ONLY DEATH DISSOLVES A MARRIAGE
(Vol. 2, p. 177-9)
(Jesus has been delivering His Sermon on the Mount for a number of days. It is late in the afternoon before the Sabbath, and He begins to speak to a large crowd, only some of whom have left so as not to be on the road at sunset ...)
« You heard that in the old days it was said: "You shall not commit adultery". Those who among you have heard Me in other places know that I have spoken about that sin several times. Because, look, as far as I am concerned, it is a sin not for one person only, but for two or for three. I will make Myself clear. An adulterer sins with regard to himself, he sins with regard to his accomplice, and sins causing the betrayed wife or husband to sin, they may in fact be led to despair or to commit a crime. That with regard to the accomplished sin. But I will say more. I say: "Not only the accomplished sin, but the desire to accomplish it is already a sin". What is adultery? It is to crave for him, who is not ours, or for her, who is not ours. One begins to sin by wishing, continues by seduction, completes it by persuasion, crowns it by the deed.
How does one begin? Generally with an impure glance. And that is connected with what I said before. An impure eye sees what is concealed from a pure eye and through the eye thirst enters the throat, hunger enters the body and fever the blood. A carnal thirst, hunger, fever. Delirium begins. If the person looked at is honest, the delirious looker-on is left alone on tenterhooks, or will denigrate in revenge. If also the person looked at is dishonest, he will reply to the look and the descent into sin begins.
I therefore say to you: "If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her because his thought has accomplished the deed of his desire". If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to be without one eye than to be thrown into the infernal darkness for ever. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away, for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell. It is true that it is written that deformed people cannot serve God in the Temple. But after this life, the deformed by birth who are holy and those who are deformed out of virtue, will become more beautiful than angels and will serve God, loving Him in the happiness of Heaven. It has also been said to you: "Anyone who divorces his wife, must give her a writ of dismissal". But that is to be condemned, for it does not come from God. God said to Adam: "This is the helpmate I made for you. Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it". And Adam, full of superior intelligence, because sin had not yet dimmed his reason made perfect by God, exclaimed: "This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh. This is to be called woman, that is: another I, because this was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and the two become one body". And in an increased splendour of light the Eternal Light approved smiling Adam's word, which became the first indelible law. Now, if owing to the ever increasing hardness of man, the human lawgiver had to give a new law; if owing to the ever increasing inconstancy of man, the lawgiver had to put a restraint and say: "If you have dismissed her you cannot take her back", that does not cancel the first genuine law, passed in the Earthly Paradise and approved by God.
I say to you: "Whoever divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, exposes her to adultery". Because what will the divorced woman do in ninety per cent of the cases? She will get married again. With what consequences? Oh! How much there is to be said about that! Do you not know that you can cause involuntary incests by such system? How many tears are shed because of lust. Yes: lust. There is no other name for it. Be frank. Everything can be overcome when the spirit is righteous. But everything is an excuse to satisfy sensuality when the spirit is lustful. Woman's frigidity, dullness, ineptitude for housework, shrewish tongue, love for luxury, everything can be overcome, also diseases and irascibility, if one loves holily. But as after some time one does not love as on the first day, what is more than possible is considered impossible and a poor woman is thrown on to the road and to perdition.
He who rejects her commits adultery. He who marries her after the divorce, commits adultery. Death only dissolves a marriage. Remember that. And if your choice is an unhappy one bear the consequences as a cross, being both of you unhappy but holy, without making also the children unhappy, as they are innocent and suffer more because of such unfortunate situations. The love for your children should cause you to ponder one hundred times, also in the case of death of your partner. Oh! I wish you could be satisfied with what you already have had and to which God said: "Enough!" I wish you, widows and widowers, realised that death is not an attenuation but an elevation to the perfections of parents! To be a mother in the place of a dead mother. To be a father in the place of a deceased father. To be two souls in one and receive the love for the children from the cold lips of the dying partner and say: "Go in peace, without worrying for those who were born of you. I will continue to love them, on my own and on your behalf, I will love them twice and will be their father and mother and they will not suffer the unhappiness of orphans, neither will they feel the inborn jealousy that the children of a remarried consort experience with regard to him or her who takes the sacred place of mother or father called by God to a new abode".
