Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  14    Verses:  180-189

180. As soon as our Lady and Queen issued from the
trance, in which She had conceived the eternal incarnate
Word, She prostrated Herself upon the earth and adored
Him in her womb, as I have already said in the twelfth
chapter (No. 152). This adoration She continued all
her life, commencing it at midnight every day and re
peating these genuflexions three hundred times, until the
same hour of the following night, and oftener, whenever
She had opportunity ; in this She was even more diligent
during the nine months of her divine pregnancy. In
order to comply entirely with the new duties consequent
upon the guarding of this Treasure of the eternal Father
in the virginal bridal chamber, She directed all her at
tention toward frequent and fervent prayer. She was
solicitous in sending up many and reiterated petitions to
be able worthily to preserve the heavenly Treasure con
fided to Her. Accordingly She dedicated anew to the
Lord her soul and all her faculties, practicing all virtues
in a heroic and supreme degree, so that She caused new
astonishment in the angels. She also consecrated and
offered up all the motions of her body to the worship
and service of the infant Godman within Her. Whether
She ate, slept, labored or rested, She did it all for the
nourishment and conservation of her sweetest Son, and
in all these actions She was inflamed more and more
with divine love.
181. On the day following the Incarnation, the thou
sand guardian angels which attended upon most holy
Mary, appeared in corporeal form and with profound
humility adored their incarnate King in the womb of
the Mother. Her also they acknowledged anew as their
Queen and Mistress and rendered Her due homage and
reverence, saying: "Now, O Lady, Thou art the true
Ark of the testament (Deut. 10, 5), since Thou containest
the Lawgiver himself and preservest the Manna of
heaven (Heg. 9, 4), which is our true bread. Receive,
O Queen, our congratulations on account of thy dignity
and happiness, for which we also thank the Most High;
since He has befittingly chosen Thee for his Mother and
his tabernacle. We offer anew to Thee our homage
and service, and wish to obey Thee as vassals and ser
vants of the supreme and omnipotent King, whose Mother
Thou art." These protestations and homages of the
holy angels excited in the Mother of wisdom incom
parable sentiments of humility, gratitude and love of
God. For in this most prudent heart, where all things
were weighed with the scales of the sanctuary accord
ing to their true value and weight, this reverence and
acknowledgment of the angelic spirits proclaiming Her
as their Queen, was held in high esteem. Although it
was a greater thing to see Herself the Mother of the
King and Lord of all creation, yet all her blessings and
dignities were made more evident by these demonstra
tions and homages of the holy angels.
182. The angels rendered this homage as executors
and ministers of the will of the Most High. When their
Queen and our Lady was alone, all of them attended
upon Her in corporeal fprm, and they assisted Her in
her outward actions and occupations; and when She
was engaged in manual labor, they administered to Her
what was needed. Whenever She happened to eat alone
in the absence of saint Joseph, they waited upon Her
at her poor table and at her humble meals. Everywhere
they followed Her and formed an escort, and helped
Her in the services rendered to saint Joseph. Amid all
these favors and obsequious attendance the heavenly
Lady did not forget to ask permission from the Master
of masters for all her operations and undertakings and
to implore his direction and assistance. So exact and so
well governed were all her exercises according to the
plenitude of perfection, that the Lord alone could com
prehend and properly weigh them.
183. Besides the ordinary guidance during the time
in which She carried in her most holy womb the in
carnate Word, She felt his divine presence in diverse
ways, all admirable and most sweet. Sometimes He
showed Himself to Her by abstractive vision, as men
tioned above. At other times She saw and beheld Him
as He was now present in the virginal temple, united
hypostatically with the human nature. At other times
the most holy humanity was manifested to Her, as if in
a crystalline monstrance, composed of her own maternal
womb and purest body; this kind of vision afforded
special consolation and delight to the great Queen. At
other times She perceived how the glory of his most holy
soul overflowed into the body of the divine Child, com
municating to It some of the effects of its own blessed
ness and glory and how the clarity and light of the natural
body of her Son passed over in a wonderfully sweet
ineffable and divine manner into Herself as Mother. This
favor transformed Her entirely into another kind of
being, inflaming her heart and causing in Her such
effects as no created capacity can explain. Let the in
tellect of the highest seraphim extend and dilate as much
as it may, it would nevertheless find itself overwhelmed
by this glory (Prov. 25, 27) ; for the entire being of the
heavenly Queen was an intellectual and animated heaven,
and in Her was summarized the divine glory and great
ness, in a measure that even the vast confines of the
heavens themselves could not encompass.
184. These and other prerogatives alternated and suc
ceeded each other in accordance with the exercises of the
divine Mother, and such variety as suited the different
kinds of work which She performed. All her doings,
whether spiritual or manual or otherwise of the body,
served her God or benefited her neighbors, being under
taken and accomplished by this prudent Maiden to pro
duce a harmony admirable and most sweet before the
Lord, and wonderful to the angelic spirits. And when,
by the disposition of the Most High, the Mistress of the
world returned to a more natural state, She suffered
mortal agony, caused by the force and violence of her
love ; for to Her could in truth be applied what Solomon
says in the name of the Spouse : "Stay me with flowers,
compass me about with apples" (Cant. 2, 5) ; and thus
it would happen, that by the piercing wounds of these
sweet arrows of love She was brought near to the end
ing of her life. But in this necessity the powerful arm
of the Most High was wont to strengthen Her in a su
pernatural manner.
