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Chapter 64

The Mother speaks: ”My Son is like a poor peasant who has neither ox nor donkey but instead carries the wood himself from the forest as well as the other tools needed to complete his work. Among his tools, he carries birch-rods. He needs these for two reasons: in order to flog disobedient children and to create warmth for cold people. My Son, the Lord and Creator of the universe, made himself most poor in order to so enrich everyone not with fleeting but with eternal riches. Carrying on his back the heavy weight of the bitter cross, he cleansed and obliterated everyone's sins with his blood. Among his various works, he selected tools of virtue, that is, virtuous persons through whom the hearts of many have been inflamed with the love of God through the operation of the Spirit of God, thus making the path of truth known.

He also selected birch-rods, which stand for the lovers of this world, through whom the children and friends of God are flogged for their own improvement and purification and for their greater precaution and reward. The rods also warm the cold children, and even God grows warm by their fire. How does this happen? Well, when the worldly cause trouble for God's friends as well as for those who almost only love God out of fear, these turn in their troubles to God with greater fervor, considering the emptiness of the world. Then God has compassion on their troubles and gives them encouragement and love.
But what will become of the rods once the children have been flogged? They will surely be cast into the burning fire. God certainly does not scorn his own people when he delivers them into the hands of the impious. Rather, he is like a father who raises his children and makes use in this way of the wickedness of the impious as a means to their reward.”

The Mother's admonishment to her daughter with a simile to show how God's friends should not weary of nor leave off their work of preaching; also, about the great reward for such preachers.

      1. Chapter 65

The Mother speaks: ”You ought to be like an empty vessel ready to be filled, neither so wide that it cannot hold what is poured into it, nor so deep that it lacks a bottom. This vessel is your body, which is empty when it is a stranger to desire. It has the proper width when the flesh is prudently disciplined so that the soul is able to understand spiritual things and the body is strong enough to work. The vessel is bottomless when the flesh is not restrained by any form of abstinence and the body is not denied whatever the mind desires.

Now listen to what I have to say: My servant uttered an unfeathered word when he said: 'What is it to me to be speaking about things that do not have to do with my state in life?' Words like that are not fitting for a servant of God. Anyone who hears and knows the truth and is silent about it is liable to punishment, if not to being completely rejected.

A certain ruler had a strong castle in which there were four good things: undecaying food that chased away all hunger, healthy water that quenched every thirst, a sweet-smelling fragrance that drove away all poisonous vapors, indispensable weapons to weaken every foe. While the ruler was attending to other matters, the castle was at last beseiged. When the ruler found out, he said to his herald: 'Go and proclaim the following with a loud voice to my soldiers: I, your ruler, shall free my castle. Anyone who follows me with a good will shall be with me in my glory and receive similar honor. If anyone falls in battle, I will raise him up to a life without need or anxiety. I shall give him lasting honor and unfailing plenty.' The servant received his orders and made the proclamation, but he was not careful enough in doing so and the proclamation did not reach the ears of the most valiant soldier. So this soldier kept away from the battle. What will the ruler do to this soldier who would gladly have fought but who did not hear the words of the herald? Indeed, he will be rewarded for the sake of his good will, but the negligent herald will not be exempt from punishment.

This castle is the Holy Church founded through the blood of my Son. In the church is his body that chases away all hunger. In it is the water of gospel wisdom, the fragrance of saintly example, and the weapons of his passion. This castle is now beset by enemies, for many are to be found in the Holy Church who preach my Son with their voices but do not agree with him in their conduct. What they speak with their voices, they contradict in their intentions, for they do not care about their heavenly homeland but only want to gain their own pleasure. Accordingly, in order that the enemies of God may decrease in number, the friends of God should be unflagging in their efforts, for their reward will not be a temporal one but the kind knowing no end.”


The Mother's words to the daughter about how the prudent possession of temporal goods does no harm, provided that the desire to possess them is not disordered.

      1. Chapter 66

The Mother speaks: ”What harm does it do if someone's clothes get poked by a needle or a bit of iron so long as the skin is not injured? In the same way, a prudent possession of temporal goods does no harm, provided that the desire to possess them is not disordered. Therefore, examine your heart to ensure that your intention is good, because the words of God must be spread to others through you.


As the sluice gate of a water-mill blocks the water and then lets it flow whenever necessary, so too you must carefully examine the various thoughts and temptations occurring to you in order to get rid of vain and worldly ideas, while keeping continously in mind divine ones. It is written, you know, that the lower waters flowed downward but the upper waters stood like a wall.
The lower waters stand for carnal thoughts and useless desires. These should just flow off without attracting any attention. The upper waters stand for the inspirations of God and the words of the saints. These should remain in your heart like steadfast walls that no temptations can batter away from your heart.”

Christ's words to the bride disclosing his magnificence, and about how all things proceed according to his designs, with the exception of sinners' wretched souls. Figurative examples are given concerning all this. Also, about how the will must be guarded in one's actions.




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