My children, My sermon is drawing to its end, as the day is nearing its end while the sun is setting in the west. I want you to remember the words of this meeting on the mountain. Engrave them in your hearts. Read them over and over again and very often. Let them be your everlasting guidance. And above all be good to those who are weak. Do not judge that you may not be judged. Remember that the moment might come when God could remind you: "That is how you judged. So you knew that that was bad. You therefore committed a sin, knowing what you were doing. You must now pay for it".
Charity is an absolution. Be charitable to everybody and in everything. If God gives you much assistance to keep you good, do not be proud of it. But endeavour to climb the full length of the ladder of perfection and give a hand to those who are tired or unaware and to those who are easily disappointed. Why do you observe so diligently the splinter in your brother's eye if first you do not go to the trouble of taking the plank out of your own eye? How dare you say to your brother: "Let me take the splinter out of your eye" while the plank in your eye is blinding you? Son, do not be a hypocrite. Take the plank out of your own eye first and then you will be able to take the splinter out of your brother's eye, without ruining him... »
THE “POWERS” OF LOVE
(Vol. 2, p. 283-5)
(Jesus is spending the Sabbath at Gethsemane with His apostles and His disciple John of Endor - an old man and former teacher. He describes the love of a mother as the “love of a second power”, and is asked by His cousin Judas Thaddeus to explain ...)
« My brother, there are many loves and various powers. There is the love of first power: the one given to God. Then there is the love of second power: the love of a mother or of a father, because if the previous one is entirely spiritual, this one is spiritual by two parts and carnal by one. It is true that human affection is mixed in it, but the superior sentiment prevails, because a father and mother, who are such in a wholesome and holy way, do not only feed and caress the body of their child, but they give also nourishment and love to the mind and the spirit of their creature. And what I am saying is so true, that those who devote themselves to children, even if only to educate them, end up by loving their pupils, as if they were of their own flesh. »
« In fact I was very fond of my pupils » says John of Endor.
« I understood that you must have been a good teacher by the way you deal with Jabez. »
The man of Endor bows and kisses Jesus' hand without speaking.
« Please go on with Your classification of loves » begs the Zealot.
« There is the love for one's wife: love of third power because it is made - I am always talking of wholesome and holy loves - half of spirit and half of flesh. A man, besides being the husband of his wife, is a teacher and a father to her; and a woman is an angel and a mother to her husband, besides being his wife. These are the three highest loves. »
« And the love for our neighbour? Are You not wrong? Or have You forgotten it? » asks the Iscariot. The others look at him dumbfounded and… furious because of his remarks.
But Jesus replies placidly: « No, Judas. Watch. God is to be loved because He is God, so no explanation is required to convince one to have such love. He is He Who is, that is Everything; and man: Nothing, who participates of Everything, because of the soul infused in him by Eternal God - without which soul man would be one of the many animals that live on the earth, or in water or in the air - he must adore Him from a sense of duty and to deserve to survive in Everything, that is to deserve to be part of the holy People of God in Heaven, a citizen of the Jerusalem which will know neither profanation nor destruction for ever.
The love of man, and particularly of woman, for their offspring, is indicated as an order in the words of God to Adam and Eve, after He had blessed them, seeing that He had made a "good thing", on a remote sixth day, the first sixth day of creation. God said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth… " I can see your tacit objection, and this is My reply to you: Since before sin everything in creation was regulated by and based on love, that multiplication of children would have been a holy, pure, powerful, perfect love. And God gave it as His first commandment to man: "Be fruitful and multiply". Therefore, love your children after Me. Love, as it is now, the present procreator of children, did not exist then. There was no malice nor the detestable thirst for sensuality. Man loved woman and woman loved man, naturally, not naturally according to nature as we understand it, or rather, as you men understand it, but according to the nature of children of God: supernaturally. Sweet were the days of love of the Two who were brothers, because born of one Father, and yet were husband and wife, who loved and looked at each other with the innocent eyes of twins in a cradle; and man felt the love of a father for his wife "bone from his bones and flesh from his flesh", what a son is for his father; and the woman experienced the joy of being a daughter, protected by a very high love, because she felt that she had in herself something of the wonderful man who loved her, with innocence and angelical ardour, in the beautiful meadows in Eden!