185. Sometimes, in order to afford Her sensible relief,
innumerable birds would come to visit Her by the com
mand of the Lord. As if they were endowed with in
tellect, they would salute Her by their lively movements,
and dividing into harmonious choirs, would furnish Her
with sweetest music, and they would wait for her bless
ing before again dispersing. This happened in a special
manner soon after She had conceived the divine Word,
as if they wished to congratulate Her on her dignity in
imitation of the angels. The Mistress of all creatures
on that day spoke to the different kinds of birds and
commanded them to remain and praise with Her the
Creator, in thanksgiving for the creation, and for the
existence and beauty given to them and to sing his
praises for their conservation. Immediately they obeyed
Her as their Mistress and anew they began to form
choirs, singing in sweetest harmony and bowed low to
the ground to worship their Creator and honor the
Mother, who bore Him in her womb. They were ac
customed to bring flowers to Her in their beaks and place
them into her hands, waiting until She should command
them to sing or to be silent according to her wishes. It
also happened that in bad weather some birds would
come and seek the protection of the heavenly Lady, and
She took them in and nourished them, in her admirable
innocence glorifying the Creator of all things.
186. And our weak ignorance must not be estranged
at these wonders, for, though the incidents might be
called small, the purposes of the Most High are great
and venerable in all his works; and also the works of
our most prudent Queen were great, no matter of what
kind they might have been. And who is so presump
tuous as to ignore the importance of knowing how much
of God s essence and perfections are manifest in the
existence of all the creatures? How important it is to
seek Him and find Him, to bless Him and magnify Him
in all his creatures, as admirable, powerful, generous and
holy? Why should it not be our duty to imitate Mary,
who overlooked no time, place or occasion, to attain this
object ? And how also shall our ungrateful forgetfulness
not be confounded, and our hardness of heart not be
softened? How can our listless heart fail to be aroused,
when we see ourselves reprehended and urged for very
shame to thankfulness by the irrational creatures ? Merely
for the slight participation of the Divinity that consists
in bare existence, they proclaim his praises without in
termission ; whereas we men, who are made to the image
and likeness of God, furnished with the powers of know
ing* Him and enjoying Him eternally, forget Him so
far as not even to know Him, and instead of serving Him,
offend Him! Thus it comes that in no wise can men be
preferred to the brute animals, since they have become
worse than the brutes (Ps. 48, 13).
187. My daughter, thou hast received my instruction
until now in order to desire and strive after the heavenly
science, which I wish thee so earnestly to acquire and
which shall teach thee to understand profoundly, what
decorous reverence is due to God. I remind thee once
more, that this science is very hard to learn and little
coveted by men on account of their ignorance ; for thence,
to their great loss, it arises that, in conversing with the
Most High or rendering Him service or worship, they
fail to form a worthy concept of his infinite greatness,
and to free themselves from the darksome images of
their earthly occupations, which make them torpid and
carnal, unworthy and unfit for the magnificent inter
course with the supernal Deity. And this ill-bred
coarseness entails another disorder: namely, that when
ever they converse with their neighbors, they do it with
out order, measure or discretion, become entangled in
their outward actions, and losing the memory and pres
ence of their Creator in the excitement of their passions,
are completely entangled in what is earthly.
188. I desire therefore, my dearest, that thou fly from
this danger and learn the science, of the immutable being
and infinite attributes of God. In such a way must thou
study Him and unite thyself to Him, that no created being
will come between thy soul and the true and highest
Good. At all times and in all places, occupations and
operations thou must keep Him in sight, without re
leasing Him from the intimate embrace of thy heart
(Cant. 3, 4). Therefore I command thee to treat Him
with a magnanimous heart, with decorum and reverence,
with deepfelt fear of the soul. And whatever pertains
to his divine worship, I desire that thou handle with
all attention and care. Above all in order to enter into
his presence by prayer and petitions, free thyself from
all sensible and earthly images. And since human frailty
cannot always remain constant in the force of love, nor
always experience the sweet violence of its movements
on account of its earthly nature, thou shouldst seek other
assistance, such as will help thee toward the same end
of finding thy God. Such help, for instance, is afforded
by his praise in the beauty of the heavens and of the
stars, in the variety of the plants, in the pleasant vista
of the fields, in the forces of the elements, and especially
in the exalted nature of the angels and in the glory of his
189. But bear continually in mind especially this par
ticular caution, not to seek any earthly alleviation in any
event or in any labor which thou art to undergo, nor to
indulge in any diversion coming from human creatures;
and especially not in those coming from men, for an ac
count of thy naturally weak and yielding character, so
much adverse to giving pain, thou placest thyself in dan
ger of exceeding and overstepping the limit of what is
allowed or just, following, more than is proper for the
religious spouses of my most holy Son, thy sensible lik
ings. The risks of this negligence all the human crea
tures incur; for if full reins are given to frail human
nature, it will not give heed to reason, not to the true
light of the Spirit; but, forgetting them entirely, it will
blindly follow the impulse of its passions and pleasures.
Against this general danger is provided the enclosure and
retirement of the souls consecrated to my Son and Lord,
in order to cut off the root of those unhappy and dis
graceful occasions for those religious, who would will
ingly seek them and entangle themselves in them. Thy
recreations, my dearest, and those of thy sister religious,
must be free from such danger and deadly poison. Seek
always those, which thou shalt find in the secret of thy
breast and in the chamber of thy Beloved, who is faith
ful in consoling the sorrowful and in assisting the af
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