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
Treats of the Presentation of the Princess of Heaven In the Temple, the Favors She Received at the Hand of God, the Sublime Perfection with which She Observed the Rules of the Temple, the Heavenly Excellence of Her Heroic Virtues and Visions, Her Most Holy Espousal and other Events up to the Incarnation of the Son of God.
'I fulfilled entirely and perfectly all that I proposed to the Lord, as far as was possible in my state in life; never did I look upon the face of a man, not even on that of my husband Joseph, nor on that of the angels, when they appeared to me in human form, though I saw and knew them all in God. Never did I incline towards any creature, rational or irrational, nor toward any human operation or tendency. But in all things I was governed by the Most High, either directly by Himself or indirectly through the obedience, to which I freely subjected myself.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 440
"As thy Creator, Preserver and Benefactor, He claims thy gratitude; as Father, thy reverence; as Spouse, thy fidelity; as a Friend, amicable intercourse; as the most Faithful, He should excite thy faith and hope; as the highest and eternal Good, He should possess thy love, as the Almighty, thy entire subjection; as the most just Judge, He should rouse thy humble and holy fear.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 446
'Remember that the most perfect manner of obeying is to avoid offending the superior by showing that you disagree with him.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I. 451
'The temporal goods are created by the Most High for the sole purpose of sustaining life; having attained this end, the need of them ceases.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 455
'Of the things of things that are necessary for human life, accept only so much, as is needed to prevent death or indecency.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 457
'After once the senses are mortified, it will be easy to overcome thy enemies, for only though them can they conquer thee; for no thought can recur, or be awakened to activity, unless fomented and excited by the images and impressions admitted through the exterior senses. Thou shouldst not touch, nor look upon, nor speak to any person of whatever condition, whether man or woman, so as to let their images or resemblances find entrance into thy imagination. This carefulness, which I enjoin, will be the guard of the purity, which I require of thee. If on account of charity or obedience thou must converse with them (for only these virtues are sufficient causes for conversing with creatures), do it with all gravity, modesty and reserve.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I. 458
'Remember, that a voluntary remissness in regard to one imperfection prepares and opens the way for others: these facilitate the commission of venial sins, these again of mortal sins. Thus the descent is from one abyss to another, until the bottom is found in the disregard of all evil.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 478
'In Baptism He instills the virtues of faith, hope and charity, and with these other virtues, by which the creature is to co-operate and exert itself toward the pursuit of Good, not only preserving within itself those received in the sacraments, but acquiring others by its own merits and exertions. This will be the greatest happiness and blessedness of men, that they correspond to the love, which the Creator and Redeemer shows them, adorning their soul and, by the infused habits, familiarizing themselves with the virtuous exercise of their own will. But the failure to correspond to those inestimable benefits brings on their greatest misfortune, because in this disloyalty consists the first great victory of the demon over man.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 486
'Faith enlivens the other virtues and serves as a nourishment of the just man and a support in his labors. Faith confounds and fills with fear the infidels and the lax Christians in their negligence; for it convinces them in this word of their sin and threatens punishment in the life to come. Faith is powerful to do all things, for nothing is impossible to the believer; faith makes all things attainable and possible. Faith illumines and ennobles the understanding of man, since it directs him in the darkness of his natural ignorance, not to stray from the way, and it elevates him above himself so that he sees and understands with infallible certainty what is far above his powers and assures him of it no less than if he saw it clearly before him. He is thus freed from the gross and vile narrow-mindedness of those who will believe only what they can experience by their own limited natural powers, not considering that the soul, as long as it lives in the prison of this corruptible body, is very much circumscribed and limited in its sphere of action by the knowledge drawn from the coarse activity of the senses.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 504
'On this account the holy Spirit calls Her the Mother of beautiful love and holy hope (Eccli. 25, 24); for just as She became the Mother of Christ because She furnished Him with the flesh of his body, so the holy Spirit made Her the Mother of hope, because by her especial concurrence and cooperation She conceived and brought forth this virtue for the faithful of the Church. Her prerogative of being the Mother of holy hope was connected with and consequent upon Her being the Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord, for she knew that in her Son She would lay the foundation of all the security of our hope. On account of these conceptions and births of the most holy Queen, She obtained a certain dominion and sovereignty over those graces and the promises the Most High, which depended upon the death of Christ, her Son, for their fulfillment. When She of her own free will gave conception and birth to the incarnate Word She turned them all over to us and thereby gave birth to our hope. Thus was accomplished in its legitimate sense that which the Holy Ghost said to Her: "Thy plants are a paradise" (Cant. 4, 13) ; for all that came forth from Mary, the Mother of grace, was to constitute our happiness, our paradise, and our certain hope of being able to attain them.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 511
