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The Most Auspicious Hour – Ascension into Heaven

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A slab of stone in the Chapel contains one of Jesus footprints



To know who is Mary of Agreda –  see article here

The most auspicious hour, in which the Onlybegotten of the eternal Father, after descending from heaven in order to assume human flesh, was to ascend by his own power and in a most wonderful manner to the right hand of God, the Inheritor of his eternities, one and equal with Him in nature and infinite glory. He was to ascend, also, because He had previously descended to the lowest regions of the earth, as the Apostle says (Ephes. 4, 9), having fulfilled all that had been written and prophesied concerning his coming into the world, his Life, Death and the Redemption of man, and having penetrated, as the Lord of all, to the very centre of the earth.

By this Ascension he sealed all the mysteries and hastened the fulfillment of his promise, according to which He was, with the Father, to send the Paraclete upon his Church after He himself should have ascended into heaven (John 16, 7). In order to celebrate this festive and mysterious day, Christ our Lord selected as witnesses the hundred and twenty persons, to whom, as related in the foregoing chapter, He had spoken in the Cenacle. They were the most holy Mary, the eleven Apostles, the seventy-two disciples, Mary Magdalen, Lazarus their brother, the other Marys and the faithful men and women making up the abovementioned number of one hundred and twenty.

With this little flock our divine Shepherd Jesus left the Cenacle, and, with his most blessed Mother at his side, He conducted them all through the streets of Jerusalem. The Apostles and all the rest in their order, proceeded in the direction of Bethany, which was less than half a league over the brow of mount Olivet. The company of angels and saints from limbo and purgatory followed the Victor with new songs of praise, although Mary alone was privileged to see them. The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth was already divulged throughout Jerusalem and Palestine.

Although the perfidious and malicious princes and priests had spread about the false testimony of his being stolen by the disciples, yet many would not accept their testimony, nor give it any credit. It was divinely provided, that none of the inhabitants of the city, and none of the unbelievers or doubters, should pay any attention to this holy procession, or hinder it on its way from the Cenacle. All, except the one hundred and twenty just, who were chosen by the Lord to witness his Ascension into heaven, were justly punished by being prevented from noticing this wonderful mystery, and the Chieftain and Head of this procession remained invisible to them.

The Lord having thus secured them this privacy, they all ascended mount Olivet to its highest point. There they formed three choirs, one of the angels, another of the saints, and a third of the Apostles and faithful, which again divided into two bands, while Christ the Savior presided. Then the most prudent Mother prostrated Herself : at the feet of her Son and, worshipping Him with admirable humility, She adored Him as the true God and as the Redeemer of the world, asking his last blessing. All the faithful there present imitated Her and did the same. Weeping and sighing, they asked the Lord, whether He was now to restore the kingdom of Israel (Acts 1, 6). The Lord answered, that this was a secret of the eternal Father and not to be made known to them; but, for the present, it was necessary and befitting, that they receive the Holy Ghost and preach, in Jerusalem, in Samaria and in all the world, the mysteries of the Redemption of the world.

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The Chapel of the Ascension is located on the Mount of Olives on a site traditionally believed to be the earthly spot where Jesus ascended into Heaven after his Resurrection. It houses a slab of stone believed to contain one of his footprints.

Jesus, having taken leave of this holy and fortunate gathering of the faithful, his countenance beaming forth peace and majesty, joined his hands and, by his own power, began to raise Himself from the earth, leaving thereon the impression of his sacred feet. In gentlest motion He was wafted toward the aerial regions, drawing after Him the eyes and the hearts of those firstborn children, who amid sighs and tears vented their affection. And as, at the moving of the first Cause of all motion, it is proper that also the nether spheres should be set in motion, so the Savior Jesus drew after Him also the celestial choirs of the angels, the holy Patriarchs and the rest of the glorified saints, some of them with body and soul, others only as to their soul.

All of them in heavenly order were raised up together from the earth, accompanying and following their King, their Chief and Head. The new and mysterious sacrament, which the right hand of the Most High wrought on this occasion for his most holy Mother, was that He raised Her up with Him in order to put Her in possession of the glory, which He had assigned to Her as his true Mother and which She had by her merits prepared and earned for Herself. Of this favor the great Queen was capable even before it happened; for her divine Son had offered it to Her during the forty days which He spent in her company after his Resurrection.

