Extracts from the Mystical City of God
'With the help of the Almighty's grace, thou canst rise above thyself and make thyself a daughter of heaven, whence all grace comes.'
Our Lady's Words to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 310
The Conception'But remember, dearest soul, that the firmament, the whole machinery of the world and all things created will sooner fail, than the words of the Most High. Many times He has promised to his creatures, and in the holy Scriptures it is recorded, that the obedient man shall speak of victories over his enemies and shall not be reprehensible in obeying (Prov. 21, 28).
The Sacramental Mysteries wrought by the Most High in the Queen of Heaven from the Time of her Immaculate Conception until the Incarnation of the Word in her virginal Womb, and how much Merit She herself acquired through divine Grace by profiting from the favors conferred upon Her during those first fifteen Years of her Life.
And when He created the first man and gave him the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge, he established the virtue of obedience, and swearing He swore, in order to give greater assurance to man. For the Lord has repeatedly given such an oath; for instance, when He promised to Abraham that the Messias should descend from his race, He added thereto the assurance of an oath (Gen. 22, 16); the same He did when He created the first man, assuring him that the obedient shall not err.
He also repeated this oath, when He ordained that his most holy Son should die (Luke 1, 73); and He gave a like assurance to men that they, who should obey this second Adam, imitating Him in the obedience, by which He restored what the first lost through his disobedience, shall live forever and that the enemy shall have no part in them.
Remember, Mary, that all obedience takes its rise from God as from its first and principal source, and we angels obey the powers of his divine right hand and his most just will. We cannot contravene or ignore it, because we see the immutable being of God face to face and we perceive that his will is holy, pure and true, most equitable and just. Now this certainty, which we angels possess through the beatific vision, you mortals also possess in its proper proportion as wayfarers through the words of the Lord concerning your prelates and superiors: "He who hears you, hears Me; and who obeys you, obeys Me." (Luke 20, 16).
Now since obedience is rendered on account of God, who is the principal Cause and the Superior of all, it is befitting to his almighty Providence that He take the consequences of obedience, whenever that which is commanded is not in itself sinful. Accordingly the Lord assures us of these things by an oath, and He will sooner cease to exist, though this is impossible, than that He will fail in his word.'
The holy Angels to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, Introduction, 8
'Let all of them [all the devout and sinners] see the example of thy highest sanctity and purity, and by the grace of thy most holy Son, let me be favored with this mirror and efficacious rule, by which I can set my life in order.
For this is to be the principal purpose and first object of my solicitude in writing thy life.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda to our Lady, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, Introduction, 13
'The holy angels spoke to me:
"This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, his angelic spirits, are full of astonishment. Contemplate and admire her prerogatives, record them in writing, because that is the purpose for which, according to the measure suitable to thy circumstances, they will be made manifest to thee."
I was made to see such wonders, that the greatness of them took away my speech, and my admiration of them suspended my other faculties; nor do I think that all the created beings in this mortal life will ever comprehend them, as will appear in the sequel of my discourse.
On another day, while my soul sweetly tarried in the aforesaid habitation, I heard a voice from the Most High saying:
"My spouse, I desire that thou rouse thyself in earnest to seek Me, and to love Me with fervor; that thou make thy life more angelic than human, and that thou forget entirely the terrestrial affairs. I wish to raise thee as one that is poor from the dust, and as one full of need from the dunghill (Ps. 112:7), so that, while I exalt thee, thou mayest humiliate thyself, and the nard of thy sweet odor may remain in my presence (Cant. 1:11); knowing thy own misery, be thou convinced from the bottom of thy heart, that thou meritest for thyself only tribulation and humiliation. Consider my greatness and thy littleness; remember that I am just and holy; I deal with thee considerately, making use rather of my mercy and not chastising thee as thou deservest. Strive to build upon this foundation of humility all the other virtues in order to fulfill my wishes. I appoint my Virgin Mother to teach, correct and reprehend thee. She will spur thee onward and accompany thy footsteps according to my liking and pleasure."'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 5-6
'While the Most High spoke to me the Queen stood near by; and the heavenly Princess disdained not to accept the office which his Majesty assigned to Her. She accepted it benignly and said to me:
"My daughter; I desire that thou be my disciple and my companion, and I will be thy Teacher; but remember that thou must obey me courageously and from this day on no vestige of a daughter of Adam must be found in thee. My conduct and my works during my pilgrimage on earth, and the wonders, which the arm of the Almighty wrought through me, shall be the mirror and the model of thy life."
I prostrated myself before the throne of the King and Queen of the universe and I offered to obey Her in all things; I gave thanks to the Highest for the favor, which He, so much in excess of my merits, conferred upon me in giving me such a Guide and Protectress. Into her hands I renewed the vows of my profession; I offered myself to Her and proposed to work anew at the amendment of my life. Again the Lord spoke to me:
"Behold and see!" Turning I saw a most beautiful ladder with many rungs; around it were many angels, and a great number of them were ascending and descending upon it. His Majesty said to me: "This is the mysterious ladder of Jacob (Gen. 28:12), the house of God and the portal of heaven (Ib. 17); if thou wilt earnestly strive to live irreprehensible in my eyes, thou wilt ascend upon it to Me."
This promise incited my desires, set my will aflame and enraptured my spirit; with many tears I grieved, that I should be a burden to myself in my sinfulness (Job 7:20). I sighed for the end of my captivity and longed to arrive where there would be no obstacle to my love. In this anxiety I passed some days, trying to reform my life; I again made a general confession and corrected some of my imperfections. The vision of the ladder continued without intermission, but it was not explained to me. I made many promises to the Lord and proposed to free myself from all terrestrial things and to reserve the powers of my will entirely for his love, without allowing it to incline toward any creature, be it ever so small or unsuspicious; I repudiated all visible and sensible things. Having passed some days in these affections and sentiments, I was informed by the Most High, that the ladder signified the life of the most Holy Virgin, its virtues and sacraments.
His Majesty said to me: "I desire, my spouse, that thou ascend this stair of Jacob and enter through this door of heaven to acquire the knowledge of my attributes and occupy thyself in the contemplation of my Divinity. Arise then and walk, ascend by it to Me. These angels, which surround it and accompany it, are those that I appointed as the guardians of Mary, as the defenders and sentinels of the citadel of Sion. Consider Her attentively, and, meditating on her virtues, seek to imitate them."
