angelic life, Blessed Virgin Mary, Brothers, child of God, Communion of Saints, duties of community life, duties of vows, earthly life, eyes of God, Heavenly Mother, misled by the devil, Nuns, presumption, Priests, promises to God, religious vows, singularity, Sisters, snares of the devil, souls, supererogatory practices, surpass martyrs in merit, tricks of the devil, Venerable Mary of Agreda, vows
The Following Instructions Are From The Queen Of Heaven To Venerable Sister Mary of Jesus, (Superioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception of the Town of Agreda, Spain) Who Transcribed The Heavenly Information And Saw To Its Publication In The Work called: The Mystical City of God.
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MOTHER SPOKE THUS REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING RELIGIOUS VOWS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE MADE THEM (i.e. Priests, Sisters, Nuns, Brothers, etc.)
444. … receive (this information) with an appreciative and devout mind, ready to follow it in deed…
he who has made vows to God has bound his own will; so that he has no freedom of acting except according to the will and direction of Him to whom he has bound himself; for he is chained down by the words of his own mouth uttered in the profession of his vows.
Before taking his vows, the choice of his ways was in his own hands; but having once bound and obliged himself, let him know that he has entirely lost his liberty and had delivered himself up to God in his superiors.
The whole ruin or salvation of souls depends upon the use of their free will;
but since most men use it (free will) ill and damn themselves, the Most High has established religious life under the sacred vows.
Thus, the creature, by once using its liberty to make a perfect and prudent choice, can deliver up to his Majesty that very liberty, which so many pervert, if it remains free and unhampered in its choice.
445. By these vows the liberty to do evil is happily lost, and the liberty for doing good is assured.
It is like a bridle, which leads away from danger and directs into the smooth and sure road. The soul is freed from the slavery and subjection of the passions, and acquires a new power over them, resuming her place as mistress and queen in the government of her kingdom and remaining subject only to the law of grace and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
If she thus applies her whole will solely to the fulfillment of all that she has promised to God, the Holy Spirit will govern and direct all her operations.
The creature thereby passes from the condition and state of ‘a slave’ to that of ‘a child of the Most High,’ from an earthly to an angelic life, while the corruption and evil effects of sin cannot exert their full power.
It is impossible that thou ever be able in this earthly life to calculate or comprehend, what and how many are the blessings and treasures those souls gather for themselves, who with all their powers and affection strive to fulfill perfectly the vows of their profession.
For I assure thee… that those who are perfect and punctual in their religious obligations can equal and even surpass the martyrs in merit.
446. …thou (you who have taken religious vows) didst happily begin to gather these blessings on the day when thou didst choose the better part;
but remember well that thou hast bound thyself to the eternal and mighty God, to Whom the inmost secrets of thy heart are manifest.
It it is so base and detestable to deceive and disappoint men in ‘just promises,’ how vile is it to be unfaithful to God in the most just and holy promises?
As thy Creator, Preserver and Benefactor, He claims thy gratitude;
as Father, thy reverence;
as Spouse, thy fidelity;
as a Friend, amicable intercourse;
as the most Faithful, He should excite thy faith and hope;
as the highest and eternal Good, He should possess thy love;
as the Almighty, thy entire subjection;
as the most just Judge, He should rouse thy humble and holy fear.
Against all these allegiances and many others thou committest perfidious treason, in failing or hesitating to fulfill what thou has promised according to thy profession.
And, if in all the nuns who have obliged themselves to a spiritual life and conversation, it is such a monstrous and terrible abomination to themselves spouses of Christ, while living as members and slaves of the devil, how much more abominable will it be in thee, who hast received more than they all, and therefore shouldst exceed them in loving and exerting thyself to make a return for such incomparable blessings and benefits.
447. Consider, O soul, how detestable this fault would make thee in the sight of the Lord, of myself, and of the angels and saints.
For we all are witnesses of the love and fidelity, which He has shown toward thee as a generous, loving and faithful Spouse.
Strive then, with all thy heart, to avoid offending Him either in great or in small things; do not force Him to relinquish thee and to deliver thee over to the beastly disorders of sin; for thou knowest that his would be a greater misfortune and punishment than if He consign thee to the fury of the elements, or to the wrath of wild animals, or even to the rage of demons.
If all these were to execute their anger upon thee, and if the world were to heap upon thee all its punishments and insults, all would do thee less damage than one venial sin against God whom thou art obliged to serve and love in all things and through all things.
Any punishment of this life is less dreadful than sin; for it (physical punishment) ends with mortal life, but the guilt of sin, and with it punishment, may be eternal.
448. In this life, any punishment or tribulation fills mortals with fear and dread, merely because it affects the senses and brings them in close touch with it through them, but the guilt of sin does not affect them nor fill them with dread.
Men are entirely taken up by that which is visible, and they therefore do not look upon the ultimate consequences of sin, which is the eternal punishment of hell.
Though this is imbibed and inseparably connected with sin, the human heart becomes so heavy and remis that it remains as if it were stupefied in its wickedness, because it does not feel it present in its senses.
Though it could see and feel it by faith, this itself remains listless and dead, as if it were wanting entirely.
O most unhappy blindness of mortals!
O torpid negligence, that holds so many souls, capable of reason and of glory, oppressed in deceit!
There are not words or sentences sufficient to describe this terrible and tremendous danger.
My (child) haste away, and fly with holy fear such an unhappy state, and deliver thyself up to all the troubles and torments of life, which pass soon, rather than incur such a danger;
for nothing will be wanting to thee, if thou do not lose God.
To be convinced that there are no small faults for thee and for thy state, is a powerful means of saving thyself;
fear greatly the small things, for in despising small faults the Most High knows, that the human heart invites other greater ones.
That is not a blameless love, which does not avoid all displeasure of the beloved one.
449. The order which religious souls should maintain in their desires should be:
that they strive to be punctual in fulfilling the obligations of their vows and all the virtues, which are connected with them.
Afterwards, and secondarily, they may engage in voluntary practices, such as are called ‘supererogatory.’
This order some of the souls (who are misled by the devil to entertain an indiscreet zeal for perfection) are wont to invert;
thus, while they fail seriously in the obligations of their state, they are eager to add other voluntary exercises and practices, which are usually of small use or benefit, or arise from a spirit of presumption and singularity.
They secretly desire to be looked upon as distinguished in zeal and perfection, while in truth they are very far even from the beginning of perfection.
I do not wish to see in thee a fault so reprehensible: but first
fulfill all the duties of thy vows and of community life, and then
thou mayest add what thou canst, according to thy ability and the inspiration of divine grace.
This together will beautify thy soul and will make it perfect and agreeable in the eyes of God.
These excerpts are from the English translation of the original authorized Spanish edition ‘Ciudad De Dios’, translated by Fr. George J. Blattner writing under the pen-name: Fiscar Marison with Imprimatur of the Archbishop of Santa Fe, Edwin V. Byrne, D.D.
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