Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  12    Verses:  144-157

144. In order to understand what were the first acts
of the most holy Soul of Christ our Lord, we must refer
to that which has been said in the preceding chapter
(No. 138), namely, that all that substantially belonged
to this divine mystery, the formation of the body, the
creation and the infusion of the soul, and the union of
the individual humanity with the person of the Word,
happened and was completed in one act or instant; so
that we cannot say that in any moment of time Christ
our highest Good was only man. For from the first in
stant He was man and true God ; as soon as his human
ity arrived at being man, He was also God; therefore
He could not at any time be called a mere man, not for
one instant; but from the very beginning He was Godman
or Mangod. And as the active exercise of the
faculties is co-existent with operative essences, therefore
the most holy soul of Christ our Lord, in the same in
stant in which the Incarnation took place, was beatified
by intuitive vision and love. According to our way of
speaking, the powers of his intellect and will immediately
united with the Divinity itself. For his human essence
joined the Divinity in one instant by hypostatic union,
and thus his human faculties in their most perfect ac
tivity were united with the essence of God himself, so
that both in essence and in operation He was entirely
145. The wonder about this sacrament is that so
much glory, yea, the greatness of the immense Divinity,
was enclosed within such a small compass, not larger
than the body of a bee, or not greater than a small al
mond. For the dimension of the most holy body of
Christ was not any greater than that at the instant when
the conception and hypostatic union took place. More
over in this small compass was included the highest
glory as well as the capability for suffering; for the hu
manity was at the same time glorified and also passible,
it was both a Comprehensor and a Viator, possessing
heaven though yet on his pilgrimage to heaven. God, how
ever, in his infinite power and wisdom, could thus contract
Himself and enclose his infinite Deity within the sphere
of a body thus minute by a new and admirable mode of
existence, without in the least ceasing to be God. By the
same Omnipotence He provided that this most holy soul
of Christ, in its superior faculties and in its most noble
operations, should be in the state of glory and enjoying
beatitude; while all this immense glory was at the same
time compressed, as it were, into the superior parts of
his soul, suspending the effects and gifts of glory, that
would otherwise naturally have communicated them
selves to his body. On this account He could be at the
same time a viator, subject to suffering, enabling Him to
procure our salvation by means of his Cross, Passion
and Death.
146. In order to be fully equipped for these and for
whatever the most holy humanity was to perform, all
the habits, natural to his faculties and necessary for their
activity and operation both as Comprehensor and as
Viator, were infused into it at the moment of his con
ception. Thus He was furnished with the infused
science of the blessed; with the sanctifying grace and
the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which according to Isaias
rested upon the Christ (Is. 11, 2). He possessed all the
virtues, except faith and hope; for these are incom
patible with the beatific vision and possession, and were
wanting in Him; likewise were wanting in the Holy of
the holy ones, all other virtues, which presuppose any
imperfection; since He could not sin, nor was deceit
found in his mouth (I Pet. 2, 22). The dignity and ex
cellence of his science and grace, the virtues and perfec
tions of Christ our Lord need not be mentioned here,
for that is taught by the sacred doctors and masters of
theology in a profuse manner. For me it is sufficient to
state that all this was as perfect as was possible to the
divine power and that it cannot be encompassed by hu
man understanding. For the most holy soul of Christ
drank from the very fountain of the Divinity (Ps.
35, 10) and could do so without limit or retrenchment,
as David says (Ps. 109, 7). Therefore He must have
been possessed of the plenitude of all virtues and per
147. Thus adorned and deified by the Divinity and its
gifts, the most holy soul of Christ our Lord proceeded
in its operations in the following order: immediately it
began to see and know the Divinity intuitively as It is
in Itself and as It is united to his most holy humanity,
loving It with the highest beatific love and perceiving
the inferiority of the human nature in comparison with
the essence of God. The soul of Christ humiliated it
self profoundly, and in this humility it gave thanks to
the immutable being of God for having created it and
for the benefit of the hypostatic union, by which, though
remaining human, it was raised to the essence of God.
It also recognized that his most holy humanity was
made capable of suffering, and was adapted for attaining
the end of the Redemption. In this knowledge it of
fered itself as the Redeemer in sacrifice for the human
race (Ps. 39, 8), accepting the state of suffering and
giving thanks in his own name and in the name of man
kind to the eternal Father. He recognized the composi
tion of his most holy humanity, the substance of which
it was made, and how most holy Mary by the force of
her charity and of her heroic virtues, furnished its sub
stance. He took possession of this holy tabernacle and
dwelling; rejoicing in its most exquisite beauty, and,
well pleased, reserved as his own property the soul of
this most perfect and most pure Creature for all eternity.
