Mary said: ”Remember my Son's passion! He is coming now.” And there appeared St. John the Baptist who said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: ”God's anger at the world has not been so great for a thousand years.” When the Son came, he said to the bride: ”To me it is but an hour from the beginning, and how much time is that to you? All this time is to me but as a single hour. Regarding priests, I told you before that I chose them from among all angels and men, yet now they are more vexing to me than any others.” Then there appeared demons carrying a soul in their hands. They said to the Judge: ”Behold the warrior!” The Judge answered: ”Though corporal beings cannot hear things of the spirit nor can the corporal eye see spiritual beings, yet for the sake of this woman standing here, the eyes of whose understanding I am opening, tell us, by what right do you own this soul?”
They answered: ”We possess him by nine rights or, rather, transgressions. First, he was beneath us in three ways, equal to us in three ways, above us in three ways. Our first right to him lies in the fact that he was good on the outside but bad within. The second is that he was at times full of covetousness and gluttony but at other times fasted only for the good of the body or because of illness. Third, at times he was severe in word and deed, but at other times his wicked severity was suppressed for the sake of some advantage to himself. We do not have these defects, for we are on the outside just what we are within, and we are always wickedly severe and always equally covetous of evil.
He was our peer in three ways, inasmuch as we fell through the three sins of pride, covetousness, and envy, and he has these three himself. He was above and surpassed us in wickedness in three ways, as being a priest who handled your body. The first was that he did not guard his mouth with which he was to proclaim your words. Instead, like a barking dog, he barked out your words. When he proclaimed your words, we felt the same kind of fear as someone hearing some terrible sound, and we fled from him in terror at once. However, he stayed on without any fear or shame. Second, he did not guard his hands with which he handled your most pure body, but stained them in every kind of pleasure. Whenever he handled your body, which was the same body as that in the Virgin's womb and on the cross, after the words of consecration had been spoken, then we felt the same kind of fear as a man whose whole body is convulsed with fear, though our motive was not divine charity but fear at your power and your great might. He, however, stood there unafraid and did not care. When he put you to his mouth, which was like a filthy dirty vessel, we were like men who had lost all their might, like one lacking all strength, dead from fear even though we are immortal. Yet he felt no fear and did not tremble to touch you. However, since it was not fitting that the Lord of majesty should enter into so shameful a vessel, you would take your divine and human natures and leave him, and he would remain alone, and we, who fled in fear each and every time, would return to him in a fury.
In all these ways he excelled us in evil, and this is why we rightfully own him. Therefore, since you are the just Judge, render judgment for us concerning him.” The Judge answered: ”I hear your demands, but you, wretched soul, while this woman is present, tell us what intention you had at the end of your life, while you still had the use of reason and bodily strength.”
The soul answered: ”My intention was to sin unceasingly and never desist. However, because I knew that I would not live forever, I decided to sin up until the very last moment and that was my intention when I was separated from my body.” Then the Judge said: ”Your conscience is your judge. Therefore, say in conscience what sentence you deserve!” The soul answered: ”My sentence is the most bitter, wretched suffering to endure without end and with no mercy.” Then the devils went off with the soul after hearing his sentence.
Then the Lord said to the bride: ”My bride, see how priests treat me! I chose them from among all the angels and other men, and honored them above them all. However, they provoke me more than all the Jews and Gentiles and more than all the demons.”
Christ shows how much kindness he has shown to priests. Yet they, as ungrateful as an adulterous bride, scorn Christ and love three other lovers, namely, the world, the flesh, and the devil. He demonstrates this with the example of a priest who had recently died and was eternally damned.
“I am like a bridegroom who leads his bride lovingly into his home. Thus did I join priests to myself with my own body, so that they might be in me and I in them. However, they respond to me like an adulteress to her bridegroom: 'Your words displease me. Your wealth is meaningless. Your desire is like poison. There are three others I prefer to love and follow.' Her gentle husband answered: 'My bride, listen to me, wait a little longer, for your words should be my words, your will my will, your wealth my wealth, your desire my desire!' However, she was not at all willing to listen but went off to those other three. When she had gone far enough off so that the bridegroom could no longer be seen, the first of them, that is, the world, said: 'Here the road divides and I can no longer accompany her, so I want to have all her wealth.' The second, that is, the body, said: 'I am mortal and will become food for worms. She, however, is immortal, so I will leave her here.' The third, that is, the devil, said: 'I am immortal and endure forever. Because she did not want to stay with her man, she will follow me forever.'
This is how these accursed priests treat me. They should be my limbs and be as outstanding among others as a finger on the hand, but they are worse than the devil. So, they will sink down lower in hell than all the devils, unless they reform themselves. I call to them like a bridegroom. I do all I can for them, but the more I call, the farther off they go. My words displease them; my wealth is a burden; they detest my sweet words like poison. I run after them, warning them like a kind father. I show them the forbearance of a gentle lord. I coax them with gifts like a good bridegroom. However, the more I call, the more they turn away from me. They love their three friends more than me, the world and the body, and the third, the devil, who will take them in and never let them go. Woe to them, that they ever became priests and the limbs of my body!
That priest who died recently possessed three qualities. First, he had pride, for he dressed like a bishop. Second, he was celebrated for his wisdom. Third, he inclined his will to whatever he wanted and to whatever was pleasing to his body. He practiced fasting for the sake of bodily health, and did whatever pleased his body, not what was according to my will. But what good has it done him now? As a reward for his pride, he stands before me like a man broken in two, stinking, covered with wounds and broken skin. Because of his celebrity, he stands forgotten before me, and he will be forgotten by men. As a reward for his self-will, worms will take over his body, and demons will torture his soul without end.
Look at what the wretches love and how they act! Where are his friends, where are his possessions, his honor and glory? In return for them all, he will now have everlasting shame. They purchase something small, worldly honor, and they lose something great, eternal joy. Alas for such as these, woe to them that they were ever born! They sink deeper into hell than anyone else.”
The pious handmaid of Christ, Lady Bridget of blessed memory, received the following revelations in a divinely inspired vision while she was at prayer. They are addressed to the Roman pontiffs Clement VI, Innocent VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI. They deal with the return of the Apostolic See and the Roman Curia to Rome and the reformation of the church by command of almighty God. Two years before the Jubilee Year, Christ gives the bride the words contained here and orders her to send them to Pope Clement in order that he should establish peace between the kings of France and England and come to Italy and proclaim the Jubilee Year. The Reverend Lord Hemming, bishop of Åbo, and Brother Peter, prior of the Cistercian monastery of Alvastra in the kingdom of Sweden.