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Chapter 62

When a certain priest was burying a person who had been sick in bed for three and a half years, the bride heard the Spirit saying: ”My friend, what are you doing? Why do you presume to touch the dead with your bloodied hands? Why do you make loud appeals to the Almighty for this man's sake with a froglike voice? How do you presume to appease the Judge for his sake when your own morals and manners are more like a jester's than those of a devout priest? It is the power of my words and not your doing that will profit the dead man. It is his faith and long-suffering that will bring him to his reward.”

The Spirit then said to the bride: ”This man's hands are bloodied in the sense that all his deeds are of a sensual nature. His hands are not worthy to touch the dead man in the sense that he is of no help to him by reason of his own worth but only through the nobleness of the sacrament. Good priests benefit souls especially in two ways: first, through the power of the Lord's body and, second, through the love that burns in them. His voice is like that of frogs in the sense that it is full of dirty deeds and sensual pleasure. His moral behavior is like that of a jester. What else does a jester do but conform himself to worldly morality? What other tune does he sing but 'Let us eat and drink and enjoy life's pleasures'? That is how this man acts. He conforms himself to everyone else in his dress and behavior in order to please them. He incites them all to excess by his own example and extravagance, saying: 'Let us eat and drink, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. It is enough for us to reach the gates of glory. Even if I am not allowed to enter, it is enough for me to sit outside the gates. I have no wish to be perfect.'
This manner of voice and living is indeed serious. No one shall reach the gates of glory but the perfect or those who have been perfectly purified. No one shall possess my glory but those who perfectly desire it and perfectly struggle to attain it while they can. Yet I, the Lord of the universe, enter into this priest, though without being either enclosed or defiled. I enter as a bridegroom, I leave as the future judge, scorned by the receiver. I will, therefore, as I have said, come to priests, bringing seven plagues. They shall be deprived of everything they held dear. They shall be cast out of God's sight and sentenced in his wrath.

They shall be handed over to demons to suffer without rest, scorned by all, lacking all good things and abounding in every evil. They will likewise be scourged by seven bodily ills, as Israel was. Hence, you should not wonder when I am tolerant with the wicked or when any irreverence is shown to my sacrament. I endure it until the end in order to reveal my patience as well as human ingratitude. Nor should you worry when offenses are committed against my body, such as when you heard about its being spat out. The sensible species show their deficiency as is proper to them, and yet, being transparent, they reveal human ingratitude and show people to be culpable and unworthy to receive holy communion.”

The Spirit spoke again to the soul of the dead man: ”O, soul, rejoice and exult, because your faith has separated you from the devil. Your simplicity has shortened for you the way through purgatory. Your patience has brought you to the gates of glory where my mercy will lead you in and crown you.”

How the devil appeared to the bride with the intention of deceiving her through specious arguments in regard to the sacrament of the body of Christ, and about how Christ came to her assistance and forced the devil to tell her the truth, and about the assurance and beneficial instruction Christ gives to the bride concerning his glorious body in the sacrament.

      1. Chapter 63

A demon with an enormous belly appeared to the bride and said: ”Woman, what do you believe? What great things are you thinking about? I, too, know many things and want to prove what I say with clear reasoning, but I would advise you to stop thinking about unbelievable things and to trust your senses. Do you not see with your eyes and hear with the ears of your body the sound of the breaking of the material bread of the host? You have seen it being spat out, touched, shamefully thrown on the ground, and suffering many other indignities that I would never allow to be done to me. Even if it is possible for God to be in the mouth of the righteous, how can he stoop to come to the unrighteous whose greed is without limit or measure?”

She turned to Christ who had appeared in human form immediately after the temptations. She said: ”O Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you for all things and especially for these three. First, that you clothe my soul with the inspiration of penance and contrition by which every sin is washed away, no matter how serious. Second, that you feed my soul with the infusion of your charity and the memory of your passion by which the soul is refreshed as though with the best of foods. Third, that you console all those who invoke you in the midst of hardship. Therefore, Lord, have mercy on me and strengthen my faith, for, although I deserve to be handed over to the deceits of the devil, still I believe that he can do nothing without your permission and that your permission is never given without consolation.”

