Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 3 chapter 26 verses 322-334THE DEMONS HOLD A MEETING IN HELL IN ORDER TO TAKE COUNSEL AGAINST MOST HOLY MARY.

  INDEX   Book 3  Chapter  26    Verses:  322-334

322. At the instant of the incarnation of the Word, as
I said in chapter eleventh (140), Lucifer and all hell
felt the power of the right arm of the Almighty which
hurled them to the deepest of the infernal caverns.
There they remained overwhelmed for some days, until
the Lord in his admirable providence allowed them to
come forth from this captivity, the cause of which they
did not know. The great dragon then arose and scoured
the earth, spying- everywhere for new developments to
which he might attribute the rout which he and all his
satellites had experienced. This search the proud prince
of darkness would not trust entirely to his companions,
but he himself issued forth in their company to course
about upon the globe, seeking with the most cunning
malice to find what he wanted. He spent in this search
three months and finally returned to hell just as ignorant
of the true cause as when he had come forth. For the
great mysteries of heaven were not intelligible to him
at that time, because the darkness of his malice did not
permit him either to rejoice in their wonderful effects or
to glorify and bless their Author. This was reserved to
us men, for whom Redemption was inaugurated.
323. The enemy of God was very much confused and
aggrieved, without knowing how to account for it. In
order to discuss the matter, he called together all the
infernal hosts, without excusing or permitting a single
one of the demons to be absent. In this convention,
from a place of vantage, he addressed the meeting in this
manner : "You well know, my subjects, with what great
anxiety I, ever since God has cast us out from his dwell
ing and deprived us of our might, have sought to avenge
myself and tried to destroy the power of the Almighty.
Although I cannot do anything to injure Him, I have
spared no time or exertion in extending my dominion
over men whom He loves. By my own strength I have
peopled my reign (Job 41, 25) and many nations and
tribes obey and follow me (Luke 4, 6). Day by day I
draw toward myself innumerable souls, depriving them
of the knowledge and possession of God, in order that
they may not enjoy the happiness which we have lost.
I ensnare them to these eternal pains which we suffer,
since they will follow my teachings and guidance : on
them I will wreak the vengeance which I have conceived
against their Creator. But all this appears of small con
sequence to me in the face of the sudden overthrow which
we have experienced; for an attack so powerful and
ruinous has not happened to us since we were hurled from
heaven. I must acknowledge that as well your as my
power has met a serious shock. This new and extraor
dinary defeat must have some new cause, and our weak
ness, I fear, is the beginning of our ruin."
324. "This matter will require renewed diligence, for
my fury is unquenchable and my vengeance remains insa
tiable. I have scoured the whole earth, observed all its
inhabitants with great care, and yet I have found nothing
notable. I have watched and persecuted all the virtuous
and perfect women who are of the race of Her whom
we saw in heaven, and whom I expected to meet among
them. But I find no sign of her having as yet been
born; for I do not find one who possesses the marks of
Her who is to be the Mother of the Messias. A Maiden
whom I feared on account of her great virtues, and
whom I persecuted in the temple, is already married;
and therefore She can not be the one we look for, since
Isaiah says She is to be a Virgin (Is. 7, 14). Never
theless I fear and detest this Maiden, since such a vir
tuous Woman might give birth to the Mother of the
Messias or to some great prophet. To this hour I have
not been able to overcome Her in anything, and of Her
life I understand less than of that of others. She has
always valiantly resisted me, as She eludes my memory;
or remembering Her, I cannot approach Her. I have
not yet been able to decide whether these difficulties in
regard to Her are miraculous, or arise from my forgetfulness,
or whether they are simply the consequences of
the contempt in which I hold such an insignificant
Maiden. But I will consider this matter; for recently
we could not resist the power of her command, by which
we were dispossessed of our right to dwell in those per
sons from whom She drove us. This certainly requires
satisfaction, and She merits my wrath solely on account
of what She has shown Herself to be on these occasions.
I resolve to persecute Her and overcome Her, and do
you yourselves assist me in this enterprise with all your
strength and malice; and those who will distinguish
themselves in this conquest shall receive great rewards
at my hands."
325. The whole infernal rabble, which had listened
attentively to Lucifer, praised and approved his inten
tions, and they told him not to worry over this Woman,
for She would easily be overcome and he should not be
without his triumphs over Her, since his power was so
great and ruled all the world (John 14, 30). Then they
set about discussing the means of entrapping most holy
Mary, supposing Her to be a woman of distinguished
and remarkable virtue and holiness, but not the Mother
of the incarnate Word ; for at that time, as I have said,
the demons were ignorant of the hidden sacrament con
nected with Her. Accordingly Lucifer and his com
panions in malice immediately entered upon a mighty
conflict with the heavenly Princess, thus making it pos
sible for Her to crush the head of the infernal dragon
many times (Gen. 3, 15). Yet, though this was a
great battle, and one of the most remarkable conflicts of
her life, She fought another one later on after the
Ascension of her most holy Son into heaven. Of this I
will speak in the third part of this history. It was very
remarkable, because Lucifer at that time already knew
Her as the Mother of God. Saint John speaks of it in
the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, as I will explain
in its place.
