The Son speaks: ”If this man wishes to honor me, let him first work to reduce my dishonor and increase my honor. My dishonor consists in the contempt shown for the commandments that I have commanded and the words that I have personally spoken, which are completely disregarded by almost everyone. If he wishes to love me, then let him from now on show greater charity toward all souls for whom I opened up heaven with my heart's blood. If he longs to rest with God more than to enlarge his inheritance, then he will surely find greater desire as well as help from God in order to win back that place, Jerusalem, where my dead body lay.
Tell him, you who are hearing this: I, God, allowed him to be crowned king. This is why it is especially his duty to follow my will and to love and honor me above all things. If he fails to do so, his days will be cut short. Moreover, those people who are emotionally attached to him will be painfully separated from him, and his kingdom will be divided into several parts.”
The bride's symbolic vision of the church, its explanation, which concerns the moderation and attitude that the pope ought to maintain regarding his own person and regarding the cardinals and other prelates of Holy Mother Church, and especially about the attitude of humility.
It seemed to a certain person that she was in a large chancel, and a great, shining sun appeared. There were two pulpits, as it were, in the chancel, one to the right and the other to the left, with a long space intervening between them and the sun. Two rays of the sun fell upon the pulpits.
Then a voice was heard from the pulpit on the left side, saying: ”Hail, eternal king, creator and redeemer, and just judge! Behold, your vicar, who is seated on your chair in the world, has now brought his chair back to its ancient and earlier place, where sat the first pope, Peter, prince of the apostles.” A voice from the pulpit on the right replied, saying: ”How can he enter into the Holy Church when the barrels of the door hinges are full of rust and dirt? This is why the doors are inclining toward the ground, because there is no room in the barrels to receive the hinge-pins that should be supporting the doors. The pins have been completely bent outward and are not at all curved in such a way as to hold the doors in place. The floor is all dug up and has been converted into pits as deep as bottomless wells. The ceiling is smeared with pitch and burning with sulphurous flames, dripping down like dense rain. Thick, black fumes arising from the pits and the dripping of the ceiling have stained all the walls and made their color as ugly to look at as gory blood and pus. It is therefore not fitting for God's friend to have his dwelling in such a temple.”
The voice from the left replied, saying: ”Give a spiritual explanation of what you have described physically.” The other voice then said: ”The pope is symbolized and represented by the doors; the barrels of the door hinges signify humility. This should be empty of all pride so that nothing is to be seen there except what pertains to the humble office of pontiff, just as the barrel should be completely empty of any rust. However, the barrels, that is, the insignia of humility, are now so full of excess and wealth and resources - kept for no other purpose than pride - that nothing seems humble, since all his humility has been converted into worldly pomp. Therefore, it is not surprising that the pope, represented by the doors, is inclining toward worldliness, as symbolized by the rust and the dirt. Accordingly, let the pope begin with true humility in himself: first of all, in his trappings - his clothes, his gold, silver, and vessels of silver, his horses and other equipment - getting rid of everything but what is necessary, and donating the rest to the poor and, especially, to those whom he knows to be friends of God.
Let him then organize his entourage with moderation and keep only those servants needed to protect him. Although it is in God's hands to call him to judgment, still it is only right for him to have servants both in order to strengthen the cause of justice and so that he can humble those who rebel against God and against the holy customs of the church.
The hinge-pins attached to the doors represent the cardinals who have been bent outward and stretched as far as possible toward all pride, greed, and physical pleasure. This is why the pope should take a hammer and tongs in hand and bend the hinges to his will by not letting them have more clothes, servants, and equipment than necessity and utility require. Let him bend them with the tongs, that is, with his soothing words and divine counsel and fatherly love. Then, if they refuse to obey, he should take the hammer and display severity toward them, doing with them whatever lies in his power and does not go against justice, until they are bent to his will.
The floor represents the bishops and the secular clergy, whose greed is bottomless. From their pride and luxurious way of living come the fumes that make all the angels in heaven and all God's friends on earth shun them.
The pope can improve the situation greatly by allowing them to have only what they need and nothing superfluous, and he should order each bishop to watch over the ways of his own clergy. Anyone who refuses to mend his ways and live continently should be stripped of his prebends, because God would rather not have a mass said in a given place than let a whorish hand touch the body of God.”
The bride's unfathomable vision of the judgment of a multitude of persons still in life, in which she heard: ”If people would rectify their sins, I, too, will lighten their sentence.”
It seemed to me as though a king was seated on a judgment seat, and each living person stood before him. Each person had two beings standing next to him, one of whom appeared like an armed soldier, the other like a black Ethiopian. A pulpit stood before the judgment seat. On it lay a book, arranged in the same way as I saw earlier when I saw three kings standing before him. It seemed to me that the whole world was standing before the pulpit. Then I heard the judge saying to the armed soldier: ”Call those whom you have served with love!”
Those who were named fell down immediately. Some of them lay there for a longer while, others for a shorter, before their souls were separated from the body. I am unable to grasp everything I heard and saw then, for I heard the sentences of many people still living but who will soon be called. However, the following was said to me by the judge: ”If people would rectify their sins, I, too, will lighten their sentence.” Then I saw many people being sentenced, some to purgatory, others to everlasting woe.
The bride's admirable and terrible vision about a soul led before the judge, and about the arguments of God and the book's judgment against the soul and the soul's evidence against herself, and about the various astounding punishments inflicted on her in purgatory.