It seemed to me then, that I ascended the ladder and that I recognized the great wonders and the ineffable prodigies of the Lord in a mere Creature and the greatest sanctity and perfection of virtue ever worked by the arm of the Almighty. At the top of the ladder I saw the Lord of hosts and the Queen of all creation. They commanded me to glorify, exalt and praise Him on account of these great mysteries and to write down so much of them, as I might bring myself to understand. The exalted and high Lord gave me a law, written not only on tablets,as He gave to Moses (Ex. 31:18), but one wrought by his omnipotent finger in order that it might be studied and observed (Ps. 1:2).
He moved my will so that in her presence I promised to overcome my repugnance and with her assistance to set about writing her history, paying attention to three things: First, to remember that the creature must ever seek to acknowledge the profound reverence due to God and to abase itself in proportion to the condescension of his Majesty toward men and that the effect of greater favors and benefits must be a greater fear, reverence, attention and humility; secondly, to be ever mindful of the obligation of all men, who are so forgetful of their own salvation, to consider and learn what they owe to the Queen and Mother of piety on account of the part assumed by Her in the Redemption, to think of the love and the reverence which She showed to God and the honor in which we are to hold this great Lady; thirdly. to be willing to have my spiritual director, and if necessary the whole world, find out my littleness and vileness, and the small returns which I make for what I receive.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 7-8
'My daughter, the world stands much in need of this doctrine, for it does not know, nor does it practice, the reverence due to the Lord omnipotent. On account of this ignorance his justice is provoked to afflict and humiliate men. They are sunken in their carelessness and filled with darkness, not knowing how to seek relief or attain to the light. This, however, is justly their lot, since they fail in the reverence and fear, which they ought to have.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 9
'My daughter, when I sent my Onlybegotten, the world, with the exception of the few souls that served Me, was in worse condition than it ever had been since its beginning; for human nature is so imperfect that if it does not subject itself to the interior guidance of my light and to the fulfillment of the precepts of my ministers by sacrificing its own judgment and following Me, who am the way, the truth and the life (Jn.14:6), and by carefully observing my commandments in order not to lose my friendship, it will presently fall into the abyss of darkness and innumerable miseries, until it arrives at obstinacy in sin. From the creation and sin of the first man until I gave the law to Moses, men governed themselves according to their own inclinations and fell into many errors and sins (Rom. 8:13). After having received the law, they again committed sin by not obeying it (Jn.7:19) and thus they lived on, separating themselves more and more from truth and light and arriving at the state of complete forgetfulness. In fatherly love I sent them eternal salvation (Eph. 2:4-5) and a remedy for the incurable infirmities of human nature, thus justifying my cause. And just as I then chose the opportune time for the greater manifestation of my mercy, so I now select this time for showing toward them another very great favor. For now the hour has come and the opportune time to let men know the just cause of my anger, and they are now justly charged and convinced of their guilt.
Now I will make manifest my indignation and exercise my justice and equity; I will show how well justified is my cause. In order that this may come to pass more speedily, and because it is now time that my mercy show itself more openly and because my love must not be idle, I will offer to them an opportune remedy, if they will but make use of it for returning again to my favor. Now, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so unfortunate a pass, and when, though the Word has become incarnate, mortals are more careless of their weal and seek it less; when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of time; when the night of eternity is approaching closer and closer for the wicked and the day without a night is being born for the just; when the majority of mortals are sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of their ignorance and guilt, oppressing the just and mocking the children of God; when my holy and divine law is despised in the management of the iniquitous affairs of state, which are as hostile as they are contrary to my Providence; when the wicked least deserve my mercy; in these predestined times, I wish to open a portal for the just ones through which they can find access to my mercy; I wish to give them a light by which they can dispel the gloom that envelops the eyes of their minds. I wish to furnish them a suitable remedy for restoring them to my grace.
Happy they who find it (Prov. 3:13ff.), and blessed they who shall appreciate its value, rich they who shall come upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand its marvels and hidden mysteries.
I desire to make known to mortals how much intercession of Her is worth, who brought restoration of life by giving mortal existence to the immortal God. As recompense I desire that they look upon the wonders wrought by my mighty arm in that pure Creature, as upon a mirror by which they can estimate their own ingratitude. I wish to make known to them much of that, which according to my high judgment is still hidden concerning the Mother of the Word.'
Our Lord to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 9
'I have not revealed these mysteries in the primitive Church, because they are so great, that the faithful would have been lost in the contemplation and admiration of them at a time when it was more necessary to establish firmly the law of grace and of the Gospel. Although all mysteries of religion are in perfect harmony with each other, yet human ignorance might have suffered recoil and doubt at their magnitude, when faith in the Incarnation and Redemption and the precepts of the new law of the Gospel were yet in their beginnings. On this same account the person of the incarnate Word said to his disciples at the last supper: "Many things have I to say to you; but you are not yet disposed to receive them" (Jn.16:12). These words He addressed to all the world, for it was not yet capable of giving full obedience to the law of grace and full assent to the faith in the Son, much less was it prepared to be introduced into the mysteries of his Mother. But now, mankind has greater need for this manifestation, and this necessity urges Me to disregard their evil disposition. And if men would now seek to please Me by reverencing, believing, and studying the wonders, which are intimately connected with this Mother of Piety, and if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief.
I will not longer withhold from men this mystical City of refuge; describe and delineate it to them, as far as thy shortcomings allow. I do not intend that thy descriptions and declarations of the life of the Blessed Virgin shall be mere opinions or contemplations, but reliable truth. They that have ears to hear, let them hear (Mt. 11:15). Let those who thirst come to the living waters (Apoc. 22:17) and leave the dried-out cisterns; let those that are seeking for the light, follow it to the end. Thus speaks the Lord God Almighty.'
Our Lord to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 10
'Do not fear, soul, nor afflict thyself; for I will give thee a state of mind and show thee a path of light and security, which only its Author himself could know of or even conceive. Whatever is exterior and dangerous shall leave thee today and thy treasure shall be altogether hidden. Take care of it on thy part and preserve it by a perfect life. I will direct thee toward a hidden path, unobstructed, unfailing and pure; walk thou in it.'
