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Chapter 22

The Son speaks: ”If I could get upset, I would rightly be able to say now: I regret having made humankind. They have become like animals that of their own free will run into the nets. However much you cry out to them, they still follow their own selfish appetites. And not all the blame can be put on the devil's violent attempts on humankind - no, rather, the people themselves outstrip his malice. Like hunting dogs that are first led on leashes, but then, once they are accustomed to catching and devouring animals, speedily reach the prey ahead of their leader, so also humankind, now accustomed to sinning and fascinated by it, is quicker to sin than the devil is to tempt. That is not strange. It has been a long time since the Apostolic See, the head of the world, was pleasing to God by its sanctity of life and example, as it was in earlier times, and all the other members have therefore been made weak and listless. They do not consider the reason why God in his riches became poor and needy - in order to teach us to scorn perishable things and to love heavenly ones. Man is poor by nature but has become rich by means of false riches. This is what everyone tries to imitate, and few are found who do not imitate it.

Hence, the plowman shall come from the Almighty. Whetted by the wisest One, he does not seek property or beautiful bodies nor has any respect for the power of the mighty nor fears the threats of princes nor is swayed by human favor. He shall sow human flesh and raze to the ground the homes of spirits; he shall deliver bodies to maggots and souls to the ones whom they served. Therefore, may my friends, to whom I am sending you, labor with courage and with haste, for what I am telling you will not take place in the last days, as I said before, but in these very days. Many of those yet living will see with their own eyes the fulfillment of the scripture that says: 'May their wives be widows and their sons fatherless,' and they shall lose all that they desire.
However, I, merciful God, shall receive all those that come to me in humility. I shall give myself to those who fulfill the works of righteousness, for it is right to clean out the house in which the king shall enter, to wash the glass so that the drink may be clear, to thresh the grain briskly from its husks, and to press down hard on whatever is being molded into a form so that it attains the shape of the form. As summer comes after winter, so too I shall grant consolation after their hardships to those who long to be as little children and who place more value on the things of heaven than on those of earth. However, just as a man is not born and dies at one and the same time, so all this will be fulfilled in its own time.

Know, too, that I intend to treat some people according to the common proverb: 'The whip will spur him on' - the pain will compel him to speed up. I will treat others as it is written: 'Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.' To a third set of people I shall speak soothingly and inspiringly: 'Come, ignorant and simple persons, and I shall give you a mouth and a wisdom such as the tongue-waggers will not be able to oppose.' This is what I have already done in these days: I have filled the simple with my wisdom, and they are proof against the learned. I cast out the boastful and mighty, and they quickly subsided. That is no wonder: For I commanded the wise to cut off the serpents' tongues, as you heard, and they refused. Not even their mother, who was the scourge of the commons, was willing to quench their throats in order to quench the fire of desire kindled in her children's hearts, as I bade. This is why I have cut them down in their season of happiness and have cut off their own tongues.”


The words of John the Evangelist to the glorious Virgin about a mere sinful hypocrite, and the Virgin's answer regarding his characteristics, and about the devil's deceptions toward him, and about how the good spirit is recognized by seven signs and the bad spirit is discerned by as many signs.

      1. Chapter 23

John the Evangelist said to God's Mother: ”Hear me, Virgin and Mother of one Son, not several sons, Mother of the only begotten Son of God, the fashioner and redeemer of all things. Listen, I say, as you surely do listen, to how this man has been deceived by the devil, how he is struggling to obtain something impossible, how and in what matters he has been instructed by the spirit of lies, how far he has removed himself from God in his sheep's clothing but with his lion's heart. I taught that there are three who bear witness in heaven and on earth: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The evil spirit, however, bears witness to this man that he has become completely holy. Yet the Father does not strengthen him with his power nor does the Son visit him with his wisdom nor does the Holy Spirit inflame him with his love. That is no wonder, for he aspires to power against the power of the Father; he wants to be wise against the wisdom of the Son; he is inflamed but not as the Holy Spirit sets aflame. So ask your Son either to take him away soon, so that no more souls may be lost, or to humble him quickly for his errors.”

The Mother answered: ”Hear me, then, virgin, though you are a male and not a female person. You are the one whom it pleased God to call away from the world through the easiest of deaths after my own. Indeed, it was as though I had fallen asleep when my soul and body were separated, but then I awoke in everlasting joy. No wonder, indeed, for I had suffered more bitterly than all the others at my Son's death, and it pleased God thus to separate me from the world through the easiest of deaths. But you were closest to me among the apostles, and the object of greater signs of affection than all the others, and my Son's passion was bitterer for you than for the rest, because you beheld it at a closer distance than others, and you also lived longer than the others, as if you became a martyr through the deaths of them all. It therefore pleased God to call you from the world through the easiest of deaths after my own, for the Virgin had been entrusted to a virgin. Therefore, what you asked for shall be done without delay.

