The Son speaks: ”I am the king to fear and to glorify. I shall send my words to them for the sake of my Mother's prayers. I am true peace. Wherever there is peace, there am I assuredly. If these two kings of France and England wish to have peace, I shall give lasting peace to them. However, true peace cannot be had without loving truth and justice. Hence, given that one of the kings does have a just claim, I would have peace brought about by means of a marriage. In this way the kingdom can attain a legitimate successor. Second, I want them to be of one heart and one mind in spreading the holy Christian faith wherever this can be done to my glory. Third, they must remove their intolerable taxes and fraudulent schemes and love the souls of their subjects.
If the presently reigning king refuses to obey, let him know that he most assuredly will not prosper in his endeavors but will end his life in sorrow and lose his kingdom in the midst of heavy trials. His son and family will be left in such anger, reproach and shame as to astonish everyone. If the king with the just claim is willing to obey, then I shall help him and fight on his side. If he will not obey, then neither will he achieve his desires but will be deprived of his attainments, and his sorry end will overshadow his happy beginning. However, when the people of the French realm adopt true humility, then the kingdom will attain a legitimate successor and a noble peace.”
Christ tells the bride not to be afraid to break her fast out of obedience to her spiritual father, because it is not a sin. He also admonishes her to stand firm, to resist temptations continuously, and to have the firm intention of persevering in the good example set by the Virgin Mary, David, and Abraham.
The Son speaks: ”Why are you afraid? Even if you ate four times a day, it would not be counted as a sin for you, provided you did it with the permission of the person whom you are bound to obey. So stand firm. You should be like a soldier who, though injured with various wounds in battle, inflicts worse wounds on his enemies and is all the more eager to fight the more he is chased by his enemies. You, too, should strike back at your enemy and stand firm. You should also have the rational intention of persevering in the good.
You strike back at the devil each time you do not give in to temptation and resist it manfully, for example, by opposing humility to pride, restraint to gluttony. You stand firm when you do not murmur against God in the midst of temptation but, rather, when you are grateful to God, cheerfully putting up with everything and blaming it all on your sins. Your intention is rational when you do not desire a reward unless it is in agreement with my will, when you surrender your whole self into my hands.
Lucifer did not have the first virtue, that of striking back at the enemy, because he immediately gave in to his own thoughts. This is why he fell irrepressibly. As he had no instigator of his wickedness, so too he shall have no redresser. Judas did not have the second virtue, that of firmness. Instead, he despaired and hanged himself. Pilate did not have the third virtue, that of a good intention, since he was more eager to please the Jews and win his own honor than to set me free.
However, my Mother did have the first virtue, that of striking back at the enemy, since for every temptation she had, she hit back and opposed to it the contrary virtue. David had the second virtue, for he was patient in adversity and did not despair when he fell. Abraham had the third virtue, a perfect intention, for, having left his fatherland, he was even ready to sacrifice his only son. You, too, should imitate these three as far as you are able!”
Christ encourages the bride, that is, the soul, always and lovingly to maintain pure contrition, godly love, and unwavering obedience. He condemns those who despise obedience, abstinence, and noble patience. He also warns a spiritual man not to allow his conscience to become gradually coarse and blind under a pretense of light.
An angel of wondrous splendor appeared. Other angels were seen speaking with him and saying: ”Friend, why are you offering an empty nutshell to our God?” The angel answered: ”Though you already know everything, I will explain it for the sake of the woman who is here present. I never grow sad in the presence of our God when I am carrying out his will for the good of souls, for I am never away from his presence. Even if I am not offering him a sweet-tasting nut, I am offering something delectable, a key made of purest gold, a golden vase, and a crown of jewels.
The key symbolizes pure contrition for sins. This opens God's heart and lets a sinner enter. The vase symbolizes godly delight and love. God takes his sweet rest there with the soul. The crown symbolizes cheerful, unwavering obedience. These are the three things that my God seeks for in a holy soul.
Although this particular soul entrusted to my care has scorned these three things, still I am giving to God the things this soul has offered to him, and God's glory will be no less. The key of contrition is so onerous to this man that he does not even want to think about it. The vase of godly love is so bitter to him that he can in no way bear its smell. How can spiritual delight be sweet where the lust of the flesh has taken root? Two contraries do not combine well in the same vase. Even the crown of obedience is too heavy for him to bear, since his self-will is so pleasing to him that it seems to him more pleasant to follow his own will than God's will.
The angel then turned to God and said: ”Behold, Lord, the vase and key and crown of which this soul made herself unworthy. Look, when you crack the shell, it is full of dirt inside, when it should be full of the sweetest honey. Instead, a snake is lying there in the midst of the shell. The shell symbolizes the heart. When death cracks it, it is full of longings for the world, and these are like dirt. The snake is the soul. The soul should be brighter than sunlight, hotter than flame, but she has turned into a serpent full of venom, poisonous to no one but herself, unto her own perdition.”
The Lord spoke then to the bride and said: ”I will tell you what condition that man is in by means of a comparison. It is as though one man were standing and another came up and approached him. When they turn their faces toward each other, the man who was walking says: 'Sir, it seems there is a distance separating us. Show me the way by which I should go, for I see that you are mighty without comparison, delightful beyond conception, and as good as one from whom all goodness comes and without whom no one is good.' The other answered: 'Friend, I shall show you a triple path that, nevertheless, leads in one direction. When you follow it, it is rocky at the beginning but smooth at the end, dark at the head of the journey but bright as you go on, harsh for a time but delightful in the end.' The other answered: 'Just show me the way and I will gladly follow it. I see that there is danger in delay and harm in mistaking the way but a great benefit if I follow it. So fulfill my desire and show me the true path.'