'The Church has a celestial and true father in Jesus Christ, for He engendered and founded it by his merits and labors, and enriched it with his graces, his example and his doctrines, as was to be expected from the Father and Author of such an admirable work. Therefore it was befitting that the Church should have also a loving and kind Mother, who with sweet regalement and caresses, and with maternal solitude and assistance, should nurse the little children at her breast (I. Cor. 3,2), nourish them with tender and delicious food as long as they can not in their infancy bear the food of the robust and strong.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 512
'In Her was the fulfillment of that great natural and divine precept: "Thou shalt love thy God with thy whole heart, with they whole soul, and with thy whole strength." Mary alone satisfied this obligation and debt for all men, which in this life and before seeing God they nether knew nor could ever fulfill entirely. This Lady fulfilled it more perfectly during her pilgrimage than the saints even in the state of beatitude.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 527
'She [Mary] contained in Herself all the essential goodness of the human nature and all that was most perfect and the farthest removed from blemish in the accidental qualities of man; and many of the natural and many of the supernatural gifts of the angelic nature She possessed by special privilege and in a higher degree than the angels themselves.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 537
'Obedience is the subjection of our will, inducing us to do the will our superior in preference to our own. Out free will is so estimable, that this virtue is admirable and excellent above all the moral virtues; for the sacrifice is greater than in any other.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 561
'She [Mary] knew more of Him than any other creature and more than all of them together; and according to her knowledge She rendered due honor, teaching even the Seraphim how to reverence Him.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 562
"She [Mary] excelled the seraphim from her first instant in contemplation, in prayer, in petition, and in devout promptitude for the service of God.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 562
"During Divine Office, prayer, and sacrifice see that thou remain on thy knees; implore with faith and receive his favors with humble thanksgiving; the same consideration thou shouldst show also to all men, even if they offend thee.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 570
'For in the degree in which we love and esteem the eternal good, (and we should esteem it above all visible things), in that degree will we be ready, in order to obtain it and avoid the loss of it, to suffer all hardships in patience.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 574
'Of the virginal purity and modesty of this Virgin of virgins not even the seraphim could speak worthily, for in this virtue, though to them it was co-natural, they were inferior to their Queen and Mistress.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 589
'Of Her own choice She never ate meat, nor did She eat more than once a day, except when She lived with her husband Joseph, or when She accompanied her most holy Son in his travels; for in such circumstances, in order to conform Herself to others, She imitated the mode of living followed by the Lord, although at all times She was wonderful in her temperance.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 588
'Of the virginal purity and modesty of this Virgin of virgins not even the seraphim could speak worthily, for in this virtue, though to them it is co-natural, they were inferior to their Queen and Mistress. By the privilege and power of the Most High She was more free from the contrary vice than the angels themselves, who by their very nature could not be touched by impurity.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 589
'Accordingly She never spoke to any man except at the command of God; nor did She ever look into the face of a man, and not even in the face of a woman; and this not on account of any danger to Her, but for the sake of gaining merit, and for our example, and in order to exercise the superabundance of her heavenly prudence, wisdom and charity.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 589
'Not only did She deem Herself unworthy of the dignity of being the Mother of God and of all the graces connected wherewith, but She did not esteem Herself deserving of the air She breathed, of the support the earth gave to her footsteps, of the sustenance derived from it, or of any service of kindness at the hands of creatures; of all things She considered Herself unworthy and She gave thanks for all, as if She were really so undeserving.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 593
'Of these ineffable virtues of Mary this history is replete, for in all the actions of the Queen of heaven her incomparable humility shines forth beyond everything else.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 591
'This most wise Virgin knew in her wisdom the arrangement of the whole world and the powers of the elements (Wisdom 7, 17), the beginning, the middle, and the end of time with its mutations, the course of the stars, the natures of the animals, the fury of the wild beasts, the powers of the winds, the dispositions and thoughts of men, the virtues of plants, herbs, trees, fruits and roots, the hidden and occult things beyond all thoughts of men, the mysterious ways of the Most High: all this Mary, our Queen, knew and She delighted in it through the wisdom, which she drew from its original fountain and which was embodied in all her thoughts.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 605