The Lord, to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 14
'In the inferior state, which I have mentioned, I see the most holy Virgin and the angels in themselves and their mode of teaching me, speaking to me, and enlightening me. I understand this to be similar to the mode in which the angels themselves enlighten, communicate and speak with each other, when the superior orders enlighten the inferior. The Lord is the first cause of this light, but the Queen who has received it in its highest plenitude, communicates it as through a channel to the superior part of my soul, so that I begin to know her excellence, her prerogatives and mysteries in the same manner as an inferior angel perceives that, which is communicated to him by the superior spirits. I recognize Her also by the doctrine which She teaches, by the efficacy peculiar to it, and by other qualities, which are felt and tasted and which indicate the purity, elevation and certainty of these visions. There, nothing impure, or obscure, or false, or suspected is met with; and nothing that is holy, pure and true is withheld from view. The same happens to me in its proper proportion, when conversing with the holy angels; for the Lord himself has often informed me, that they enlighten and communicate with me in the same manner as they converse with each other. Often it happens that the enlightenments pass through all these channels and conduits in succession: the Lord gives the intelligence or light, the most holy Virgin reveals it to me and the angels express it to me in words. At other times (and this is the most ordinary mode) the Lord communicates and teaches me his holy doctrine, sometimes the most holy Queen, and sometimes the holy angels. It also happens, that I receive only the understanding of things, and then I am left to find for myself the terms which befit that which I hold in the intelligence. In finding these terms I may err, if the Lord allows, for I am only an ignorant woman and I must rely on what I have heard. If any difficulties arise in the explanation of my visions, I take counsel with my master and spiritual guide, especially in more difficult and arduous matters.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 24
'I saw the Lord as He was before He had created anything and with great astonishment I looked to see where was the throne of the Most High, for the empyrean heavens were not, nor the lower ones, nor did the sun exist, nor the moon, nor the other stars, nor the elements, only the Creator was, without any of his creatures. All was void, without presence of angels, or men or animals. I saw how of necessity it must be admitted, that God has his being in Himself, and that He stands in want or need of none of the created things. For He is as infinite in his attributes before as He is after creating them, and He will possess and hold these attributes during the whole of eternity, because they exist in Him as in an independent uncreated Essence. No perfection which is in itself purely and essentially such, can be wanting to his Divinity: for the Godhead is the only thing that is, and contains all the perfection of created beings in an eminent and ineffable manner. All the other beings, in so far as they exist, have their existence solely in that infinite Being, as effects in their cause.'
I understood, that the Most High was in the quiescent state of his own being, when the three Persons (according to our way of understanding things), decreed to communicate his perfections as a free gift. For greater clearness, I must remark, that God comprehends in Himself all things by one indivisible, most simple and instantaneous act. He does not go on from the understanding of one thing to the understanding of another like we do, distinguishing and perceiving first one thing by an act of the understanding, and after that proceeding to the knowledge of others by their connection with those already known. God knows them conjointly all at once, without before or after, since all are together and at once contained in the divine and uncreated knowledge and science, just as they are comprehended and enclosed in his infinite Being, as in their first beginning.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 30-31
' In this enlightenment and knowledge which I possess, two things hold my lukewarm heart in wonder and inflame it unto annihilation. The first is the inclination and urgent desire which I see in God, and the strong will, to communicate his Divinity and the treasures of his grace. The second is the unspeakable and incomprehensible immensity of the good gifts, which I see He wishes to distribute according to this decree, assigning them for this purpose and yet remaining infinite, as if He had yet given nothing. In this desire and inclination which fills his Majesty I see Him prepared to sanctify, justify and overwhelm with gifts and perfections all creatures together and each one in particular for itself. He would be ready to give to each of the creatures more than what is held by all the angels and seraphim together; even if all the drops in the ocean and the grains of sand on their shores, all the stars, the planets and the elements, and all creatures were capable of reason and of his gifts, they would receive them without measure, provided they would dispose themselves and place no obstacle toward receiving them. O fearful malice of sin, which alone is capable of holding up the impetuous stream of such great and eternal gifts.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 37
'In my admiration I can say with St. Dionysius the Areopagite (Letter to St. Paul): "If faith would not instruct me, and if the understanding of what I see would not teach me, that it is God, who has conceived Her in his mind, and who alone could and can in his Omnipotence form such an image of his Divinity, if this all were not present to my mind, I might begin to doubt, whether the Virgin Mother contain not in Herself Divinity."
O what tears flowed from my eyes, and what sorrowful astonishment possessed my soul, to see that divine prodigy not acknowledged and that wonder of the Most High not manifest to all the mortals. Much is known of it, but much more is unknown, as this sealed book has not been opened. I am ravished in the perception of this tabernacle of God, and I perceive that the Author of it is more admirable in her creation, than in that of all the rest of the world, although the diversity of the creatures manifests the wonderful power of their Creator. In this Queen alone are comprehended and contained more treasures than in all the rest of things joined together, and the variety and the preciousness of her riches honor the Lord above all the multitudes of the other creatures.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 43-44
'For Them [Jesus Christ and Blessed Mary] primarily did He create the heaven and earth with its stars and elements and all that is contained in them. Secondarily the intention and decree included the creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the Head, and of whom He would be the King; in order that with kingly providence, all the necessary and befitting arrangements might be made beforehand.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol I, 45
'The predestined were chosen by free grace, and the foreknown were reprobated with exact justice. All that was convenient and necessary for the conservation of the human race and for obtaining the end of the Redemption and the Predestination, was preordained, without interfering with the free will of men; for such ordainment was more conformable to God's nature and to divine equity. There was no injustice done to them, for if with their free will they could sin, so also could they abstain from sin by means of grace and the light of reason. God violated the right of no one, since He forsook no one nor denied to anyone that which is necessary. Since his law is written in the hearts of all men (Ps. 4:7), nobody is excused for not knowing and loving Him as the highest Good of all creation.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 48
'Of the first day Moses says that "In the beginning God created heaven and earth." Though He imself is immutable in being, the almighty God, in calling creatures into existence, issued, so to say, forth from his own Self and gave to creatures a being of their own, in order that He might, as it were, rejoice in the works of his own hands, as being the perfect and adequate results of his operations. And before creating intellectual and rational creatures, desiring also the order of executing these works to be most perfect, He created heaven for angels and men; and the earth as a place of pilgrimage for mortals. These places are so adapted to their end and so perfect, that as David says of them, the heavens publish the glory of the Lord, the firmament and the earth announce the glory of the works of his hands (Ps. 18, 2). The heavens in their beauty manifest his magnificence and glory, because in them is deposited the predestined reward of the just. And the earthly firmament announced that there would be creatures and men to inhabit the earth and that men should journey upon it to their Creator. Before He created them the Most High wished to provide for them and create that which is necessary for the attainment of their end, and for living in the manner ordained for them. Thus all parts of the creation would be compelled as it were to obey and love their Maker and Benefactor and by his works to learn of his holy name and of his perfections (Rom. 1, 20).