I am the creator of the universe, who remains unchangeable and forever steadfast. That person was approaching me when he was in love with me and sought after nothing as he sought after me. I turned my face toward him when I placed divine consolation in his soul, and the joy of the world and every lust of the flesh became hateful to him. I showed him a triple way, not by speaking to him with a physical voice but by inspiring his soul in a hidden way, as I am now inspiring your soul in an open way.
First, I showed him that he should be obedient to me, his God, and to his superiors. However, he answered me, thinking to himself in his mind: 'I won't. My superior is difficult and uncharitable, and so I just can't obey him with a cheerful mind.' I showed him also a second way, that of fleeing the lust of the flesh and following my divine will, fleeing drunkenness and following abstinence. These ways lead to true obedience. Yet he answered me: 'Never! I am weak by nature. So I shall eat and sleep enough. I shall converse for the sake of good cheer and laugh for the sake of worldly comfort.' I showed him also a third way, that of being nobly patient for my sake, for this way leads to abstinence and encourages holy obedience. But he answered me: 'I won't do it. If I put up with those insults to me, I will look foolish. If I dress more poorly than the others, I will be ashamed in front of everyone. If my body is ugly in any way, I must make up for it by catering to others.' ”
”In this way,” said the Lord, ”his conscience and I contended together, until finally he drew away from me and turned his back instead of his face toward me. In what sense did he turn it? By wanting to obey only in the way he liked, and by wanting to be patient only provided that it did not lessen his friendship with the world in any way. Now the devil is struggling to make him completely blind and mute. He is trying to tie his hands and bind his feet and lead him off to the darkness of hell. He makes him blind when the man thinks as follows: 'God redeemed me through his passion. He will not let me be lost, for he is merciful. God does not scrutinize sin so exactly, given that people are offending him all the time.' This proves that his faith is unstable. Have him search my gospel, then, to see what account I shall demand of words and how much greater an account of deeds. Have him also search there to find out that the rich man was not buried in hell because of theft but because of his misuse of the wealth granted to him. Again, the devil makes him mute when the man hears the example and words of my friends and then says: 'Nobody can live like that nowadays.' This proves that he has very little hope. I am, of course, the one who has given my friends the ability to live thus decently and chastely. I can also give him a like capacity, if he would only place his hope in me.
The devil ties his hands whenever the man loves something more than me, when he gets more eagerly concerned about the world than about my glory. Let him therefore be cautious in order not to get tripped up by the devil while he seems so intent on the world, for the devil lays out his snares when one is least on one's guard. The devil binds his feet when the man pays no attention to his thoughts and affections, when he does not consider the form of his temptations, when he is so intent on gratifying his neighbor and his own flesh that he pays no attention to saving his soul. Have him, therefore, ponder what I said in the gospel about how a man who puts his hand to the plow should not look back, and how he who has entered upon a more profitable way of life should not turn back.
The devil also enchains his heart, each time the man inclines his will to evil in such a way that he thinks about worldly honors and longs both to have them and to persevere in such a disposition. The devil leads him toward darkness each time the man has such thoughts as these: 'Whether I attain to glory or to punishment is of little concern to me.'
Woe to him who falls into such a darkness!
However, I would run to meet him as a father if he would but turn toward me. In what sense? By having the intention of doing as much as he can. As it is not licit for the son of a man to take a woman to wife against her will, so it is not licit for the Son of the Virgin. The human will is like a tool by which divine love is introduced into the soul. Just as a miller who wants to split stones first looks for cracks into which he first inserts his finer tools and then heavier ones until the stone is broken, so too I first look for goodwill and then pour my grace into it, and then, as the person's activity increases and his will makes progress, a larger amount of my grace is also added, until the stone-like heart is converted and grows into a heart of flesh, and the heart of flesh becomes a spiritual heart.”
This was a prior in the region of Sicily close to the volcanic mountain. The following revelation also concerned him.
The Son of God speaks: ”This brother is wondering why my apostles, Peter and Paul, lay neglected for so long a time in the catacombs. I answer you: The Golden scripture says that Israel was in the desert for a long time because the wickedness of the Gentiles whose lands they were to possess had not yet been completed. This was also the case with my apostles. The time of grace had not yet come in which the bodies of my apostles were to be exalted, since first there had to be a time of trial and afterward of coronation, and also because those persons were not yet born who were to have the honor of exalting the apostles.
Now you might ask whether their bodies had any honor during the time in which they lay in the grave. My answer is that my angels took care of and gave honor to those blessed bodies. The area of the catacombs was like a place where roses and plants are to be sown and that is carefully cultivated beforehand. The catacombs, which angels and men would rejoice over, were likewise prepared and honored long beforehand. I assure you that there are many places in the world where the bodies of the saints rest, but none are like this place. If all the saints whose bodies repose here were counted, it would scarcely be believed. Just as an enfeebled man is restored by the good smell and taste of food, so too the people who come to this place with an upright mind are spiritually revived and receive true pardon for their sins, each according to his or her faith and way of life.”
This same brother was very much moved to compunction by the words of Lady Bridget. He heard a voice on three separate nights saying to him: ”Hurry, hurry! Come, come!” On the fourth day, he fell sick and died in Rome after having received the sacraments.
Christ speaks to the bride and tells her that three saints were most especially pleasing to him. These were the Virgin Mary, Blessed John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene.