Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 3 chapter 25 verses 314-321THE JOURNEY OF MOST HOLY MARY FROM THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS TO HER HOME IN NAZARETH.

  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  25    Verses:  314-321

314. Returning from the town of Juda to Nazareth
the most holy Mary, the living tabernacle of God, pur
sued her way through the mountains of Judea in the
company of her most faithful spouse saint Joseph. Al
though the Evangelists do not make mention of any haste
in this journey homeward, such as is recorded by saint
Luke and occasioned by the special mystery connected
with it, yet the great Princess made also this return
journey with great expediency, on account of the events
which awaited Her at home. All the journeys of this
heavenly Lady were a mystical counterpart of her spir
itual and interior advances. For She was the true
tabernacle of the Lord, which was to find no definite
resting-place in this mortal pilgrimage (I Par. 17, 5) ;
on the contrary, progressing daily from one stage to
another and to higher condition of wisdom and grace,
She continually pushed forward on her pilgrimage to the
promised land (Numb. 7, 89) ; and She bore continually
with Her on her journey the true propitiatory, whence
She drew ceaseless increase of her gifts and acquired for
us eternal salvation.
315. The great Queen and saint Joseph again consumed
four days in their return journey, as they had done on
their coming. On the way they maintained the same
divine conversations, and they experienced events similar
to those already mentioned in chapter sixteenth. In the
ordinary practices of humility, in which they vied with
each other, our Queen always came out victorious, except
when saint Joseph called obedience to his aid; because
She considered obedience the greater humility. As She
was already in her third month of pregnancy, She was
more attentive and careful in her journey; not that her
pregnancy caused her any difficulties, for it was on the
contrary a most sweet alleviation of any hardships. But
this careful and prudent Mother was filled with the con
sciousness of her Treasure; for She beheld day by day
the natural growth of the body of her most holy Son in
her virginal womb. Notwithstanding the ease and light
ness of her pregnancy, She nevertheless was subject to
the exertion and the fatigue of the journey; for the sov
ereign Lady made no use of her privileges to diminish
her sufferings, but She gave free scope to the fatigues
and inconveniences of travel in order to be in all things
our teacher and the faithful image of her most holy Son.
316. As the divine Fruit of her womb was naturally
of the most perfect growth, and as She was Herself of
the most comely and well-proportioned shape without
any defect whatever, it was natural that her condition
should become noticeable, and She knew that it would
be impossible to conceal it much longer from her hus
band. Already She began to look upon him with greater
tenderness and compassion in view of the shock which
his love would feel on noticing her condition. Gladly
would She have turned it aside if She had known that
such was the will of God. But the Lord gave Her no
intimation of his will in these anxious thoughts; for He
had ordained that the event should come about in such a
way as to increase his glory and the merits both of saint
Joseph and of the Virgin Mother. Nevertheless the
great Lady besought his Majesty to fill the heart of her
spouse with patience and wisdom, and to assist him with
grace, that he might act in this conjuncture according to
the divine pleasure. For She was convinced that it
would occasion him great grief to see her pregnant.
317. In the course of the journey the Mistress of the
world performed some wonderful works, although always
in secret. It happened that when they arrived at a place
not far from Jerusalem some people from another town
came to the same hostelry. They brought with them a
young woman seeking a cure for her sickness in the larger
and more populous city. She was known to be very sick,
but no one knew what was her sickness or the cause of
it. This woman had lived a very virtuous life. On this
account the enemy, who knew her character and her ad
vanced virtues, began to direct his attacks especially
against her, as he always does against the friends of God,
since he considers them his own enemies. He caused
her to commit some sins and, in order to force her from
one abyss into another, he tempted her with despondent
thoughts and disorderly grief at her fall. Having thus
upset her judgment this dragon found entrance into
her body, and now he, with many other demons, had pos
session of her. I have already said in the first part that
the infernal dragon, when he saw in heaven the woman
clothed with the sun (Apoc. 12, 1), conceived a great
wrath against all virtuous women. Of her progeny are
all those that follow Mary, as may be judged from that
same chapter of the Apocalypse. On this account he
exerted all his arrogance and tyranny in the possession
of the body and soul of this afflicted woman.
318. The heavenly Princess saw her in the tavern and
knew of her affliction, which was unknown to the others.
Moved by her motherly pity, She begged her most holy
Son to give health of body and soul to the unfortunate
woman. Perceiving that the divine will was inclined to
mercy, She used her power as Queen and commanded the
demons instantly to leave this creature never to return.
Moreover, She banished them to the infernal depths, their
lawful and appropriate dwelling. This command of our
great Queen and Lady was not given vocally, but men
tally, in such a way as to be perceptible to the impure
spirits. It was so powerful that Lucifer and his com
panions hastened to leave that body and hurl themselves
into the infernal darkness. The fortunate woman was
freed and seized with wonder at the unhoped-for de
livery; and in her inmost heart she was drawn toward
the most pure and holy Lady. She looked upon Her
with an especial veneration and love, thereby deserving
two other favors. One was that she was filled with a
most sincere sorrow for her sins ; the other, that the evil
effects or traces of the demoniacal possession under
which she had suffered were effaced. She was aware that
the mysterious Stranger, whom she had so fortunately
met on her way was concerned in the heavenly blessing.