In order that this sacrament might be kept secret from all other living creatures at that time, and in order that the heavenly Mistress might be present in the gathering of the Apostles and the faithful in their prayerful waiting upon the coming of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1, 14), the divine power enabled the blessed Mother miraculously to be in two places at once; remaining with the children of the Church for their comfort during their stay in the Cenacle and at the same time ascending with the Redeemer of the world to his heavenly throne, where She remained for three days. There She enjoyed the perfect use of all her powers and faculties, whereas She was more restricted in the use of them during that time in the Cenacle.

The most blessed Lady was raised up with her divine Son and placed at the right hand in fulfillment of what David said: “The Queen was at his right hand in vestments gilded by the splendors of his glory and surrounded by the variety of his gifts and graces in the sight of the ascending angels and saints” (Ps. 44, 10). In order that this astounding mystery may excite the devotion and enliven the faith of the faithful, and that it may draw them to magnify the Author of this extraordinary and inconceivable miracle, I again inform those who read of it, that, from the time in which the Most High commissioned me, and afterward repeatedly, through many years, expressly commanded me to write this history, He has revealed to me many diverse mysteries and great sacraments, both already written and yet to be written; for the exalted nature of this history demanded such a preparation and predisposition.

I have not received all these revelations at once; for the limitation of a creature is not capable of such abundance. But in order that I might be enabled to write, new enlightenment was given me for each mystery in particular. The enlightenments concerning each were usually given to me on the feasts of the Christ our Lord and of the heavenly Lady. Especially the great sacrament of Mary’s being raised to heaven with her divine Son at his Ascension and of her remaining at the same time in the Cenacle in a wonderful manner, was shown to me in several consecutive years on that feast day.

When the divine truth is known and contemplated in God himself, in whom there is all light without mixture of darkness and where as well the object as its cause is evident, it creates a certainty without a touch of doubt (I John 1, 5). But those who hear these mysteries told by others, must excite their piety in order to ask for belief in what is obscure. On this account I would feel a hesitation in writing of the hidden sacrament of this celestial visit of our Queen, if the omission of such a great and important wonder and prerogative were not so serious a defect in this history.

This hesitation occurred to me, when I was made aware of this mystery for the first time; but now, after I have already related in the first part, that the child Mary at its birth was elevated to the empyrean heavens, and, in this second part, that She was twice thus elevated during the nine days of preparation for the incarnation of the divine Word, I have no such hesitation in writing of this miracle. If the divine power conferred such admirable favors on the blessed Virgin before She became the Mother of God in preparation for this dignity; it is much more credible, that He should repeat it after She had been consecrated by bearing Him in her virginal womb, after giving Him human form from her own purest blood, after nursing Him at her breast and raising Him as a true Son, after serving Him for thirty-three years, following Him and imitating Him in his life, in his Passion and Death with a fidelity inexpressible to human tongue.

In the investigation of these mysteries and special favors of the blessed Mother the reason why the Most High operated them, is quite a different thing from the cause of their being kept secret for so many centuries in the Church. In inquiring into the first, we must be guided by our knowledge of the divine power and of the love of God for his Mother, as well as by our knowledge of his desire of raising Her to a dignity above all other creatures. As men in their mortal flesh can never perfectly know the dignity of that Mother, nor her love, nor the love of her Son, or of the blessed Trinity, nor the merits and holiness conferred upon Her by the Almighty, their ignorance tends to set limits to the divine power in its operations.

God did for Her all He could, and that was as much as He wished. But he communicated Himself to Her in such a special manner, as to become her Son of her substance, hence it necessarily follows, that in the order of grace He dealt with Her in an extraordinary manner, and as befitted no one else, not even the whole human race. Hence to Her were due not only extraordinary favors, benefits and blessings of the Almighty; but the rule of judging about them must be, that, after his own most holy humanity, nothing, that could in any manner redound to her glory and holiness, was denied Her.