Then Christ said to the devil: ”Why are you speaking to my new bride?” The devil answered: ”Because she is tied to me, and I still hope to ensnare her in my snares. She is tied to me when, by consenting to me, she has sought to please and has pleased me more than you, her Creator. I have watched her ways, and they have not yet escaped my memory.” The Lord answered: ”Are you a negotiator, then, and a spy of every highway? The devil answered: ”Yes, I am a spy but in darkness. You made me dark.” The Lord asked: ”When were you able to see and how did you become dark?”
The demon said, ”I could see when you created me most beautiful, but, because I rashly thrust myself upon your splendor, it blinded me like the basilisk. I could see you when I desired your beauty. I could see you and knew you in my conscience when you rejected me. I also recognized you in your assumed flesh, and I did what you give me permission to do. I recognized you when you robbed me of your captives. Every day I recognize the power by which you mock and shame me.”
The Lord said: ”If you know and understand the truth about me, why do you lie to my chosen ones, when you realize the truth about me? Did I not say that he who eats my flesh shall have eternal life? And you say that it is a lie and that no one eats my flesh. Hence, my people are more idolatrous than those who worship stones and trees. Although I know all things, yet answer me while this woman here is listening, for she is unable to understand spiritual truths except by means of images. Was my body that Thomas touched after my resurrection a spiritual or corporeal body? If it was corporeal, how did it pass through the locked doors? But, if it was spiritual, how was it visible to corporeal eyes?”

The devil answered: ”It is hard to speak when the speaker is held in suspicion by everyone and he is unwillingly compelled to speak the truth.

However, seeing that I am compelled, I state that you were both corporeal and spiritual after rising from the dead. It is because of the eternal power of your divinity and because of a special privilege of your glorified flesh that you can enter anywhere and be present everywhere.” The Lord said further: ”Tell me, when Moses' staff was turned into a serpent, was it only the image of a serpent or was it completely a serpent both inside and outside? And tell me again, the leftover bread in those baskets, was it really and wholly bread or just the image of bread?” The devil answered: ”The entire staff became a serpent, what was in the baskets was entirely bread, and it was entirely done by your power and might.”

The Lord said: ”Is it more difficult or more miraculous for me to perform a similar miracle now than it was then, if I please? Or, if my glorified flesh could pass through the locked doors then, why can it not be in the hands of the priests now? Does it, perhaps, entail an effort for my divinity to unite that which is least with that which is heavenly, the earthly with the most sublime? Certainly not. But, father of lies, just as you excel in wickedness, so too my love is and always shall be upon all creatures. Even if one person should seem to burn the sacrament with fire, or another to trample it underfoot, I alone know the faith of all and arrange everything in due measure and patience. I create something out of nothing and a visible thing out of an invisible one. I can reveal something through a visible sign and shape that, however, truly is one thing in what is signified, yet is seen as something else.”
The devil answered: ”I experience the truth of this everyday when people who are my friends depart from me to become your friends. But what more shall I say? The slave left to himself shows well enough by his will what he would carry out in act if allowed.” Then the Son of God spoke once more: ”My daughter, believe that I am Christ, the restorer of life and not the betrayer, the true one, the very truth itself and not a liar, the eternal power without which nothing ever was or shall be. If you believe that I am in the hands of the priest, even if the priest doubts it, then I am truly in his hands due to the faith of the believers and those present, as well as due to the words that I myself established and uttered. Everyone who receives me receives both my divine and human natures as well as the form of bread.

What is God if not life and sweetness, illuminating light, delightful goodness, judicious justice, saving mercy? What is my humanity if not an active body, the conjunction of God and man, the head of all Christians?

Therefore, those who believe in God and receive his body receive the divine nature as well, for they receive life. They also receive the human nature by which God and man are joined. Again, they receive the form of bread, because the One who is hidden as to his own form is received beneath a different form as a test of faith. Likewise, wicked persons also receive the same divinity but as a stern judge rather than an affectionate friend. They receive his human nature as well, though less easily appeased. They also receive the form of bread, for they receive the truth hidden beneath the visible form, but it is not sweet to them.

Once they put me in their mouths and chew, the sacrament is fulfilled, but I depart from them with my divinity and humanity, and only the form of bread remains for them. It is not that I am not truly present in the wicked as well as in the good due to the institution of the sacrament, but that the effect is not the same for the good as for the wicked. Life itself, God, is offered to man in this sacrifice. So, life enters into the wicked but does not remain with them, because they do not give up their wickedness. Thus, only the form of bread remains there for their senses to perceive. Yet, this is not because the bread's form behind the bread's substance has any effect upon them, but because they think no more of what they have received than what they see and perceive of the form of bread and wine. It is as if a mighty lord were to enter someone's house and his appearance were to be noticed but the presence of his goodness ignored.”

The Mother's words to the daughter comparing her Son to a poor peasant, and about how troubles and persecutions occur to good and bad alike, though they lead the good by patience toward purification and reward.




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