PENTECOST                                                              Anthony van Dyck 1618

     On June 9, 1946, Maria Valtorta's guardian angel, Azariah, gave a dictation on the Mass readings and prayers for Pentecost Sunday.  This chapter is taken from THE BOOK OF AZARIAH, written by Maria Valtorta during the years 1946-1947).

     Azariah says:

     "Glory be to the Divine Paraclete! Gloria! Alleluia!  Let us celebrate together His praises on this, His Epiphany of Love.  And let us consider it in its preparation, in its form, and in its effects. 

     Human narrowness generally considers one single Epiphany of God: that of Christ.  Man is truly unable to see, reflect, and understand.  If man were able to love, he would see, reflect, and understand.  The proportions of seeing, understanding, and reflecting are given by the degree of love reached by the soul.

     The more man gives and abandons himself to love so as to be enveloped, burned, and destroyed by it and constructed with a new form, burned so as to burn, and to honor by burning, and to sanctify by bringing among men the heat of the immense furnace where the creature is transformed into a seraph so that he will truly enter into God, into the blazing Tabernacle that is God--the Worker from Whom everything comes, the Tireless One who works all, the Perfect, Finished, Holy One, Power, Wisdom, Light, Thought, Word, Love, Life, Grace, Confimer of Grace--the more man is capable of seeing, reflecting, and understanding, for he possesses wisdom.  Love is wisdom.  Wisdom is the source of virtue.  Love--that is wisdom--is never disconnected from holiness.  Rather, it is always the instigator of perfection because it spurs man towards fruitful works.  Like steps on a golden stairway, such works elevate him more and more towards Heaven.  Like feathers becoming fortified in flight--and every work of love is a flight towards Heaven--such works become ever vaster, holier, and more joyful, with the same joy God experiences in working.

     Man, when imbued with Love, appropriates for himself--shall we say--sentiments of Love and, with the Triune Love, recreates himself, redeems others in addition to himself, and takes delight in creating and redeeming; and, though active beyond measure in his working in the two forms of charity--adoration of God and love for his neighbor--acquires, through sweet ecstacy, continual and continually preceiving, the sapiential lights of God in which he is immersed, a deep, balanced, peaceful, and solemn majesty, which is the shining of superhuman union with the Divine.

    

     In a word:  when man is loving, living with his spirit in the Most Holy Trinity, he takes on the modes and affections of the Place where he dwells and, therefor, active, contemplative, joyful love, which is thus Light and Wisdom, the faculty of seeing, reflecting, understanding.

     Now, by what I am saying to you, by the Light I am bringing you, by the fervor I nourish in you, I want you to fix yourself upon the higher knowledge, that which man commonly does not contemplate, and see what God is, the Multiform and Equable, the One who is completed in Himself, but does not exceed Himself through the prevalence of One of His parts over another, for prevalence, and the spirit of prevalence, is already egoism, and God knows no egoism, for in God there is Obedience in the Son, Agreement in the Spirit to shine alongside the Power of the Father, but never a spirit of overwhelming the One aimed at devaluing the actions of the Other Two.

     To see God means to note His actions, including those which the dull do not note.  And to see means to note that to the Epiphanies of Christ, which the Most Holy Lord Jesus has already explained to you, there correspond the prior Epiphanies of the Father and those, which also follow, of the Spirit.

     The Father manifests Himself for the first time in Creation.  An immense Epiphany of the Power which has made everything from nothing, for the All can make things from nothing, whereas nothing, nonbeing, cannot form itself alone or form.

     The reply to the proud deniers of God is what their eyes see--undeniably see--and the impotence, which their pride cannot fail to observe, of their not being able to create a blade, a single blade of grass, from nothing.  What they make with instruments or drugs or new crosses of metals, plants, and animals is not to create.  That is to work upon already existing materials.  To create is when from nothing one obtains all that surrounds you, this firmament with its planets, those seas with their waters, this earth with the plants and animals inhabiting it, these men who arose from the original dust, transformed by God into man, this created man who is vivified not only with limited life, but with eternal life through the spirit, furnished not only with instinct, but with intellect.  That is to create.  The first Epiphany of God, placed as a radiant sun at the beginning of time, never, ever to grow dark again.

