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Chapter 71

The Son of God speaks to his bride: ”Answer for me the four questions I ask. If someone gives his friend a fruitful vine but keeps it close to his own house so that he might have the pleasure of seeing and smelling it, what should the giver say if the new owner of the vine were to ask if he could transplant it to another place where it could bear more plentiful fruit?” She answers: ”If the friend gave him it out of love and was sensible and desired the good for his friend, then he would certainly allow him to do whatever he wanted with the vine, saying: 'My friend, though it makes me happy to have the vine close by, still it does not yield me much fruit, and so I am happy if you can transfer it, if you like, to a more fertile spot.' ”

The Lord asked a second time: ”If parents were to give their maiden daughter to a young man, and she consented to the youth, but if the boy, when asked by the parents whether he wanted to have her or not, does not give an answer, is the girl betrothed then or not?” She answered: ”It seems to me that, since the boy did not express his own wishes, the girl is not betrothed.”
The Lord spoke a third time: ”A noble youth in the company of three maidens proposed to them that whichever of them could express herself in a way that excited his love the most would obtain that which the youth loved the most. The first girl answered: 'I love this young man so much that I would rather die than disgrace myself with another man.' The second girl said: 'And I would rather suffer any kind of pain than utter a single word against his wishes.' The third answered: 'I would prefer to suffer any kind of bitter pain or condemnation rather than see his least little scorn or condemnation.' '' Then the Lord said: ”Tell me, which of these three maidens loved the youth most and should receive his preferential love?” She answered: ”It seems to me that they all loved him equally, since they were all of one accord in his respect, and all of them equally deserve to have his love.”
The Lord spoke a fourth time: ”A man once consulted his friend and said: 'I have very fertile wheat. If it is sown in the ground, it yields a great crop. However, I am very hungry, so what do you think is more advisable: to eat it or to sow it in the ground?' His friend answers: 'Your hunger can be stilled at another time. Now it is more useful for you to sow it in the ground.' ” Then the Lord added: ”My daughter, do you not think the same - should not the person experiencing hunger endure it and plant the grain so that it will be good for many people?”

The Lord said again: ”These four examples apply to you. Your daughter is like a vine that you have vowed and given to me. Now, however, since I know a more suitable place for her, I want to transplant her where I please, and you should not be upset by this, since you gave your consent to the transplantation.”

The Lord said again: ”You gave me your daughter, but I did not show you which would be more acceptable to me, her virginity or her matrimony, or whether your sacrifice pleased me or not. Therefore, the things that were done in uncertainty can be changed and corrected now that they are known with certainty.” The Lord said again: ”Virginity is good and most excellent, for it resembles the angelic state, provided it is maintained with wisdom and virtue.
But if the one is missing from the other, that is, if there is virginity of the flesh but not of the mind, then that virginity has been deformed. A devout and humble housewife is more acceptable to me than a proud and immodest virgin. A God-fearing housewife, who is in control of herself and lives according to the rule of her state, can win equal merit as a humble and modest virgin. Although it is a great thing to stand the test of fire without burning, it is an equally great thing to remain outside the fire of the religious state but to be willing to be in the fire and to burn with greater ardor outside the fire than one does who is in the fire.

I offer you the example of three women - Susanna, Judith, and Thecla the virgin. The first was married, the second a widow, the third a virgin. They had different ways of life and made different choices, but they gained a similar reward by their meritorious deeds. When Susanna was falsely molested by the priests, she preferred, out of love for God, death to disgracing her state in life. Because she feared me as being everywhere present, she deserved to be saved and to be glorified for the sake of her salvation. When Judith saw the dishonor done to me and her people being lost, she was so troubled that she not only exposed herself to blame and condemnation for the sake of her love for God, but was also prepared to suffer punishment for my sake. Finally, Thecla, who was a virgin, preferred to suffer bitter torments than to utter a single word against me. These three women, although their actions were not one and the same, nevertheless were equal in merit. Therefore, whether virgin or widow, everyone is equally capable of pleasing me, provided that all their desire is directed toward me and that their life is virtuous.”

The Lord said again: ”It is equally acceptable to me whether your daughter remains a virgin or marries, provided that it is done according to my will. What would it profit her if she perhaps were cloistered in body but remained outside the walls in her mind? Or, which would be more glorious: to live for herself or for the benefit of others? I know and foresee all things, and I do nothing without a reason. Therefore, she shall not arrive at her destination by the first fruit, for that would be out of fear, nor the second fruit, for that would be out of lukewarmness.
She will, however, arrive in the middle state, for that has just the right warmth of love and fruit of virtue. However, the man who is to receive her should possess three things - housing, clothing, and food enough to receive her.”
EXPLANATION
The Son speaks: ”You are wondering why this virgin did not come to be married in the way you hoped. I answer by way of a parable. A certain nobleman arranged to give his daughter in marriage to a poor man. This man, who was to have been betrothed to the maiden, broke the laws of the city and was dishonorably expelled by the citizens and did not get the maiden whom he desired. I have acted in the same manner with the ruler of this country. I promised to do great things for him, but instead he joined my enemies and therefore did not obtain the things I promised him.

But you might ask: Could I not foresee the future? Of course, I foresaw it, in the same way as can be read in the case of Moses and his people. I have revealed and do reveal many things so that people can prepare themselves for good things and know what to do and wait patiently. Know, however, that one woe has passed and another shall come upon the ungrateful people of this kingdom in order that my blessing may afterward come upon the humble persons who entreat my mercy. Know, too, that it would be better for this virgin to follow the advice of the wise and of me.”

This virgin is believed to have been Lady Cecilia, St. Bridget's daughter. Concerning her, see St. Bridget's biography.


The words of Christ concerning the sisters of the risen Lazarus, and about how (as I believe) the sisters stand for the bride and her daughter, Lazarus for the soul, the Jews for envious persons, and about how God has shown the latter greater mercy than he did for the sisters of Lazarus, and about how people who talk much but do little become indignant against those who do good deeds.




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