The Son of God speaks to the bride and says: ”Exterior beauty symbolizes the interior beauty a person ought to have. So when you are putting on your veil to tie up your hair, you should say: 'Lord God, I give you thanks because you supported me when I sinned. Because of my incontinent life, I am unworthy to behold you, and so I cover my hair with a veil.' ” The Lord added: ”Incontinence is so abhorrent to me that even a virgin who has the intention of indulging in lustful pleasure is not a pure virgin in my sight, unless she rectifies her intention through penance.
When you cover your forehead with the veil, you should say: 'Lord God, you have made all creatures well and created man in your image excelling all others, have mercy on me! Because I have not used the beauty of my face unto your glory, I cover my forehead with a veil.' When you put on your shoes, say: 'Blessed are you, my God, who commands me to wear shoes so that I may be strong and not lukewarm in your service. Strengthen me, then, so that I may be able to walk in the way of your commandments.' You should show humility in all the other clothes you wear and be virtuous and self-controlled in the use of your whole body.
When you come to table, say: 'Lord God, if you would, for you are able to do so, I should ask you to allow us to subsist without food. Now, however, because you have commanded us to take food in a reasonable way, I ask you, grant me temperance at meals so that, by your grace, I may be able to eat as my nature needs and not as my bodily appetite craves.'
When you go to bed, say: 'Blessed are you, my God, who arranges the changes of time for our relaxation and for the comfort of soul and body! I ask you to give my body rest this night and to keep me safe from the power and deception of the enemy.' ”
Christ tells the bride what kind of weapons belong to the wicked. He explains to her that if they boast of their sin with the intention of persevering in it, they shall be laid waste by the terrible sword of God's severe justice.
The Son speaks: ”I stand here like a king challenged to battle. The devil stands against me with his army. In truth, my intention and steadfast purpose is such that heaven and earth and all that are in them could collapse before I deviated in even the slightest way from justice. The devil's intention is such that he would rather there be as many hells as atoms in the sun before humbling himself. Some of the enemy are already drawing close to judgment, and there is no more of a distance between us than a couple of feet. Their banner is raised, the shield is on the arm, the hand rests on the sword but the sword has not yet been drawn. My patience is so great that I shall not strike them unless they strike first.
The enemy's banner shows three things: gluttony, greed, and lust. Their helmet is their hardness of heart, for they pay no attention to the pains of hell nor to how abhorrent sin is to me. The openings of the helmet are carnal lust and the desire to please the world. Through such they run all about and see things that should not be seen. Their shield is the perfidy with which they excuse their sins and ascribe them to the weakness of the flesh. Thus, they think they can ask pardon for their sins for nothing. Their sword is the intention of persevering in sin. It is not yet drawn, because their wickedness is as yet unfulfilled.
The sword is drawn each time they desire to sin as long as they can live. They strike each time they boast of sin and wish to remain in the state of sin. When their wickedness is thus fulfilled, then a voice in my army shall cry out and say: 'Strike now!' Then the sword of my severity shall lay them to waste, and each one shall suffer according as he is armed. Their souls shall be snatched away by demons who are like birds of prey and are not seeking any temporal advantage but only souls whom they can endlessly mangle to pieces.”
The Bridegroom explains to the bride the meaning of the distance of two feet and the drawing of the sword spoken of in the above chapter.
The Son speaks: ”I told you earlier that there is no more distance between me and my enemies than a couple of feet. Indeed they are now advancing a foot closer to the judgment. One of these feet symbolizes the reward for the good works they have done for me. Accordingly, from now on their ignominy will grow, their pleasure will turn bitter, their joy will be taken away, their trouble and sorrow will increase. The second foot is their wickedness, which is as yet unfulfilled. Just as people say that a thing is so filled it will burst, so too when their soul and body are separated, they will be condemned by the judge.
Their sword is their intention of sinning. It has been drawn out halfway because, when a man is on the wane and misfortunes occur, the wicked suffer more anguish but still remain eager to sin. Fame and fortune do not allow them to ponder over sin much. As it is, they wish to live longer so as to achieve their lustful pleasure, and they are already adding to their sinning with even greater license. Woe to them, for, unless they rectify themselves, their perdition is already at hand!”
Christ speaks to the bride about a certain prelate. He tells her that a devout soul that loses the heat of devotion and of holy meditation due to her own pride and ambition and worldly entanglements can recuperate divine warmth and light and experience divine sweetness by humbling herself perfectly before God.
The Son speaks through the bride to a certain prelate and tells him: ”You are like an immobile mill wheel. When it stands fixed and does not move, then the grain does not get ground in the mill. This wheel signifies your will. It should be mobile not with respect to your own will and desire but to mine, and you ought to surrender yourself completely into my hands. However, this wheel is very immobile toward my will, since the water of earthly consideration is troubling your mind too much. The contemplation of my works and my passion is almost dead in your heart, for which reason you have no feeling or taste for the food of the soul.
So break through the obstacle that obstructs the passage of the water! Let the water flow so that it makes the wheel turn and become mobile again so that the grain can be easily ground. The obstacle holding back the water is mental pride and ambition. These obstruct the grace of the Holy Spirit and impede all the good fruit that the soul should be producing. Receive into your mind the true humility through which the sweetness of my Spirit will flow into your soul and earthly considerations will be washed away. Humility will make your will perfectly mobile with respect to my will, and then you will begin to regard your works as seeds of grain and count my works as great.
What is true humility? Certainly not caring about human popularity or disfavor. Rather, it is to tread my forgotten and neglected path, not seeking after superfluous possessions but contenting yourself with simpler things. If you love this path, then you will obtain a liking for the spiritual life. Then my passion and the path of my saints will seem sweet to your mind, and you will understand how much you owe to the souls whom you have undertaken to guide.
Now that you have ascended to the top of the wheel on the two feet of power and distinction, you have become covetous because of your power and proud because of your distinction. So come down now by humbling yourself in your mind and by asking the humble to pray for you. I shall surely send upon you the rapid stream of my justice and exact the last farthing from you along with an account of your affections, thoughts, words, and deeds. I shall also exact an account of the souls whom I have entrusted to your care, those whom I myself redeemed with my blood.”
Christ speaks to the bride and says that sinners and the lukewarm will be shot by four arrows, that is, by the four rebukes contained herein, to make them repent and let themselves be humbly led back to the reformation of their lives.