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Chapter 67

The Son speaks to the bride: ”I am one God together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. All things were foreseen and established by my divine providence from the beginning and before the ages. All things, bodily as well as spiritual, have a certain plan and order, and they exist and move along according as my foreknowledge has ordained and foreknown. Three examples will help you to understand this. First, you can understand it from living things as well as from the fact that the woman and not the man gives birth.

Second, it can be seen from the fact that sweet trees bear sweet fruit, while bitter trees bear bitter fruit. Third, it can be seen from the stars, that is, that the sun and moon and all the heavenly bodies complete their course as predetermined in my divinity. Rational souls are also foreknown in my divinity. I know beforehand what they will become, but my foreknowledge is in no way an obstacle or hindrance to them, for I have given them free voluntary motion, that is, free will and the power to choose whatever they like.
Consequently, as the woman and not the man gives birth, so too the good soul, God's wife, should give birth with God's help, for the soul was created in order to advance in virtue and grow fruitful through the seed of the virtues, so that she may be clasped in the arms of divine love. The soul that falls away from her original excellence and from her Creator acts contrary to God's plans and is therefore unworthy of God's sweetness.

Second, God's unchanging plan appears in trees, because sweet trees bear sweet fruit and bitter trees the opposite. A date has both a sweet pulp and a hard stone. Similarly, it has been foreseen from all eternity that wherever the Holy Spirit dwells, there all worldly delight turns vile, and all worldly honor becomes burdensome. In such a heart, however, there is so much strength and hardiness from the Holy Spirit that it is not cast down by any adversity nor overly elated by any success. It has been similarly foreseen from all eternity that wherever the devil's briar is, the fruit will be red on the outside but all unclean and full of prickles on the inside. Thus, while there is momentary and apparent sweetness in the devil's delight, it is full of thorns and tribulations, because the more someone gets entangled in the world, the more heavily that person is weighed down by the burden of the account to be rendered. And so, just as every tree produces its fruit according to the kind of roots and trunk it has, so too every person is judged according to the intention behind his or her deeds.

In the third place, all the elements keep to their own order and motion, as foreseen from eternity, and move according to the will of their Maker. Likewise, every rational creature should move and prepare itself according to the order established by the Creator. When a rational creature does the opposite, it is obvious that it is abusing its freedom of choice. So, while irrational creatures keep to their limits, rational human beings debase their original excellence and render their sentence heavier by not making use of their reason.
Thus, the human will must be guarded. I do no more injury to the devil than to my angels. As God requires that chaste, indescribable sweetness from his bride, so the devil looks for thorns and prickles from his bride. Yet, the devil can in no way prevail, unless the power of the will has been corrupted.”

The Mother's words to her daughter about a fox, and about how the devil is like a fox, and about how the devil, like a clever fox, deceives people with many and varied temptations, and tries all he can to deceive all those whom he sees making progress in virtue.

      1. Chapter 68

The Mother speaks: ”The small animal called a fox is very diligent and clever in getting everything it needs. Sometimes it pretends to be asleep or even dead so that the birds lose their caution and perch right on top of it, and the fox can then easily catch and devour the birds so uncautious as to perch there. It watches how the birds fly, and snatches and devours any it sees resting from their fatigue on the ground or under a tree. However, the birds that fly with both their wings confuse and frustrate him in his efforts.

This fox represents the devil. He is always following God's friends and especially those who lack his malicious bile and wicked venom. He pretends to be asleep and dead in the sense that he sometimes leaves a person free from more serious temptations so as to deceive and ensnare him unawares more easily in small ones. Sometimes he even makes vice seem like virtue and virtue like vice, in order that a person gets caught and falls into a hole and comes to ruin, unless prudence comes to his aid. An example will help you to understand this.

Sometimes mercy can be a vice, namely, when it is practiced merely to please people. Rigorous justice can be injustice, when it is exercised because of greed or impatience. Humility can be pride, when one makes a display of it in order to attract attention. Patience seems to be a virtue but is not in a situation where one would seek revenge if one could, but must endure an offense simply because there is no opportunity for revenge. Sometimes the devil also submits people to trials and tribulations in order to break them through excessive sadness. Sometimes, too, the devil fills people's hearts with anxiety and worry so as to make them become lukewarm in God's service or, when they are careless in small respects, to make them fall in greater ones.
It was in this way that the person of whom I am speaking was tricked by the fox. When he reached old age and had everything he wanted, and declared himself to be happy and to wish to go on living, he was then snatched away without the sacraments and without atoning for his life and deeds. Like an ant, he used to gather his stores night and day, though not in the storehouse of the Lord. But, when he had reached the entrance of the anthill where he was bringing his grain, he died and left his work for others. He who does not fruitfully gather in the time of harvest will not have the enjoyment of the corn.
Happy are those birds of the Lord that do not sleep beneath the trees of worldly delights but in the trees of heavenly desires. If ever a temptation of that wicked fox, the devil, lays hold of them, they quickly fly away on the wings of humble confession and the hope of heavenly assistance.”
EXPLANATION

Christ, the Son of God, speaks: ”This provost is material for the episcopate. Whoever wants to climb the tree of sweet fruit should be free from every burden, girded and ready for gathering, having a clean vessel in which to put the fruit. Let this man seek eagerly now to decorate his body with virtues. He should supply it with the necessities but not the superfluities of life. He should flee the occasions of incontinence and greed and show himself to be a clean mirror and an example for imperfect men. Otherwise a horrible fall will come upon him, a sudden end by the stroke of my hand.”

All this came to pass.



Christ's words to the bride comparing the good conduct and good deeds of the clergy to clear water and their bad conduct and bad deeds to filthy, brutish water.




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