Later, in the sequence of commands that God, smiling, gave to His beloved children, there comes what Adam himself, gifted by Grace with an intelligence inferior only to God's, decreed speaking of his wife and of every woman through Eve, a decree of the thought of God, which was clearly reflected by the spotless mirror of Adam's spirit, a flower in thought and in word: "Man will leave his father and his mother and will join himself to his wife and they will become one body".
If there had not been the three pillars of the three above mentioned loves, could there have been love for one's neighbour? No. It could not have existed. The love of God makes God a friend and teaches love. Who does not love God, Who is good, cannot certainly love his neighbour who in most cases is faulty. If there had been no conjugal love and paternity in the world, there could have been no neighbours, because a neighbour is the son of man. Are you convinced? »
« Yes, Master. I had not thought of that. »
« It is difficult indeed to go back to the sources. Man has been stuck in mud for thousands of years, and those sources are so high up on the summits! The first one, above all, is a source that comes from an immense height: God… But I will take you by the hand and lead you to the sources. I know where they are… »
« And the other loves? » ask together Simon Zealot and the man from Endor.
« The first one of the second series is the love for our neighbour. In actual fact it is the fourth in power. Then comes the love for science. Finally the love for work. »
« Is that all? »
« That is all. »
« But there are many more loves! » exclaims Judas of Kerioth.
« There are other hungers. But they are not loves. They are the negation of love. They deny God, they deny man. They cannot be love because they are negations and Negation is Hatred. »
THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE
(Vol. 2, p. 654, and Vol. 3, p. 21)
(Jesus is instructing His cousin James, the apostle, about the qualities of His future priests. James says:)
« I understand only a little of what You say, but what I do understand fills me with deep respect for the sacerdotal character of Your priests. If I have understood You correctly, we shall have many points in common with You: preaching, absolution, miracles. Three sacraments, therefore. »
« No, James. Preaching and miracles are not sacraments. The Sacraments will be more: seven, like the sacred candelabrum of the Temple and the gifts of the Spirit of Love. And in fact the Sacraments are gifts and flames and are granted to man so that he may burn for ever before the Lord. There will be a Sacrament also for the marriage of man. And it is already symbolised in the holy marriage of Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, after she was freed from the demon. The Sacrament will give the married couple all the assistance needed to live together according to the law and the wishes of God. Husband and wife also become the ministers of a rite: the rite of procreation. Husband and wife become also the priests of a small church: their family. They must therefore be consecrated in order to procreate with the blessing of God and to bring up a progeny that will bless the Most Holy Name of God. »
« And by whom will priests be consecrated? »
« By Me, before I leave you. You will, afterwards, consecrate your successors and those whom you will aggregate to yourselves to propagate the Christian faith. »
« You will teach us, will You not? »
« I and He Whom I will send to you. And His coming will be a Sacrament ... »
(At a later time, Jesus is with all His apostles, and He talks about His future Church:)
« You will be My Church. So believers will come to you, for advice for themselves or for advice for other people. I will tell you more. You will not be able only to give advice. You will be able to absolve in My Name. You will be able to release people from the chains of sin and you will be able to join two people who love each other so that they become one body. And what you do will be valid in the eyes of God, as if God Himself had done it. I tell you solemnly that whatever you bind on the earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you absolve on the earth will be absolved in Heaven... »
THE DUTY OF A WIFE
(Vol. 3, p. 305-6)
(Esther, an Israelite, has married a former Roman soldier who has supported her in raising her children as Hebrews. She asks Jesus to pray that her husband will be converted. Jesus says:)
« He will. You may be sure of that. You are asking for something holy and it will be granted to you. You have understood the duty of a wife to God and to her husband. I wish all wives did! I solemnly tell you that many of them should imitate you. Continue like that and you will have the joy of having your Titus beside You, in prayer and in Heaven. Now show Me your children. »
The woman calls her numerous issue: « Jacob, Judas, Levi, Mary, John, Anne, Eliza, Marcus. » She then goes into the house and comes out again with one who can hardly walk and one of three months, at most: « And this one is Isaac and this little one is Judith » she says ending the introductions.
