Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  20    Verses:  254-260

254. It is a well known quality of love to be active as
the fire in works of kindness, wherever it finds occasion ;
and this is especially true of the fire of spiritual love;
for it will reach out in search of material, as soon as this
falls short The Master has taught lovers of God so
many ways and methods of pursuing virtue, that there
is no need of remaining idle. And as love is not blind
nor insane, it knows well the qualities of the noble ob
ject it aims at. Its only concern is that not all men love
it properly; and thus it seeks to communicate this love
without strife or envy. We know that the love of all
the other saints, though most fervent and holy, appears
limited in comparison with that of most holy Man*.
Yet if their love is admirable and powerful, inciting them
to vast works of zeal for souls, what immense works
then must not the love this great Queen have accom
plished for the benefit of her fellowmen, since She was
the Mother of the divine love (Eccli. 24, 24), and since
She carried with her the true and living fire that was to
enkindle the world ? ( Luke 12, 49) . Let all the mortals
learn from this heavenly history how much they owe to
the love of this Lady. Although it will be impossible to
notice all the particular instances of the benefits con
ferred on the souls by Her, nevertheless, in order that
from some of them, many more may be inferred, I will
relate a few that our Queen conferred while in the
house of her cousin Elisabeth.
255. One of the servants in that house was of per
verse inclination, restless, subject to anger, and accus
tomed to swear and curse. With all these vices and dis
orders, she still knew how to make herself agreeable to
her masters, but at the same time she was so given over
to the power of the demon that this tyrant could easily
induce her to throw herself into all sorts of miseries
and mistakes. For fourteen years many devils sur
rounded and accompanied her without intermission in
order to make certain the capture of her soul. Only
when this woman came into the presence of the Mis
tress of heaven, most holy Mary, these enemies with
drew; for, as I have said in other places, the virtue issu
ing from our Queen tormented them, and especially dur
ing that time when She carried within her virginal re
pository the powerful God and Lord of all virtues. As
on the one hand this woman was freed from her cruel
exactors, being released from the evil influences of their
company, and as on the other hand she experienced
within her the beneficial effects of the sweet vision and
intercourse of the Queen, she began to be much at
tracted and moved toward Mary and she sought to be
in her presence and offered to serve Her with much af
fection, striving to pass all the time possible with Her
and watching Her with reverence; for among her
distorted inclinations she had also a good one, which
was a natural kindness and compassion for the needy
and the humble, so that she was naturally drawn to
ward them and ready to do them good.
256. The heavenly Princess, who saw and knew all
the inclinations of this woman, the state of her con
science, the danger of her soul and the malice of the
demons against her, turned upon her an eye of mercy
and watched her with the love of a mother. Although
her Majesty knew that the company and the interference
of the demons was a just punishment for the sins of this
woman, yet She interceded for her and obtained for her
pardon, remedy and salvation. She commanded the de
mons, in virtue of the authority conceded to Her, to
leave this creature and not dare to disturb her or molest
her thenceforth. As they could not resist the sway of our
great Queen, they yielded and fled in highest consterna
tion, not knowing how to account for such power of
the most holy Mary. They conferred about it in as
tonishment and indignation, saying: "Who is this
Woman, that exerts such dominion over us? Whence
does such strange power come, which enables Her to
perform all that She wishes?" The demons therefore
conceived new wrath and indignation against Her, who
had crushed their heads (Gen. 3, 15). The happy
woman, however, was snatched from their claws. Mary
admonished her, corrected her, and taught her the way
of salvation, and changed her into a woman of kind
and meek disposition. She persevered therein during all
her life, being well aware, that all this had come to
her through the hands of our Queen ; although she did
not know nor penetrate into the mystery of her dignity,
she remained humbly thankful and lived a holy life.
257. Not in a better state than this servant was an
other woman living in the neighborhood of the house
of Zacharias, who as a neighbor was wont to come and
listen to the conversation of the family of saint Elisa
beth. She lived a licentious life, far from honorable,
and when she heard of the arrival of our great Queen
in that town, of her modesty and retirement, she spoke
of Her lightly and with some curiosity: "Who is
Stranger, that has come as a guest of our neighbors,
and who gives Herself such holy and recollected airs?"
