While someone was praying the Our Father, the bride heard the Spirit say: ”Friend, I tell you on behalf of my divine nature that you shall have your inheritance with your Father, and, second, on behalf of my human nature, that you will be my temple. Third, on behalf of the Spirit, I tell you that you will not have temptations beyond what you can bear. The Father shall defend you, my human nature shall assist you, the Spirit shall set you aflame.
As when a mother hears the voice of her son and she joyfully runs out to meet him, and as when a father sees his son struggling with his work and he runs out to meet him halfway and shares the load with him, so too I run out to meet my friends and make every difficult thing both easy for them and a joy to carry. As when a person sees something delightful and cannot rest until he gets close to it, so I draw close to those who desire me.”
This monk saw in the hands of the priest at the time of the elevation of the body of Christ our Lord Jesus Christ in the form of a child saying to him: ”I am the Son of God and the Son of the Virgin.”
He even foresaw the manner and time of his death within a year, about which one can read in several chapters in the legend on St. Bridget. The monk's name was Gerekinus.
Christ speaks to the bride and says that the Father, by fulfilling their good intention to do good, draws to himself those whom he sees gladly changing their bad will to a good will through a desire to make amends for past offenses.
The Son speaks: ”Whoever wishes to join with me should convert his will to me and repent his past offenses, and he is then drawn to perfection by my Father. The Father draws those people who freely change their bad will into good will and desire to make amends for past offenses.
How does the Father draw them? He does so by fulfilling their good intention to do good. If their desire were not good, the Father would not have anything to draw. Some people find me so cold that my ways do not please them at all. Yet others find me so hot that they seem to be on fire whenever they have to perform any good deeds. Others, however, find me so agreeable that they want nothing but me. To these I shall give a happiness that will never end.”
The Mother describes seven good things in Christ and their seven opposites that people give him in return.
The Mother speaks: ”My Son has seven goods. He is most powerful, like an all-consuming fire. Second, he is most wise, and his wisdom can no more be comprehended than one can drain the ocean. Third, he is most strong, like an immovable mountain. Fourth, he has the greatest virtue, like the apiarian herb. Fifth, he is most beautiful, like the shining sun. Sixth, he is most just, like a king who pardons no one in contradiction to justice. Seventh, he is most loving, like a lord who gives himself up for the life of his servant.
Contrary to these seven, he endured their seven opposites. Contrary to his power, he became like a worm. Contrary to his wisdom, he was counted as the most foolish. Contrary to his strength, he was bound as a child in swaddling clothes. Contrary to his beauty, he was like a leper, and contrary to his virtue, he stood naked and bound. Contrary to his justice, he was regarded as a liar. Contrary to his loving-kindness, he was put to death.”
Christ tells the bride that there are two kinds of pleasure, spiritual and carnal; spiritual pleasure is when the soul delights in the kindnesses of God.
The Son speaks: ”It is as though there were a membrane between me and that man. Because of it, my sweetness gives him no pleasure, for something else pleases him instead of me.” The bride heard this and said to the Lord: ”Can he never then feel any kind of pleasure?” The Lord answered: ”There are two kinds of pleasure, spiritual and carnal. Carnal or natural pleasure is when refreshment is taken as required by necessity. In that case a person should think as follows to himself: 'O Lord, you who have commanded us to take refreshment only when necessary, praise be to you! Grant me the grace not to let sin enter secretly as I take my refreshment.' If pleasure in temporal goods arises, a person should think as follows: 'Lord, all earthly things are but earth and fleeting. Grant, therefore, that I may make such use of them as to be able to render an account to you for all of them.'
Spiritual pleasure is when the soul delights in the kindnesses of God, and makes use of temporal things and busies herself about them only unwillingly and by necessity. The membrane is broken when God becomes pleasant to the soul and when she keeps the fear of God continuously in mind.”
It is not the cowl that makes the monk but the virtue of obedience and the observance of the rule. True contrition of heart along with a purpose of amendment snatches the soul from the hands of the devil, even if perfect contrition is lacking.
The devil appeared and said: ”Look, that monk has flown away and only his shape remains.” And the Lord said to him: ”Explain what you mean.” The devil answered: ”That I shall, though unwillingly. The true monk is his own keeper. His cowl is obedience and the observance of his vows. As the body is covered by clothing, so the soul is covered by virtues. Therefore, the outer habit has no value unless the inner one is maintained, for it is virtue, not vestment, that makes the monk. This monk flew off when he thought as follows: 'I know my sin and I shall make amends and never sin again with the grace of God.' With this intention he flew away from me and is now yours.” The Lord said to him: ”How is it that his shape remains?” The devil said: ”When he does not recall his past sins nor repents as perfectly of them as he should.”
This brother saw in the hands of the priest at the time of the elevation of the body of Christ our Lord Jesus Christ in the form of a child saying to him: ”I am the Son of God and the Son of the Virgin.” He even foresaw the manner and time of his death within a year, about which one can read in several chapters in the legend on the sainted lady. The monk's name was Gerekinus. He lived a most pure life. When he was about to die, he saw writing in gold containing three golden letters: ”P,” ”O,” and ”T.” As he was describing it to the other monks, he said: ”Come, Peter, make haste Olof and Thord.” Once he had called for them, he went to his rest. The three monks died within a week following him.
Chapter 55 in Extravagantes (Book 9) is also about the same brother: ”A monk of holy life, etc.”
About how the life of a certain dissolute and lukewarm man resembles a narrow and dangerous bridge, and about how, if he does not soon turn himself around by leaping onto the ship of life, penance, and virtue, he will be cast headlong by his enemy, the devil, down into the deep abyss.