« Plenty! » says James of Zebedee laughing.
And Judas exclaims: « Six boys! And every one circumcised! And with pure names! Very good! »
The woman is happy and she praises Jacob, Judas and Levi, who help their father « every day except on Sabbaths, when Titus works by himself shoeing horses with shoes made previously » she says. And she praises Mary and Anne « who help their mother. » But she does not forget to praise also the four little ones « as they are good and not naughty. Titus helps me to bring them up, as he was a disciplined soldier » she says casting a loving glance at the man, who, leaning against the door post, with a hand resting on his side, has listened to everything his wife has said, with a hearty smile on his honest face, and who now becomes elated hearing his merits as a soldier being mentioned.
« Very well. The discipline of the army is not disliked by God, when soldiers do their duty humanely. The essential point is to be always morally honest, in every task, in order to be always virtuous. Your past discipline, which you now instil into your children, must prepare you to enter a higher service: the service of God. We must part now. I will just manage to reach Achzib before sunset. Peace to you, Esther, and to your house. May you all belong to the Lord, before long. »
The mother and children kneel down while Jesus raises His hand blessing them. The man, as if he were once again a soldier of Rome in front of his emperor, stands stiffly at attention and salutes in Roman style...
DIVORCE AND ADULTERY
(Vol. 3, p. 466-7)
(Jesus is talking to a large crowd in the market square at Gadara. He is asked a question by a Pharisee:)
« We want to know whether it is lawful for a man to repudiate his wife for any reason whatsoever. It is something that happens frequently and every time it causes a stir wherever it happens. People apply to us to know whether it is lawful. And we reply according to each case. »
« And you approve what happened in ninety per cent of the cases. And the remaining ten per cent, which you do not approve, concerns the poor or your enemies. »
« How do You know? »
« Because that is what happens in all human things. And I would add a third group of people: those who would be more entitled to it, if divorce were lawful: that is, real pitiful cases, such as incurable leprosy, life imprisonment, or unmentionable diseases... »
« So, according to You, it is never lawful. »
« Neither according to Me, nor according to the Most High, or anyone with a righteous soul. Have you not read, that the Creator, at the beginning of times, created man and woman? And He created them male and female; and it was not necessary for Him to do so, because He could have created a different way of procreation for the king of Creation, whom He made in His image and likeness, and it would have been a good way, even if it differed from every other natural way. And He said: "For this reason man will leave his father and mother and will join himself to his wife and they will become one body". So God joined them in one unity. Thus they are no longer "two", but "one" body only. So, what God united, because He saw that "it is a good thing", man must not divide, because if that should happen, it would no longer be a good thing. »
« Why then did Moses say: "If a man has taken a wife, but she does not find favour with him through something disgraceful, he will give her a writ of dismissal and send her away from his house"? »
« He said so because of the hardness of your hearts, to avoid, by means of his order, too grave disorders. That is why he allowed you to repudiate your wives. But it was not so from the beginning. Because a woman is worth more than an animal, which according to the caprice of its master or the free circumstances of nature, copulates with this or that male, a soulless body that copulates for procreation. Your wives have souls, as you do, and it is not fair that you should tread on them pitilessly. If in her condemnation it is said: "You will be subject to the power of your husband and he will lord it over you", that must take place according to justice and not with arrogance offending against the rights of a free soul worthy of respect. By repudiating your wives, which is not lawful, you give offence to the soul of your companion, to the twin body which joined yours, to the whole woman, whom you married, demanding honesty in her, whilst you, o perjurers, are dishonest, disabled, at times corrupt, when you go to her, and you continue to be so, taking every opportunity to strike her and give a wider scope to your unappeasable lust. Prostitutors of your wives! On no account can you separate from the woman who is joined to you according to the Law and Blessing. Only in the case that grace touches you, and you understand that woman is not a possession but a soul, and has therefore equal rights as yours to be recognised as part of man and not an object for his pleasure, and only in the case that your heart is so hard as not to be able to raise her to the dignity of wife, after enjoying her as a prostitute, only to remove the scandal of two who live together without the blessing of God on their union, you may send her away. Because in that case yours is not union but fornication, often not honoured by the birth of children, because they are suppressed against nature or sent away as a disgrace. In no other case. Because if you have illegitimate children from your concubine, it is your duty to put an end to the scandal by marrying her, if you are free. I am not taking into consideration the case of adultery consumed to the detriment of an unaware wife. In that case the stones of lapidation and the fire of Sheol are holy. But for him who sends away his legitimate wife because he is satiated with her, to take another one, there is but one sentence: he is an adulterer. And also he who takes the repudiated woman is adulterer, because if man has arrogated to himself the right to separate what God has joined, the matrimonial union continues in the eyes of God, and cursed is the man who takes a second wife without being a widower. And cursed is he who, after repudiating his wife and abandoning her to the dangers of life, which compel her to get married again to have her daily bread, takes her back when she becomes a widow of her second husband. Because, although she is a widow, she was an adulteress through your fault, and you would redouble her adultery. Have you understood, Pharisees, who are tempting Me? »
They go away thoroughly humiliated, without replying.