But in regard to the revelation of these wonders in his Church, the high providence of God, which governs it and procures new splendors for it according to the circumstances of the times, is guided by other reasons. For the happy day of grace, which dawned upon the world in the Incarnation of the Word and in the Redemption of man, has its morning and its noontide as also its eventide, and all this the divine Wisdom disposes when and how it becomes opportune. Although all the mysteries of Christ and his Mother are revealed in the holy Scriptures; yet not all of them are manifested at the same time, but little by little the Lord withdraws the veil of figures, metaphors and enigmas, under which many of the sacraments have been hidden.

Like the rays of the sun under a passing cloud, they were covered and concealed until some of the many rays of divine light should fall upon men; since even the angels, though they were made aware of the Incarnation in a general way as being the end of all their ministry to man, were not informed of all the conditions, effects and circumstances of this mystery: they gradually came to know many of them during the five thousand two hundred years from the creation to the Incarnation.

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that deception in private revelations is rare, and as a rule, occurs in unimportant matters only. It is emphasized that saints are believed to be capable of making errors about the details of private revelations, as fallen human nature is inclined to sin and error. It is acknowledged that not every detail reported in a private revelation  may be genuine, but resulting from their own individual judgment and reasoning, and opinions. At the time of her writings, everybody thought that the creation occurred 5,200 years before the Incarnation.

Likewise, the prophecy of Our Lady of Fatima warning about the spread of Russia’s errors (creation of an atheist state in 1917) delivered to the three shepherd children was understood, as they had never heard of Russia, that Russia was a woman… who would spread errors.  St. Joan of Arc is known to have made several prophecies about her own life. One of these was her prediction that she would be delivered from jail, but did not understand that her deliverance would come through her martyrdom.

This acquisition of new knowledge gave occasion for continued admiration and renewed praise and glory to the Author of these mysteries, as I have shown in the whole course of this history. I mention this example in answer to any wonder, which might be caused in those that hear of this mysterious exaltation of the most blessed Mary, which, with many others already described and to be described, was hidden until the Most High was willing to make them manifest.

Before I was capable of these reasonings and when I first came to know of this mystery of Christ’s having taken his blessed Mother to heaven with Him, I was not a little astounded, not only on my own account, but on account of those who should hear it. Among other things which I then heard the Lord tell me, was that I should remember what saint Paul has left recorded of himself in the Church, when he refers to his rapture into the third heaven, which is that of the blessed, and how he was in doubt whether he was taken up in the body or out of the body, daring to affirm neither the one or the other, but supposing that it could have happened in either manner.

This at once cleared up my difficulties; for if such a thing as being taken bodily to heaven could happen to the Apostle in the beginning of his conversion and when he had no merits, but only sins to his credit; and if the concession of such a privilege entailed no danger or inconvenience to God’s Church; how can anyone doubt that the Lord showed the same favor to his Mother, especially after her attaining to such ineffable merit and holiness?

The Lord also added, that if some of the saints, who rose in their body with the resurrected Christ, were privileged to ascend in their body with the Savior, surely there was a better reason for showing this favor to his purest Mother. Even if none of the mortals ever should have enjoyed this distinction, it was due to the most blessed Mary, because She had suffered with the Lord. It was reasonable that She should share with Him his triumph and glory in taking possession of it at the right hand of the Most High; since She, as his Mother, had, from her own substance, given Him his human nature, in which He now triumphantly ascended into heaven.

And just as it was befitting, that She should not be separated from her Son in glory, so it was also due to Her that none of the human race should come body and soul to the enjoyment of eternal glory before most blessed Mary, not even excepted her mother or father, or her spouse Joseph, or any of the rest. All of them, and the Savior himself, her Son Jesus, would have been deprived of this accidental increase of their joy, if the most blessed Mary, as the Mother of the Redeemer and as the Queen of all creation, who merited such a favor and blessing more than all the rest, had not ascended with them into heaven on that day.

These arguments seem to me sufficient to establish the knowledge and excite the pious joy and consolation of this mystery and of others to be mentioned in the third part in the further history of the life of Mary. Returning now to my history, I say that the Lord took with Him his blessed Mother in his Ascension into heaven and, amid incredible rejoicing and admiration, filled Her with splendor and glory in the sight of the angels and saints. It was also very appropriate, that the Apostles and the other faithful, for the time being, should be ignorant of this mystery; for if they had seen their Mother and Mistress ascend with Christ, their affliction would have been beyond all bounds and without recourse or relief.

Nothing could ever console them for the departure of Christ more fully than to feel that they had still with them their most blessed Lady and kindest Mother. Even then their sighs and sobbing, and their tears welled up from their inmost hearts, when they saw their beloved Master and Redeemer disappearing through the aerial regions.

And when they had almost lost sight of Him, a most resplendent cloud interposed itself between Him and those He had left upon earth (Acts 1, 9), intercepting Him altogether from their view. In it the Person of the eternal Father descended from heaven to the regions of the air in order to meet the Son and the Mother. who had furnished the new mode of existence in which He now returned. Coming to Them the eternal Father received Them in his embrace of infinite love, to the joy of the angels, who had accompanied the Father in innumerable choirs from his heavenly seat.

In a short space of time, penetrating the elements and the celestial orbs, that whole divine procession arrived at the supreme regions of the empyrean. At their entrance the angels, who had ascended from the earth with their Sovereigns Jesus and Mary, and those who had joined them in the aerial regions, spoke to those who had remained in the heavenly heights and repeated those words of David and many others referring to this mystery, saying:

 “Open, ye princes, open your gates eternal; let them be raised and opened up, and receive into his dwelling the great King of glory, the Lord of virtues, the Powerful in battle, the Strong and Invincible, who comes triumphant and victorious over all his enemies. Open the gates of the heavenly paradise, and let them remain open and free forever, since the new Adam is coming, the Repairer of the whole human race, rich in mercy, overflowing with the merits of his copious Redemption wrought by his Death in the world. He has restored our loss and has raised human nature to the supreme dignity of his own immensity. He comes with the reign of the elect and the redeemed, given to Him by his eternal Father.

Now his liberal mercy has given to mortals the power of regaining in justice the right lost by their sin, to merit, by the observance of his law, as his brothers and coinheritors of the goods of his Father eternal life; and, for his greater glory and to our greater rejoicing, He brings with Him and at his side the Mother of piety, who gave Him the form of man for overcoming the demon; She comes as our charming and beautiful Queen delighting all that behold Her. Come forth, come forth, ye heavenly courtiers, and you shall see our most beautiful King with the crown given to Him by his Mother, and his Mother crowned with the glory conferred upon Her by her Son.”

Amidst this jubilee and other rejoicings exceeding all our conceptions that new divinely arranged procession approached the empyrean heavens. Between the two choirs of angels and saints, Christ and his most blessed Mother made their entry. All in their order gave supreme honor to Each respectively and to Both together, breaking forth in hymns of praise in honor of the Authors of grace and of life. Then the eternal Father placed upon the throne of his Divinity at his right hand, the incarnate Word, and in such glory and majesty, that He filled with new admiration and reverential fear all the inhabitants of heaven. In clear and intuitive vision they recognized the infinite glory and perfection of the Divinity inseparably and substantially united in one personality to the most holy humanity, beautified and exalted by the preeminence and glory due to this union, such as eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, nor ever has entered into the thoughts of creatures (Is. 54, 4).

On this occasion the humility and wisdom of our most prudent Queen reached their highest point; for, overwhelmed by such divine and admirable favors, She hovered at the footstool of the royal throne, annihilated in the consciousness of being a mere earthly creature. Prostrate She adored the Father and broke out in new canticles of praise for the glory communicated to his Son and for elevating in Him the deified humanity to such greatness and splendor.

Again the angels and saints were filled with admiration and joy to see the most prudent humility of their Queen, whose living example of virtue, as exhibited on that occasion, they emulated among themselves in copying. Then the voice of the eternal Father was heard saying: “My Daughter, ascend higher!” Her divine Son also called Her, saying: “My Mother, rise up and take possession of the place, which I owe Thee for having followed and imitated Me.” The Holy Ghost said: “My Spouse and Beloved, come to my eternal embraces!”

Immediately was proclaimed to all the blessed the decree of the most holy Trinity, by which the most blessed Mother, for having furnished her own lifeblood toward the Incarnation and for having nourished, served, imitated and followed Him with all the perfection possible to a creature, was exalted and placed at the right hand of her Son for all eternity. None other of the human creatures should ever hold that place or position, nor rival Her in the unfailing glory connected with it; but it was to be reserved to the Queen and to be her possession by right after her earthly life, as of one who preeminently excelled all the rest of the saints.