     What is the organism which lasts enternally, once formed?  What thing knows no dispersion, darkening, disgregation, oblivion, death?  A time will come when the stars, even the supreme sun, will no longer exist.  The continents are no longer as they were when the Earth was created by God.  Dynasties perish.  Often the names of the great who once were are not known because the centuries have covered them over with the oblivious dust of time.  But the Epiphany of the Creator and Father is and will be.  For with the resurrected on the Last Day there will remain the superperfect part of the perfect dimension of this Epiphany--that is, the Living Ones, the Men, the eternal.

     Are you left dazed, soul of mine?  It doesn't strike you as appropriate to call the damned 'superperfect'?  They will be the perfection of Evil and will bear witness down there--in the kingdom of the Rebel, who did not want to bend his spirit in adoration of the Most Perfect One and wanted to be a god in the place of God--to what He whom the Rebel wanted to treat as his equal can do as Creator and Judge:  make from nothing beings that are not only living, but eternal, not only animals, but endowed with spirit, and judge them with all their being, giving to all that was rebellious what it has deserved, keeping them alive forever and ever, while all that was created will experience death, and segregating them in the kingdom freely chosen by them as their kingdom.

     As you see, the first Epiphany of the Creator and Father will remain, even beyond time, in the two Kingdoms that will not know an end--Paradise, Hell--to remind everyone, accoring to his condition, and at all times, that God exists and has manifested Himself as such from the first day of creation.  A luminous, blessed remembrance for the citizens of Heaven.  A remembrance of punishment for those in Hell.  But for both indelible, even after everything is annulled, except for the two kingdoms.

    

     The creative manifestation was followed by the other manifestations of the First Person, to the patriarchs of the early days until the manifestation on Sinai, second in power, and the third, complete one, because the Three Persons were present therein, at the Jordan, and still another, to shake Gentiles and Jews--the former better than the latter--so that, because of the then imminent Passion of the Savior, their hearts would be prepared by faith to benefit from His merits.

     And to the Epiphanies of the Father there are united those of the Love, of the Love always present in all the Father's actions and thus manifested with Him and the Word of the 'Fiat', since the First Epiphany of the First Person, for, as the Introit says, 'The Spirit of the Lord fills the whole world', but particularly manifesting Himself in the lessons of wisdom and operations of redemption.

     Oh, sublime manifestations of Love, in the virginal house of Mary!  The Love who manifested Himself in all His love, showering Himself upon the Loving Woman to generate the Savior!  'In filling all things, He knows what He tells you', the Introit professes.  In filling the heart of the Virgin, He knew what He was doing:  He was making the Virgin conceive that Man so that the promises would be fulfilled and man would again be God's friend and son through successive operations of love.

      Look!  Meditate!  He who had presided over all the Creator's  actions and, therefore, the Thought of creating the Immaculate as well, the future Mother of the Redeemer, thus descends now to betroth Her, finding Her more beautiful than Paradise itself, because She is beautiful in justice through Her own will, in addition to the will of the Lord of Paradise.

     What sweeter Epiphany of Divine Love than this?  And through this sweet Epiphany there was thus formed in the womb of the Virgin the Flesh of the Most Holy Word, and the Heart of Christ had its beginning there, that Heart which did not have in its first beat and will not have a single motion which is not obedience and love and which is proposed to you as a model to arrive at the glory of Heaven.

     But to that Epiphany in the Galilean March, to the other on the banks of the Jordan, there was joined the luminous, crowning Epiphany of Pentecost, the promised epiphany which Christ had mentioned to His Apostles to console them on that Paschal night and on the morning of the Ascension.  There it was fulfilled, preceded by a preparation of obedience and prayer, to make the poor apostles into the great Apostles, 'to baptize them with fire', as Jesus had predicted to them so that they would be cleansed of their dullness and, more spirit than flesh, be able to plunge into the Fire and spread it everywhere, setting the whole world aflame with it.  The Spirit well knew what He was accomplishing at that moment.  He was carrying out the transformation of hearts.  And He was changing them from hearts of men into 'voices' of God. 

