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Chapter 90

The Son speaks: ”My friends are like my arm. An arm has these five things: skin, flesh, blood, bones, and marrow. I am like a wise doctor who first cuts away all the useless matter, then joins flesh to flesh and bone to bone and afterward applies healing medicine.

This is how I have treated my friends. First, I removed from them all worldly passions and illicit carnal desires. Then I joined my marrow to their marrow. What is my marrow if not the power of my divinity? As a man without marrow is dead, so too that person dies who has no communion with my divinity. I have joined my divinity to their infirmity when they taste my wisdom and it bears fruit in them, when their soul understands what to do and what to avoid.
The bones stand for my strength. I have joined it to their strength when I make them strong in order to do good. The blood signifies my will. I have joined it to their will when their will accords with what I will, and when they neither seek nor desire anything but me alone. Flesh signifies my long-suffering patience. I have joined it to their patience when they are as patient as I was when I had not a sound spot from the sole of my foot to the crown of my head. The skin signifies love. I have joined it to myself when they love nothing as much as me, and when they wish to die for my sake freely and with my help.”

Christ admonishes the bride to humble herself in four ways, namely, before those who wield power in the world and before sinners as well as before the spiritual friends of God and before those who are poor in the world.

      1. Chapter 91

The Son speaks to the bride: ”You should humble yourself in four ways; first of all, before those who wield power in the world. One should defer to authority both because it is right for men to obey other men, inasmuch as humankind scorned to obey God, and because people cannot get on without someone to direct them.

Second, humble yourself before those who live in spiritual poverty, that is, before sinners, by praying for them and giving thanks to God because, fortunately, you neither have been nor are one of them. Third, humble yourself before those who live in spiritual wealth, that is, before the friends of God, by regarding yourself as unworthy to serve them or to be in their company. Fourth, humble yourself before those who are poor in the world, by helping and clothing them and by washing their feet.”


Christ admonishes the bride to make progress and to persevere in the virtues by imitating the life of the saints and in this way to become his arm. He shows how the saints become transformed into the arm of Christ.

      1. Chapter 92

The Son speaks: ”I told you earlier that my friends are my arm. This is true, for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and my Mother, with all the heavenly host, are in them. My divine nature is like the marrow without which no one can live. The bones are my human nature, which was strong in suffering. The Holy Spirit is like the blood, for he fills and gladdens the universe. My Mother is like the flesh in which were found my divine and human natures and the Holy Spirit. The skin is the whole heavenly host.


Just as the skin covers the flesh, so did my Mother excel all the saints in virtue. Though the angels are pure, she is purer still. Though the prophets were filled with God's Spirit, though the martyrs suffered greatly, yet my Spirit was fuller and more fervent in my Mother, and she was greater than any martyr. The confessors certainly practiced complete abstinence, but my Mother had still more perfect abstinence, for in her was found my divinity along with my humanity.
Thus, when my friends have me, there is found in them my divine nature that vivifies the soul. My human nature is found in them and makes them strong unto death. The blood of my Spirit is found in them and renders their will quick to perform every good action. Their flesh is filled with my own flesh and blood when they refuse to sin and keep themselves chaste with the help of my grace. My skin is joined to their skin when they imitate the life and conduct of my saints.

In this way, my saints are aptly called my arm. You should become one of their members through the intention of progressing in virtue and by imitating them as far as you are able. Just as I unite them to myself through the union of my body, so too you should be united to them and to me through my same body.”


Christ speaks to the bride and gives her three precepts, namely, to desire nothing but food and clothing, not to long to have spiritual benefits except according to God's will, and not to be sad about anything but her sins and those of others. He also tells her that those who refuse to convert and purge their sins through austere penance in this life will be severely punished at the divine judgment.

      1. Chapter 93

The Son speaks: ”I give you three precepts: first, to desire nothing beyond food and clothing; second, not to long for spiritual things except according to my will; third, not to be sad about anything but your own sins and those of others. If you do feel sorrow, consider then my strict judgment, which you can fear and ponder from the case of a certain man who has already received his sentence. He entered the monastery with three intentions in mind. He did not want to have to work, and he did not want to have to worry about food. In the third place, he thought to himself as follows: 'If a temptation of the flesh should seize me, I shall be able to evade it by some means without intercourse.' On account of all this, he was afflicted in three ways. Since he did not want to work, he was forced to work by threats and blows. In return for his second intention, he suffered nakedness and lack of food. Third, he was despised by everyone to such an extent that he was unable to experience any pleasure in his sensuality.

When the time for his profession came, he thought to himself as follows: 'Since I cannot live in the world without working, it is better for me to live in the monastery and work for God.' Because of his cooperative will, my mercy and justice came to him in order to cleanse him and bring him to my eternal glory. Once he had made his profession, he was struck down with a grave illness and suffered so much that his eyes went out due to the pain, his ears could hear nothing, and he was destitute in his every limb, all because he had not wanted to work. He suffered greater nakedness than he had in his worldly state. When he had delicious food, he could not eat it. When his natural appetites pined for it, he did not have it. He was so physically wasted before he died that he was like a cumbersome log.

When he died, he came like a thief to his trial, because he had wanted to live in the religious state according to his own preferences and not for the improvement of his life. Yet it was not fitting for him to be sentenced like a thief, since, though he was childish and foolish in his reason and conscience, still he had faith and hope in me, his God, and therefore he was sentenced in accord with mercy. Because his sin could not be fully purged by means of his physical punishment, his soul is now being so severely punished in purgatory that it is as though his skin had been peeled off and his bones placed in an oil-press so as better to squeeze the marrow out of them.
How those people will suffer who have spent their entire lives in sin and who never did or willed anything to the contrary! Woe to them, for they say to me: 'Why did God die or what use was there in his death?' This is how they repay me for redeeming them and saving them and giving them health and all that they need. I shall therefore seek judgment from them because they have broken the faith that they pledged to me in baptism, and because they do wrong every day and scorn my commandments. I shall not let their least little dereliction of religious duty go unpunished.”
EXPLANATION
This brother had a secret sin and never wished to confess it. On the command of Christ, Lady Bridget went to him and said: ”Do more diligent penance, for there is something hidden in your heart, and as long as you keep it shut up, you will not be able to die.” He answered her that there was nothing that he had not made known in confession. But she said: ”Examine your intention upon entering the monastery and with what intention you have lived up to now, and you shall find the truth in your heart.”

Then he broke into tears and said: ”Blessed be God who has sent you to me! Now that you have spoken of my secret, I am willing to tell the truth to those listening. I do have something hidden in my heart that I never dared nor could bring out. As often as I have repented in confession of my other sins, my tongue was always tied about this one. An exceedingly great shame took hold of me, and I could not confess the secret remorse of my heart. Each time I made confession of my heart, I invented for myself a new conclusion to my wording. I used to say: 'Father, I confess my guilt to you concerning all the sins I have mentioned and even any others that I have not mentioned.' I thought that in this way all my hidden sins would be pardoned. But now, my Lady, if it please God, I will gladly tell the whole world about all I have concealed in my heart for so long a time.”

A confessor was called, and he made a complete and tearful declaration of his sins. He died that very night.



Christ teaches the bride beautiful prayers to say when getting dressed and when going to table and when going to bed. He admonishes her to be humble in the way she dresses, and virtuous and self-controlled in the use of her body.




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