« He is a severe man. If He were in Rome He would see that the filth there is even more fetid » says a Roman.
Also some of the Gadara people grumble: « It is difficult to be men, if one must be so chaste!... »
And some say in louder voices: « If that is the situation of a man with respect to his wife, it is better not to get married. »
LIVING AS BROTHER AND SISTER
(Vol. 3, p. 468)
(Jesus and His apostles have left Gadara. and some of the apostles are unhappy with what He has told the people there. Jesus replies to them:)
« Not everybody understands that properly. Some in fact prefer to remain single in order to be free to indulge their vices. Some to avoid the possibility of sin, not being good husbands. But only few are granted to understand the beauty of being free from sensuality and also from the honest desire of woman. And they are the holiest, the freest, the most angelical on the earth. I am referring to those who become eunuchs for the Kingdom of God. Some men are born such. Some are made such. The former are monstrosities to be pitied, the latter are abuses to be repressed. But there is a third category: the voluntary eunuchs, who without any violence against themselves, and thus with double merit, comply with God's request and live like angels, so that the forlorn altar of the earth may still have flowers and incense for the Lord. They deny their inferior part satisfaction, so that their superior part may grow greater and bloom in Heaven in the flower-beds closest to the throne of the King. And I solemnly tell you that they are not mutilated, on the contrary they are gifted with what most men lack. They are thus not the object of foolish sneering words, but of great veneration. Let those understand that who should understand it, and respect it, if they can. »
Those who are married among the apostles whisper to one another.
« What is the matter with you? » asks Jesus.
« And what about us? We were not aware of that, and we got married. But we would like to be as You say... » says Bartholomew on behalf of everybody.
« You are not forbidden to do so as from now onwards. Live continently, considering your companion as a sister and you will have great merit in the eyes of God... »
THE UNCHANGING LAW
(Vol. 3, p. 645)
(Some Pharisees are grumbling at Jesus' teachings, and claim that, as they live in perfect holiness, they are the only ones who will gain Heaven and who are entitled to preach. Jesus challenges them ...)
« Do you say that I change the Law? No. You tell lies. I give the Law its original form, which you distorted. Because it is the Law that will last as long as the Earth, and both sky and earth will disappear before one only of its elements or its advice. And if you alter it, because you like to do so, and if you draw fine distinctions looking for loop-holes for your faults, you had better know that it is of no avail. It is of no avail, Samuel! Of no avail, Isaiah. It is written: "You shall not commit adultery" and I complete it adding: "He who sends back his wife to marry another one, is adulterous, and he, who marries a woman repudiated by her husband, is adulterous, because what God joined, death only can separate". But harsh words are for obdurate sinners. Those who have sinned, but grieve desolately for doing so, must know and believe that God is Goodness, and let them come to Him Who absolves, forgives and admits to Life. Go with this certainty. Spread it in people's hearts. Preach mercy, which gives you peace, blessing you in the name of the Lord. »
REPAIRING THE RUIN
(Vol. 3, p. 786-8)
(In Jesus' presence, Joseph of Arimathea is visited by a friend John, who is also a member of the Sanhedrin. John suspects his wife of being unfaithful, and asks Jesus for advice. Jesus sees into his heart and exposes him as the guilty one, for ill-treating and not trusting her ...)
