The Son speaks: ”I told you earlier about seven animals, one of which was like an elephant that leaned against a tree without noticing the tree's fragility nor the brevity of time, which is why it fell down along with the tree precisely when it thought it could remain standing. The walls of his church were to be so ruined by heat and water that there would be no one to rebuild them, because they had been built out of wicked people. The ground was to be torn asunder, and those that dwell there would seek death, but it would evade them, and the ungodly would rule over the righteous. All this has come to pass.
Know, too, that the second animal, which was proud of the jewel of its chastity, has now assumed the horns of a lamb. I shall therefore teach him how he must leap over the walls and continue in his honorable state. The humility of this animal pleases me, and therefore I say to him that his church has already risen to its highest position and has long been in a state of pride. Accordingly, this man should strive to make the clergy live more continent lives, reduce their lack of moderation in drink, put off greed, and put on humility and fear. Otherwise, they will be felled by hardships, and their fall will be so heavy and so great that people in other countries will hear of it.”
After the death of the bishop mentioned and the creation of his successor, the Lord spoke to me, saying: ”Know that this bishop (the successor of the aforesaid bishop) who has now risen to episcopal rank was one of the five servants whom the king would not heed, unless they acquired clearer eyesight. This bishop has now ascended, but let him make a good examination, and he shall see how he has ascended with respect to my judgment. I warn him of the fate of Joab. Joab felt envy toward his betters and relied on his own counsels. He had great audacity and, hence, was presumptuous beyond his capacity. He preferred his own chosen one to the one God had chosen. One piece of advice, however, is useful to a bishop. He should put a check on his own prudence and always pay attention not to what is possible but to what is honorable.”
When he was in doubt as to whether or not it would be good for him to go to Rome for the remission of his sins, he sought my advice. When I was praying, the Mother of God answered in this way: ”If this bishop feels in his soul that he needs the help of the saints, let him come to Rome for the indulgences, for there will come a time when it will be good for him. Let him also attend to cutting back the claws of the rapacious birds that have already entered so that they do not settle down on the highest cliffs, because they will hurt the common folk more then, and he himself will not be immune from hardship.
Know, furthermore, that the animal that, as I told you, feels fear at seeing its own shadow and benefits itself by running, is the one who has zeal for souls and does not become dejected at heart by derogatory words spoken to him, nor elated over words of assent and adulation. He is prepared to leave the world by dying and is also prepared to go on living for the sake of my glory, if it should so please me. Therefore, I shall run out to meet him halfway, like a father with his son, and I shall take him out of custody, like a merciful judge, so that he does not have to see the evils to come. However, the one who continued in his leprosy will die along with those who have their bellies full. He will be buried and sentenced along with the lepers, and he will not be seated among those who will judge the world.”
This is the end of the fourth book according to Alfonso.
A revelation given on Monte Gargano concerning the excellence of the angels.
Lady Bridget saw a multitude of angels singing praises on Monte Gargano and saying: ”Blessed are you, our God, who are and shall be and ever were without beginning or end! You created us spirits to minister to you and to comfort and protect humankind, We are sent to them for their benefit and yet are never deprived of the sweet consolation of the beatific vision. Because we were as though unknown to humankind, you wished on this spot to reveal this your blessing and the dignity given to us, in order that people might learn both to love you and to desire our help. This place, which long was held in honor by many, is now neglected, The inhabitants of the land turn more to unclean spirits than to us, inasmuch as they follow their suggestions more eagerly.”
The lady answered: ”My Lord, my Creator and Redeemer, help them to cease from sinning and to desire you with all their heart!” God said to her: ”They have grown accustomed to filth, and will not learn except by force. Would that they would get to know themselves through discipline and recover their senses again!”
Christ speaks about the five good gifts given to priests and their five opposites that bad priests do.
“I am like a man about to depart from this world who entrusts his greatest possessions to his dearest friends. When I was about to depart from this world, I accordingly entrusted the thing dearest to me, my own body, to priests whom I chose to be above all the angels and above all other men. I gave to them these five good gifts: first, my faith; second, the two keys to hell and heaven; third, the ability to make an angel out of an enemy; fourth, the ability to consecrate my body, which none of the angels can do; fifth, the gift of handling my most pure body with their own hands. Now, however, they treat me just as the Jews did who denied that I had raised Lazarus and performed other miracles, who instead spread the rumor that I wanted to be made king, that I had prohibited paying the tribute tax, and that I would rebuild the temple in three days.
In similar fashion, priests do not speak of my miracles or teach my doctrine but teach rather the love of the world. They preach their own pleasure and think nothing of what I did for them. Second, they have lost the key with which they were to open heaven for the wretched. They love, however, the key that opens hell and keep it wrapped away in fine clean linen. Third, they make a wicked man out of a righteous one, a devil out of the simple-hearted, a wounded man out of a healthy one - anyone who turns to them with three wounds receives a fourth from them. If someone comes to them with four wounds, then he leaves them with five. Once a sinner has seen the immoral example of priests, he grows confident in sinning and begins to boast of the sin that he earlier considered shameful. This is why their condemnation will be greater than that of others, because they go astray in their conduct and hurt others by their example.
Fourth, they sell me, though they should be sanctifying me with their lips. They are worse than Judas. At least Judas recognized his sin and experienced remorse, however unprofitably. These, however, call themselves just and make a show of it. Judas returned the price for his services to the buyers. These, instead, keep it for their own use. Judas sold me prior to the world's redemption. These sell me after I have already redeemed the world. They feel no compassion about the blood I lost, which cries out for vengeance more than the blood of Abel. Judas sold me for money alone. These, however, sell me for any kind of merchandise, since they do not approach me unless they hope to gain something for themselves. Fifth, they treat me like the Jews. What did the Jews do? They put me on the wood of the cross, but these put me in an oil-press and press down hard upon it.
You might ask: How does this happen, given that my divine nature is impassible as well as my human nature? I will tell you. My divine and human natures are impassible, nor can sorrow or adversity affect God. However, the intention of these priests to remain in sin is so adverse and bitter to me that it is as if I were placed in an oil-press, if that were possible. These priests have two sins, namely, lust and greed, and they press me between the two.
They may, perhaps, do penance for these sins, but, then, after having carried out their priestly office, they have the firm intention to sin again, and so it is as though they press down hard upon me in an oil-press. Of course, they provide for women of ill repute and put them in a safe place so they can fulfill their lust and cast me out. They fawn on them and delight in them, but have no desire to see me who am the cause of their existence.
See, my friends, what sort of priests they are! See, my angels, the ones whom you serve! If I lay before you as I lie on the altar before them, none of you would dare to touch me. You would be afraid to do so. These men, however, betray me like thieves and traitors. Like whores they touch me. They are filthier than tar, yet they do not feel ashamed to approach me, who am the God and Lord of glory. Accordingly, as it was said to Israel, 'seven plagues shall come upon you.' Those seven plagues shall surely come upon the priests!”
Christ compares himself to Moses leading Israel through the Red Sea where the waters stood like walls to right and left, and about how Israel, that is, bad priests, neglect Christ and select the golden calf, that is, the world, and about how Christ honored priests by means of seven orders, from which they have turned away in seven ways.