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, City of God, Vol. I, 310
The Marriage at Cana; How Most Holy Mary Accompanied the Redeemer of the World In His Preaching; the Humility shown by the Heavenly Queen in regard to the Miracles Wrought by Her Divine Son; the Transfiguration of the Lord; His Entrance into Jerusalem; His Passion and Death; His Triumph over Lucifer and his Demons by His Death on the Cross; the Most Sacred Resurrection of the Savior and His Wonderful Ascension into Heaven.
'"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee" (John 2, 11). This miracle took place on the same day on which a year ago had happened the Baptism of Jesus by saint John. This day was also the anniversary of the adoration of the Kings, and, therefore, the holy Roman Church celebrates the three mysteries on one and the same day, the sixth of January.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 324
'. . . in woman the most precious adornment and the most charming beauty is silence, restraint and modesty by which many vices are shut out and by which all virtues of a chaste and respectable woman receive their crowning grace.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 326
'All should help along to spread the fruits of the Death of their Redeemer. Some can do it by prayer and urgent desires for the exaltation of his holy name; others by almsgiving, others by diligent preaching, others by fervent works of charity.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 331
'Although thou dost not hear with thy bodily ears the sermons of my divine Son, nor his own voice in preaching, thou canst yet imitate me in the reverence with which I listened to Him; for it is the same One that speaks to thy heart, and who teaches thee the same doctrine. Therefore, I exhort thee whenever thou recognizest the enlightening voice of thy Spouse and Pastor, to kneel down in reverence and listen to his words, adoring Him full of thankfulness and writing his counsel in thy heart. If thou happenest to be in a public place, where thou canst not show this external reverence, do it interiorly and obey Him in all things as if thou wert present at his very preaching; for, just as hearing Him then without obeying Him would not have made thee happy, so thou canst now make thyself blessed by executing that which Thou hearest Him say to thee interiorly, even though thou dost not hear Him with thy bodily ears.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 340
'I also exhort thee to treat affably the rich as the poor, without the acceptation of persons so common among the children of Adam. My divine Son and I rejected and condemned all such distinction, showing ourselves equally kind to all, and even more so to those who were most despised, indigent and afflicted (James, 2, 2). Worldly wisdom looks upon the person, not at the state of the souls, nor at virtue, but at outward ostentation; but heavenly prudence considers the image of God in all.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 341
'The greater my prerogatives, so much the greater was my humility, because in my estimation they far exceeded my merits and only increased my obligations.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 353
'The truly humble must lower themselves beneath that which they have deserved. If all the creatures would despise and abhor them, or offend them; if they would consider themselves worthy of hell-fire, they would only fulfil justice, but not the requirement of humility, since that would only be admitting their deserts. But real, deep humility goes to the length of desiring a greater humiliation that that is due to one's self in justice.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 353
'Never judge thyself injured by any one nor consider thyself offended; if thou abhor pretense and lying, remember, that the greatest offense is to aspire after honor or high position. Do not attribute to creatures that which God brings about in order to humiliate thee or others by affliction and tribulations; for this is protesting against mere instruments, while it is divine mercy which inflicts punishment on men for their humiliation . . . Humiliate thyself in the divine presence for thyself and for all thy fellow-men, in order to placate his wrath, just as if thou alone were guilty; and as if thou never hadst made any satisfaction; since during mortal life no one can ever know whether he has satisfied for his transgressions. Seek to appease Him as if thou alone hadst offended Him; and in regard to the gifts and favors which thou hast received and dost receive, show thyself grateful as one who deserves much less and owes much more.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 354
'The presence of Christ and his blessed Mother filled that foul prison of the Baptist with celestial light. While the other parts of the palace of Herod were infested by innumerable demons and sycophants more criminal than the state prisoners in their dungeons below, the cell of saint John was entirely sanctified by the presence of the Sovereigns of heaven, who were accompanied by a great host of angels.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 362
'My daughter, the Savior and I have taught the way of humility, of contempt and tribulation. This is the royal road, on which we first walked, and of which We have set Ourselves up as Teachers. We are the Protectors of all the afflicted and ill-used, ready to assist by miraculous and especial favors all those who call upon Us in their necessities. Of this assistance and protection the followers of this world and its vain pleasures deprive themselves, since they hate the way of the Cross. To the Cross thou wast called and invited, and on account of it thou art favored with the sweetness of my loving guidance. Follow me and labor to imitate me, since thou hast found the secret treasure (Matth. 12, 44) and the precious pearl, for the possession of which thou must despise all that is earthly and give up all human freedom in so far as it is contrary to the pleasure of my most exalted Lord.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 367
'I wish thee also to understand another secret hidden from the world: namely, that one of the most vile and horrible sins before the Lord is the little esteem in which the just and friends of the Church are held, and especially the little veneration shown toward me, who was chosen for his Mother and am the cause of the happiness of men. If the failure to love the enemies and contempt of them is so displeasing to the Lord and to the saints in heaven (Matth. 18, 35), how shall He bear with such treatment of his most dear friends, whom He holds as the apple of his eye and in deepest affection? (Ps. 33, 16). This counsel thou canst never bear in mind too much in this mortal life, and it is one of the signs of reprobation to hold in abhorrence the just. Beware of this danger and judge no one, especially those that reprehend and admonish thee (Matth. 7, 1).'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 387
'If thou wilt look into the deceptive course of the lovers of this word, thou wilt see that they consider themselves fortunate, whenever they attain all that they desire according to their earthly inclinations. This only hastens their great misfortune; for they, having received their reward, cannot expect any in the eternal life. But the just, who despise the world and meet with many adversities, are withdrawn and shielded from danger, because the Lord denies them the temporal goods, which they desire and ask for. In order that thou mayest not fall into such danger, I exhort thee and command thee never to hanker after nor to seek earthly possession. Separate thyself from all; preserve thy will free and independent; never desire for anything beyond what is God's pleasure, for He will assume charge of all those that resign themselves to his divine Providence.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 387
"During our mortal life the Lord is very slow in visiting vengeance upon us; but He will make up for his slowness in the severity of his punishments after death. If then God suffers and bears with us so much, how much must one poor worm of the earth bear with another, since both are of the same nature and condition? By the light of this truth and by the charity of the Lord and Spouse, thou must regulate the amount of thy patience and longsuffering with others and the zeal for their salvation. I do not say that thou must therefore permit what is against the honor of God, for that would not be a true zeal for the good of thy neighbor; but thou must love them as creatures of the Lord and abhor sin; thou must suffer and ignore whatever is done against thee, always seeing, as far as in thee lies, the salvation of others. Do not lose heart, when thou seest no immediate fruit, but continue to present to the eternal Father the merits of my most holy Son, my intercession and that of the saints and angels; for as God is charity and as they are the ministers of the Most High, they will gladly make use of this same charity for the benefit of those who are still on their pilgrimage.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 403
'As if in pledge or advance payment of the universal exaltation of Christ after his Ascension, and especially at the final judgment, the Father decreed that the inhabitants of Jerusalem should meet Him with great applause and honor at his entrance into Jerusalem. . .'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 409
'The Lord was to make use of both of them [an ass and her colt] according to the prophesies of Isaias (Is. 62, 11), and Zacharias (Zach. 9, 9), who had foretold these particulars many ages before, in order that the priests and scribes should not be able to allege ignorance as an excuse.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 410
'In order that the triumph of our Savior over death might be more glorious, the Most High ordained, that on that day [of Christ's entrance into Jerusalem] death should have no power over any of the mortals, so that, although in the natural course many would have died, not one of the human race died within those twenty-four hours.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 412
'Though so many had acknowledged Christ our Savior and King of Jerusalem [at His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem], not one tendered Him hospitality or received Him in his house (Mark, 11, 11).