Of the earth Moses says, that it was void (Gen. 1:2), which he does not say of the heavens; for God had created the angels at the instant indicated by the word of Moses: "God said: Let there be light, and light was made (Ib. 3)." He speaks here not only of material light, but also of the intellectual or angelic lights. He does not make express mention of them, but merely includes them in this word, on account of the proclivity of the Hebrews to attribute Divinity to new things, even of much greater inferiority than the angels. But the metaphor of light was very appropriate to signify the angelic nature and mystically, the light of their science and grace, with which they were endowed at their creation. God created the earth conjointly with the heavens, in order to call into existence hell in its centre; for, at the instant of its creation, there were left in the interior of that globe spacious and wide cavities, suitable for hell, purgatory and limbo. And in hell was created at the same time material fire and other requisites, which now serve for the punishment of the damned. The Lord was presently to divide the light from the darkness and to call the light day and the darkness night (Ib. 5). And this did happen not only in regard to the natural night and day, but in regard to the good and bad angels; for to the good, He gave the eternal light of his vision and called it day, the eternal day; and to the bad, the night of sin, casting them into the eternal darkness of hell. Thus we were to be taught the intimate relation between the merciful liberality of the Creator and Vivifier and the justice of the most just Judge in punishment.
The angels were created in the empyrean heavens and in the state of grace by which they might be first to merit the reward of glory. For although they were in the midst of glory, the Divinity itself was not to be made manifest to them face to face and unveiled, until they should have merited such a favor by obeying the divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones, remained only a very short time in the state of probation; for their creation and probation with its result were three distinct instants or moments, separated by short intermissions. In the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures. Then followed a short pause, during which the will of the Creator was propounded and intimated, and the law and command was given them, to acknowledge Him as their Maker and supreme Lord, and to fulfill the end for which they had been created. During this pause, instant or interval, Saint Michael and his angels fought that great battle with the dragon and his followers, which is described by the apostle Saint John in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse (v. 7). The good angels, persevering in grace, merited eternal happiness and the disobedient ones, rebelling against God, merited the punishment, which they now suffer. Although all this of the second instant could have happened in a very brief time on account of the subtle nature of the angels and the power of God, nevertheless I understood that the kind consideration of the Most High permitted a certain delay. With the interposition of some intervals of time, He proposed to them the good and the bad, truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, divine grace and friendship as opposed to sin and enmity of God. They were enabled to see eternal reward and eternal punishment, the perdition of Lucifer and of those that would follow him. His Majesty showed them hell and its pains. They saw it all; for, by virtue of their superior and excellent nature, they understood the essence of other more qualified and limited creatures; so that, before falling from grace, they were clearly aware of the place of their chastisement. Although they did not know in the same manner the reward of glory, they had of it other knowledge and besides they had the manifest and express promise of the Lord. The Most High had therefore justified his cause and proceeded with the greatest equity and justice. But as all this goodness and equity did not suffice to restrain Lucifer and his followers, they were chastised in their stubbornness and hurled into the depths of the hellish caverns, while the good angels were confirmed in eternal grace and glory. All this was consummated in the third instant, and thus it became truly manifest that no being outside of God himself is impeccable by nature, since the angel, who held such an exalted position and was adorned with so many great gifts of knowledge and grace, nevertheless sinned and was lost. What will become of human frailty, if the divine power does not defend it and if it forces God to forsake it?'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 81-84
'It remains to investigate the motive, which urged Lucifer and his confederates to sin and what was the occasion of their disobedience and fall, for this is the point to which I wanted to come. In regard to this, it was made known to me that they could commit many sins as far as the guilt of sin (secundum reatum) is concerned, although they did not consummate them in acts. However, on account of those which they did actually commit freely and of their own depraved will, they acquired the disposition to all bad acts, inducing others to commit and approving in others those sins, which they could not commit themselves. Following the bad inclinations which from that time on filled Lucifer, he fell into a most disorderly self-love, which arose from the consciousness of being endowed with greater gifts and greater beauty of nature and grace, than the other inferior angels. He tarried with inordinate pleasure in this consciousness; and thus self-satisfied he became lax and remiss in the gratitude, which was due to God as the sole cause of all that he had received. Turning again and again in admiration toward himself, he took pleasure in his own beauty and grace, attributing them to himself and loving them as his own. This disorderly self-love not only caused him to exalt himself on account of the superior virtues, which he had received, but also induced him to harbor envy and covetousness for other gifts and for excellences not his own. Then, because he could not attain them, he conceived a mortal hatred and indignation against God, who created him out of nothing, and against all his creatures.