326. In dispensing the mysteries of the Incarnation the
providence of the Most High was most admirable, and
so it is even yet in the government of the Catholic
Church. There is no doubt that it is befitting the strong
and sweet providence of God to hide many things from
the demons, which are better unknown to them; as well
because they are unworthy of knowing the sacred mys
teries (for the reason given above in number 318), as
also because the divine power becomes more manifest in
keeping the demons in subjection. But it is especially
necessary that they remain in ignorance in order that
the works of God in the Church and his sacraments may
take their course in greater peace ; also in order that the
unmeasured wrath of the demons may be more effectively
curbed by not allowing them to proceed according to their
malice. Although the Almighty could always repress
and restrain the devils by force, yet He proceeds in this
matter according to what is most appropriate to his infi
nite goodness. On this account the Lord concealed from
these enemies the dignity of the most holy Mary and the
wonderful manner of her pregnancy, as well as her
virginal integrity before and after the birth ; and He con
cealed it still more effectively by giving her a husband.
Likewise they were uncertain of the Divinity of Christ
our Lord until the moment of his Death ; only then they
saw that they had been deceived and misled in regard to
many mysteries of the Redemption. Instead of inciting
the Jews to inflict upon Him the most cruel death, they
would have sought to prevent it, and they would have
tried to retard our Redemption by making known to the
world that Christ is the true God. Therefore, when
saint Peter confessed Him as such, Christ forbade him
and the rest of the Apostles to make it known to any
body (Matth. 16, 20). Although, on account of the
miracles He wrought and the exorcisms which He per
formed (Luke 8, 28), they almost began to suspect Him
to be the Messias, and called Him Son of God; yet his
Majesty would not allow them to publish it about. Nor
did they call Him so with certain conviction. For their
suspicions subsided when they saw our Lord despised and
fatigued : they could never penetrate the mystery of the
Savior s humility and their inflated pride kept them in
327. Since Lucifer then did not kno*v the dignity
of Mary the Mother of God at the time of this persecu
tion, fierce as it was, it was not so terrible as the one She
suffered later on, when He knew who She was. If in
this present occasion he had known that She was the
One whom he had seen in heaven clothed with the sun
and (Apoc. 12, 1) that She was to crush his head
(Gen. 3, 15), he would have been lashed into devouring
fury and consumed in fiery wrath. If they were so
fearfully enraged at the mere thought of her sanctity and
perfection, it is certain, that, had they known her great
ness, they would, as far as would be allowed them, have
disturbed the whole universe, in order to make an end of
Her. However, since they on the one hand were igno
rant of the mysteries of the heavenly Lady and other
hand felt the effects of her extreme virtue and sanctity,
they were on this occasion thrown into confusion and
doubt, asking each other : who this Woman could be,
against whom they saw their power dwindle into insig
nificance? And whether perhaps She was not the one
who was to hold first place among creatures ?
328. Others judged that She could not possibly be the
Mother of the Messias, for whom men were waiting;
for besides having a husband, She with her husband
belonged to the poorest, humblest, and the most insig
nificant people in this world : they had wrought no public
miracles or prodigies, nor had they attracted the esteem
or reverence of any of their fellowmen. As Lucifer and
his associates are so proud, they could not persuade
themselves that such extreme humility and self-debase
ment can consort with the dignity of Mother of God.
Lucifer thought that God in his power would not choose
for Himself what the devil had considered unworthy of
his own dignity, which he knew was beneath that of the
Almighty. In short, he was deceived by his own arro
gance and giddy pride, for these are the vices which are
most apt to darken the intellect and to drag the will to
ruin. On this account Solomon says, that their own
malice has made them blind (Sap. 2, 21), in order that
they might not know that the eternal Word was to
make use of such means in order to destroy the arro
gance and haughtiness of the dragon. For his thoughts
were distant from those of the Almighty farther than
the earth is distant from heaven (Is. 55, 9). He
thought that God would come from heaven into the
world with great show of strength and opposition, humil
iating by his power the proud princes and monarchs,
which the demon had filled with his own arrogance ; and
so well had he succeeded, that many, who reigned before
the time of Christ, were inflated with such pride and pre
sumption, as to have lost their common sense and to
have forgotten that they were mortal and earthly. Lucifer
judged of all these things according to his own vanity
and according to his own method of proceeding against
the works of the Lord.