'If creatures would empty their hearts of earthly love and affections, although their heart is limited, they would participate without measure in the torrent of the infinite Godhead through the inestimable gifts of the Holy Ghost.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 612
'In the Queen of heaven these intelligences or revelations were vastly different from those which are proper to the Saints and Prophets; for her Highness enjoyed them continually, both in habit and in act, whenever She was not enjoying other more exalted visions of the Divinity. Moreover the clearness and the extent of this intellectual light and all its effects were incomparably greater in most holy Mary. For of the truths, mysteries and sacraments of the Most High, She knew more than all the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and more even than all the angels combined; and She understood more profoundly and clearly, more unerringly and securely all that She did know.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 636
'All that thy earthy inclinations demand, refuse to thyself, although it may be small and licit in itself; turn thy back on all sensible things, seeking only to love and to suffer.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 645
'Most holy Mary as being the Mother of the Word, was Mistress of all creation; but being a faithful representation of her onlybegotten Son, She in imitation of Him made so little use of creatures, of which She was Mistress, that none ever used them less than She, for She excluded all that was not absolutely necessary for the service of the Most High and for the natural life of her most holy Son and of Herself.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 646
'The Queen of angels and men knew all these angels and others as they are in themselves, without dependence on the senses or the phantasy, and without any hindrance from the mortal or earthly body.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 650
'In her infancy She consulted the angels and followed their counsels; after the incarnate Word was born, She looked upon the Onlybegotten as her Teacher and example in all her actions and at the close of his mysterious life and after his Ascension into heaven, the great Queen of the universe obeyed the Apostles, as we shall relate.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 664
'I wish thee to remember, my beloved, that to suffer and be afflicted with our without one's fault is a benefit of which one cannot be worthy without special and great mercy of the Almighty; moreover to be allowed to suffer for one's sins is not only a mercy, but is demanded by justice. Behold, however, the great insanity of the children of Adam nowadays in desiring and seeking after emoluments, benefits, and favors agreeable to their senses, and in sleeplessly striving to avert from themselves, that which is painful or includes any hardship or trouble. It would be to their greatest benefit to seek tribulations diligently even when unmerited, yet they strive by all means to avoid them even when merited, and even though they cannot be happy and blessed without having undergone such sufferings.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 673
'Let thy meditation day and night be, how thou canst provide against losing the highest Good, which thou lovest. It is not befitting that thou sleep or slumber in the midst of invisible enemies. If sometimes thy Beloved hides Himself from thee, hope in patience and seek Him solicitously without ceasing, since thou knowest not His secret judgments. For the time of his absence and temptation provide thyself with the oil of charity and good intention, so that it fail thee not in time of necessity and that thou mayest not be rejected with the foolish and negligent virgins.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 688
'When any creature rose up against me, I conceived no anger toward it, for I knew in reality it was an instrument of the Most High, directed by his Providence for my special good. This knowledge and the consideration, that it was a creature of my Lord, capable of grace, exited me to love it truly with a greater fervor, and I did not rest until I could reward this benefit of persecution by obtaining for it eternal life, as far as was possible.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 711
'Strive after, therefore, and labor for the imitation of that, which thou hast understood and written; show thyself most meek, peaceful and agreeable toward those, who molest thee; esteem them truly in thy heart, and do not take vengeance of thy Lord by taking vengeance on his instruments, nor despise the inestimable jewel of injuries. As far as lies in thee always give good for evil, (Rom. 12, 14) benefits for injuries, love for hate, praise for blame, blessings for malediction. Then wilt thou be a perfect daughter of thy Father (Matth. 5, 43), the beloved spouse of thy Lord, my friend and my most cherished daughter.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 712
'Saint Anne lived fifty-six years, portioned off into the following periods; at the age of twenty-four she espoused saint Joaquim and she remained without issue for twenty years; then in the forty-fourth year she gave birth to the most holy Mary, and of the twelve years which she lived during the lifetime of Mary, three were passed in her company and nine during her absence in the temple, which all together makes fifty-six years.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 723
'Man's sole duty is to live in obedience and in the love of his Lord.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 725
'What is still worse, if by his carnal wisdom and by diabolical astuteness to which man resigns himself, he succeeds sometimes in obtaining what he seeks, he deems himself fortunate on account of this, his own misfortune! And with sensible pleasure he imbibes the poison of eternal death in the deceitful delight, which he has gained, while incurring the alienation and abhorrence of his God.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 726