In fulfillment of this decree, the most blessed Mary was raised to the throne of the holy Trinity at the right hand of her Son. At the same time She, with all the saints, was informed, that She was given possession of this throne not only for all the ages of eternity, but that it was left to her choice to remain there even now and without returning to the earth. For it was the conditional will of the divine Persons, that as far as they were concerned, She should now remain in that state. In order that She might make her own choice, She was shown anew the state of the Church upon earth, the orphaned and necessitous condition of the faithful, whom She was left free to assist.

This admirable proceeding of the divine Providence was to afford the Mother of mercy an occasion of going beyond, so to say, even her own Self in doing good and in obliging the human race with an act of tenderest love similar to that of her Son in assuming a passable state and in suspending the glory due to his body during and for our Redemption. The most blessed Mother imitated Him also in this respect, so that She might be in all things like the incarnate Word.

The great Lady therefore, having clearly before her eyes all the sacrifices included in this proposition, left the throne and, prostrating Herself at the feet of the Three Persons, said: “Eternal and almighty God, my Lord, to accept at once this reward, which thy condescending kindness offers me, would be to secure my rest; but to return to the world and continue to labor in mortal life for the good of the children of Adam and the faithful of thy holy Church, would be to the glory and according to the pleasure of thy Majesty and would benefit my sojourning and banished children on earth.

I accept this labor and renounce for the present the peace and joy of thy presence. Well do I know, what I possess and receive, but I will sacrifice it to further the love Thou hast for men. Accept, Lord and Master of all my being, this sacrifice and let thy divine strength govern me in the undertaking confided to me. Let faith in Thee be spread, let thy holy name be exalted, let thy holy Church be enlarged, for Thou hast acquired it by the blood of thy Onlybegotten and mine; I offer myself anew to labor for thy glory and for the conquest of the souls, as far as I am able.”

Such was the sacrifice made by the most loving Mother and Queen, one greater than ever was conceived by creature, and it was so pleasing to the Lord, that He immediately rewarded it by operating in Her those purifications and enlightenments, which I have at other times mentioned as necessary to the intuitive vision of the Divinity; for so far She had on this occasion seen It only by abstractive vision. Thus elevated She partook of the beatific vision and was filled with splendor and celestial gifts, altogether beyond the power of man to describe or conceive in mortal life.

The Most High renewed in Her all the gifts, which until then He had communicated to Her and confirmed and sealed them anew in the degree then befitting, in order to send Her back as Mother and Instructress of holy Church, confirming all the titles He had conferred upon Her as the Queen of all creation, as the Advocate and Mistress of all the faithful; and just as wax receives the form of the seal, so the blessed Mary, by the divine Omnipotence, became the image of the humanity of Christ, in order that She might thus return to the militant Church and be the true garden, locked and sealed to preserve the waters of grace (Cant. 4, 12). o secrets of the highest Majesty, worthy of all reverence ! 0 mysteries, as venerable as they are exalted! O charity and kindness of the most holy Mary, never comprehended by the ignorant children of Eve!

The choice made by God of this only and sweetest Mother for a refuge of his faithful children was not without its great mystery; it was a contrivance for manifesting to us this maternal love, which perhaps in her other great deeds we would not succeed in finding out. It was in accordance with the divine decree, by which neither She should be deprived of an occasion to attain such excellence, nor we be deprived of the blessed obligation of imitating her example. To whom should it now seem much in comparison with this excess of love, when he sees the saints and the martyrs rejecting momentary contentment in order to arrive at their eternal rest, since our most loving Mother has deprived Herself of this complete beatitude in order to succour her little children?

How can we avoid direst confusion, when, neither in gratitude for this favor, nor for the imitation of her example, nor in order to please this Lady, nor in order to secure us Her company or that of her Son, we on our part will not deny ourselves of a slight and deceitful pleasure, that brings us only their enmity and death itself? Blessed be that Woman, let all the heavens praise Her, and let all generations call her fortunate and happy (Luke 1, 48).