329. But the infinite Wisdom took measures beyond
all the calculations of Lucifer: for He came to conquer
him not only by his Omnipotence, but by humility, meek
ness, obedience and poverty, which are the weapons of
his warfare (II Cor. 10, 4) ; far from Him are the
empty show and vanity maintained by the riches of the
world. He came disguised and hidden in the outward
appearance of lowliness; He chose a poor Mother. All
that the world values, He came to despise, teaching the
true science of life in word and example. Thus the
devil found himself deceived and overcome by the very
things that were most repugnant and unbearable to him.
330. In ignorance of all these mysteries Lucifer spent
some days in spying out and reconnoitering the natural
condition of most holy Mary, her character, temperament,
inclinations, the tranquillity, evenness and considerateness
of her conduct; but the enemy could discover no flaw.
Seeing the perfection and sweetness of all that concerned
Her, and that She was like an impregnable wall, he re
turned to his demons and laid before them the great
difficulty of tempting Her. All of them projected mighty
plans of attack, encouraging each other in trying to solve
the difficulties. Of the execution of these designs, of the
glorious triumphs of the heavenly Princess over all her
enemies, and of the foiling of all their damned and ma
licious counsels, I will speak in the following chapter.
331. My daughter, I wish that thou be very cautious
and watchful in regard to the ignorance and darkness,
by which the demon commonly ensnares mortals and
makes them forget their eternal salvation and the con
tinual danger of its loss through his persecutions. Men
are lost in forgetful rest and sleep, as if there were no
vigilant and powerful enemies. This dreadful careless
ness arises from two causes: on the one hand men are
so taken up with their earthly and sensible being
(I Cor. 2, 14), that they do not feel any other evils ex
cept those concerning the animal nature in them; all
that is interior is harmless in their estimation. On the
other hand, since the princes of darkness are invisible and
unperceived by any of the senses (Ephes. 6, 12) and
since carnal men neither touch, nor feel, nor see them,
they forget the fear of them. Yet for this very reason
they ought to be more attentive and careful, since invis
ible enemies are more cunning and adroit in injuring us
by their treachery. So much the more certain is the
danger, the more concealed it is, and so much the more
deadly are the wounds, the less they are felt and recog
332. Listen, my daughter, to most important truths
concerning eternal life. Attend to my counsels, follow
my instructions and receive my warnings; for if thou
pass them by unheeded, I will cease to speak to thee.
Hear what thou hast not until now known of the dis
position of these enemies. I wish to make known to thee
that no intellect, nor any tongue of man or angels can
describe the wrath and fury which Lucifer and his
demons entertain against mortals just because they are
images of God and because they are capable of enjoying
Him for all eternity. The Lord alone can comprehend
the wicked malice of these proud and rebellious spirits
against his holy name and against his worship. If these
foes were not restrained by his almighty arm they would
in one moment destroy the world; they would like fam
ishing lions, like wild beasts and fierce dragons, despatch
all mankind and tear them to pieces. Now however
the most kind Father of all mercies wards off and curbs
their wrath and He bears his little children in his arms
in order that they may not fall a prey to these hellish
333. Consider then, as seriously as thou canst,
whether anything deserves greater pity, than to see so
many men misled into danger and made forgetful of it;
how some of them cast themselves into it on account of
their lightheartedness, some of them for trivial reasons,
others for a short and instantaneous pleasure, others
through negligence, and yet others on account of their in
ordinate appetites, tearing themselves away from the
places of refuge, in which the Almighty has placed them,
to fall into the hands of such cruel and furious enemies ;
and not only to feel their fury for an hour, a day, a month,
or a year, but to suffer indescribable and unmeasured tor
ments for all eternity. Thou shouldst be rilled with fear
and wonder, my daughter, to see such horrible and dread
ful foolishness among the impenitent mortals and to see
even the faithful, who have come to know and confess
all this by faith, so far lose their understanding and allow
themselves to be so insanely blinded by the devil that
they neither regard nor avoid this danger.
334. In order that thou mayest fear it and preserve
thyself the better, remember that this dragon knows thee
and lurks about thee ever since the hour of thy creation
and entrance into this world. Night and day he rest
lessly prowls about seeking some chance of capturing
thee as a prize. He observes thy natural inclinations
and also the gifts of the Lord, in order to combat thee
with thy own weapons. He charges other demons with
thy ruin and promises reward to those that are more
diligent in securing it. They weigh thy actions carefully,
watch thy footsteps, and work zealously to lay snares for
thee in all thy undertakings. I desire thee to meditate
on these truths in the Lord, who will show thee whither
they lead; compare them afterwards with thy own ex
perience and thou wilt understand, whether thou hast
any occasion for sleep in the midst for such dangers.
Although this watchfulness is important for all the
woman-born, it is more necessary to thee than to others
for especial reasons : and if I do not mention them all
,to thee now, do not doubt, that thou must live with great
vigilance and caution. It suffices to remind thee of thy
soft and yielding nature, which thy enemies will strive
to make use of for thy destruction.
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