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 413
'Just as the virtuous and the friends of God gradually become instruments in the hands of the Lord and resign themselves entirely to his divine disposition, so that He alone governs and directs them and does not allow them to be moved by other agencies; so, in the like manner, many of the reprobate and of those who are forgetful of their Creator and Redeemer and who deliver themselves over to the devil by repeated sins, are moved and drawn into all kinds of wickedness and are mere tools of his depraved malice.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 427
'The sins of hate and vengeance shall be punished with greater severity than other sins on the judgment day; and in this life these vices will soonest drive away the infinite mercy of God and cause eternal punishment of men, unless they amend in sorrow.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 429
'Direct all thy faculties and strain all the powers of thy heart and soul, to make thyself at least somewhat worthy of understanding and meditating upon the ignominies and sorrows of the Son of the eternal Father in his death on the Cross for the salvation of men; and also of considering my doings and sufferings in connection with his bitterest Passion. This science, so much neglected by men, I desire that thou, my daughter, study and learn, so as to be able to follow thy Spouse and imitate me, who am thy Mother and Teacher. Writing down and feeling deeply all that I shall teach thee of these mysteries, thou shouldst detach thyself entirely of human and earthly affections and of thy own self, so as freely to follow our footsteps in destitution and poverty.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 442
'Do thou sorrow with me; for this faithful correspondence is due to me, who favor thee with these graces.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 443
'The outward aspect of Christ our Lord was most exquisitely charming and attractive; his countenance, serenely dignified, yet sweetly expressive and beautiful, was framed in abundant waves of golden chestnut hair, freely growing after the manner of the Nazarenes; his frank and open eyes beamed forth grace and majesty; his mouth, nose and all the features of his face exhibited the most perfect proportion and his whole Person was clothed in such entrancing loveliness, that He drew upon himself the loving veneration of all who beheld Him without malice in their hearts. Over and above all this, the mere sight of Him caused in the beholders an interior joy and enlightenment, engendering heavenly thoughts and sentiments in the soul. This divine Personage, so lovable and venerable, Judas now saw at his feet [to wash them], striving to please him by new tokens of affection and seeking to gain him by new impulses of love. But so great was the perversity of Judas, that nothing could move or soften his hardened heart; on the contrary he was irritated by the gentleness of the Savior, and he refused to look upon his face or take notice of his actions; for from the time in which he had lost faith and grace, he was filled with hatred toward his Master and toward his heavenly Mother and never looked them in the face.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 462
"But saint John, though he recognized the traitor by the bread dipped into the sauce and handed to Judas, would not inform saint Peter. He alone knew the secret, but taught by the charity which he had acquired in the school of his divine Master, he buried the secret in his bosom.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 463
'Remember that my Lord and Son conferred no bodily blessings on anyone, without accompanying them with spiritual, and it would have been derogatory to the divine perfection of his works, to perform them without this plentitude of goodness. From this thou wilt understand how much we must prefer the benefits of the soul to those of the body; hence thou must always seek them in the first place, although earthly minded men blindly prefer temporal blessings, forgetting the eternal ones and those tending toward the friendship and grace of the Most High.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 466
"In order that thou mayest not lose this pearl of humility just at the time that thou thinkest thyself secure of it, remember that the exercise of it is not to be preferred to obedience, nor must thou practice it merely at thy own will, but in subjection to thy superiors; for if thou prefer thy own judgment to thy superiors even if thou do it under color of humility, thou art guilty of pride; for that would be not only refusing to seek the lowest place, but placing thyself above thy superior . . . Let it then be to thee an inviolable rule, that as soon as thy confessors and superiors approve of certain blessings and favors as coming from the Lord, thou accept them as such with due thanks and reverence. Do not allow thyself to be led into new doubts and vacillating fears, but correspond with the favors of the Lord in humble fear and tranquil obedience.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 468
'While receiving his own body and blood Christ our Lord composed a canticle of praise to the eternal Father and offered Himself in the Blessed Sacrament as a sacrifice for the salvation of man. He took another particle of the consecrated bread and handed it to the archangel Gabriel who brought and communicated it to the most holy Mary . . . When saint Gabriel with innumerable other angels approached, She received it, the first after her Son, imitating his self-abasement, reverence and holy fear. The most blessed Sacrament was deposited in the breast and above the heart of the most holy Virgin Mother, as in the most legitimate shrine and tabernacle of the Most High. There the ineffable sacrament of the holy Eucharist remained deposited from that hour until after the Resurrection, when saint Peter said the first Mass and consecrated anew, as I shall relate in its place. The Almighty wished to have it so for the consolation of the great Queen and in order to fulfill his promise, that He would remain with the children of men until the consummation of the ages (Matth. 28, 20); for after his death his most holy humanity could not remain in his Church any other way than by his consecrated body and blood. This true manna was then deposited in the most pure Mary as in the living ark together with the whole evangelical law, just as formerly its prophetic figures were deposited in the ark of Moses (Heb. 9, 4). The sacramental species were not consumed or altered in the heart of the Lady and Queen of heaven until the next consecration. Having received holy Communion, the blessed Mother gave thanks to the eternal Father and to her divine Son in new canticles similar to the ones the incarnate Word had rendered to his Father.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 486
'The perfidious and treacherous Judas, hearing the command of his Master to partake of holy Communion, resolved in his unbelief not to comply, but if he could do so without being observed, determined to secrete the sacred body and bring it to the priests and pharisees in order to afford them a chance of incriminating Jesus by showing them what He had called his own body; or if he should not succeed therein, to consummate some other vile act of malice with the divine Sacrament. The Mistress and Queen of heaven, who by a clear vision was observing all that passed and knew the interior and exterior effects and affections of the Apostles at holy Communion, saw also the accursed intentions of the obstinate Judas. All the zeal for the glory of her Lord, existing in her as his Mother, Spouse and Daughter, was aroused in her purest heart. Knowing that it was the divine will, that She should make use of her power as Mother and Queen, She commanded the holy angels to extract from the mouth of Judas the consecrated particles as well of the bread as of the wine and replace them from whence they had been taken. It well befitted her on this occasion to defend the honor of her divine Son and prevent Judas from heaping such an ignominious injury upon Christ the Lord. The holy angels obeyed their Queen, and when it was the turn of Judas to communicate, they withdrew the consecrated species one after the other, and purifying them from their contact with Judas, the most wicked of living men, they restored them to their place, altogether unobserved by the disciples. Thus the Lord shielded the honor of his malicious and obstinate Apostle to the end.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 488