I finished up the first part of this history with the thirtyfirst chapter of the parables of Solomon, setting forth in its explanation the exalted virtues of this great Lady, the only strong Woman of the Church, and by referring to the same chapter I close this second part. For the Holy Ghost includes all concerning Her in the mysterious fecundity of the words of that passage. The great sacrament, of which I have here spoken that fecundity is verified more particularly in the supreme exaltation of the most blessed Mary consequent upon this blessing. But I will not tarry to repeat what I have there said; for much of what I could say can be understood by the perusal of that portion.

There I said, that this Queen is the strong Woman, whose price and value is as of things from afar (Prov. 31, to), from the farthest confines of the empyrean heavens, measured by the esteem shown Her by the most blessed Trinity; and the heart of her Man was not deceived, since She failed in nothing that He had expected of Her. She was the ship of the merchant, who brought from heaven the sustenance of his Church; She was the One who planted it by the fruit of her hands; She, who girded Herself with strength; it was She who put forth her arms to great things; She who extended her hands to the poor, and opened her palms to the destitute; She, who tasted and saw how good was this negotiation, seeing with her own eyes the reward of eternal beatitude; She, who clothed her servants in double garments; it was She, whose light was not extinguished in the night of tribulation, and needed not to fear the rigor of temptation.

Before descending from the heavens, She, in order to fulfill these offices, besought the eternal Father for his power, the Son for his wisdom, and the Holy Ghost for the fire of his love, and all the three divine Persons, for their assistance and their blessing. This They gave Her, as She prostrated Herself before the throne, and They filled Her with new influences and communications of the Divinity. Then They lovingly permitted Her to depart with ineffable treasures of grace. The holy angels and saints magnified Her in wonderful exaltation and praise and She returned to the earth, as I will relate in the third part.

There I shall also relate all that She did in the holy Church during the time of her stay; and her doings were the admiration of heaven and of exceeding benefit to men; for all her labors and sufferings were undergone to secure eternal felicitude for her children. As She had come to know the excellence of charity in its origin and source, namely in the eternal God, who is charity (I John 4, 16), She continued to be inflamed by its ardors, and her bread day and night, was charity. Like a busy bee She descended from the triumphant to the militant Church, charged with the flowerdust of charity, to construct the honeycomb of the love of God for the nourishment of the little children of the primitive Church. She raised them up to manhood, so robust and consummate in perfection that they formed a foundation abundantly strong enough for the high edifice of the holy Church (Ephes. 2, 20).

In order to finish this chapter, and with it this second part, I return to the congregation of the faithful, whom we left so sorrowful on mount Olivet. The most holy Mary did not forget them in the midst of her glory; as they stood weeping and lost in grief and, as it were, absorbed in looking into the aerial regions, into which their Redeemer and Master had disappeared, She turned her eyes upon them from the cloud on which She had ascended, in order to send them her assistance.

Moved by their sorrow, She besought Jesus lovingly to console these little children, whom He had left as orphans upon the earth. Moved by the prayers of his Mother, the Redeemer of the human race sent down two angels in white and resplendent garments, who appeared to all the disciples and the faithful and spoke to them: “Ye men of Galilee, do not look up to heaven in so great astonishment, for this Lord Jesus, who departed from you and has ascended into heaven, shall again return with the same glory and majesty in which you have just seen Him” (Acts 1,11). By such words and others which they added they consoled the Apostles and disciples and all the rest, so that they might not grow faint, but in their retirement hope for the coming and the consolation of the Holy Ghost promised by their divine Master.

But I must remark, that these words of the angels, though they consoled these men and women, at the same time contained a reproach of their want of faith. For if their faith had been wellfounded and permeated by the pure love and charity, it would not have been necessary to remain there with their gaze so intently fixed on the heavens, since they could not see their Master, nor detain Him by the outward and sensible demonstration of their love, which they showed in looking up in the air where they had seen Him disappear; but they should have enlivened their faith and looked for Him and sought Him there, where He really was and where they would certainly have found Him.

Theirs was a useless and imperfect manner of seeking Him; for in order to obtain the presence and assistance of his grace, it was not necessary that they should see and converse with Him corporally. That they did not understand this truth was a blamable defect in men so enlightened and perfected. For a long time had the Apostles and disciples attended the school of Christ our God and they had drawn the doctrine of perfection from its very fount, from a source so pure and exquisite, that they should have been far advanced in spirituality and highest perfection. But this is the misfortune of our nature, that in its dependence upon the senses and its satisfaction in exercising its lower faculties, it wishes to love and enjoy even the most divine spiritual blessings in a sensible manner.

