Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  15    Verses:  190-199

190. By the words of the heavenly messenger, the
archangel Gabriel, most holy Mary had been informed,
that her cousin Elisabeth (who was held to be sterile)
had conceived a son and that She was already in the
sixth month of her pregnancy. Afterwards, in one of
the intellectual visions, the Most High revealed to Her,
that in a miraculous birth, Elisabeth would bring forth
a son, who would be great before the Lord (Luke 1, 15) ;
a Prophet and the Forerunner of the incarnate Word;
also other great mysteries of the holiness and of the per
sonality of saint John were revealed to Her. On this
same occasion and on others the heavenly Queen was in
formed, that it would be agreeable and pleasing to the
Lord, if She would visit her cousin, in order that as
well Elisabeth as also the child in her womb might be
sanctified by the presence of their Redeemer; for his
Majesty was anxious to communicate the benefits of his
coming into the world and his merits to his Precursor,
in order to make of him as it were the well seasoned
first fruit of his Redemption.
191. At the news of this sacramental mystery the
most prudent Virgin, with admirable jubilee of spirit,
rendered thanks to the Lord for such great condescension
and favor vouchsafed to the soul of the Precursor and
Prophet and to his mother Elisabeth. Signifying her
readiness to fulfill the divine pleasure, She spoke to his
Majesty and said: "Most high Lord, beginning and
cause of all good, let thy name be eternally glorified,
acknowledged and praised by all the nations. I, the
least of thy creatures, give thee humble thanks for the
liberal kindness, which thou wishest to show to thy ser
vant Elisabeth and to the son of her womb. If it is
according to the promptings of thy condescension, that I
serve thee in this work, I stand prepared, my Lord, to
obey eagerly thy divine mandates." The Most High
answered Her: "My Dove and my Beloved, elect among
creatures, truly I say to thee, that on account of thy in
tercession and thy love I will, as a Father and most
liberal God, take care of thy cousin Elisabeth and of the
son, who is to be born of her: I will choose him as my
Prophet and as the Precursor of the Word, which is
made man in thee ; I will look upon them as belonging to
thee and intimately connected with thyself. Therefore
I wish, that my and thy Onlybegotten go to see the
mother, in order to free the son from the chains of the
first sin and in order that, before the common and ordi
nary time decreed for other men, his voice and praise
may sound up to my ears (Cant. 2, 14), and that the
mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption may be
revealed to his sanctified soul. Therefore I wish thee
to visit Elisabeth; for We three Persons of the blessed
Trinity have chosen her son for great deeds conformable
to our pleasure."
192. To this command of the Lord the most obedient
Mother responded : "Thou knowest, my Lord and God,
that all the desires of my heart seek but thy divine pleas
ure and that I wish to fulfill diligently whatever Thou
commandest to thy humble servant. Allow me, my God,
to ask permission from my husband Joseph and that I
make this journey according to his will and direction.
And in order that I may not diverge from what is thy
pleasure, do Thou govern me during that journey in all
my actions, direct my footsteps to the greater glory of
thy name (Ps. 118, 113). Accept therefore the sacri
fice, which I bring in going out in public and in leaving
my cherished retirement. I wish to offer more than my
desires, God and King of my soul, I hope to be made able
to suffer all that will conduce to thy greater service and
pleasure purely for thy love, so that the longings of my
soul may not remain entirely unfulfilled."
193. When our great Queen came out of this vision,
She called upon the thousand angels of her guard, who
appeared to Her in bodily forms, and told them of the
command of the Most High. She asked them to assist
Her with careful solicitude in this journey, to teach Her
how to fulfill all the commands according to the greater
pleasure of the Lord, to defend Her and guard Her
from dangers so that She might conduct Herself in all
things during that journey in the most perfect manner.
The holy princes, with wonderful devotion, offered to
obey and serve Her. In the same manner the Mistress
of all prudence and humility was wont to act also on
other occasions. For though She was Herself more wise
and more perfect in her deeds than the angels, yet be
cause She was yet in the state of pilgrimage and endowed
with a nature lower than that of the angels, She was
always solicitous to attain the plenitude of perfection by
consulting and asking for the aid of her guardian angels,
though they were her inferiors in sanctity. Under their
direction, as also by the promptings of the holy Spirit,
all her human actions were well disposed and well or
dered. The heavenly spirits obeyed Her with alacrity
and punctuality, such as was proper to their nature and
due to their Queen and Lady. They held sweet inter
course and delightful colloquy with Her, and alternately
with Her they sang highest songs of praise and adora
tion of the Most High. At other times they conversed
about the supernal mysteries of the incarnate Word, the
hypostatic union, the sacrament of the Redemption, the
triumphs to be celebrated by Him, the fruits and blessings
acruing therefrom to mortals. It would necessitate
lengthening out this work too much, if I were to write
all that has been revealed to me about these conversa
194. The humble Spouse proceeded immediately to
ask the consent of saint Joseph for executing the man
date of the Most High, and, in her consummate prudence,
She said nothing of these happenings, but simply spoke
to him these words : "My lord and spouse, by the divine
light it was made known to me, that through condescen
sion of the Most High the prayer of my cousin Elisabeth,
the wife of Zacharias, has been heard ; she has conceived
a son, though she was sterile. Since she has obtained
this singular blessing, I hope that through God s infinite
bounty, her Son will greatly please and glorify the Lord.
I think that on this occasion I am under obligation to
visit her and converse with her on certain things for her
consolation and spiritual encouragement. If this is ac
cording to thy liking, my master, I will perform it with
thy permission, for I am entirely subject to thy will and
pleasure. Consider then what is best for me and com
mand what I am to do."