'But while the omnipotent and just Judge who is so greatly incensed against the Catholics for having outraged his justice by their unmeasurable and continual transgressions even under the aegis of their grand faith, none are found to consider and weigh the fearful damage, nor to approach the easy remedy of receiving the holy Eucharist with a contrite and humble heart; nor does any one ask for my intercession.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 490
'In this prayer Christ our Lord offered Himself anew to the eternal Father in satisfaction of his justice for the rescue of the human race; and He gave consent, that all the torments of his Passion and Death be let loose over that part of his human being, which was capable of suffering. From that moment He suspended and restrained whatever consolation or relief would otherwise overflow from the impassible to the passible part of his being, so that in this dereliction his passions and sufferings might reach the highest degree possible. The eternal Father granted these petitions and approved this total sacrifice of the sacred humanity.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 498
'Though to die for his friends and for the predestined was pleasing to Him and longingly desired by our Savior; yet to die for the reprobate was indeed bitter and painful; for with regard to them the impelling motive for accepting the pains of death was wanting . . . This chalice then was so bitter for Christ our Lord, because he knew that his drinking it would not only be without fruit for the reprobate, but would be a scandal to them and redound to their greater chastisement and pain on account of their despising it (I Cor. 1, 23).
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 502
'I understood therefore that in this prayer Christ besought his Father to let this chalice of dying for the reprobate pass from Him. Since now his Death was not to be evaded, He asked that none, if possible should be lost; He pleaded, that as his Redemption would be superabundant for all, that therefore it should be applied to all in such a way as to make all, if possible, profit by it in an efficacious manner; and if this was not possible, He would resign Himself to the will of his eternal Father. Our Savior repeated this prayer three times at different intervals (Matth. 26, 44), pleading the longer in his agony in view of the importance and immensity of the object in question (Luke, 22, 43). According to our way of understanding, there was a contention or altercation between the most sacred humanity and the Divinity of Christ. For this humanity, in its intense love for men who were of his own nature, desired that all should attain eternal salvation through his Passion; while his Divinity, in its secret and high judgments, had fixed the number of the predestined and in its divine equity could not concede its blessings to those who so much despised them, and who, of their own free will, made themselves unworthy of eternal life by repelling the kind intentions of Him who procured and offered it to them. From this conflict arose the agony of Christ, in which He prayed so long and in which He appealed so earnestly to the power and majesty of his omnipotent and eternal Father.
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 503
'Secluding Herself with these three [Marys] as her more intimate companions, She begged the eternal Father to suspend in Her all human alleviation and comfort, both in the sensitive and in the spiritual part of her being, so that nothing might hinder Her from suffering in the highest degree in union with Her divine Son. She prayed that She might be permitted to feel and participate in her virginal body all the pains of the wounds and tortures about to be undergone by Jesus. This petition was granted by the blessed Trinity and the Mother in consequence suffered all the torments of her most holy Son in exact duplication, as I shall relate later. Although they were such, that, if the right hand of the Almighty had not preserved Her, they would have caused Her death many times over; yet, on the other hand, these sufferings, inflicted by God himself, were like a pledge and a new lease on life. For in her most ardent love She would have considered it incomparably more painful to see Her divine Son suffer and die without being allowed to share in his torments'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 508
'Estimate then, and weigh within thy soul, how important is the eternal predestination or reprobation of souls, since my most holy Son looked upon it with such great anxiety, that the difficulty or impossibility of saving all men added such immense bitterness to the Death, which He was about to suffer for us all. By this conflict He manifests to us the importance and gravity of the matter under consideration, He prolonged His supplications and prayers to his eternal Father and his love for men caused his most precious blood to ooze forth from his body on perceiving, that the malice of men would make them unworthy of participation in the benefits of his death. The Lord my Son has indeed justified his cause in thus having lavished his love and his merits without measure for the purchase of man's salvation; and likewise the eternal Father has justified Himself in presenting to the world such a remedy and in having made it possible for each one freely to reach out for such widely different lots, as death and life, fire and water (Eccli. 15, 71).
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 510
"His [our Lord Jesus'] enemies could not understand or fathom the true meaning of these words: I am He [spoken in the Garden of Gethsemane]. But his most blessed Mother and the angels understood them, as did also, to a great extent, the Apostles. . . As the Lord spoke with divine power, his enemies could not resist and when his words struck their ears, they all fell backwards to the ground (John 18, 6). This happened not only to the soldiers, but to the dogs, which they had brought with them, and to the horses on which some of them rode: all of them fell to the ground and remained motionless like stones. Lucifer and his demons were hurled down with them, deprived of motion and suffering new confusion and torture. Thus they remained for some seven or eight minutes, showing no more signs of life than if they had died.
Sadly our divine Lord contemplated the picture of eternal damnation exhibited in them and listened to the prayer of his most holy Mother to let them rise, for upon her intercession his divine will had made that dependent.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 518-519
'Consider the ignorance of men who wish to come to the Father without following Christ, since they expect to reign with God without suffering or imitating his Passion, yea without even a thought of accepting any part of his suffering and Death, or of thanking Him for it. They want it to procure for them the pleasures of this life as well of eternal life, while Christ their Creator has suffered the most bitter pains and torments in order to enter heaven and to show them by his example how they are to find the way of light.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 526
'Eternal rest is incompatible with the shame of not having duly labored for its attainment. He is not a true son of his father, who does not imitate him, nor he a good disciple, who does not follow his Master, nor he a good servant, who does not accompany his lord; nor do I count him a devoted child, who does not suffer with me and my divine Son. But our love for the eternal salvation of men obliges us, who see them forgetful of this truth and so adverse to suffering, to send them labors and punishments, so that if they do not freely welcome them, they may at least be forced to undergo them and so be enabled to enter upon the way of salvation. And yet even all this is insufficient, since their inclinations and their blind love of visible things detains them and makes them hard and heavy of heart; they rob them of remembrance and affection towards these higher things, which might raise them above themselves and above created things. Hence it comes, that men do not find joy in their tribulations, nor rest in their labors, nor consolation in their sorrows, nor any peace in adversities. For, altogether different from the saints who glory in tribulation as the fulfilment of their most earnest desires, they desire none of it and abhor all that is painful. In many of the faithful this ignorance goes still farther; for some of them expect to be distinguished by God's most intimate love, others, to be pardoned without penance, others, to be highly favored. Nothing of all this will they attain, because they do not ask in the name of Christ the Lord and because they do not wish to imitate Him and follow Him in his Passion.
