Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 1  Chapter  6    Verses:  72-79

72. In regard to the significance of the doctrine contained in the last two chapters a doubt occurred to me, and I have often heard and been informed by learned per sons, that the same is discussed also in the schools. The doubt was as follows: If the principal motive of the incarnation of the Word, was to make him Head and the Firstborn of all creation (Col. 1, 15) and, through the hypostatic union with human nature, to communicate his attributes and perfections, in a manner befitting his grace and glory, to the predestined; and, if to assume flesh capable of suffering and dying for man was his secondary motive : then, if these assumptions are true, how comes it, that there is such a diversity of opinion in regard to it in the holy Church? The most common assumption is, that the eternal Word descended from heaven expressly for the purpose of redeeming men through his most holy Passion and Death.
73. This doubt I proposed humbly to the Lord. After giving me an understanding and a great enlightenment, by which I perceived and understood many mysteries, He condescended to answer me. The mysteries themselves I cannot explain, because the words of the Lord comprehend and mean so much. But his answer was as follows:
“My spouse and dove, hear : for as a Father and a Teacher I will solve thy doubt and instruct thee in thy ignorance. Know, that the principal and legitimate end of the decree, which I had in view in resolving to communicate my Divinity in the hypostatic union of the Word with human nature, was the glory, which would redound to my name through this communication, and also that which was to redound to the creatures capable thereof. This decree would without doubt have been executed in the Incarnation, even if the first man had not sinned : for it was an express decree, substantially independent of any condition. Therefore, the intention of my will, which was primarily to communicate Myself to the soul and humanity of the Word, was to be efficaciously fulfilled. This was conformable to the justice and rectitude of my works, and, although it was subsequent in its execution, it was nevertheless antecedent in my intention. If I waited before sending my Only-begotten, it was because I had resolved to prepare for Him beforehand a holy and select congregation of the just, who, presupposing the fall of mankind, would be like roses among the thorns, that is, the sinners. Foreseeing the fall of the human race, I determined, by an express decree, that the Word should come in a form capable of suffering and death for the Redemption of his people, whose head He was to be. Thus my infinite love for man could be so much the more known and manifest and a just satisfaction would be rendered to my equity and justice; and if he, who was to be first in existence, was a sinner : He that was to be first in dignity, would be the Redeemer (I Cor. 15, 21). Thus also men might come to know the gravity of sin, and love one and the same Creator, Vivifier, Redeemer, and Judge of all mortals. I also wished as it were, to compel them to make a proper return of gratitude and love. Refusing to punish them without reprieve, as I have punished the apostate angels, but pardoning them and looking upon them with mercy, I offered them an opportune remedy by executing the rigor of my justice upon my only-begotten Son and reserving for man the kindness of my great mercy.”
74. “And in order that thou mayest better understand the answer to thy doubt, remember, that there is neither any succession of time in my decrees, nor any need of it for the perception and the execution of them. Those that say that the Word became incarnate in order to redeem the world, say well; and those that say, that He would have become incarnate also, if man had not sinned, like wise speak well, only it must be understood in the right way. For if Adam had not sinned, Christ would have descended from heaven in that form, which would be suitable to the state of man s innocence; but as Adam sinned, I resolved by the secondary decree, that He should be made of passible nature; since foreseeing sin, it was proper, that it should be repaired in the way in which He has done it. And as you desire to know, how the mystery of the Incarnation would have taken place, if man had preserved the state of innocence, know, that the human substance would have been essentially the same as now, only it would be clothed with the gifts of impassibility and immortality, such as my Only-begotten possessed after his Resurrection and before his Ascension. He would live and converse with men ; the hidden sacraments and mysteries would all be manifest; and many times would his glory shine forth as it happened once in his mortal life (Mark 17, 1). He would, in that state of man s innocence, have become manifest to all men in the same manner as He once showed Himself to the three apostles in his mortal state. All those on the way to heaven would see the great glory of my Only-begotten ; they would be consoled by conversing with Him and they would place no obstacle to his divine workings, for they would be without sin. But all this was impeded and spoiled by the guilt of sin and on that account it was proper, that He should come in passible and mortal nature.”
75. “The existence of different opinions regarding these sacraments and other mysteries in the Church, arises from the fact that I manifest and give light concerning one set of mysteries to some teachers, and illumine others concerning other mysteries; for mortals are not capable of receiving all the light. It is not expedient, that the knowledge of all things be given to one man, as long as men are viators. For also in the state of comprehensors, they obtain them in parts and according to the state and the merits of each. But the plenitude of all gifts is due only to the humanity of my Only-begotten and to his Mother in proper proportion. The other mortals receive it neither entirely, nor is it always given so clearly, as to assure them altogether. Therefore they must acquire it by means of study and the use of letters and science There are also many truths revealed in holy Scriptures and to some men light is given from above. Yet, as I leave most men to work by their natural light, it must follow, that they understand these mysteries in different senses, and that there exist different explanations and different meanings regarding the different passages in Scripture; for each adheres to his opinion according to his understanding. Many have a good intention and the light and truth is essentially one, but it is made use of with diversity of judgment and inclinations, so that some adhere to these teachers, others to those and so the controversies arise among them.”