195. This prudent silence of the most holy Mary, so
full of humble subjection, was very agreeable to the
Lord; for She showed Herself thereby worthy and ca
pable of receiving the deposit of the great sacraments
of the King (Tob. 12, 7). Therefore, and on account
of the confidence in his fidelity with which She proceeded,
his Majesty disposed the most pure heart of saint Joseph,
giving him his divine light to act conformably to his will.
This is the reward of the humble, who ask for counsel :
that they will find it with certainty and security (Eccli.
32, 29). It is also the peculiar prerogative of a holy
and discreet zeal to be able to give prudent advice to
those that ask. Full of this holy counsel saint Joseph
answered our Queen : "Thou knowest already, my Lady
and Spouse, that my utmost desires are to serve Thee
with all diligence and attention; for I am bound to
have this confidence in thy great virtue, that Thou wilt
not incline toward anything, which is not according to
the greater pleasure and glory of the Most High; and
this is my belief also in regard to this journey. Lest
thy making this journey alone and without the company
of thy husband cause surprise I will gladly go with Thee
and attend to thy wants on the way. Do Thou appoint
the day on which we shall depart together."
196. The most holy Mary thanked her prudent spouse
Joseph for his loving solicitude and for his attentive co
operation with the will of God in whatever he knew to
be for his service and honor. They both concluded to
depart immediately on their visit to the house of saint
Elisabeth (Luke 1, 39), and prepared without delay
the provisions, which consisted merely in a little fruit,
bread and a few fishes, procured by saint Joseph. In
addition to these he borrowed an humble beast of burden,
in order to carry their provisions and his Spouse, the
Queen of all creation. Forthwith they departed from
Nazareth for Judea ; the journey itself I will describe in
the following chapter. On leaving their poor dwelling
the great Mistress of the world knelt at the feet of her
spouse Joseph and asked his blessing in order to begin
the journey in the name of the Lord. The saint was
abashed at the rare humility of his Spouse, with which
He had already been impressed by experience on so many
other occasions. He hesitated giving Her his benedic
tion ; but the meek and sweet persistence of the most holy
Mary overcame his objections and he blessed Her in the
name of the Most High. The heavenly Lady raised
her eyes and her heart to God, in order to direct her
first steps toward the fulfillment of the divine pleasure
and willingly bearing along in her womb the Onlybegotten
of the Father and her own, for the sanctification
of John in that of his mother Elisabeth.
197. My dearest daughter, many times I have confided
and manifested to thee the love burning within my
bosom : for I wish that it should be ardently re-enkindled
within thy own, and that thou profit from the instruction,
which I give thee. Happy is the soul, to which the Most
High manifests his holy and perfect will ; but more happy
and blessed is he, who puts into execution, what he has
learned. In many ways God shows to mortals the high
ways and pathways of eternal life: by the Gospels and
the holy Scriptures, by the Sacraments and the laws of
the holy Church, by the writings and examples of the
saints, and especially, by the obedience due to the guidings
of its ministers, of whom his Majesty said : "Who
ever hears you, hears Me;" for obeying them is the
same as obeying the Lord himself. Whenever by any
of these means thou hast come to the knowledge of the
will of God, I desire thee to assume the wings of humility
and obedience, and, as if in ethereal flight or like the
quickest sunbeam, hasten to execute it and thereby ful
fill the divine pleasure.
198. Besides these means of instruction, the Most
High has still others in order to direct the soul ; namely,
He intimates his perfect will to them in a supernatural
manner, and reveals to them many sacraments. This
kind of instruction is of many and different degrees ; not
all of them are common or ordinary to all souls ; for the
Lord dispenses his light in measure and weight (Wis.
11, 21). Sometimes He speaks to the heart and the
interior feelings in commands; at others, in correction,
advising or instructing : sometimes He moves the heart to
ask Him; at other times He proposes clearly what He
desires, in order that the soul may be moved to fulfill
it; again He manifests, as in a clear mirror, great mys
teries, in order that they may be seen and recognized by
the intellect and loved by the will. But this great and
infinite Good is always sweet in commanding, powerful
in giving the necessary help for obedience, just in his
commands, quick in disposing circumstances so that He
can be obeyed, notwithstanding all the impediments
which hinder the fulfillment of his most holy will.
199. In receiving this divine light, my daughter, I
wish to see thee very attentive, and very quick and dili
gent in following it up in deed. In order to hear this
most delicate and spiritual voice of the Lord it is neces
sary, that the faculties of the soul be purged from earthly
grossness and that the creature live entirely according to
the spirit ; for the animal man does not perceive the ele
vated things of the Divinity (I Cor. 2, 14). Be atten
tive then to his secrets (Is. 24, 16) and forget all that
is of the outside; listen, my daughter, and incline thy
ear; free thyself from all visible things (Ps. 44, 11).
And in order that thou mayest be diligent, cultivate love ;
for love is a fire, which does not have its effect until
the material is prepared; therefore let thy heart always
be disposed and prepared. Whenever the Most High bids
thee or communicates to thee anything for the welfare
of souls, or especially for their eternal salvation, devote
thyself to it entirely; for they are bought at the in
estimable price of the blood of the Lamb and of divine
love. Do not allow thyself to be hindered in this matter
by thy own lowliness and bashfulness; but overcome the
fear which restrains thee, for if thou thyself art of small
value and usefulness, the Most High is rich (I Pet. 1,
18), powerful, great, and by Himself performs all things
(Rom. 10, 12). Thy promptness and affection will not
go without its reward, although I wish thee rather to be
moved entirely by the pleasure of thy Lord.
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