Therefore, my daughter, embrace the Cross and do not admit any consolation outside of it in this mortal life. By contemplating and feeling within thyself the sacred Passion thou wilt attain the summit of perfection and attain the love of a spouse. Bless and magnify my most holy Son for the love with which He delivered Himself up for the salvation of mankind. Little do mortals heed this mystery; but I, as an Eyewitness, assure thee, next to ascending to the right hand of his eternal Farther, nothing was so highly estimated and so earnestly desired by Him, as to offer Himself for suffering and death and to deliver Himself up entirely to his enemies. I wish also that thou lament with great sorrow the fact that Judas, in his malice and treachery, has many more followers than Christ. Many are the infidels, many the bad Catholics, many the hypocrites, who under the name of a Christian, sell and deliver Him and wish to crucify Him anew. Bewail all these evils, which thou understandest and knowest, in order that thou mayest imitate and follow me in this manner.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 527-528
'[After the flight of the Apostles from the Garden of Gethsemane] She [Mary] by Herself alone then constituted the entire Church, because She alone preserved full faith, hope and love, complete worship and adoration for the great object of our faith, not only supplying her full share for Herself, but for the Apostles and for the whole human race.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 534
'The body [of Judas] remained hanging by the neck for three days, exposed to the view of the public. During that time the Jews attempted to take it down from the tree and to bury it in secret, for it was a sight apt to cause great confusion to the pharisees and priests, who could not refute such a testimony of his wickedness. But no efforts of theirs sufficed to drag or separate the body from its position on the tree until three days had passed, when, according to the dispensation of divine justice, the demons themselves snatched the body from the tree and brought it to its soul, in order that both might suffer eternal punishment in the profoundest abyss of hell.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 538
'The secret of it was, that this cavern of greater torments and fiercer fires of hell, from the creation of the world, had been destined for those, who, after having received Baptism, would damn themselves by the neglect of the Sacraments, the doctrines, the Passion and Death of the Savior, and the intercession of his holy Mother. As Judas had been the first one who had so signally participated in these blessings, and as he had so fearfully misused them, he was also the first to suffer the torments of this place, prepared for him and his imitators and followers.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 538
'Whenever they [the demons] incited the executioners to inflict tortures unbecoming his royal and divine Person, the Lord would not permit such indignities farther than was becoming, while He gave free scope to their inhuman barbarities and savage fury in all the rest.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 541
'They were Apostles chosen by their divine Master, their true God; yet one of them fell lower than any other individual of the human race; and the others failed in faith, the foundation of all virtue. Yet all this was conformable to the just judgments of the Most High. Why then should those who are not Apostles, be without fear, who have not so labored in the school of Christ and who have not so merited my intercession?'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 542
'The mistake of not having recognized Christ as the true God causes the deepest and most tormenting regret to Lucifer and his evil spirits for all eternity. Hence, on account of this error, they are filled with special wrath against those who were redeemed, particularly against the Christians, who derived the greatest benefits from the Redemption and the blood of the Lamb. That is why the devils are so eager to cause forgetfulness and misuse of these graces in them and why afterwards in hell, they are permitted to vent so much the greater fury and wrath upon the wicked Christians.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 543
'Clearly I desire thee to forget and blot out of thy faculties all images and remembrances of mere creatures in order that thou mayest be fit to receive my salutary teaching and be capable of imitating me.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 544
'When the Lord was bound with the chains and ropes, She [Blessed Mary] felt on her wrists such pains, that the blood oozed from her fingernails, as if they had really been bound and crushed: in the same manner the other wounds affected her body. As to these tortures were added the sorrows of her heart in seeing Christ our Lord suffer, She shed miraculous tears of blood.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 553
"I tell thee truly, my dearest, only my intercession and the merits of his Son, which I offer to the eternal Father, can delay the punishment and placate his wrath, can retard the destruction of the world and the severe chastisement of the children of the Church, who know his will and fail to fulfil it (John, 15, 15). But I am much incensed to find so few who condole with me and try to console my Son in his sorrows, as David says (Ps. 68, 21). This hardness of heart will cause great confusion to them on the day of judgment; since they will then see with irreparable sorrow, not only that they were ungrateful, but inhuman and cruel toward my divine Son, toward me and toward themselves.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 554
'I remind thee, that there is no exercise more profitable and useful for the soul than to suffer: for suffering gives light, undeceives, detaches the heart from visible things and raises it up to the Lord. He will come to meet those in suffering, because He is with the afflicted and sends them his protection and help (Ps. 40, 15).