Hence arose his disobedience, presumption, injustice, infidelity, blasphemy, and perhaps also a certain kind of idolatry, for he coveted for himself the adoration and reverence due to God. He blasphemed the divine magnificence and holiness, he failed in the trust and loyalty due to Him; he plotted to destroy all the creatures, and presumed to be able to do all this and much more by his own power. Thus his pride ascends continually (Ps. 73:23) and perseveres, though his arrogance is greater than his strength, for in this he cannot increase (Is. 16:6) and in sin, one abyss calls the other (Ps. 41:8 ). The first angel who sinned was Lucifer, as is described in the fourteenth chapter of Isaias (v. 12). He induced others to follow him and therefore he is called the prince of the demons; not on account of his natural gifts, for these would not secure to him that title, but on account of his guilt. Those that sinned were not all of one order or hierarchy, but among all hierarchies there were many who sinned.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 85-86
'It is proper, that I also explain what was made known to me concerning the kind of honor and excellence, which Lucifer aspired to and envied. As in the works of God there is measure, number and weight (Wis. 11:21), his Providence decided to show to the angels, immediately after their creation and before they could incline to diverse ends, the purpose for which He had created them with such an exalted and perfect nature. Of all this I obtained the following information: At first they received a more explicit intelligence of the being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence and attributes. All subjected themselves to this command and obeyed it, but with a certain difference; the good angels obeyed through love and on account of the justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely admitting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other hand, submitted him-self, because the opposite seemed to him impossible. He did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. In consequence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave him on account of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition began with them; for there remained with him a certain weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Lucifer is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mortally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the precept of God; but this fulfillment was remiss and imperfect, springing more from a sense of overwhelming compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put himself in danger of falling.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 87
'And just as She rose above all the guilt and the effects of original and actual sin, God now placed these in a symbolical manner under her feet, in order that the good angels might know, and the bad ones, (though they did not attain knowledge of the mysteries), might fear this Woman even before She came into actual existence.'
Ven. Mary Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 98
'"And was in pain to be delivered (Apoc. 12:2)." He [St. John the Evangelist] does not say this because She [Blessed Mary] was to give birth in bodily pain, for that is not possible in this divine Parturition, but because it was to be a great sorrow for that Mother to see that divine Infant come forth from the secrecy of her virginal womb in order to suffer and die as a victim for the satisfaction of the sins of the world, and to pay for that which He did not commit (Ps. 68:5). For this Queen could know and did know all this beforehand by her knowledge of the holy Scriptures. On account of the natural love of such a Mother for such a Son, She must be deeply afflicted thereby, although in subjection to the will of God. In this pain was also foreshadowed the sorrow of this most gentle Mother at the thought of being deprived of the presence of her Treasure, after He should have issued from her virginal womb; for although her soul always enjoyed his presence as to his Divinity, yet She was to be a long time without his bodily presence, according to which He was exclusively her Son. The Most High had determined to exempt Her from guilt, but not from the labors and sorrows corresponding to the reward, which was prepared for Her. Thus the sorrows of this birth were not the effect of sin, as they are in the descendants of Eve (Gen. 3:16), but they were the effect of the intense and perfect love of the most holy Mother for her divine Son. All these mysteries were motives of praise and admiration for the good angels and the beginning of punishment for the bad angels.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 102
'With such arms [of the understanding and the will] St. Michael and his angels gave battle, fighting as it were, with the powerful rays of truth against the dragon and his followers, who on their hand made use of blasphemies. But Lucifer at the sight of the holy prince, not being able to resist, was torn with interior rage and sought to fly from his torments; it was the will of God, however, that he should not only be punished, but also conquered, in order that by his fall he might know the truth and power of God. Nevertheless he blasphemed and cried out: "Unjust is God in raising the human nature above the angelic. I am the most exalted and beautiful angel and the triumph belongs to me, It is I who am to place my throne above the stars (Is. 14:13) and who shall be like unto the Highest; I will subject myself to no one of an inferior nature, and I will not consent that anyone take precedence of me or be greater than I." In the same way spoke the apostate followers of Lucifer. But St. Michael answered: "Who is there like unto the Lord, who dwells in the heavens, or who to compare himself to Him? Be silent, enemy, cease thy dreadful blasphemies, and since iniquity has taken possession of thee, depart from our midst, wretch, and be hurled in thy blind ignorance and wickedness into the dark night and chaos of the infernal pains. But let us, O spirits of the Lord, honor and reverence this blessed Woman, who is to give human flesh to the eternal Word; and let us recognize Her as our Queen and Lady."'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 107
'"I will wage fierce war against the incarnate Word, for although He is God, He is also man, and therefore of a lower nature than mine. I will exalt my throne and my dignity above his; I will conquer Him and will humble Him by my power and astuteness. The Woman who is to be his Mother shall perish at my hands. What is one Woman against my power and greatness? And you, ye demons, who were injured together with me, follow me and obey me in the pursuit of this vengeance, as you have followed me in disobedience. Pretend to love men, in order to destroy them; serve them, in order to ruin them and deceive them; help them, in order to pervert them and draw them into these my hellish regions." No human tongue can explain the malice and fury of this first council of Lucifer and his hosts against the human race, which although not yet in existence, was to be created. In it were concocted all the vices and sins of the world, thence proceeded lies, sects and errors; all iniquity had its origin in that chaos and in that abominable gathering, and all those that do evil are in the service of the prince of this assembly.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 124
'On the sixth day He formed and created Adam, as it were of the age of thirty-three years (Gen. 1:27). This was the age in which Christ was to suffer death, and Adam in regard to his body was so like unto Christ, that scarcely any difference existed. Also according to the soul Adam was similar to Christ. From Adam God formed Eve so similar to the Blessed Virgin, that she was like unto Her in personal appearance and in figure. God looked upon these two images of the great Originals with the highest pleasure and benevolence, and on account of the Originals He heaped many blessings upon them, as if He wanted to entertain Himself with them and their descendants until the time should arrive for forming Christ and Mary.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 137