     That's it.  The Spirit carries out these operations.  He takes the nothingness that is able to love, that is obedient, that is faithful, that speaks to God in confident prayer, and invests it with Himself, transforms it, makes it an instrument of God.

    

     'You will carry out a new creation' (Psalm 104:30), it is said.  Yes, He performs the recreation of man as an instrument, so that the instrument's good will, when joined to Love, will supercreate the holy.

     And observe:  The First Person rose up and commanded, 'Let there be Light.'  The Third Person says, 'Let there be Love.'   The First Person commanded, 'Let there be man,' and the Third, 'Let there be holiness.'  The First cried to Lucifer, 'Be accursed.'  The Third sets Hatred to flight with the splendor of Love.

     The Lord rises up and disperses His and his children's enemies, and those who hate Love flee from His sight and from the proximity of His children.  (Psalm 68:1)

     I told you before that Mary was beautiful and beloved because She was beautiful in justice through Her own will in addition to the Lord's will and for this reason deserved marriage with God.  And I also told you that the apostles deserved  the Pentecostal Chrism because of their obedience and prayer in preparation for the event.

     Every soul, to deserve Love, must, with its own will, want Love and must maintain itself worthy of Love by obedience and unwearying prayer.  If it did not do so, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon it would be in vain, for in descending He would not make His dwelling there and would swiftly ascend again to Heaven, leaving aridity, cold, darkness, and silence where there might have been fruitfulness, warmth, light and divine lessons.

     But if this is for all the faithful, for the instruments it is even more so.  The Apostles were changed from men into voices of God though the work of the Paraclete and their own preparation in obedience and prayer.  Those called to a special mission--and every call is a test;  it is not yet a sure and immutable election--are transformed into 'voices' by the work of Love and their own preparation in obedience and prayer.  Don't ever give another name different from these two to the 'nothings' who become an instrument.  It is their obedience, their speaking with God, their obeying the commands of God which make them what they are.  And do not give another name except that of disobedience and pride to the falls of those who seemed just and had only the external varnish of the just.

     I, soul of mine, will never cease, at the cost of seeming monotonous to you, to exhort you to practice those virtues--necessary for all, but absolutely indespensable, and in full measure, in the being chosen for an extraordinary way--which are a perfect obedience and a perfect humility, a spirit of union with God--that is, lived prayer, and not, indeed, the mechanical mumbling of prayers at certain hours.

     The day before yesterday, in an intimate lesson, I explained to you that even what your mind does not comprehend, because it is not nourished with theological notions, works spiritual transformations in you, for the soul, without the knowledge of your intellect itself, which cannot follow it, in being ignorant of theological notions, absorbs the juice of the lessons you receive and is nourished by them.  Just let your brain, as you say, hear nothing but the external and incomphensible sound of so many profound lessons.  There is a part of you, the best part, which is nourished by them all the same, truthfully.  And this has more value than if you, with your intellect, were able to analyze and grasp every word, but that analysis remained a cold study of the mind and not bread and fire of the spirit.

     Many are the learned, but few those who join justice to learning.  And why?  Because they know what God is, but do not want to take this knowledge from the brain to the heart, to the spirit, and they are learned, but they are not just, do not evolve from human into spiritual creatures.  They are great in pride, but they are not great in obedience.  Bold in judging, but faint-hearted in loving.  Many words flow from their lips.  But they descend instead of rising, because they are words, not arrows of love shot towards Heaven.  Prayer....Oh, I want to give you a comparison for what true prayer is!

    

     Think of a woman bearing her son in her womb.  The heart of the child about to be born is not wholly united to the mother's;  distant, separated by organs and membranes, they would be termed independent.  And yet to every beat of the mother's heart there corresponds a beat of the son's, because the blood flowing through their veins is one and the same.  You see, that's what it's like with prayer when it's truly 'prayer'.  It is a conforming of the creature's throbs of love to the throbs of love of his God, almost as if one and the same blood of love were to impress upon two different hearts, synchronizing them in their movements.  But if the child is born, he thus takes on an independent beat, for he is now separated from the mother, outside her.