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 556
'He [Caiphas] made of himself an execrable blasphemer in maintaining that He, who is holiness itself, had blasphemed.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, City of God, Vol. III, 562
'Some of them [at the house of Caiphas] struck Him in the face, others kicked Him, others tore out his hair, others spat upon his venerable countenance, others slapped or struck Him in the neck, which was a treatment reserved among the Jews only for the most abject and vile of criminals.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, City of God, Vol. III, 562
'Never among men were such outrageous and frightful insults heaped upon any one as were then heaped upon the Redeemer. Saint Luke and saint Mark say that they covered his face and then struck Him with their hands and fists saying: Prophesy, prophesy to us, Thou Prophet, who was it that struck Thee? The reason for their doing this was mysterious: namely, the joy with which our Savior suffered all these injuries and blasphemies (as I will soon relate) made his face shine forth with extraordinary beauty, and on this account those ministers of wickedness were seized with unbearable consternation and shame. They sought to attribute it to sorcery and magic and, by a resolution befitting also well their unworthiness, they covered the face of the Lord with an unclean cloth, so that they might not be hindered and tormented by its divine light in venting their diabolical wrath. All these affronts, reproaches and insults were seen and felt by the most holy Mary, causing in Her the same pains and wounds in the same parts of her body and at the same time as afflicted upon the Lord. The only difference was, that in our Lord the blows and torments were inflicted by the Jews themselves, while in his most pure Mother they were caused by the Almighty in a miraculous manner and upon request of the Lady.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 563
'Because I was a Daughter of Adam I mortified in me the senses and faculties with which he sinned, and I humiliated myself as one that had fallen and one guilty of his sin and disobedience, though I was entirely free from them. All this I did not only for Adam, but for all who by nature are my brethren. Thou canst not imitate me under like conditions, since thou art a partaker in his sin and guilt. But I herewith impose upon thee to labor without ceasing for thyself and for thy neighbor, and to humiliate thyself to the very dust; since a contrite and humble heart draws down mercy from the divine goodness.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 571
'I would be the most ungrateful of all woman-born, if I would not now abhor sin more than death and as much as even the demon, and I cannot but intimate and assert, that this is the duty likewise of all the children of the holy Catholic church.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, City of God, Vol. III, 572
'The order of the council of wickedness was executed; the servants dragged the Creator of heaven and earth to that polluted and subterranean dungeon there to imprison Him. As the Lord was still bound with the fetters laid upon Him in the garden, these malicious men freely exercised all the wrathful cruelty with which they were inspired by the prince of darkness; for they dragged Him forward by the ropes, inhumanly causing Him to stumble, and loading Him with kicks and cuffs amid blasphemous imprecations. From the floor in one corner of the subterranean cavern protruded part of a rock or block, which on account of its hardness had not been cut out. To this block, which had the appearance of a piece of column, they now bound and fettered the Lord Jesus with the ends of the ropes, but in a most merciless manner. For they forced Him to approach it and they tied Him to it in a stooping position, so that He could neither seat Himself or stand upright for relief, forcing Him to remain in a most painful and torturing posture.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 574
'My Son and I look with especial love upon those who imitate this sorrow and afflict themselves on account of the perdition of so many souls. Seek thou my dearest, to distinguish thyself in this exercise and continue to pray: for thou canst scarcely imagine how acceptable are such prayers to the Almighty. But remember his promise, that those who pray shall receive (Luke 11, 9), and that to those who knock the gates of his infinite treasures shall be opened. In order that thou mayest have something to offer in return, write into thy heart, what my most holy Son and thy Spouse suffered at the hands of those vile an depraved men, and the invincible patience, meekness and silence with which He submitted to their wicked whims. With this example, labor from now on, that no anger, nor any other passion of a daughter of Adam have any sway over thee. Let an interior and ever active horror of pride, and a dread of injuring thy neighbor, be engendered in thy bosom. Solicitously ask the Lord for patience, meekness, and peacefulness and for a love of sufferings and Christ's Cross. Embrace this Cross with a pious affection and follow Christ thy Spouse, in order that thou mayest at last possess Him (Matth. 16, 14).
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 585
'She [Blessed Mary] loved them as sincerely as if She were receiving favors and blessings at their hands. She permitted no indignation or anger to rise in her heart against the sacrilegious ministers of the Passion and Death of her beloved Son, nor any sign of such feelings in her exterior conduct. All of them she looked upon with charity and the desire of doing them good.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, City of God, Vol. III, 591
'The image of her divine Son, thus wounded, defiled and bound, remained so firmly fixed and imprinted in the soul of our Queen, that during her life it was never effaced, and remained in her mind as distinctly, as if She were continually beholding Him with her own eyes.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 594
'Our most beautiful Rachel the purest Mary, sought not revenge, but pardon for her enemies, who were depriving Her of the Onlybegotten of the Father and her only Son.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 598
'Because they do not heed the contagion of Lucifer through sin, which is perpetuated in the world, they do not seek in the Physician the medicine of suffering, which the Lord in his immense charity has left to the world in word and deed. 'Let men then consider themselves conceived in sin (Ps. 50, 7), and let them realize how strong has grown in them the hellish seed of pride, of presumption, vanity, self-esteem, avarice, hypocricy, deceitfulness, and all other vices.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 601
'Abhor human ostentation, suffer in silence and let the world consider thee ignorant; for it does not know where true wisdom dwells.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 602
'The sight of the white vestment, by which they proclaimed Him fit to be treated only as an insane fool, pierced her heart with new sorrow; though She alone, of all mankind, recognized the mystery of his purity and innocence indicated by this vestment.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 608
'As the term of each man's life is preordained for each one as the time in which he is to gain the eternal reward, so the measure or number of sins to be borne by the patience or forbearance of the Lord is likewise preordained. This measure of divine justice is determined not only by the number and quantity of sins, but also by their quality and weight. Thus it may happen, that in the souls favored by greater enlightenment and grace of heaven, the grievousness supplies for what is wanting in the number of sins, and that with fewer sins they are forsaken sooner and chastised more severely than others with many more sins. Nor can all expect for themselves the same issue as David (II Reg. 12, 13) and saint Peter; because not all of them have to their credit as many good actions to be remembered by the Lord. Besides the special privileges of some cannot be set up as the rule for all others; because according to the secret judgments of the Lord, not all are destined for a special office.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 622
'I understand that some of the doctors have said or have persuaded themselves, that our Savior Jesus at his scourging and at his crucifixion, for his greater humiliation, permitted the executioners to despoil Him of all his clothing. But having again been commanded under holy obedience to ascertain the truth in this matter, I was told that the divine Master was prepared to suffer all the insults compatible with decency; that the executioners attempted to subject his body to this shame of total nakedness, seeking to despoil Him of the cincture, which covered his loins; but in that they failed; because, on touching it, their arms became paralyzed and stiff, as had also happened in the house of Caiphas, when they attempted to take off his clothes (Chapt. XVII). All the six of his tormentors separately made the attempt with the same result. Yet afterwards, these ministers of evil, raised some of the coverings; for so much the Lord permitted, but not that He should be uncovered and despoiled of his garments entirely.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 627
'Their ceaseless blows inhumanly tore the immaculate virginal flesh of Christ our Redeemer and scattered many pieces of it about the pavement; so much that a large portion of the shoulder-bones were exposed and showed red through the flowing blood; in other places also were laid bare larger than the palm of the hand. In order to wipe out entirely that beauty, which exceeded that of all other men (Ps. 44, 3), they beat Him in the face and in the feet and hands, this leaving unwounded not a single spot in which they could exert their fury and wrath against the most innocent Lamb. The divine blood flowed to the ground, gathering here and there in great abundance. The scourging in the face, and in the hands and feet, were unspeakable painful, because these parts are so full of sensitive and delicate nerves. His venerable countenance became so swollen and wounded that the blood and the swellings blinded Him. In addition to their blows the executioners spirted upon his Person their disgusting spittle and loaded Him with insulting epithets (Thren. 3, 30). The exact number of blows dealt out to the Savior from head to foot was 5, 115.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 629
'Although She [Blessed Mary] shed no blood except what flowed from her eyes with her tears, nor was lacerated in her flesh [as Her Son was at the Scourging of the Pillar]; yet the bodily pains so changed and disfigured Her, that saint John and the holy women failed to find in her any resemblance of Herself.