'Notwithstanding all this the Most High, in his ineffable kindness, gave our first parents his benediction, in order that the human race might grow and multiply. The most high Providence permitted that Eve, in the unjust Cain, should bring forth a type of the evil fruits of sin, and in the innocent Abel, both in figure and in imitation, the type of Christ our Lord (Gen. 4:3ff.). For in the first just one the law and doctrine of Christ began to exert its effects. All the rest of the just were to follow it, suffering for justice sake, hated and persecuted by the sinners and the reprobate and by their own brothers (Mt. 10:21-22). Accordingly, patience, humility and meekness began to appear in Abel, and in Cain, envy and all wickedness, for the benefit of the just and for his own perdition. The wicked triumph and the good suffer, exhibiting the spectacle, which the world in its progress shows to this day, namely, the Jerusalem of the godfearing and the Babylon of the godforsaken, each with its own leader and head.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 143
'The two holy spouses [Sts. Joachim and Anne] lived in Nazareth, continuing to walk in the justification of the Lord. In rectitude and sincerity they practiced all virtue in their works, making them selves very acceptable and pleasing to the Most High and avoiding all blemish in all their doings. The rents and incomes of their estate they divided each year into three parts. The first one they offered to the temple of Jerusalem for the worship of the Lord; the second they distributed to the poor, and the third they retained for the decent sustenance of themselves and family. God augmented their temporal goods on account of their generosity and charity.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 169
'They [Sts. Joachim and Anne] themselves lived with each other in undisturbed peace and union of heart, without quarrel or shadow of a grudge. The most humble Anne subjected herself and conformed herself in all things to the will of Joachim: and that man of God, with equal emulation of humility, sought to know the desires of holy Anne, confiding in her with his whole heart (Prov. 31, 11), and he was not deceived. Thus they lived together in such perfect charity, that during their whole life they never experienced a time, during which one ceased to seek the same thing as the other (Matth. 18, 20). But rather as being united in the Lord, they enjoyed his presence in holy fear. Saint Joachim, solicitous to obey the command of the angel, honored his spouse and lavished his attention upon her.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 170
'Much like to this, though much more wonderful, was the miracle of the Conception of Mary most holy in her mother Anne. The parents were so entirely governed by grace and withdrawn from concupiscence and delectation, that the accidental imperfections, which ordinarily are the material or the instruments of conception, and which induce original sin, were altogether wanting. Thus was furnished a material exempt form imperfection and furnished in such a manner that the act itself was meritorious. Hence in so far as this act was concerned it could easily be free from sin or imperfection, even if divine Providence had not previously arranged every particular of this event.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 176
'Most high King and Lord of all creation, I, a most vile and despicable creature, and yet the work of thy hands, desire at the price of the life which Thou hast given me, to urge Thee to hasten in thy mercy the time of our salvation. O may thy infinite kindness incline toward our need! O that our eyes might look upon the Restorer and the Redeemer of men! Remember, O Lord, the mercies of old shown to thy people, wherein Thou hast promised thy Onlybegotten, and may this promise of infinite kindness unbend Thee! May it come now, that day so much longed for! Is it possible, that the Most High should descend from his holy heaven? Is it possible, that He is to have a terrestrial Mother? What woman shall She be, that is so fortunate and blessed? O who shall be so favored as to look upon Her? Who shall be worthy to be the servant of her servants? Blessed the race, that shall be able to see Her and prostrate themselves at her feet to reverence Her! How sweet shall be the sight of Her and her company! Blessed the eyes, that shall see Her and the ears, that shall listen to her words, and the family, from whom the Most High shall select his Mother! Execute, O Lord, this decree: fulfill thy divine benevolence!'
St. Anne's Prayer, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 182
'The Almighty ordained that the message of the Conception of his holy Mother should in some way be similar to the one, by which the Incarnation was announced. For saint Anne was mediating in humble fervor upon her, who was to bear the Mother of the Incarnate Word. And the most holy Virgin was making the same reflection upon Her, who was to be the Mother of God, as I will relate in its place (Part II, 117). It was also the same angel, that brought both messages, and in human form, though he showed himself in a more beautiful and mysterious shape to the Virgin Mary.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 183
'The holy archangel Gabriel appeared to saint Anne in human form more resplendent than the sun, and said to her:
"Anne, servant of God, I am an angel sent from the council of the Most High, who in divine condescension looks upon the humble of the earth (Ps. 137:6). Good is incessant prayer and humble confidence. The Lord has heard thy petitions, for He is nigh to those who call upon Him with living faith and hope, and who expect his salvation (Ps. 144:18). If He delays hearing their clamors and defers the fulfillment of their prayers, it is in order to dispose them to receive and to oblige Himself to give much more than they ask and desire. Prayer and almsgiving open the treasures of the Lord, the omnipotent King, and incline Him to be lavish in mercy toward those who ask (Tob. 12:8, 9). Thou and Joachim have prayed for the Fruit of benediction and the Most High has resolved to give you holy and wonderful Fruit; and by it He will enrich you with heavenly gifts, granting to you much more than you have asked. For having humiliated yourselves in prayer, the Lord wishes to magnify Himself in conceding your petitions: because those, who in humble confidence pray to Him without belittling his infinite power, are most agreeable to the Lord. Persevere in prayer and ask without ceasing for the Redemption of the human race in order to constrain the Most High. Moses by unceasing prayer brought victory to the people (Ex. 17:11); Esther by prayer obtained liberation from the death sentence (Esther 4:11); Judith by the same means was filled with fortitude to execute a most arduous task for the salvation of Israel: She fulfilled it, though a weak and frail woman (Judith 9:1ff.; 13:6ff.). David came forth victorious in his combat with the giant, because he prayed, invoking the name of the Lord (I Kg. 17:45). Elias drew fire from heaven by his sacrifice (III Kg. 18:36) and by his prayer opened and closed the heavens. The humility, faith and the alms of Joachim and of thyself have come before the throne of the Most High and now He sends me, his angel, in order to give thee news full of joy for thy heart: His Majesty wishes, that thou be most fortunate and blessed. He chooses thee to be the mother of Her who is to conceive and bring forth the Onlybegotten of the Father. Thou shalt bring forth a Daughter, who by divine disposition shall be called MARY. She shall be blessed among women and full of the Holy Ghost. She shall be the cloud that shall drop the dew of heaven for the refreshment of mortals (Ib. 44), and in Her shall be fulfilled the prophecies of thy ancestors. She shall be the portal of life and salvation for the sons of Adam. Know also that I have announced to Joachim, that he shall have a Daughter who shall be blessed and fortunate: but the full knowledge of the mystery is not given him by the Lord, for he does not know, that She is to be the Mother of the Messiah. Therefore thou must guard this secret; and go now to the temple to give thanks to the Most High for having been so highly favored by his powerful right hand. In the Golden Gate thou shalt meet Joachim, where thou wilt confer with him about this tiding. Thou art the one, who art especially blessed of the Lord and whom He wishes to visit and enrich with more singular blessings. In solitude He will speak to thy heart (Osee 2:14) and there give a beginning to the law of grace, since in thy womb He will give being to Her, who is to vest the Immortal with mortal flesh and human form. In this humanity, united with the Word, will be written, as with his own blood, the true law of mercy."
