Our Lord Jesus Christ told me, Reverend Bishop, to write you the following words for you to show to the pope. ”The Pope seeks a sign. Tell him that the pharisees sought a sign and that I answered them that just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and nights, so I, the Virgin's Son, was dead in the earth for three days and nights. After the promised sign, I, God's Son, suffered, died, and was buried and rose again and ascended into my glory. Thus, Pope Gregory has received the sign of my exhortation to save souls. Let him do with deeds what belongs to my honor. Let him struggle to save souls and return my church to its pristine state and to a better condition. Then he will experience the sign and reward of eternal consolation. He will also have a second sign. If he does not obey my words and come to Italy, he will lose not only temporal goods but also spiritual ones, and he will feel troubled at heart so long as he lives. Though his heart may sometimes seem to have some relief, the remorse of his conscience and his inner troubles will stay with him. The third sign is that I, God, speak miraculously to a woman. What is the purpose of this? What is the benefit of it, if not the salvation and good of souls and the reformation of the wicked and the improvement of the good?
Concerning the dispute between the pope and Barnabò, I answer that it is loathsome to me beyond measure, for numberless souls are in peril because of it. It is therefore my will that they should reach an agreement. Even if the pope were to be expelled from his papacy, it would be better for him to humble himself and come to an agreement, should the occasion present itself, than to allow so many souls to perish in eternal damnation. Concerning the betterment of the kingdom of France, it will not be made known until the pope himself arrives in Italy.
It is as though there were a gibbet from which hung a rope that a numberless crowd was pulling to one side while only one man was pulling it to the other. So it obviously is with the damnation of souls. A great many are working on it. This pope should gaze on me alone, though everyone else is dissuading him from coming to Rome and resisting it as much as they can. He should trust in me alone, and I will help him, and none of them will prevail over him. As chicks in a nest raise themselves up and clamor and rejoice when their mother comes, so I shall joyfully run out to meet him and raise him up and honor him in both soul and body.”
The Lord spoke again: ”Because the pope is in doubt as to whether he should come to Rome for sake of the reestablishment of the peace and of my church, I will that he should come next autumn. Let him know that he can do nothing more pleasing to me than to come to Italy.”
The vision received by the bride of Christ concerning the judgment of the soul of a deceased pope.
The bride saw a person dressed in a pontifical scapular standing in a house spattered with mud from the streets. The roof the house was almost pressing down on the person's skull. Black Ethiopians with hooks and other instruments of torture were surrounding the house but were unable to touch the said person, though they filled him with the greatest of terror.
Then I heard a voice saying to me: ”This is the soul of that pope whom you knew. This house is his spiritual reward. He dealt in worldly affairs, and his reward, therefore, is not yet a shining one, not until he has been cleansed in purgatory and made brighter with spiritual prayers and God's love. The roof is pressing down upon him. This is a mystical sign, for the roof symbolizes love for God. The wider and higher it is in respect to spiritual things and divine fervor, the greater love one has. Because the love of this soul was ardent for certain worldly affairs and preferred to follow her self-will, the roof, which is bright and high in the case of God's elect, is too low for her, until it is enlarged by the blood of God's Son and the intervention of the heavenly court. The soul is dressed in a scapular. This is a sign that he was eager to follow the religious life and his vocation, but his efforts were not great enough to be an example for advanced souls or a model for the perfect.
Now, however, you are permitted to know three of the works that he did in his life on account of which he is now being punished. The first was that he was disobedient toward God and his own conscience, for which his conscience felt contrition and remorse. The second is that he gave dispensations in some cases for the sake of carnal affection due to following his own self-will. The third is that he ignored some things that he might have corrected in order not to offend those he loved. Know, however, that this soul is not in the company of those that descend into hell, nor with those that come to the more painful trials of purgatory. Instead, he finds himself with those who day by day hasten nearer to the grace and vision of the majesty of almighty God.”
Book 5 ”The Book of Questions”
Book Five of the Heavenly Revelations of Christ to blessed Bridget of the kingdom of Sweden is rightly entitled the Book of Questions because it proceeds by way of questions to which Christ the Lord gives wonderful answers. It was revealed to the lady in a singular manner, as she and her confessors have often testified explicitly. Once it happened that she was going by horse one day to her castle in Vadstena along with several of her household who were also on horseback. While she was riding, she began to lift up her mind to God in prayer. Immediately, she fell into a spiritual rapture and continued on as though somehow outside herself and separated from her bodily senses, suspended in an ecstasy of mental contemplation.
She saw in spirit a ladder fixed firmly in the earth, the top of which was touching heaven. At its top in heaven she saw the Lord Jesus Christ sitting on a wonderful throne like a Judge in the act of judgment. At his feet stood the Virgin Mary, and surrounding the throne was a countless host of angels and a vast multitude of saints. Lady Bridget saw a certain monk midway up the ladder, a man whom she recognized and who was still alive, a learned scholar in the science of theology but full of guile and devilish wickedness. With his most impatient and agitated bearing he seemed more like a devil than a humble monk. For the lady could see all the inner thoughts and feelings of the monk's heart and how he disclosed them to Christ the Judge seated on the throne through his uncontrolled and agitated way of questioning, as follows below.
Lady Bridget then saw and heard in spirit how Christ the Judge, with a meek and gentle bearing, responded to those questions briefly one by one with utmost wisdom, and how the Virgin Mary, our Lady, spoke a few words now and then to Lady Bridget, as this book will explain below in greater detail.
In that one moment Lady Bridget received this whole book in her mind in one and the same revelation. As she was now approaching the castle, her servants took hold of the horse's bridle and then began to shake her gently and to waken her, as it were, from her rapture. When she came to herself again, she felt terribly sad over the loss of such divine sweetness.
The Book of Questions remained thus effectively fixed in her heart and memory, as though it had all been carved on a marble tablet. She wrote it down in her own language straightaway, and then her confessor translated it into the literary language, just as he had been accustomed to translating the other books of revelations.