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 630
'They placed upon his sacred head a cap made of woven thorns, to serve Him as a crown (John, 19, 2). This cap was woven of thorn branches and in such a manner that many of the hard and sharp thorns would penetrate into the skull, some of them to the ears and others to the eyes. Hence one of the greatest tortures suffered by the lord was that of the crown of thorns.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 633
'When the Blessed among women, most holy Mary, saw her divine Son as Pilate showed Him to the people and heard him say: "Ecce homo!" She fell upon her knees and openly adored Him as the true Godman. The same was also done by saint John and the holy women, together with all the holy angels of the Queen and Lady; for they saw that not only Mary, as the Mother of the Savior, but that God himself desired them thus to act.
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 636
'In order that the most ignominious death foretold for my Lord should be brought about (Sap. 2, 20; Jer. 11, 19) it was necessary that He should be persecuted by men. But that these men should happen to be the Jews, the priests and the unjust Pilate, was their own misfortune, not the choice of the Almighty, who wishes to save all (Tim. 2, 4).'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 640
'The same, which happened in the head Christ the Lord and Son of God, must happen to all members of his mystical body, that is, to the just and predestined to the end of the world.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 641
'O my sweetest Love, Jesus, light of my intellect and glory of my soul! Do not, O my Lord, trust in my sluggish torpidity to follow Thee with my Cross on the way! Take it upon Thee to do me this favor; draw me after Thee, to run after the fragrance of thy sweetest love (Cant. 1, 3) of thy ineffable patience, of thy deepest humility, that I may desire for contempt and anguish, and seek after participation in thy ignominy, insults and sorrows. Let this be my portion and my inheritance in this mortal and oppressing life, let this be my glory and my repose; and outside of the Cross and its ignominy, I desire not to live or be consoled or to partake of any rest or enjoyment.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 655
'The executioners, bare of all human compassion and kindness, dragged our Savior Jesus along with incredible cruelty and insults. Some of them jerked Him forward by the ropes in order to accelerate his passage, while others pulled from behind in order to retard it. On account of this jerking and the weight of the Cross they caused Him to sway to and fro and often to fall to the ground. By the hard knocks He thus received on the rough stones great wounds were opened, especially on the two knees and they were widened at each repeated fall. The heavy Cross also inflicted a wound on the shoulder on which it was carried. The unsteadiness caused the Cross to knock sometimes against his sacred head, and sometimes the head against the Cross; thus the crowns of his thorns penetrated deeper and wounded the parts, which they had not yet reached. To these torments of the body the ministers of evil added many insulting words and execrable affronts, ejecting their impure spittle and throwing the dirt of the pavement into his face so mercilessly, that they blinded the eyes that looked upon them with such divine mercy.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 656
'Another deceit has spread through the world: many imagine that they are following Christ their Master, though they neither suffer affliction nor engage in any exertion or labor. They are content with avoiding boldness in committing sins, and place all their perfection in a certain prudence or hollow self-love, which prevents them from denying anything to their will and from practicing any virtues at the cost of their flesh. . . He [Jesus] chose not a life of softness and ease for the flesh, but one full of labors and pains; for He judged His instructions to be incomplete and insufficient to redeem man, if He failed to teach them how to overcome the demon, the flesh and their own self. He wished to inculcate, that this magnificent victory is gained by the Cross, by labors, penances, mortifications and the acceptance of contempt: all of which are the trademarks and evidences of true love and the special watchwords of the predestined.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 662
'Let this be to thee a general rule: that all human consolation is an imperfection and a danger, and that thou shouldst welcome only that, which the Most High sends to thee Himself or through his holy angels. And even these favors of the divine right hand thou must accept only insofar as they strengthen thee to suffer more constantly and to withdraw thee from all that ministers to the senses.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Ageda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 663
The power of the Divinity, which deified his most holy humanity by its hypostatic union, helped Him, not to lighten his pains, but to strengthen Him against death; so that, still retaining life until death should be permitted to take it away on the Cross, He might satiate his love to the fullest extent.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 664
Near her [Blessed Mary] were saint John and the three Marys; for they alone, through her intercession and favor of the eternal Father, had obtained the privilege of remaining so constantly near to the Savior and to his Cross.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 664
'Four times during the Passion did they despoil Jesus of his garments and again vest Him.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 667
'The most prudent Virgin never forgot or disregarded the first word which She had heard from the mouth of her divine Son as an infant: "Become like unto me, my Beloved."
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 670
'In order to find places for the auger-holes on the Cross, the executioners haughtily commanded the Creator of the universe (O dreadful temerity!), to stretch Himself out upon it. But they, following their human instinct of cruelty, marked the places for the holes, not according to the size of his body, but larger, having in mind a new torture for their Victim. This inhuman intent was known to the Mother of light, and the knowledge of it was one of the greatest afflictions of her chastest heart during the whole Passion.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 671
'I must not omit mentioning another barbarity inflicted upon the Lord as they raised Him: for some of them placed the sharp points of their lances and halberds to his body and fearfully lacerating Him under the armpits in helping to push the Cross into position. At this spectacle new cries of protest arose with still more vehemence and confusion from the multitude of people.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 676
'Thou [Dismas] has now ceased to rob earthly possessions of thy neighbor, and immediately snatchest heaven from the hands of thy Master. Thou seizes in justice and He yields it to thee in grace, since thou wast the last disciple of his doctrine on earth and the most alert of all in practicing it after having heard it from his mouth. Thou hast lovingly corrected thy brother, confessed thy Creator, reprehended those who blasphemed Him, imitated Him in patient suffering, asked Him humbly as thy Redeemer not to forget thy miseries; and He, as thy Exalter, has at once fulfilled thy desires without delaying the guerdon merited for thee and all the mortals.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 682
'By the third vow, that of chastity, thy feet are nailed to the Cross, in order that all thy steps and movements may be pure, chaste and beautiful. For this thou must not permit in thy presence the least word offensive to purity, nor, by looking upon or touching any human creature, allow any sensual image or impression within thee; thy eyes and all thy senses are to remain consecrated to chastity, without making more use of them than to fix them upon Jesus crucified.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 700
'Before He assumed flesh I hated Him and refused to acknowledge Him as being more worthy than I to be adored by the rest of creation. Although on account of this resistance I was cast out from heaven with you and was degraded to this abominable condition so unworthy of my greatness and former beauty, I am even more tormented to see myself thus vanquished and oppressed by this Man and by his Mother.'
