too thick. All the
gifts of nature in Her were so symmetrical and beautiful,
that no other human being ever had the like. To look
upon Her caused feelings at the same time of joy and
seriousness, love and reverential fear. She attracted the
heart and yet restrained it in sweet reverence ; her beauty
impelled the tongue to sound her praise, and yet her
grandeur and her overwhelming perfections and graces
hushed it to silence. In all that approached Her, She
caused divine effects not easily explained; She filled the
heart with heavenly influences and divine operations,
tending toward the Divinity.
116. Her garments were humble and poor, yet clean,
of a dark silvery hue, somewhat like the color of ashes,
and they were arranged and worn without pretense, but
with the greatest modesty and propriety. At the time
when, without her noticing it, the embassy of heaven
drew nigh unto Her, She was engaged in the highest
contemplation concerning the mysteries which the Lord
had renewed in Her by so many favors during the nine
preceding days. And since, as we have said above, the
Lord himself had assured Her that his Onlybegotten
would soon descend to assume human form, this great
Queen was full of fervent and joyful affection in the ex
pectation of its execution and inflamed with humble love,
She spoke in her heart : "Is it possible that the blessed
time has arrived, in which the Word of the eternal
Father is to be born and to converse with men? (Baruch
10, 38) . That the world should possess Him ? That men
are to see Him in the flesh ? ( Is. 40. 5 ) . That his inacces
sible light is to shine forth to illumine those who sit in
darkness? (Is. 9, 2). O, who shall be worthy to see and
know Him! O, who shall be allowed to kiss the earth
touched by his feet!"
117. "Rejoice, ye heavens, and console thyself, O
earth (Ps. 95, 11) ; let all things bless and extol Him,
since already his eternal happiness is nigh ! O children of
Adam, afflicted with sin, and yet creatures of my Be
loved, now shall you raise your heads and throw off the
yoke of your ancient servitude! (Is. 14, 25). O, ye an
cient Forefathers and Prophets, and all ye just, that are
detained in limbo and are waiting in the bosom of Abra
ham, now shall you be consoled and your much desired
and long promised Redeemer shall tarry no longer ! ( Agg.
2, 8). Let us all magnify Him and sing to Him hymns
of praise! O who shall be the slave of Her, whom
Isaias points out as his Mother (Is. 7, 4) ; O Emmanuel,
true God and Man ! O key of David, who art to unlock
heaven ! ( Is. 22, 22 ). O eternal Wisdom ! O Lawgiver
of the new Church ! Come, come to us, O Lord, and end
the captivity of thy people; let all flesh see thy salva
tion!" (Is. 40, 5).
118. In these petitions and aspirations, and in many
more too deep for my tongue to explain, the most holy
Mary was engaged at the hour, when the holy angel
Gabriel arrived. She was most pure in soul, most per
fect in body, most noble in her sentiments, most exalted
in sanctity, full of grace and so deified and pleasing in
the sight of God, that She was fit to be his Mother and
an instrument adapted for drawing Him from the bosom
of the Father to her virginal womb. She was the power
ful means of our Redemption and to Her we owe it on
many accounts. And therefore it is just, that all gen
erations and nations shall bless and forever extol Her
(Luke 1, 48). What happened at the entrance of the
heavenly embassy, I will relate in the following chapter.
119. I wish only to state here a fact worthy of admira
tion, that for the reception of the message of the arch
angel and for the execution of the exalted mystery,
which was to be wrought in the heavenly Lady by her
consent, his Majesty left Her without any other aid than
the resources of her common human nature and those
furnished Her by the faculties and virtues of her ordi
nary condition, such as have been described in the first
part of this history (Part I, 674-714). The Most High
disposed it thus, because this mystery was to be enacted
as a sacrament of faith conjointly with hope and char
ity. And therefore the Lord provided Her with no spe
cial aid, leaving Her to her belief and hope in his divine
promises. Thus prepared She experienced what I shall
try to relate in my inadequate and limited terms. The
greatness of these sacraments makes my ability to ex
plain them appear so much the more insufficient
120. My daughter, with special affection I manifest
to thee now my will and desire that thou make thyself
worthy of the intimate and familiar converse with God,
and that for this purpose thou dispose thyself with great
zeal and solicitude, weeping over thy sins, and forgetting
and rejecting all the visible things, so that thou have no
thought henceforth for any other thing outside of God.
Therefore thou must begin to practice all that I have
taught thee until now, and whatever I will yet teach
thee in the balance of this history. I will accompany
thee and guide thee on the course with which thou must
maintain in this familiar intercourse and in regard to
the favors, which thou receivest through his condescen
sion, entertaining Him in thy heart by means of the
faith, light and grace given to thee. If thou dost not
first conform to this my admonition, and prepare thy
self accordingly, thou wilt not reach the fulfillment of
thy desires, nor shall I reap the fruit of my instruc
tions, which I give to thee as thy Teacher.
121. Since thou has found, without any merit of
thine, the hidden treasure and the precious pearl of my
teachings and instruction (Matth. 13, 44), despise all
other things, in order to possess and secure for thyself
this prize of inestimable value; for with it thou shalt
receive all other goods and thou wilt make thyself
worthy of the intimate friendship of the Lord and of
his perpetual indwelling in your heart. In exchange for
this great blessing, I desire that thou die to all earthly
things and that thou offer the thankful love of an en
tirely purified will. In imitation of me be thou so
humble, that as far as thou art concerned, thou be per
suaded and convinced of thy entire worthlessness and in
capability, not meriting to be considered even as a slave
of the servants of Christ.
122. Remember, I was far from imagining, that the
Most High had designed me for the dignity of Mother
of God; and this was my state of mind although He
had already promised his speedy coming into the world
and although He had commanded me to desire after
Him with such great affection, that on the day before
the execution of this mystery I thought I would die and
my heart would burst with loving sighs, if the divine
Providence had not comforted me. He dilated my spirit
with the firm hope, that the Onlybegotten of the eternal
Father would descend from heaven without delay; yet
on the other hand, my humility inclined me to fear, lest
my presence in the world might perhaps retard his com
ing. Contemplate then, my beloved, this secret of my
breast, and what an example it is for thee and for all the
mortals. And since it is difficult for thee to understand
and describe such high wisdom, look upon me in the
Lord, in order that by his divine light, thou mayest
mediate and comprehend the perfection of my actions;
follow me by imitating me, and walk in my footsteps.
the Work of God Apostolate - mcog #61                                                

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