The Son of God speaks to the bride saying: ”Be sure to be on your guard!” And she answers: ”Why?” The Lord says to her: ”Because the world is sending to you four servants who want to deceive you. The first is anxiety about riches. Tell him when he comes: 'Riches are transitory, and the more they abound, the greater the account must be given concerning them. Therefore I do not care about them, since they do not follow their owner but abandon him.'
The second servant is the loss of riches and the forfeiture of privileges conceded. Answer this servant thus: 'He who gave riches has also taken them away. He knows what is best for me. May his will be done!'
The third servant is the tribulation of this world. Tell him this: 'Blessed be you, my God, who allow me to suffer tribulation. By tribulations I know that I am yours, for you permit tribulations in the present in order that you may spare me them in the future. Grant me, then, the patience and strength to endure.'
The fourth servant is contempt and reproach. Answer them in this way: 'God alone is good and all honor is due to him. Why should there be any honor for me who have committed all kinds of bad and vile deeds? Instead I am worthy of all kinds of reproach, since my whole life has been a blasphemy to God. Or in what way is honor worth more to me than reproach? It only stirs up pride and lessens humility, and God is forgotten. Therefore may all praise and honor be given to God.'
So stand firm against the servants of the world, and love me your God with all your heart.”
First question. Again the monk appeared on his rung as before saying: ”O Judge, I ask you: Since you are God and man, why did you not reveal your divine as well as your human nature, and then everyone would have believed in you?”
Second question. ”Why did you not let all your words be heard in an instant, and then it would not have been necessary for them to be preached over intervals of time?”
Third question. ”Why did you not perform all your works in a single hour?”
Fourth question. ”Why did your body grow over intervals of time and not in an instant?”
Fifth question. ”As your death was approaching, why did you not reveal yourself in your divine power, and why did you not show your severity to your enemies, when you said: 'All is accomplished'?”
Answer to the first question. The Judge answered: ”O friend, I respond to you and yet not to you. I respond to you in order that the evil of your thoughts may be made known to others. Yet I do not respond to you, because these things are not revealed for your benefit but for the profit and warning of present and future generations. Since you do not intend to change your obstinate attitude, you will not pass from your death into my life, because, while still alive, you hate true life. Others, however, who have heard about your life, or rather your death, will pass over and fly on to my life. Indeed, it is written that, for saints, all things work together unto the good; and God permits nothing to happen without cause. So I answer you, but not as those do who speak in a human manner, because we are discussing spiritual things, but in such a way that your thoughts and feelings may be communicated to others by way of similes.
You ask, then, why I did not show my divine nature openly as I did with my human. The reason is that my divine nature is spiritual but my human nature is bodily. Yet the divine and human natures are and were inseparable ever since they were first joined together. My divinity is uncreated, and all things that exist are made in it and through it, and every perfection and beauty is found in it. If such beauty and perfection were visibly revealed to eyes of clay, who would be able to bear the sight? Who could look upon the physical sun in all its brightness? Who would not be terrified by the sight of lightning and the sound of thunder? How much greater the terror would be if the Lord of lightning and the Creator of all things were seen in his splendor!
My divinity was not openly revealed for two reasons. The first reason is the weakness of the human body, whose substance is earthly. If any human body were to see the divinity, it would melt like wax before fire, and the soul would rejoice with such exultation that the body would be reduced, as it were, to ashes. The second reason is the immutability of divine goodness. If I were to show bodily eyes my divinity, which is incomparably more radiant than fire and sun, I would then be contradicting myself. For I have said: 'No one shall see me and live.' Not even the prophets themselves saw me as I am in my divine nature. Those who did hear the voice of my divinity and saw the burning mountain were terrified and said: 'Let Moses speak to us, and we shall listen to him.' This is why I, merciful God, in order to be understandable to humankind, revealed myself to them in a human form similar to theirs, which they could see and touch and in which the divine nature is concealed, so that people might not be terrified by a form unlike their own. Insofar as I am God, I am not bodily and cannot be portrayed in a bodily manner, but people can endure to see and hear me in my human nature.”
Answer to the second question. ”As to why I did not utter all my words in a single hour, I answer you: Just as it is materially impossible for the body to take in as much food in one hour as it could manage in a large number of years, so too it goes against the divine disposition for my words, which are the food of the soul, to be spoken all in a single hour. As the food of the body is taken in a small amount at a time so that it can be chewed and then ingested, so too my words had to be uttered not in one hour but over intervals of time in proportion to the understanding of those who were to profit from them, so that the hungry might have something to fill them and then be stirred to higher things.”
Answer to the third question. ”As to why I did not perform all my works in an instant, I answer: Some of those who saw me in the flesh came to belief in me, others did not. It was accordingly necessary for those who did believe to be taught by words over intervals of time and to be stirred at times by example and strengthened by works. For those who did not believe, however, it was right and just that their wicked disposition be disclosed and tolerated, as far as my divine justice could permit it. If I had performed all my works in an instant, everyone would have followed me from fear rather than from love, and, in that case, how would the mystery of human redemption have been fulfilled?
Just as in the beginnings of the world's creation all things were accomplished at different times and in different ways - although all the things to be made were immutably present together in my divine foreknowledge - so too in my human nature everything was accomplished rationally and distinctly for the salvation and edification of all.”
Answer to the fourth question. ”As to why my body grew over a number of years and not instantaneously, I answer: The Holy Spirit, who is eternally in the Father and in me, the Son, revealed to the prophets what I would do and suffer when I came in the flesh. Accordingly, it pleased God that I should take such a body in which I could labor from morning to evening and from year to year until the last moment of death. Therefore, in order not to make the words of the prophets seem meaningless, I, the Son of God, took a body like Adam's but without sin so that I would be like those whom I was to redeem. In this way, man, who had turned away from me, might by means of love be led back and, having died, might be raised up, and having been sold might be redeemed.”
Answer to the fifth question. ”As to why I did not reveal my divine power and my true divine nature to everyone, when I said on the cross: 'It is accomplished,' I answer: It was necessary that everything that had been written about me should be fulfilled. Accordingly, I fulfilled them all down to the last detail. Since many things had also been predicted about my resurrection and ascension, it was necessary that they, too, should be brought about.
If my divine power had been revealed at my death, who would have dared to take me down from the cross and bury me? And it would have been a small thing for me then to come down from the cross and lay low my crucifiers - but how then would the prophecy have been fulfilled or where then would my virtue of patience have been? And if I had come down from the cross, would everyone have believed then? Would they not have said that I had done it all by evil art?
Given that they had been indignant when I raised the dead and cured the sick, they would have said much more had I come down from the cross! Therefore, in order to set the captive free, I, who was free, made myself captive; and in order to save the guilty, I, who was guiltless, stood steadfast on the cross. By my steadfastness I steadied the unsteady and strengthened the strengthless.”
The sixth revelation in the Book of Questions in which Christ speaks to his bride, blessed Bridget, and instructs her, saying that in the spiritual life peace of mind and eternal glory are won through vigorous struggle and perseverance and humble acquiescence in the advice of an elder and by bravely resisting temptations. He offers the example of Jacob who became a servant in order to win Rachel. He says that some people experience the greatest temptations at the beginning of a conversion to the spiritual life, others in the middle or toward the end. It is therefore necessary to have a holy fear and humble perseverance in the virtues and in the struggle until the very end.