     Accordingly, if the believer separates himself and goes out of God, his motions are no longer synchronous with those of God.  The child comes out by a natural, good law.  The believer goes out by a voluntary choice  that is not good.  Never go out of the loving breast of Love.

     And let us go back to consideration of the Manifestation of the Spirit Paraclete. 

     I told you at the outset that we would consider Pentecost in its preparation, form, and effects.  The preparation may be divided into three periods.  The remote, near, and immediate ones. 

     The remote preparation for Pentecost is that which had been in the Thought of God since He decreed the coming of the Word to Earth to redeem and give the holy, perfect Religion which takes its name from Christ.  A very remote prepartion, but ever present and more and more active as the times flowed on, approaching the limit of the time of punishment and, therefor, the limit of the time of forgiveness.  Since Love is in all God's actions, it is not an error to say that the preparation had its beginning at the beginning of time.

     The near preparation is that of the time going from the Annunciation to the Immolation.

     Immediate is that going from the Resurrection to Pentecost.  For this reason, Little John (Maria's nickname given by Jesus), Our Lord Jesus transports you immediately to the pre-Pentecostal time as soon as Easter Day is over.  He treats you as one of His best loved disciples, soul of mine.  To them, when He had risen from death, He still gave teaching, and He gave it, I would almost say, in loving seclusion:  He and they, they and the Lord, with no more preaching to the throngs and striking miracles, so as not to have the distraction of crowds surrounding His last teaching.  And so He led them up to the moment of His Ascension, leaving them with the command to remain recollected in prayer while awaiting the Paracelte, and under the direction of Mary Most Holy.

     He does so with you as well.  And He takes you to the breeze of Pentecost when the last peal of the Easter bells is fading out.  Nor are fifty days excessive to prepare to receive the Spirit, the Fire that consumes only what is useless, but that, to be received, as a sanctifier and agent, needs a spirit prepared like a cenacle--silent, isolated, perfumed with obedience and prayer.

    

     Then the Pentecost opens its seven rivers and gives light and spiritual virility, nourishes the soul with its gifts and makes it fit to receive the septiform fruits, for which the Spirit deposits the seed that the soul's good will brings to maturation.  He certainly cannot be received where there is no place for His abundance, dignity for His Nature, where it would be in vain to teach, for worldly noise disturbes and overwhelms, where obedience is deficient and prayer is a mere shadow, where there are other savors which are not flour and the honey of the rock (as tomorrow's Mass says--that is simple, pleasant things, truly nourishing, as are the things which come from God and which God in His goodness gives to His children), but the spicy, corrupting savors of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

     Maria, soul of mine, until now the mortification that has oppressed you has kept you in a state of humility and adherence to God because of which the Spirit loved you and communicated Himself with great grace.  Now fortify your heart so that the smoke of praise will not corrupt it and make you a sounding cymbal, but without the luminous words of Wisdom.

     Fortify your heart.  I say to you, 'Fortify.'  I told you, 'Do not fear' when men battled you and you were alone with God and your angel.  Now I tell you, "Fortify yourself.'  Make yourself steadfast in the face of praise as you were in the face of reproaches.  Not you, but He is the one worthy of praise.

     Lift and fix your heart in Him, and pay whatever homage is paid you to Him Who is worthy of it.  You should have been and are the means which brings the Word of God to men.  Be the means which takes the praise of men to the Author of the prodigy.  The humble means in order to be the useful means.  The just means in order to be the holy means.  You have always overcome the battles of pain, and every pain has always made you more God's.  Be able to overcome the battles of satisfaction.  Be just, humble, faithful.

     Thanks be to God, my Maria;  let us give God thanks at the end of this singular explanation, which is what the Lord wanted me to tell you.  Thanks be to God!  Alleluia!"

See PENTECOST, The Descent of th Holy Spirit from POEM OF THE MAN-GOD

 

Written by Maria Valtorta.  From THE BOOK AF AZARIAH, pages 124-132.

Copyright 1993 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl, Isola del Liri, Italy.  All rights reserved in all countries.

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