Lucifer to his counsel of demons, after Christ's Victory of the Cross, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 714
'Some of the devils charged themselves with perverting the inclinations of children at their conception and birth; others to induce parents to be negligent in the education and instruction of their children, either through an inordinate love or aversion, and to cause a hatred of parents among the children. Some offered to create hatred between husbands and wives, to place them in the way of adultery, or to think little of the fidelity promised to their conjugal partners. All agreed to sow among men the seeds of discord, hatred and vengeance, proud and sensual thoughts, desire of riches or honors, and suggesting sophistical reasons against all the virtues Christ has taught; above all they intended to weaken the remembrance of his Passion and Death, of the means of salvation, and of the eternal pains of hell. By these means the demons hoped to burden all the powers and the faculties of men with solicitude for earthly affairs and sensual pleasures, leaving them little time for spiritual thoughts and their own salvation.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 719
'This close imitation and living reproduction of Christ, confronting the demons in the first children of the Church, they feared so much, that they dared not approach and they precipitously fled from the Apostles and the just ones imbued with the doctrines of my divine Son. In them were offered up to the Almighty the first fruits of grace, and of Redemption. What is seen in the saints and in perfect Christians in those times, would happen in the present times with all the Catholics if they would accept grace and work with it instead of permitting it to go to waste, and if they would seek the way of the Cross; for Lucifer fears it just as much now as in the times thou hast been writing of. But soon the charity, zeal and devotion in many of the faithful began to grow cold and they forgot the blessings of the Redemption; they yielded to their carnal inclinations and desires, they loved vanity and avarice, and permitted themselves to be fascinated and deceived by the false pretenses of Lucifer, obscuring the glory of their Savior and inveigling them into the meshes of their mortal enemies. This foul ingratitude has thrown the world into the present state and has encouraged the demons to rise up in their pride against God, audaciously presuming to possess themselves of all the children of Adam on account of this forgetfulness and carelessness of Catholics. They presume to plot the destruction of the whole Church by the perversion of so many who have fallen away from it; and by inducing those who are in it, to think little of it, or by hindering them from producing the fruits of the blood and death of their Redeemer . . . In these evil times dost thou live, my dearest; and in order that thou mayest not be included in the perdition of so many souls, do thou bewail it in the bitterness of thy heart, never forgetting the mysteries of the Incarnation, Passion and Death of my Divine Son. I desire thee to give thanks in compensation for the great number of those, who forget it, and I assure thee that the mere memory and contemplation of these mysteries are terrible to hell, torment and drive away the demons, and that they avoid and fly those who thankfully remember the life and passion of my divine Son.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 724
'Above all, without failing in the least of her duties, She preserved her humble dignity and serenity of countenance in the midst of her heartrending affliction. With uniform adaptation to her circumstances She spoke to her beloved Son, to the eternal Father, to the angels, to the bystanders, and to the whole human race, for whose Redemption the Lord had undergone his Passion and Death.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 736
'My daughter, the lance-thrust which my blessed Son received in his side, was cruel and very painful only to me; but its effects and mysteries are most sweet to those souls who know how to taste its sweetness. It was a great affliction to me; but whoever meets with this mysterious favor will find it a great relief and consolation in his sorrows. In order that thou mayest understand this and participate in it, thou must know, that my Son and Lord, on account of his most ardent love for men, in addition to the wounds of the feet and hands, wished to open the wound of his heart, the seat of love, in order that through this port the souls might enter and there receive refuge and relief. This is the only retreat which I wish thee to seek during the time of thy banishment and which thou must consider thy habitation upon earth. There thou wilt find the conditions and laws of love for imitating me and learn how for injuries thou must return blessings to all who commit them against thee and thine, just as thou hast seen me do, when I was grieved by the wounding of the side of my dead Son. I assure thee, my dearest, that thou canst not do anything more adapted to the attaining of the efficacious graces from the Almighty. The prayer, who thou offerest in a forgiving spirit, is powerful not only for thy own good, but for the good of the one that offends thee; for the kind heart of my Son is easily moved, when He sees that creatures imitate Him in pardoning offenders and in praying for them; for they thereby participate in his most ardent charity manifested on the Cross. Write this doctrine in thy heart and in imitation of me practice this virtue, of which I thought so highly. Through this wound look upon the heart of Christ thy Spouse and upon me, sweetly and ardently loving in it thy enemies and all creatures.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 740
'This is the admirable disposition of the sweet and powerful providence of God, that in order to bind Himself to do good to some of his creatures, He sends afflictions upon others, thus giving an occasion for the practice of benevolence, so that at the same time those in necessity may be benefitted. Thus the benefactor, on account of the good work he does and on account of the prayer of the poor, is rewarded by receiving graces of which he otherwise would not be worthy. The Father of mercies, who inspires and assists the good work done, afterwards pays for it as if it were due in justice. For we can correspond to his inspirations merely according to our insignificant abilities, while all that is really good, comes entirely from his hands (James 1, 17).'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 741
'Consider also the equity maintained by this Providence in compensating the injuries received in patient suffering. For after my divine Son had suffered death amid the contempt, dishonor and blasphemies of men, the Most High at once provided for an honorable burial and moved many to confess Him as the true God and Redeemer, to proclaim Him as holy, innocent and just, and, at the very time when they had finished their frightful crucifixion, to adore Him as the Son of God. Even his enemies were made to feel within themselves the horror and confusion of their sin in persecuting Him. Although these benefits availed not all men, yet all of them were effects of the innocent Death of the Lord. I also concurred in my prayers, in order that the Lord might be acknowledged and honored by those known to me.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 742
'My daughter, attend to the teaching of this chapter as being the most appropriate and necessary for the state assigned to thee by the Most High and for the correspondence in love which thou owest Him. This requires of thee, that in the midst of thy labors and intercourse with creatures, whether in commanding or governing as superior, or obeying as a subject, thou do not permit thyself by any of these duties or other exterior occupations to neglect the attention due to the presence of thy Savior in the secret and higher parts of thy soul; nor withdraw thyself from the light of the holy Spirit and his constant communications.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 753
'In order then to imitate me in all this as I require, it is necessary, that neither by the unavoidable intercourse with creatures, nor by the labors in thy state of life, nor by the hardships of this life of exile, nor by the temptations or malice of the demon, thou permit thy heart to desire anything that will hinder thee, or pay attention to anything which destroys thy recollection. And I warn thee, my dearest, that if thou art not very vigilant and careful in this matter, thou wilt lose much time, abuse immense extraordinary blessings, frustrate the high and holy purposes of the Lord, and wilt grieve me and the angels; since all of Us desire that thy conversation be with Us. Thou wilt lose the quiet of thy spirit and the interior consolations, many degrees of grace, the desired increase of divine love, and finally the most copious reward in heaven . . . Take heed also to imitate me in the faithful love, by which I abstained from the sweets of inferior delights in imitation of my Master.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 754