In the vain and inquisitive desire of spying out novelty,
as is customary with such kind of people, she managed
to get sight of the heavenly Lady and scrutinized her
dress and her countenance. Her intention was imperti
nent and presumptuous ; but far different the effect : for
having succeeded in scrutinizing most holy Mary, she
teft with a wounded heart : the presence and the sight
of the Queen transformed her into a new woman. Her
inclinations were altogether changed, and without know
ing by what efficacious influence the change came about,
she felt its power and began to shed abundant floods
of tears in deepfelt sorrow for her sins. Merely on ac
count of having fixed her attentive gaze . in curiosity
upon the Mother of virginal purity, this happy woman
received in return the love of chastity and was freed
from the sensual habits and inclinations of her former
life. In that very hour she sorrowfully retired to weep
over her wicked life. Whenever later on she desired
to converse with the Mother of grace, her Highness,
in order to confirm her, permitted it. For as Mary knew
what had happened and as She bore within Her the
origin of grace, the Sanctifier and Justifier by whose
power She fulfilled her office of Advocate of sinners
She received her with maternal kindness, admonished
and instructed her in virtue, dismissing her strengthened
and confirmed for perseverence in her new life.
258. In this manner our great Lady performed many
works and caused many admirable conversions in a great
number of souls; although it was done in silence and
hidden to all. The whole family of saint Elisabeth and
Zacharias were sanctified by her intercourse and conver
sation. Those who were just, experienced new increase
of gifts and favors; those that were not, She justified
and enlightened by her intercession; all of them were
captured by reverential love of Her so completely, that
each one strove to obey Her and acknowledge Her as
mother, as protectress and as a consolation in all their
necessities. The mere privilege of seeing Her, without
any words, was sufficient to produce all these effects;
yet She was careful not to omit whatever seemed neces
sary to obtain this end. As She penetrated the secrets
of all hearts and knew the state of each one s conscience,
She knew how to apply the opportune medicine. Some
times, not always, the Lord manifested to Her the final
end of those She met : informing Her, which were
chosen and which were reprobate, predestined for hap
piness or foreknown as damned. At sight of both one
and the other her heart broke forth in admirable flashes
of most perfect virtue : for when She knew of any that
were just and predestined, She bestowed upon them
many blessings, which She also does now in heaven,
and the Lord looked with favor upon her beneficence.
Exerting incredible and prayerful diligence She asked
Him to preserve them in his grace and friendship. When
ever She saw any one in sin, She asked from the bot
tom of her heart for his justification and ordinarily
She also obtained it. But if it happened to be one of
the reprobate, She wept bitterly and humiliated Herself
in the presence of the Most High for the loss of that
image and work of the Divinity ; She redoubled her heart
felt prayers, offerings and humiliations in order that no
others might damn themselves, and her whole being was
one flame of divine love, which never rested nor re
posed in accomplishing great things.
259. My dearest daughter, within two limits, as if
within two extremes, all the harmony of thy powers and
wishes must move. They are : to preserve thyself in the
grace and friendship of God, and to seek the same good
fortune for others. In this let all thy life and activity be
consumed. For such high purpose I wish that thou spare
no labor, beseeching the Lord and offering thyself in
sacrifice unto death, accepting actually all that is op
portune and possible. Although, in order to solicit the
good of souls, thou need not make any great ado before
creatures, since that is not appropriate to thy sex; yet
thou must seek and prudently apply all the hidden means,
that are most efficacious within thy knowledge. If thou
wilt be my daughter and a spouse of my most holy
Son, consider that the possessions of our house are the
rational creatures, which He acquired as a rich prize at
the cost of his life (I Cor. 6, 20) and of his blood; for
through their own disobedience they were lost to Him
(Gen. 3, 6), after He had created and selected them
for Himself.
260. Hence whenever the Lord sends to thee, or
throws in thy way, a needy soul and makes thee aware
of its state, labor faithfully to assist it. Pray and weep
with heartfelt and fervent love, that God may furnish
the remedy for such great and dangerous evil, and do
not neglect any means, divine or human, as far as thou
art concerned, in order to obtain the salvation of eternal
life for the soul entrusted to thee. By means of the
prudence and moderation which I have taught thee, thou
must not grow weary in admonishing, nor in praying
for that which will benefit that soul; and in all secrecy
continue thy labor in its behalf. Likewise I wish, that
whenever it is necessary, thou command the demons in
the powerful name of the Almighty and my own, to
depart and leave in peace the souls oppressed by them;
and as all this is to be done in secret, thou canst in all
propriety animate and encourage thyself to this kind of
work. Remember that the Lord has placed thee, and
will place thee in a position to exercise this doctrine. Do
not forget it, nor fail in understanding, how much thou
art bounden to his Majesty to use care and solicitude in
extending the possessions of thy Father s house.
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