She therefore spoke to Her, and our Queen answered
with words that went straight to the heart ; She exhorted
her to perseverance and also merited it for her during
the rest of her life. Her companions likewise recognized
the miracle; but they attributed it to their promise of
bringing her to the temple of Jerusalem and of offering
some gift for her. This promise they fulfilled, praising
God, but remaining ignorant of the source of their good
319. Vast and furious was the wrath of Lucifer when
he found himself and his demons dispossessed and cast
out from their abode by the mere word of this woman
Mary. Full of wrathful astonishment, he exclaimed:
"Who is this weak Woman, that commands us and op
presses us with so much power? What new surprise is
this, and how can my pride stand it? We must hold a
council and see how we can unite to destroy Her." Since
I will say more of their doings in the next chapter, I
leave them to their wrathful designs. Our pilgrims in
the meanwhile came to another tavern, the master of
which was a man of bad habits and character; and as a
beginning of his happiness, God ordained that he should
receive most holy Mary and Joseph with a good will and
marks of kindness. He showed them more courtesy and
good services than he was accustomed to show to others.
In order to return his hospitality with still greater kind
ness the great Queen, who knew the sad state of his
interior, prayed for him, justifying his soul and causing
him to change his life. Her prayers had also the effect
of adding to his worldly possession, for on account of
the small favor done to his heavenly guests, God in
creased them from that time on. Many more miracles
the Mother of grace wrought in this journey, for all her
doings were divine (Cant. 4, 13), and all who were of
proper disposition were sanctified by meeting Her. They
finished their journey at Nazareth, where the Princess
of heaven set her house in order and cleaned it with the
assistance of her holy angels, for they vied with Her in
humility and were anxious to serve and honor Her by
taking part in these humble occupations. The holy
Joseph applied himself to his ordinary daily work, pro
viding for the sustenance of the Queen ; and his trusting
heart was not deceived in Her (Prov. 31, 11). She
girded Herself with new strength for the mysteries
which She awaited, and She put forth her hands to
valiant deeds, enjoying in her soul the undimmed vision
of the Treasure of her womb and, connected with it,
incomparable delights and blessings. Thus She con
tinued to gain vast merits and made Herself unspeak
ably pleasing to God.
320. My daughter, the faithful souls and children of
the Church, who know God, must make no distinction of
time, place or occasions in the practice of faith and the
other virtues connected with it. For God is present in
all things and fills them with his infinite being (Jer. 23,
24), and in all places and circumstances faith will enable
them to see and adore Him in spirit and in truth
(John 4, 22). Just as preservation follows upon cre
ation, and as breathing follows upon life, and just as
there is no intermission in the breathing, nourishment
and growth of man until the end is reached : so the
rational creature, after having been regenerated by faith
of grace, must never interrupt the course of the spiritual
life, continually pursuing works of life by faith, hope and
charity in all places and at all time (James 2, 26). On
account of their forgetfulness and carelessness, the chil
dren of men, and especially the members of the Church,
possess the life of faith as if they had lost it, allowing it
to die for want of charity. These are the ones who
have received in vain this their new soul, as David says,
because they neglect it as if they had never obtained it
(Psalm 23, 4).
321. I desire, my dearest, that thy spiritual life be just
as continual as thy natural life. Thou must continue to
lead a life such as is required by the grace and gifts of
the Most High, believing and hoping in the Lord, loving,
praising and adoring Him in spirit and in truth, no
matter what changes there may be in time, occupation
or place, He is in all things and He wishes to be loved
and served by all rational creatures. I therefore charge
thee that whenever souls come to thee full of this forgetfulness
of their faults, and harassed by the demons, thou
pray for them with lively faith and confidence. If the
Lord does not always fulfill what thou desirest and what
they ask, He will follow his own secret counsel, and thou
wilt have pleased Him by having acted as a true spouse
and daughter. If thou faithfully followest my instruc
tions, I assure thee that He will confer upon thee many
special privileges for the benefit of souls. Consider what
I did at the sight of souls displeasing to the Lord, and
how zealously I worked for all, and for some in par
ticular. To imitate and oblige me, do thou likewise work
and pray for those whose interior becomes known to thee
through the Lord or through other means; admonish
them with prudence, humility and resignation; for the
Almighty does not desire thee to proceed noisily, nor
that the results of thy labors be always manifest, but that
they remain hidden. In this He conforms Himself to
thy naturally retiring disposition and to thy desires, and
He seeks what is most secure for thee. And, although
thou must pray for all souls, yet thou must pray more
earnestly for those whom the divine will points out to
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