He praised the eternal Father for having created Her
and endowed Her with such vast graces and gifts; for
having exempted Her and freed Her from the common
law of sin, as his Daughter, while all the other descen
dants of Adam have incurred its guilt (Rom. 5, 18).
He prayed for the most pure Lady and for saint Joseph,
asking eternal salvation for them. All these acts, and
many others, were most exalted and proceeded from
Him as true God and Man. Not taking into account
those that pertain to the beatific vision and love, these
acts and each one by itself, were of such merit that they
alone would have sufficed to redeem infinite worlds, if
such could exist.
148. Even the act of obedience alone, by which the
most holy humanity of the Word subjected itself to suf
fering and prevented the glory of his soul from being
communicated to his body, was abundantly sufficient for
our salvation. But although this sufficed for our salva
tion, nothing would satisfy his immense love for men
except the full limit of effective love (John 13, 1) ; for
this was the purpose of his life, that He should consume
it in demonstrations and tokens of such intense love,
that neither the understanding of men nor of angels was
able to comprehend it. And if in the first instant of his
entrance into the world He enriched it so immeasur
ably, what treasures, what riches of merits must He
have stored up for it, when He left it by his Passion and
Death on the cross after thirty-three years of labor and
activity all divine! O immense love! O charity without
limit ! O mercy without measure ! O most generous kind
ness! and, on the other hand, O ingratitude and base
forgetfulness of mortals in the face of such unheard of
and such vast benefaction! What would have become
of us without Him? How much less could we do for this
our Redeemer and Lord, even if He had conferred on
us but small favors, while now we are scarcely moved
and obliged by his doing for us all that He could? If
we do not wish to treat as a Redeemer Him, who has
given us eternal life and liberty, let us at least hear Him
as our Teacher, let us follow Him as our Leader, as our
guiding light, which shows us the way to our true hap
149. This Lord and Master did not work for Himself,
nor did He preempt his soul, nor gain this augmentation
of grace, for Himself, but entirely for us. He had no
need of all this, nor could He receive an increase of
grace or glory, since He was filled with them (John 1,
14), as saint John says; for He was the Onlybegotten
of the Father at the same time that He was man. In
this He had no equal, nor could He have an imitator.
All the saints and mere creatures gained merits for
themselves and labored for reward; the love of Christ
alone was without self interest and altogether for us.
And if He wished to enter and go through the school
of bodily experience of this life (Luke 2, 52), it was
in order to teach us and enrich us by his obedience (Heb.
5, 8), while He turned over to us his infinite merits and
his example, in order that we might be wisely instructed
in the art of loving
. For this is not learned perfectly by
affection and desire, unless it is truly and effectively
practiced in deeds. I do not enlarge upon the mysteries
of the most holy life of Christ our Lord, on account of
my incapacity, and I refer to the Gospels, selecting only
that which will seem necessary for the heavenly history
of his Mother, our Lady. For the lives of this Son and
his most holy Mother are so intimately connected and
intertwined with each other, that I cannot avoid making
references to the Gospels and besides add other facts,
which are not mentioned by them concerning the Lord
and which were not necessary in their narratives for
the first ages of the Catholic Church.
150. These operations of Christ our Lord in the first
instant of his conception were followed, in another es
sential instant, by the beatific vision of the Divinity,
which we have mentioned in the preceding chapter (No.