In order that the humble heart of the holy Anne might not faint away with admiration and joy at these tidings of the holy angel, she was strengthened by the holy Spirit and thus she heard it and received it with magnanimity and incomparable joy. Immediately arising she hastened to the temple of Jerusalem, and there found saint Joachim, as the angel had foretold to them both. Together they gave thanks to the Almighty for this wonderful blessing and offered special gifts and sacrifices. They were enlightened anew by the grace of the holy Spirit, and, full of divine consolation, they returned to their home. Joyfully they conversed about the favors, which they had received from the Almighty, especially concerning each one's message of the archangel Gabriel, whereby, on behalf of the Lord, they had been promised a Daughter who should be most blessed and fortunate. On this occasion they also told each other, how the same angel, before their espousal, had commanded each to accept the other, in order that together they might serve God according to his divine will. This secret they had kept from each other for twenty years, without communicating it, until the same angel had promised them the issue of such a Daughter. Anew they made the vow to offer Her to the temple and that each year on this day they would come to the temple to offer special gifts, spend the day in praise and thanksgiving, and give many alms. This vow they fulfilled to the end of their lives, spending this day in great praise and exaltation of the Most High.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 184-185
' In the tribunal of the divine will, as the inevitable source and universal cause of the whole creation, all things with their conditions and circumstances, are decreed and determined, so that nothing is forgotten and no created power can in the least impede the fulfillment of the decree. All the spheres and the inhabitants contained in them are dependent on this ineffable government that rules them and cooperates with the natural causes unfailingly and unerringly in all that must be done. God works in all and sustains all by his sole will; in Him lies the preservation of all things or their annihilation, for without Him they would return to the non-existence, from which they were drawn. But since He has created the universe for his glory and for the glory of the incarnate Word, therefore He has from the beginning opened the paths and prearranged the ways by which the same Word should lower Himself to assume human flesh and to live among men, and by which they might ascend toward God, know Him, fear Him, seek Him, serve Him, love Him, praise Him and enjoy Him eternally.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 190
'Now the natural substance of Mary, which She derived from Adam, scarcely comes into consideration, when we take into account her dignity as Mother of God with all that it imports as bringing Her so near to the Eternal Father by grace and participation in the Divinity. This dignity causes her natural being to appear as merely accessory and of minor importance. Hence the Evangelist [in the Apocalypse] directed his gaze upon that which was in Her most exalted and heavenly, and not upon the insignificant part of her being that came from earth.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol I, 203
'The divine wisdom had now prepared all things for drawing forth the spotless image of the Mother of Grace from the corruption of nature. The number and congregation of the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets had been completed and gathered, and the mountains had been raised on which this Mystical City of God was to be built (Ps. 86:1). By the power of his right hand He had already selected incomparable treasures of the Divinity with which to enrich and endow Her. A thousand Angels were equipped for her guard and custody to serve as most faithful vassals of their Queen and Lady. He had prepared a royal and most noble ancestry from whom She would descend, and had chosen most holy and perfect parents from whom She would presently be born; none holier or more perfect could be found in that age, for there is no doubt that if better and more ideal parents existed, the Almighty would have selected them for Her who was to be chosen by God as his Mother.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 209
'At the instant of the creation and infusion of the soul in the most holy Mother, the most blessed Trinity, repeated with greater affection of love the words, recorded by Moses at that time concerning man: "Let us make Mary to our image and like ness to be our true Daughter and Spouse and a Mother to the Onlybegotten of the Father."
By the force of this divine pronouncement and through the love with which it issued from the mouth of Almighty, was created and infused into the body of most holy Mary her most blessed Soul At the same time She was filled with grace and gifts above those of the highest seraphim of heaven, and there was not a single instant in which She was found wanting or deprived of the light, the friendship and love of the Creator, or in which She was touched by the stain or darkness of original sin. On the contrary She was possessed of the most perfect justice, superior to that of Adam and Eve in their first formation. To Her was also conceded the most perfect use of the light of reason, corresponding to the gifts of grace, which She had received Not for one instant was She to remain idle, but to engage in works most admirable and pleasing to her Maker. In the perception of this great mystery I confess myself overcome, so that my heart, unable to express itself in words, is dumbfounded in sentiments of admiration and of praise.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 221-222
'The moral and natural virtues were hers in a miraculous and supernatural measure, and in a still more exalted manner was She possessed of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Ghost in the order of grace. She had an infused knowledge and habit of all these virtues and of all the natural arts, so that She knew and was conversant with the whole natural and supernatural order of things, in accordance with the grandeur of God. Hence from her first instant in the womb of her mother, She was wiser, more prudent, more enlightened, and more capable of comprehending God and all his works, than all the creatures have been or ever will be in eternity, excepting of course her most holy Son. And all this perfection consisted not only in the habits, which were infused in Her in such a high degree; but in the acts which She exercised in correspondence with the excellence of her state and in proportion to the activity of the divine power. Therefore her perfection was not circumscribed by any other bounds, nor was subject to any other limits than God's divine and most just pleasure.
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 227
'In all these different ways was laid open to Her from the very instant of her Conception the vision of all men and angels in their hierarchies, dignities and operations, and of all the irrational creatures with their natures and conditions. She saw the fall of the angels and their ruin; the justification and glory of the good ones, and the rejection and punishment of the bad ones; the first state of Adam and Eve in their innocence; their deception, their guilt, and the misery in which the first parents were thrown on account of it; and in what misfortune the whole human race was cast through them; the divine resolve to repair it; the pre-ordaining and the disposing of the world, the nature of the heavens, the stars and planets; the condition and the arrangement of the elements; She saw purgatory, limbo and hell; She saw how all these things and whatever is contained in them were created by the divine power and were main tained and preserved by the infinite goodness, without having need of any of them (II Mach. 14, 35).
Above all She was informed of the most high sacraments connected with the Incarnation, by which God was to become man in order to redeem the whole human race, while the fallen angels were left without a remedy.