'If the condition of mortals were not so low, they would covet sufferings merely for the sake of their God and Lord, who has proclaimed them to be according to his will and pleasure; for the faithful and loving servant should always prefer the likings of his lord to his own convenience. But the worldlings in their torpidity are moved neither by the duty of conforming to their Father and Lord, nor by his declaration that all their salvation consists in following Christ in his sufferings and that his sinful children must reap the fruit of the Redemption by imitation of their sinless Chief.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 739
"I exhort thee, my daughter, to select the sufferings of his Cross in preference to his favors and gifts and rather embrace afflictions than desire to be visited with caresses; for in choosing favors and delights thou mayest be moved by self-love, but n accepting tribulations and sorrows, thou canst be moved only by the love of Christ.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 740
'Thy incessant prayer, my daughter, should be always to repeat: here I am, Lord, what wilt Thou do with me? Prepared is my heart, I am ready and not disturbed; what does Thou wish for me to do for Thee? These sentiments should fill thy heart in their full and true import, repeating them more by sincere and ardent affection, than by word of mouth.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 741
'If any danger or difficulty seems to present itself in that which the Lord commands, let man confide in Him and firmly believe that he was not placed therein in order to be forsaken, but in order that he may come forth victorious and triumphant, if he cooperates on his own part with the assistance given by the Lord. Whenever the soul seeks to scrutinize the decrees of his wisdom and satisfy itself before it obeys and believes, let it be convinced that it defrauds the Creator of its glory and honor, and at the same time loses for itself the merit of its works.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 753
'He [St. Joseph, on the day of his espousal to Mary] was then thirty-three years of age, of handsome person and pleasing countenance, but also of incomparable modesty and gravity; above all he was most chaste in thought and conduct, and most saintly in all his inclinations. From his twelfth year he had made and kept the vow of chastity. He was related to Mary in the third degree, and was known for the utmost purity of his life, holy and irreprehensible in the eyes of God and of men.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 755
"She [Blessed Mary] desired in all things to obey her spouse St. Joseph, asking him solely for permission to help the poor, which the saint gladly gave.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 765
'If thou dost not hinder the course of his Providence, I assure thee of his protection and of the power of his divine arm to direct thee and guide all thy actions toward perfection.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 771
'And although he [St. Joseph] resolved to leave Her (Matth. 1, 19) as he saw the outward tokens of pregnancy with his own eyes without the slightest knowledge of the cause; yet he never ventured to distrust her honor and modesty, nor did he ever diminish in his holy and pure love, with which his most upright heart was bound to such a Spouse.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 775
'Although She [Blessed Mary] could not, as a mere creature, merit the advent of God into the world, yet She merited the hastening of his advent, and She merited, that He should come in the rich ship of Her womb; for, since God could not take abode in any other inferior to Her in merit, She alone induced Him to become visible and to communicate Himself, and to nourish those who were so far off.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 780
'In the universal judgment saint Joseph, one of the men of the most holy Mary, will take his seat among the nobility of the kingdom of God; for he will sit in judgment with the Apostles over the world, enjoying this privilege as the spouse of the valiant Woman, the Queen of all, and as the putative father of the supreme Judge. The other Man of this Lady is her Son, as I have already said (774), and He is acknowledged and recognized as the supreme Lord and true Judge both in the particular judgment, and that, which is to be held over the angels and all men. This supreme power devolves in part also upon most holy Mary; for it was She, who gave Him the flesh, with which He redeemed the world.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 794
'"Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised Her." Great and glorious things have the true sons of this Woman said of Her in the Church militant, calling Her most blessed among women; and let not those, that have not risen up and praised Her, call themselves Her children, nor learned, nor wise, nor devout.
Yet although all the saints of the Church have spoken, being inspired and moved by her Man and Spouse, Christ and the Holy Ghost, nevertheless it seems as if He has at yet only kept silence and has not yet risen to publish the countless and exalted mysteries concerning his most holy Mother. I was given to understand, that they are so great as to be reserved for revelation only in the triumphant Church after the last judgment; for it would not be opportune to manifest them now to this world, which is unworthy and incapable of understanding such wonders.
There Christ will speak, the Man of Mary, in order to manifest his and her glory, and for the joy of the saints, the prerogatives and the excellences of that Lady; there shall we know them in full. Here it is sufficient, that we reverently recognize them under the veil of faith, and that we live now in the hope of fully understanding these great blessings in the future life.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. I, 799
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The Mystical City of God