139) ; for in one instant of time many instants of essence
can take place. In this vision the heavenly Lady per
ceived with clearness and distinction the mystery of the
hypostatic union of the divine and the human natures in
the person of the eternal Word, and the most holy
Trinity confirmed Her in the title and the rights of
Mother of God. This in all rigor of truth She was,
since She was the natural Mother of a Son, who was
eternal God with the same certainty and truth as He was
man. Although this great Lady did not directly co
operate in the union of the Divinity with the humanity,
She did not on this account lose her right to be called
the Mother of the true God; for She concurred bv ad
ministering the material and by exerting her faculties,
as far as it pertained to a true Mother ; and to a greater
extent than to ordinary mothers, since in Her the con
ception and the generation took place without the aid
of a man. Just as in other generations the agents,
which bring them about in the natural course, are called
father and mother, each furnishing that which is neces
sary, without however concurring directly in the crea
tion of the soul, nor in its infusion into the body of the
child; so also, and with greater reason, most holy Mary
must be called, and did call Herself, Mother of God;
for She alone concurred in the generation of Christ,
true God and Man, as a Mother, to the exclusion of any
other natural cause; and only through this concurrence
of Mary in the generation, Christ, the Man-God, was
151. The Virgin Mother of Christ also understood in
this. vision the future mysteries of the life and death of
her sweetest Son and of the Redemption of the human
race, together with those of the new law of the Gospel,
which was to be established in connection therewith. To
Her were also manifested other great and profound
secrets, which were made known to none other of the
saints. The most prudent Queen, seeing Herself thus
in the immediate presence of the Deity and furnished
with the plenitude of divine gifts and science as became
the Mother of the Word, lost in humility and love,
adored the Lord in his infinite essence, and without de
lay also in its union with the most holy humanity. She
gave Him thanks for having favored Her with the dig
nity of Mother of God and for the favors done to the
whole human race. She gave thanks and glory also for
all the mortals. She offered Herself as an acceptable
sacrifice in his service, in the rearing up and nourishing
of her sweetest Son, ready to assist and co-operate
(as far as on her part it would be possible), in the work
of the Redemption; and the holy Trinity accepted and
appointed Her as the Coadjutrix in this sacrament. She
asked for new graces and divine light for this purpose
and for directing Herself in the worthy ministration of
Her office as Mother of the incarnate Word, that She
might treat Him with the veneration and magnanimity
due to God himself. She offered to her holiest Son all
the children of Adam yet to be born and the saints of
limbo; and in the name of all and of Herself She per
formed many acts of heroic virtue and asked for great
favors, which however I will not stop to mention, as I
have already done in regard to others on different occa
sions. For from these it can easily be conjectured what
petitions this heavenly Queen made on this occasion,
which so far excelled all the other fortunate and happy
days of her previous life.
152. But She was especially persistent and fervent
in her prayer to obtain guidance of the Almighty for
the worthy fulfillment of her office as Mother of the
Onlybegotten of the Father. For this, before all other
graces, Her humble heart urged Her to desire, and this
was especially the subject of her solicitude, that She
might be guided in all her actions as becomes the Mother
of God. The Almighty answered Her : "My Dove, do
not fear, for I will assist thee and guide thee, directing
thee in all things necessary for the service of my onlybegotten
Son." With this promise She came to Herself
and issued from her ecstasy, in which all that I have
said had happened, and which was the most wonderful
She ever had. Restored to her faculties, her first action
was to prostrate Herself on the earth and adore her
holiest Son, God and Man, conceived in her virginal
womb; for this She had not yet done with her external
and bodily senses and faculties. Nothing that She could
do in the service of her Creator, did this most prudent
Mother leave undone. From that time on She was con
scious of feeling new and divine effects in her holiest
soul and in her exterior and interior faculties. And
although the whole tenor of her life had been most
noble both as regards her body as her soul; yet on this
day of the incarnation of the Word it rose to still greater
nobility of spirit and was made more godlike by still
higher reaches of grace and indescribable gifts.
153. But let no one think that the purest Mother was
thus favored and so closely united with the humanity
and Divinity of her holiest Son, only in order to con
tinue to enjoy spiritual delights and pleasures, free from
suffering and pain. Not so, for in closest possible imi
tation of her sweetest Son, this Lady lived to share
both joy and sorrow with Him; the memory of -what
She had so vividly been taught concerning the labors
and the death of her holiest Son, was like a sword
piercing her heart. This sorrow was proportionate to
the knowledge and love, which such a Mother had of
such a Son, and which his presence and intercourse so
continually recalled to her mind. Although the whole
life of Christ and of his most holy Mother was a con
tinued martyrdom and suffering like that of the cross,
and was filled with incessant pain and labors; yet in
the most pure and loving heart of the heavenly Queen
there was also this special feature of suffering, that to
her inward sight as a most loving Mother, the passion,
torments, ignominies and death of her Son were for
ever present. And by this continued sorrow of thirtythree
years She took upon Herself the long vigil of our
Redemption and during all this time this sacrament was
concealed in her bosom without companionship or allevi
ation from any creatures.
154. With this loving sorrow, full of the sweetest an
guish, She often looked upon her holiest Son both be
fore and after his birth, and speaking to Him from her
innermost heart, She would repeat these words: "Lord
and God of my soul, most sweet Son of my womb, why
hast Thou given me the position as Mother and yet
connected with it the sorrowful thought of losing Thee,
leaving me an orphan, bereft of thy desirable company?