76. “One of the reasons why the opinion, that the Word came from heaven mainly for the sake of redeeming the world, is more common can be partly explained by the fact, that the mystery of the Redemption with its object has already been consummated and has been mentioned so often in Scriptures, thus causing it to be better understood and manifested. The impassibility of Christ on the contrary was neither effected, nor was it simply and absolutely decreed. All that pertained to this state remains concealed and nobody could be sure of it, except those particular ones, whom I select for the reception of that light, and for the revelation of this decree of my love for man. And although this would certainly be capable of moving men, if they would ponder over it and penetrate it; yet the decree and the work of his Redemption from sin is more powerful and efficacious to move them toward some acknowledgment and return of my immense love ; for this is the end, which prompts my works. Therefore I fittingly provide, that these motives and mysteries be kept especially before the mind and be more frequently expounded. Advert also, that in one work two results can well be intended, when one of them is conditional. Thus it was that the Word would not have descended in passible flesh, if man had not sinned, and if he would sin, He would come in a body capable of suffering: whatever would happen the decree of the In carnation would not be left unfulfilled. I desire, that the sacraments of the Redemption be recognized and held in esteem and that they be always remembered, in order that they may bring the proper fruit. But just as much I desire, that the mortals recognize the Word as their Head and as the final Object of all Creation and of all the rest of the human race. For, conjointly with my own kindness, his formation was the principal motive for giving existence to the creatures. Therefore He should be honored, not only because He has redeemed the human race, but also because he furnished the motive for its creation.”
77. “Take notice also, my spouse, that very often I permit and cause differences of opinions among the doc tors and teachers. Thus some of them maintain what is true and others, according to their natural disposition, defend what is doubtful. Others still again are per mitted to say even what is not true, though not in open contradiction to the veiled truths of faith, which all must hold. Some also teach, what is possible according to their supposition. By this varied light, truth is traced, and the mysteries of faith become more manifest. Doubt serves as a stimulus to the understanding for the investigation of truth. Therefore controversies of the teachers fulfill a proper and holy end. They are also permitted in order, to make it known, that real science dwells in my Church more than in the combined study of all the holy and perfect teachers, and that she can make them wise above the wisdom of the worldly wise; that there is above them One, who is the Prompter of the wise (Wis. 7, 15), namely, Myself; who alone knows all and comprehends all ; who weighs and measures, without ever being measured or comprehended (Wis. 9, 13) ; that men, although they may search my judgments and testimonies ever so much, cannot attain them, unless I give the intelligence and light (Job 32, 8), who am the beginning and the Author of all wisdom and science. I desire that men, in acknowledging all this, give Me praise, exaltation, confession, supremity and glory forever.”
78. “I desire also that the holy doctors acquire for themselves much grace, light and glory by their earnest, laudable and sacred study, and that the truth be more and more clearly detected and purified, and be traced to its source. By humbly investigating the mysteries and the admirable works of my right hand, they come to be partakers of them and of the bread of the understanding, the holy Scriptures (Eccli. 15, 3). I have especially shown my Providence in regard to doctors and teachers, although their opinions and doubts have been so diverse and for such different ends. Sometimes, for my greater glory and honor, sometimes for earthly purposes, they are permitted to dispute, and to contradict each other; and there is a great inequality in the manner in which they have proceeded and do proceed to show their emulation and earnestness. But with all this I have directed, governed and enlightened them, giving them my protection in such a manner, that the truth may be investigated and clearly manifested. The light has spread out, so that many of my perfections and wonderful works have been made known, and the holy Scriptures have been interpreted according to high standards, which has been very pleasing to Me. For this reason the fury of hell, with inconceivable envy (especially in these, our times), has raised its throne of iniquity, pretending to engulf the waters of the Jordan (Job 40, 18), and obscure the light of holy faith by heretical doctrines and seeking to sow its false seeds by the help of man (Matth. 13, 25). But the rest of the Church and its truths are in most perfect order ; the Catholics, although much involved and blind in other respects, hold nevertheless the truths of faith and its holy light without diminution. I call all men with fatherly love to share this happiness, yet few are the elect, who choose to respond to my call.”
79. “I also desire thee to understand, my spouse, how well my Providence disposes things in such a way, that the teachers, by the diversity of their opinions, and by their own diligent exertion and study, scrutinize more deeply my testimonies and thus lay bare the marrow of the holy Scriptures to wayfaring men. But it would be very pleasing to Me and in harmony with my service, if learned persons would extinguish and do away with pride, envy and ambition after vain honors; also all the other passions and vices, which arise from them, together with the bad seeds, that are likely to be generated from that sort of occupation (Matth. 13, 25). But I do not root out this bad seed at present, in order that the good may not be rooted out with the bad.” All this the Lord spoke to me and many other things, which I cannot make manifest. May his Majesty eternally be blessed, who, without disdaining the insignificance of so insipient and useless a woman, deemed it proper to enlighten and to satisfy my ignorance in so bountiful and merciful a man ner. May the blessed spirits and the just of the earth give Him praise and thanksgiving without end !
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