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Chapter 122

“That man is my mortal enemy, for he mocks me with derision. He satisfies his every wish and desire as best he can. He is like someone lying on a narrow bridge with a great abyss to his left. Anyone falling into it cannot climb out of it again. To his right there is a ship. If he leaps onto it and makes some effort to escape, he still has some hope of survival. This bridge stands for his lamentable, brief life. He does not stand on it like a contender or even like a pilgrim, making daily progress and advancing on his way. Instead, he lies there lazily, longing to drink the waters of sensuality. Two fates await him if he gets up off the bridge. Either he will fall into the abyss, that is, into deepest hell, if he turns to his left, that is, to deeds of carnality. Or, if he leaps onto the ship, he will escape with an effort in the sense that, if he accepts the discipline and ordinances of the Holy Church, it will take him some effort but he will save himself by doing so. So, may he turn himself around quickly, before the enemy casts him headlong off the bridge, for then, indeed, he will cry out without being heard and will be punished in eternity.”

ADDITION
When this man saw that the king was unmoved and did not attend to him in his customary manner, he felt ill will toward Lady Bridget. When she was passing through a narrow street, he poured water on her from a window above. However, she said to the bystanders, ”May the Lord forgive him and not requite him for it in the next life.” Christ appeared then to the lady at mass, saying: ”The man who poured water on you from the window out of ill will thirsts for blood. He has shed blood. He longs for the earth and not for me. He speaks out boldly against me. He worships his own flesh instead of me, his God. He has shut me out of himself and out of his heart. Let him beware lest he die in his blood.”

The man lived for a short time after this, and then died with blood flowing out of his nose, just as she had foretold.



Christ defends his bride, Bridget, that is, a soul converted from worldliness to the spiritual life, whom her father and mother, sister and brother tried to dissuade from his love and from chastity in marriage.

      1. Chapter 123

The Son speaks to the bride: ”I am like a bridegroom who has betrothed himself to a bride whom her father and mother, sister and brother want to have back. Her father says: 'Give me back my daughter, for she was born from my blood.' Her mother says: 'Give me back my daughter, for she was fed with my milk.' Her sister says: 'Give me back my sister, for she was brought up with me.' Her brother says: 'Give me back my sister, for she falls under my authority.' The bridegroom answered them: 'Father, she may have been born from your blood, but now she must be filled with my blood. Mother, you may have fed her with your milk, but I will now feed her with my delight. Sister, she may have been brought up according to your fashions, but she shall now live in my fashion. Brother, she may have been under your authority so far, but now she is under my authority.'

This is what has happened to you. If your father, that is, if the lust of the flesh demands you back, it pertains to me to fill you with my love. If your mother, that is, if worldly cares demand you back, it pertains to me to feed you with the milk of my consolation. If your sister, that is, if the fashions of worldly society demand you back, you must rather live in my fashion. If your brother, that is, if self-will demands you back, you are obliged to carry out my will.”

About how Blessed Agnes places on the bride of Christ a crown with seven precious stones, namely, the gems of patience in suffering.

      1. Chapter 124

Agnes speaks to the bride of Christ and says: ”Come, daughter, and put on a crown made from seven precious gems. The crown stands for nothing other than the proof of patience, welded together out of hardship and adorned with garlands by God.


The first gem of your crown is jasper. It was put there by the man who jeeringly said that he did not know what spirit made you speak, and that it would be better for you to spin and sew after the fashion of women and not to discuss scripture. Just as jasper sharpens one's vision and brings joy to the mind, so too, out of hardship, God brings joy to the mind, enlightens the intellect in spiritual matters, and mortifies the soul from disorderly impulses.

The second gem is a sapphire. This was put there by the man who flattered you to your face but vilified you behind your back. Just as sapphire is of a celestial color and preserves the health of parts of the body, so human malice puts the righteous to the test in order to make them celestial, and it preserves the parts of the soul so that they do not become puffed up with pride.

The third gem is an emerald. This was put there by the man who asserted that you said things that you had neither thought of nor spoken. Just as the emerald is fragile in itself yet has such a beautiful green color, so too a lie is soon annihilated but makes the soul beautiful in a reward for her patience.
The fourth gem is a pearl. This was put there by the man who disparaged a friend of God's in your presence. His disparagement upset you more than it would have done if it had been about yourself. Just as the pearl is white and beautiful and eases the suffering of the heart, so too the sorrow of love introduces God into the soul, and tames the passions of anger and impatience.
The fifth gem is topaz. This was put there by the man that spoke harshly to you but to whom you, on the contrary, made a gentle answer. Just as topaz is of the color of gold and preserves chastity and beauty, so nothing is more beautiful and acceptable to God than to love the one who hurts you and to pray for those who persecute you.
The sixth gem is a diamond. This was put there by the man who hurt you physically but whom you endured patiently and whom you did not wish to disgrace. Just as a diamond cannot be broken by smashing but only with the blood of goats, so too it pleases God when a person overlooks and, for God's sake, does not bother about physical hurts but is ever thinking of what God has done for the sake of humankind.
The seventh gem is a carbuncle. This was put there by the man who brought the false message to you that your son Karl was dead, and you bore it patiently, entrusting yourself to God. Just as a carbuncle shines in a house and looks very beautiful on a ring, so too one who is patient at the loss of something dear attracts God's love and shines in the sight of the saints and is as pleasing as a precious gem.

Therefore, my daughter, be steadfast, for still more gems are needed to add to your crown. Consider that Abraham and Job became better and more renowned through their trials, and John became holier by bearing witness to the truth.”

God's Mother speaks to her daughter, the bride of Christ, and offers a lovely allegory of seven animals denoting four kinds of immoral men and three kinds of virtuous men.




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