Scarcely art Thou put in possession of a body for thy
earthly life, when Thou art notified of the sentence of
a sorrowful death for the rescue of men. The first of
thy actions is one of superabundant merit in satisfaction
for his sins. O would that the justice of the eternal
Father were thereby satisfied and thy sufferings and
death fall upon me! From my body and blood Thou
hast composed thine own, without which it would not
be possible for Thee to suffer, since Thou art the im
mutable and immortal God. If therefore I have fur
nished Thee the instrument or the matter of thy suffer
ings, let me too suffer with Thee the same death. O
inhuman sin, how, being so cruel and the cause of so
much evil, couldst thou nevertheless be so fortunate,
that thy Repairer should be One, who on account of his
infinite Goodness, can make thee a "happy fault!" O
my sweetest Son and my love, who shall be thy guard,
who shall defend Thee from thy enemies? O would
that it were the will of the Father, that I guard Thee
and save Thee from death, or die in thy company, and
that Thou never leave mine! But that which happened
to the patriarch Abraham, shall not now take place
(Gen. 22, 11) ; for the predestined decree shall be exe
cuted. Let the will of the Lord be fulfilled." These
loving sighs were many times repeated by our Queen, as
I shall say farther on, and the eternal Father accepted
them as an agreeable sacrifice, while they were the sweet
est diversion of her most holy Son.
155. My daughter, since thou hast, by faith and divine
light, arrived at a knowledge of the grandeur of God
and of his ineffable condescension in coming down from
heaven for thee and for all the mortals, let not this
benefit be for the idle and fruitless. Adore the essence
of God with profound reverence, and praise Him for
what thou knowest of his goodness. Receive not light
and grace in vain (II Cor. 6, 1) ; and study the encourag
ing example given by my most holy Son and myself
in imitation of Him, as thou hast come to be instructed
in it; for as He was the true God, and I his Mother
(for in so far as He was man his most holy humanity
was created), let us humiliate ourselves in the remem
brance of our lowly human nature and confess the great
ness of the Divinity, greater than any creature can com
prehend. Do this especially when thou receivest the
same Lord in the holy Sacrament. In this admirable
Sacrament my most holy Son with Divinity and humanity
comes to thee and remains with thee in a new and incom
prehensible way. His great condescension is manifest,
though it is little taken notice of and respected by
mortals, nor does it find the return due to such love.
156. Let then thy acknowledgment be accompanied
with as much humility, reverence and worship as is pos
sible to thy combined powers and faculties ; for though
they be exerted to the utmost limit, they will always
fall short of what thou owest to God and of what He
deserves. And in order that thou mayest as far as
possible make up for thy deficiencies, offer up that, which
my most holy Son and I have done; unite thy spirit and
thy affections in union with the Church triumphant and
militant, offering at the same time thy life as a sacrifice
and praying that all nations may know, confess and adore
their true God who became man for all. Thank Him for
the benefits, which He has conferred and confers on all,
whether they know Him or not, whether they confess
or repudiate Him. Above all I ask of thee, my dearest,
to do that which is most acceptable to the Lord and most
pleasing to me ; that thou grieve, and in sweet affection
mourn over the gross ignorance and dangerous tardiness
of the sons of men; over the ingratitude also of the
children of the Church, who, having received the light
of the divine faith, yet live in such interior forgetfulness
of the works and benefits of the Incarnation, yea, of God
himself, and so much so, that they seem to differ from
infidels only in some ceremonies and exterior worship.
They perform these without spirit or heartiness, many
times offending and provoking the divine justice which
they should placate.
157. Through this ignorance and torpidity it happens
that they are not prepared to receive and acquire the
true science of the Most High. They bring upon them
selves the loss of the divine light and they deserve to
be left in the heavy darkness, making themselves more
unworthy than the infidels themselves and entailing upon
themselves an incomparably greater chastisement. Mourn,
over such great damage of thy neighbors and pray for
help from the bottom of thy heart. And in order that
thou mayest put away from thy own self such formidable
dangers, do not undervalue the favors and benefits,
which thou receivest, nor, even under pretense of humil
ity, belittle or forget them. Remember and consider how
distant was the journey, which the grace of the Most
High has made in order to call thee (Ps. 18, 7). Pon
der in thy mind, how it has waited upon thee and con
soled thee, assured thee in thy doubts, quieted thee in
thy fears, ignored and pardoned thy faults, multiplied
favors, caresses and blessings. I assure thee, my daugh
ter, that thou must confess in thy heart, that the Most
High has not done such things with any other genera
tion; thou of thyself canst do nothing; thou art poor
and more useless than others. Let then thy thanks be
greater than that of all the creatures.
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