I make my complaint, not only on my own behalf but also on behalf of many of God's elect, before your Majesty, concerning the plight of four sisters, daughters of a mighty king, each of whom held position and power within her inherited estate. All those who wished to look on the beauty of these sisters received solace from their beauty and good example from their piety. The first sister was called Humility in managing every deed to be done. The second sister was called Abstinence from all sinful intercourse. The third sister was called Contentment without any excess. The fourth sister was called Charity regarding the affliction of one's neighbors. These four sisters are now regarded as worthless on their own inherited estate and scorned by almost everyone.
In their place four other, illegitimate sisters have been installed. Though they are the offspring of a fornicator, they are now called noblewomen. The first of these is Lady Pride, who lives to please the world. The second is called Lady Desire, who follows the body's every appetite. The third is called Lady Excess beyond the limits of necessity. The fourth is called Lady Simony, against whose deception almost nobody can protect himself, since, whether things are rightly or wrongly acquired, she greedily takes it all in. These four ladies contradict the precepts of God, wishing to render them worthless, and they are an occasion of eternal damnation to many souls.
Therefore, act in accordance with the love that God has shown you, and swiftly help to raise up the four sisters called virtues, which proceed from the very virtue of Jesus Christ the high king, and which have now been laid low in the Holy Church, the inherited estate of Christ. Lay low instead the vices that are called ladies in this world, the traitors of souls, born of that traitor the devil, vice itself.
The bride's warning to a certain nobleman about restoring unjustly acquired property, and about the voice of an angel announcing a harsh sentence against him.
Sir, I warn you about the danger your soul is in, and remind you that we read about a certain king in the Old Testament who felt a desire for another man's vineyard and offered him the full price for it. However, since the owner did not want to sell it, the king was angered and unjustly expropriated it for himself with violence. The Holy Spirit spoke to him a little later through the mouth of a prophet, sentencing the king and queen to die a wretched death for their injustice. The prophecy was fulfilled in them, and their children had not the least benefit of the possession of that vineyard.
Now, then, since you are Christian and keep the whole faith and know with certainty that God is the same now in his power and justice as he was then, you ought to know, accordingly, that, if you have a desire to possess something unjustly, either by forcing the owner to sell it against his will or by not making a fair offer, that same powerful and just judge will be the avenger. You, moreover, should fear for such a sentence overtaking you as is said to have befallen that queen. You should sorrow that your children will not be made rich by your ill-gotten goods but will rather suffer the distress of poverty.
By the passion of Jesus Christ, who redeemed your soul with his precious blood, I exhort and admonish you not to destroy your soul for the sake of fleeting possessions but to make full restitution to all those who have suffered loss at your hands or because of you. Restore whatever you have wrongly acquired both to relieve those who now suffer sorrow and as an example for others, if you want to gain the friendship of God.
God is my witness that I do not write you this on my own, for I do not know you, but because something happened to a person that compelled me to write out of holy compassion for your soul. For that person, not asleep but awake in prayer, heard the voice of an angel saying: ”Björn, Björn, how overbold you are toward God and toward justice! Your willpower has so overcome the conscience within you that your conscience is completely silent, while your will speaks and acts. That is why you shall soon come to judgment in the divine court. Your will shall then be silent, and your conscience shall speak and condemn you in accordance with right justice.”
The Son's words to the bride about how we ought to beware of temptations from the devil, and his description of the devil as an enemy of the state, and of God as a mother hen, his power and wisdom as wings, his mercy as feathers, and the people as chickens.
The Son speaks: ”If the enemy is battering at the city gates, you should not be like goats that run toward the wall or like rams that rear themselves up on their hind legs and butt against each other with their horns. Instead you should be like chickens that see a bird of prey in the sky aiming to harm them and take refuge beneath the wings of their mother and hide there. They are happy even if they only get hold of a single one of the mother's feathers and take cover there.
Who is your enemy if not the devil, who looks maliciously upon every good deed and is wont to batter and agitate the human mind with temptations? Sometimes he batters it with anger and slander, sometimes with impatience and criticism toward God's decisions whenever things do not turn out as one wishes. Very often he batters and upsets you with innumerable thoughts in order to draw you away from God's service and cast a shadow over your good works before God.
Therefore, no matter what temptations you have, you should not abandon your position nor be like the goats that run up toward the wall, that is, to be hard of heart, or to criticize other people's actions in your hearts, since a person who is bad today is often good tomorrow. Rather, you should lower your horns, stand still, and listen, that is, humble yourselves and be fearful, patiently entreating God so that bad beginnings may be changed into a happy ending. Nor should you be like the rams brandishing their horns, that is, paying back insult with insult and adding taunt to taunt.
Rather you should stand steadily on your feet and remain silent, that is, check your passions, so that in your speech and responses you may show forethought and patient forcefulness, because the righteous man overcomes himself and restrains himself even from licit remarks in order to avoid loquacity and offensiveness. When a person is agitated in mind and lets go of everything he feels inside, he seems somehow to have vindicated himself and revealed the instability of his mind. This is the reason why he will be left without a reward, because he was unwilling to be patient for a time. Had he been patient, he would both have won over his offending brother and fitted himself for a greater reward.
What do the hen's wings represent if not divine power and wisdom? You see, I am like a hen that powerfully protects from the snares of the devil those chickens that run to me when I call, that is, those who desire the shade of my wings, and I summon them to salvation through my wise inspirations. What does the feather represent if not my mercy? One who obtains my mercy can feel as secure as a chicken sheltered beneath its mother's wings. So, be like the chickens running toward my will. In all temptations and adversities say both out loud and in your deeds: May God's will be done! For, I protect those who trust in me with my power; I refresh them with my mercy; I hold them with my patience; I visit them with my solace; I enlighten them with my wisdom; I reward them a hundredfold with my love.”
The Son's words to the bride about a king and how he should work to increase God's honor and love for souls, and about his sentencing, if he fails to do so.