In correspondence with this wonderful knowledge of her most holy soul at the instant of its union with the body, Mary exerted Herself by eliciting heroic acts of virtue, of incomparable admiration, praise, glorification, adoration, humility, love of God and sorrow for the sins committed against Him, whom She recognized as the Author and end of these admirable works. She hastened to offer Herself as an acceptable sacrifice to the Most High, beginning from that instant with fervent desire to bless Him, love Him and honor Him, because She perceived that the bad angels and men failed to know and love Him. She requested the holy angels whose Queen She already was, to help Her to glorify the Creator and Lord of all, and to pray also for Her.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 230-231
'In this wonderful sorrow at the instant of the coming of her into existence, She began to seek a remedy for mankind and commenced the work of mediation, intercession and reparation. . . It was befitting that God should feel Himself impelled to hasten his coming on account of the prayers and petitions of this Creature; since it was principally for the love of Her that He came, and since in Her body He was assume human flesh, accomplish the most admirable of all his works, and fulfill the end of all other creatures.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 233
'The blessed Trinity made known to [Mary] that before his most just tribunal nothing would ever be denied Her; that She should command the devil and that She should have power, by virtue of her commands, to keep him away from souls, since She would have at her disposal the arm of the Almighty. But the reason of this favor was not made known to Her, nor the reason for all her other gifts, and this reason was no other than that She was to be the Mother of the Word.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 272
'As the whole remedy of guilt and the justification of all the souls was to take its rise from the Redemption, this love of the great Queen for the Redemption from that first instant [of her Conception], earned Her the power of demanding that no sinner, how great and abominable soever he might be, should be excluded from the fruit of the Redemption and justification, nor fail to attain eternal life if he invoked the intercession of this powerful Lady and Advocate.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 295
'I wish thee to proceed on thy pilgrimage like one, who has already arrived at the journey's end, keeping thy gaze continually on the source of all glory.'
Our Lady's words to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 310
'In order to evade all hindrance to his holy Will, which I have already many time pointed out and made manifest to thee, seek to mortify the inferior part of thy being, the seat of the evil inclinations and evil passions. Die to all that is earthly, sacrifice, in the consciousness of God's presence, all they sensitive appetites, fulfill none of their impulses, nor ever satisfy thy own will outside of the narrow limits of obedience.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 310
'[Mary] was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, though her soul dwelt in the Divinity; and She was treated as an infant, though She excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 327
'My admonition to thee, whom in spite of thy weakness and poverty I have chosen with such generous kindness as my disciple and companion, is this: that thou strive with all thy powers to imitate me in an exercise, in which I preserved during my whole life from the very first moment of my birth, omitting it on not a single day, however how full of cares and labors it might have been. This exercise was the following: every day at beginning of dawn, I prostrated myself in the presence of the Most High and gave Him thanks and praise fore His immutable Being, his infinite perfections and for having created me out of nothing; acknowledging myself as his creature and the work of his hands, I blessed Him, and adored Him, giving Him honor, magnificence and Divinity, as the supreme Lord and Creator of myself and of all that exists. I raised up my spirit to place it into his hands, offering myself with profound humility and resignation to Him and asking Him to dispose of me according to his will that day and during all the days of my life, and to teach me to fulfill whatever would be to his greater pleasure. This I repeated many times during the external works of the day, and in the internal ones I first consulted his Majesty, asking for his advise, permission and benediction for all my actions.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 343
'The parturition of the most happy Anne was pure and undefiled, as befitting her heavenly Daughter, in whose purity the mother was a sharer. Although on this account there was no need of a special purification, she nevertheless complied with the obligation of the law to the very last point. Though not subject to its penalties, she considered herself bound in the eyes of men.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 345
'When [the infant Mary] was alone, or when she was laid to sleep, which was in her most moderate, She was engaged in the contemplation of the mysteries and the excellencies of the Most High, and in the enjoyment of the divine visions and the conversation of his Majesty.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 353
'It is true that I was in possession of grace and of the use of reason from the first instant of my Conception, as I have often shown thee; I underwent the hardships of infancy as other children and I was reared and treated as others of the same condition.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 355
'In forgetting how exalted in glory, dignity and beauty these spirits are, many men deprive themselves of numerous blessings, which they would otherwise obtain at the hands of these angels.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 375
'The second point is, that thou, in every place and at all times, preserve love and reverence toward these holy spirits, as if thou didst see them with thy corporeal eyes, and that thou dare not do before them what thou wouldst not do in public.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 376
'As her fervor and longing to see our highest Good increased, being entirely enraptured by Him, She was by the disposal of the Lord many times borne bodily by the hands of the angels to the empyrean heaven, where She enjoyed the presence of the Divinity. On those occasions she would at times see God face to face, at other times by infused images of the highest and most godlike kind. She saw also the angels by clear and intuitive vision , their degrees, orders and hierarchies, and many sacraments were made manifest to Her on each occasion. As these vision were often repeated She gradually, by becoming accustomed to them and by acts of virtue which She exercised in connection with them, began to appear a divine more than a human creature. No one else would ever be capable of such favors and others connected therewith; and even the mortal nature of that Queen herself would have been deprived of life, if She had not been preserved by a miracle.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 383
'My daughter, he that received more ought to consider himself more needy, since his debt becomes so much the greater. All should humiliate themselves since of themselves they are nothing, nor can they do anything or possess ought. On this account they that are raised up by the hand of the Almighty, should humiliate themselves as mere dust. For left to themselves and to their nothingness and unworthiness, they should esteem themselves so much the more indebted and bound to thankfulness for that which by themselves they can never repay.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 385
'She [Mary] was holy and, in my estimation, most acceptable to Christ; to Her was due all the veneration and worship of men, and even more than they could give; yet I provided and ordained in her regard that She receive no honor or recognition at that time, so that She, as the Mistress of truth, might be the most shining example of all that is holy, perfect, estimable and safest for the instruction and guidance of my elect. She was to be the shining example of humility, of retirement, of contempt and horror for the dreadful vanity of the world, of love for sufferings, tribulations, insults, afflictions and dishonors inflicted by creatures. All holiness is adverse and contrary to the applause, honors and estimation of the world, and I decreed that the most pure Mary should not be burdened by them, nor do I desire that my friends should enjoy or be pleased with them.'
Our Lord to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 420
Volume I - Part II
Inspirational Books from the Saints
The Mystical City of God