My daughter, let me show you what sort of person this man is of whom we are speaking. He is like a servant of that coin-maker, the devil. The devil melts down and then stamps his coin - that is, his servant - with his suggestions and temptations, until he has fashioned him after his liking. Once he has corrupted and twisted a person's will toward the pleasures of the flesh and the love of the world, he then impresses his image and signature on the person, and it becomes apparent enough from external signs who it is whom that person wholeheartedly loves. When a man carries out in act the desire of his mind and wants to get more involved in worldly affairs than his state in life requires, and would do and desire even more things, if he were able, then he is shown to be the devil's perfect coin.
You should realize, however, that God's coin differs from the devil's coin. God's coin is of gold, shining, pliable, and precious. Every soul with the stamp of God on it shines with divine love, is pliable in her patience, and precious in her continual good works. Accordingly, every good soul is melted down by God's power and tested with many temptations. Through them the soul, contemplating her defects and her origins as well as God's kindness and patience toward her, is rendered all the more precious to God, the more humble, patient, and conscientious she is found to be.

The devil's coin, however, is of copper and lead. It is copper, because it bears a likeness to gold: It is hard and pliable, yet not the way gold is.

Likewise, the unrighteous soul seems to herself to be righteous, judges everyone, is more interested in herself than in others, is unpliable with respect to humble actions, soft in acting in her own interest, intractable in her own plans, admirable to the world, despicable to God. The devil's coin is also leaden in that it is ugly, soft and pliable, and heavy. Likewise, the unrighteous soul is ugly in her lustful desires, burdensome in her longing for the world, as pliable as a reed that bends in the direction of whatever the devil inspires in her mind, sometimes, indeed, being even more ready to do it than the devil is to tempt her to it. This is the disposition of the coin-maker's servant. He gets bored in keeping the observances of his rule, as he vowed, and thinks up ways of gaining people's appreciation through a pretended holiness, all the while feeding his body sumptuously. The devil, then, soon filled his head with lies at night. They deluded him into believing impossible things that will not come to be. Instead, his life will be cut short, and he will not obtain the honor for which he so longs.

Whenever one comes across an unknown coin, one sends it to a wise expert who has sufficient knowledge of its weight and shape. But where will we find such an expert? Even if we did find him, he may care little or nothing about whether the coin is counterfeit or genuine. There is only one solution in such a case, as I will explain by way of a comparison. If you handed a florin to a dog, it would not bother to take it. But if the florin were coated with fat, there is no doubt that the dog would take it then. The present case is like that. If you went to a theological expert and said: 'That man is a heretic,' he would not be bothered, for his love of God is altogether grown cold. However, if you said: 'He has plenty of florins,' then everyone would rush to him. Therefore, it will soon be as Paul says: 'I will destroy and humble the wisdom of the wise, and I will exalt the humble.'
My daughter, you can recognize both the Holy Spirit and the unclean spirit through seven signs. First, the Spirit of God makes a man deem the world worthless and consider in his heart all worldly honor as mere air. Second, it endears God to the soul, and all delight in the flesh grows cold. Third, it inspires him to patience and to glorying only in God. Fourth, it stimulates the mind to be loving and compassionate with one's neighbor and even with one's enemies. Fifth, it inspires him to all kinds of abstinence, even from licit things. Sixth, it makes him trust in God in the midst of hardships and even to glory in hardships. Seventh, it gives him the desire of wanting to depart and to be with Christ, rather than to prosper in the world and become soiled.

The evil spirit has seven effects to the contrary. First, it makes the world seem sweet, and heaven distasteful. Second, it makes a man seek honors and forget about the meaning of his life. Third, it arouses hatred and impatience in the heart. Fourth, it makes him bold toward God and obstinate in his own plans. Fifth, it leads him to make light of his sins and to make excuses for them. Sixth, it inspires in him frivolity of mind and every carnal impurity.

Seventh, it inspires in him the hope of a long life and a feeling a shame about going to confession. Guard your thoughts carefully, then, so that you do not get deceived by this spirit.”

EXPLANATION
This was a priest of the Cistercian order who, after eighteen years of apostasy, repented and returned to the monastery. He said that it was impossible for anyone to be damned and denied that God spoke with anyone in this world or that anyone could see the face of God prior to God's judgment. When Lady Bridget heard this, the Holy Spirit said to her: ”Go and tell that brother this: 'Brother, you do not see as I do how the devil still keeps your mind and tongue tied even in your old age. God is eternal, and his reward is eternal. Therefore, return quickly and wholeheartedly to God and to the true faith, for you will assuredly not get up out of this bed but die. However, if you believe, you will be a vessel for God's honor.' ”
He was reduced to tears and thanked Lady Bridget, and he reformed his life so perfectly that, when his brothers were called together at the hour of his death, he told them: ”O my brothers, I am assured that God all merciful has accepted my contrition and will grant me pardon. Pray for me, because I believe everything that the Holy Church believes.” Then, after having received God's sacraments, he passed away.

The Virgin's words to the daughter about how God's servants should behave toward impatient people, and about how pride is likened to a vat.




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