'The divine soul of Christ our Redeemer remained in limbo from half past three of Friday afternoon, until after three of the Sunday morning following. During this hour He returned to the Sepulchre as the victorious Prince of the angels and of the saints, whom He had delivered from those nether prisons as spoils of his victory and as an earnest of his glorious triumph over the chastised and prostrate rebels of hell. In the sepulcher were many angels as its guard, venerating the sacred body united to the Divinity.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 755
'As the glory of the most holy soul of Christ our Savior is incomprehensible and ineffable to man, it is also impossible entirely to describe in our words or by our examples the glorious gifts of his deified body; for in comparison to its purity, crystal would be obscure. The light inherent and shining forth from his body so far exceeds that of others, as the day does the night, or as many suns the light of one star; and all the beauty of creatures, if it were joined, would appear ugliness in comparison with his, nothing else being comparable to it in all creation.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 756
'When they [Mary Magdalen, Mary Joseph and the other holy women] came forth from the house of the Cenacle, it was yet dark, but before they arrived at the sepulchre the sun had already dawned and risen; for on that day the three hours of darkness which had intervened at the Death of the Savior, were compensated by an earlier sunrise.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 767
'The Evangelists do not state when the Lord appeared to saint Peter, although saint Luke supposes it; but it was after He had appeared to the women . . . This happened on the same day, after the holy women had informed him of his apparition to them. Soon after also happened the apparition of the Lord to the two disciples going that afternoon to Emmaus, which is related minutely by saint Luke (Luke 24, 13).'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 772
'[A few days before the Ascension of the Lord] The eternal Father commanded two of the highest angels to call Mary, which they did by approaching Her, and in sweetest voices intimating to Her the divine will. [She had been lying prostrate in a corner of the room in deepest reverence of the Blessed Trinity and in it her own incarnate Son]. She arose from the dust with the most profound humility, modesty and reverence. Accompanied by the angels She approached the foot of the Throne [which had descended from heaven with the Father and the Holy Ghost on it and on which our Lord Jesus had seated Himself with the other two], humbling herself anew. The eternal Father said to Her: "Beloved, ascend higher!" (Luke 14, 10). As these words at the same time effected what they signified, She was raised up and placed on the throne of royal Majesty with the three divine Persons. New admiration was caused in the saints [now delivered from limbo and purgatory and present with them in the Cenacle] to see a mere Creature exalted to such dignity.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 789
'Whoever shall call upon Her [Blessed Mary] from his heart shall not perish; whoever shall obtain her intercession shall secure for himself eternal life. What she asks of Us, shall be granted, and We shall always hear her requests and prayers and fulfill her will; for She has consecrated Herself perfectly to what pleases Us.'
The three Divine Persons, addressing the choir of holy angels and the other saints, as revealed to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 790
'He elevated Her [Blessed Mary] into a new state of knowledge and power, by means of which nothing was to be hidden from Her either of the divine mysteries or of the inmost secrets of the human heart. She was made to understand and know when and how She was to use this communicated power of the Divinity in her dealings with men, with the demons and with all creatures. In short, all that can possibly be conferred upon a mere creature was received and given over in all its fullness and excellence to our great Queen and Lady. Of these sacramental operations saint John was to a certain extend made aware, in order that he might form an estimate, how much he was to esteem and appreciate the inestimable Treasure consigned to his care. From that day on he venerated and served the great Lady with new solicitude and reverence.'
Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 790
'''My sweetest children, I am about to ascend to my Father, from whose bosom I descended in order to rescue and save men. I leave with you in my stead my own Mother as your Protectress, Consoler, and Advocate, and as your Mother, whom you are to hear and obey in all things. Just as I have told you, that he who sees Me sees my Father, and he who knows Me, knows also Him; so I now tell you, that He who knows my Mother, knows Me; her who hears Her, hears Me; and who honors Her, honors Me. All of you shall have Her as your Mother, as your Superior and Head, and so shall also your successors. She shall answer your doubts, solve your difficulties; in Her, those who seek Me shall always find Me; for I shall remain in Her until the end of the world, and I am in Her now although you do not know how." This the Lord said, because He was sacramentally present in the bosom of his Mother; for the sacred species, which She had received at the last Supper, were preserved in Her until consecration of the first Mass, as I shall relate further on. The Lord thus fulfilled that which He promised in saint Matthew: "I am with you to the consummation of the world" (Matth. 28, 20) The Lord added and said: "You will have Peter as the supreme head of the Church, for I leave him as my Vicar; and you shall obey him as the chief highpriest. Saint John you shall hold as the son of my Mother; for I have chosen and appointed him for this office on the Cross."'
Our Lord Jesus Christ to the 120 faithful in the Cenacle, as revealed to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 794
'I myself have commanded the Evangelists not to write anything about my privileges except what is contained in the articles of faith and in the commandments of the divine law and what was necessary for the establishment of the Church. For, as the Teacher of the Church, I knew by infused science of the most High, what would then be proper for its beginning. The manifestations of my prerogatives, being included in the dignity of Mother of God and in my being full of grace, was reserved by the divine Providence for a more opportune and convenient time; namely, when the faith should be better known and established. In the course of the centuries some mysteries pertaining to me have been made plain; but the plentitude of light has been given to thee, who art a poor and insignificant creature; and this has been done on account of the necessities and unhappy state of the world. God in his kindness wishes to offer this opportune remedy to men, in order that all of them may seek help and eternal salvation through my intercession. This thou hast always understood, and thou shalt understand it still better. But above all I desire, that thou occupy thyself entirely in the imitation of my life and in the continual contemplation of my virtues and works, in order that thou mayest gain the desired victory over my and thy enemies.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 796
'It is in conformity with the inclinations of his holy and perfect will to regale rather than afflict creatures, to console them rather than cause them sorrow, to reward them rather than to chastise them, to rejoice rather than to grieve them. But mortals ignore this divine science, because they desire from the hands of the Most High such consolations, delights and rewards, as are earthly and dangerous, and they prefer them to the true and more secure blessings. The divine Love then corrects this fault by the lessons conveyed in tribulations and punishments. Human nature is slow, coarse and uneducated; and if it is not cultivated and softened, it gives no fruit in season, and on account of its evil inclinations, will never of itself become fit for the most loving and sweet intercourse with the highest Good. Therefore it must be shaped and reduced by the hammer of adversities, refined in the crucible of tribulation, in order that it may become fit and capable of the divine gifts and favors and may learn to despise terrestrial and fallacious goods, wherein death is concealed.'
Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. III, 818
Volume III - Part I . . . Volume IV - Part I
Inspirational Books from the Saints
The Mystical City of God