Accustomed to this grossness, it is very dilatory in purifying and cleansing itself from those lower elements; and sometimes it is thus deceived, even when it firmly and eagerly pursues the highest aims. This truth was well exemplified for our instruction in the Apostles, who had been taught by the Lord that He was the light and the truth, and at the same time the way (John 14, 6), and that they were to come to the knowledge of the eternal Father through Him, the true way; since light shines not merely for its own self, and a road is not made for the purpose of resting upon it.

This teaching, so often repeated in the Gospels, heard from the lips of its Author, and confirmed by the example of his life, should have raised the hearts and the understanding of the Apostles to its comprehension and practice. But the very pleasure which they found for their spirit and for their senses in the intercourse and conversation with their Master, the security of their love, and the assurance of the just love of their Master, kept the forces of their will bound to their senses, so that they did not know how to free themselves from the encroachments of their lower faculties, nor ever became aware how much of self-seeking there really was in their piety and how much they were carried away by the spiritual delight coming only from the senses.

If their divine Master had not left them by ascending into heaven, they could not have separated from Him without great bitterness and sorrow, and therefore would not have been as fit to preach the Gospel; for this was to be preached throughout the world at the cost of much labors and difficulties, and at the risk of life itself. This could not be the work of small-minded men, but of men courageous and strong in love, men not hampered or softened by the sensible delights clinging to the spirit, but ready to go through abundance or want, infamy or renown, honors or dishonors, sorrows or joys, preserving throughout it all their love and zeal for the Lord, and a magnanimous heart, superior to all prosperity and adversity (II Cor. 6, 8). After they had therefore been admonished by the angels they left mount Olivet and returned to the Cenacle with most holy Mary, persevering in prayer and in their expectation of the coming of the Holy Ghost, as we shall see in the last part.



My daughter, thou wilt appropriately close this second part of my life by remembering the lesson concerning the most efficacious sweetness of the divine love and the immense liberality of God with those souls, that do not hinder its flowing. It is in conformity with the inclinations of his holy and perfect will to regale rather than affiict creatures, to console them rather than cause them sorrow, to reward them rather than to chastise them, to rejoice rather than grieve them. But mortals ignore this divine science, because they desire from the hands of the Most High such consolations, delights and rewards, as are earthly and dangerous, and they prefer them to the true and more secure blessings.

The divine Love then corrects this fault by the lessons conveyed in tribulations and punishments. Human nature is slow, coarse and uneducated; and if it is not cultivated and softened, it gives no fruit in season, and on account of its evil inclinations, will never of itself become fit for the most loving and sweet intercourse with the highest Good. Therefore it must be shaped and reduced by the hammer of adversities, refined in the crucible of tribulation, in order that it may become fit and capable of the divine gifts and favors and may learn to despise terrestrial and fallacious goods, wherein death is concealed.

I counted for little all that I endured, when I saw the reward which the divine Goodness had prepared for me; and therefore He ordained, in his admirable Providence, that I should return to the militant Church of my own free will and choice. This I knew would redound to my greater glory and to the exaltation of his holy name, while it would provide assistance to his Church and to his children in an admirable and holy manner (I Tim. 1, 17). It seemed to me a sacred duty, that I deprive myself of the eternal felicity of which I was in possession and, returning from heaven to earth, gain new fruits of labor and love for the Almighty; all this lowed to the divine Goodness, which had raised me up from the dust.

Learn therefore, my beloved, from my example, and excite thyself to imitate me most eagerly during these times, in which the holy Church is so disconsolate and overwhelmed by tribulations and in which there are none of her children to console her. In this cause I desire that thou labor strenuously, ready to suffer in prayer and supplication, and crying from the bottom of thy heart to the Omnipotent. And if it were necessary thou shouldst be willing to give thy life. I assure thee, my daughter, thy solicitude shall be very pleasing in the eyes of my divine Son and in mine.

Let it all be for the glory and honor of the Most High, the King of the ages, the Immortal and Invisible (I Tim. 1, 17), and for that of his Mother, the most blessed Mary, through all the eternities!


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