« I will tell you why. Because Satan, the usual disturber, has come between you and your wife. Nay: he has come into you, with a disorderly love for your wife. And when love is disorderly, it becomes hatred, John. Satan has worked on your virile sensuality to get you to commit sin. Because that is where your sin began. From one disorder that has brought about new and much graver disorders. In your wife you have not seen only a good companion and the mother of your children, but also an object of pleasure. And that has made your eyes like those of an ox, which sees everything altered. You saw things as you were seeing them. That is how you saw your wife. An object of pleasure for you, you considered her such also for other people, whence your feverish jealousy, your irrational fear, your sinful arrogance, which made of her a frightened, imprisoned, tortured, slandered woman. What does it matter if you do not beat her, if you do not revile her in public? Your suspicion is a stick, your doubt is slander! You calumniate her thinking that she could go to the extent of being unfaithful to you. What does it matter if you treat her as your rank demands? In the privacy of your home she is worse than a slave for you, because of your beastlike lust, which degrades her beyond endurance, and which she has suffered silently and submissively, hoping to convince you, to calm you, to make you good, and which has only served to irritate you more and more, to the extent of turning your house into a hell, in which the demons of lust and jealousy are roaring. Jealousy! What can you think of more slanderous for a wife than jealousy? And what is a clearer indication of the state of a heart than jealousy? You may rest assured that wherever it nestles, foolish, irrational, groundless, offensive, obstinate as it is, there can be no love for one's neighbour or for God. But there is selfishness. You ought to be grieved over all that, not at infringing the close of the Sabbath! And to be forgiven you must repair the ruin caused by you... »
« But Anne wants to go away, by now... Come and convince her... You are the only one who can judge whether she is really innocent, after hearing her speak, and... »
« John!! You want to be cured and yet you do not want to believe what I say? »
« You are right, my Lord. Change my heart. It is true. I have no well-grounded reason to suspect. But I love her so much... lewdly, it is true... You have seen the real situation... Everything is shadowy to me... »
« Come into the Light. Come out of the burning confusion of sensuality, which is so fierce. It will cost you at first... But it would cost you much more to lose a good wife and deserve hell, expiating your sins of lack of love, slander and adultery, and hers as well, because I remind you that who drives a woman to divorce, places himself and her on the way to adultery. If you can resist your demon for one month, at least for one month, I promise you that your nightmare will come to an end. Will you promise Me? »
« Oh! Lord! Lord! I would like to... But it is a fire... Put it out, You are powerful!... » John has fallen on to his knees before Jesus and is weeping with his head in his hands as he kneels on the floor.
« And I will appease it. I will limit it. I will check and restrain this demon. But you have sinned much, John, and you must work by yourself at your revival. Those who have been converted by Me, came to Me willing to become new, free... They had already worked, with their own strength only, the beginning of their redemption. Such as Matthew, Mary of Lazarus and many more. You have come here only to find out whether she is guilty and to be helped by Me not to lose the fountain at which your pleasure drinks. I will limit the power of your demon for three months, not for one. During that time meditate and rise. Resolve to start a new life as a husband. The life of a man gifted with soul. Not the life of a brute as you have led so far. And fortified by prayer and by meditation, by the peace which I will give you as a gift for three months, learn to struggle and conquer eternal Life and win back the love and peace of your wife and of your home. Go. »
« But what shall I tell Anne? I may find her ready to leave... Which words shall I speak after so many years of... insults, to persuade her that I love her and that I do not want to lose her? Please come with me... »
« I cannot. But it is so simple... Be humble. Call her to one side and confess your torment. Tell her that you came to Me because you want to be forgiven by God. And tell her to forgive you because God's forgiveness will be given to you only if she invokes it for you and she is the first to give you it... Oh! unhappy man! How much good, how much peace you have dissipated through your lust! How much evil is brought about by the unruliness of senses and by the disorder of affections! Rise and go away with a peaceful mind. Do you not understand that your wife, who is good and faithful to you, is more distressed than you are at the thought of having to leave you and is waiting only for one word from you so that she may say to you: "You have been forgiven everything"? You may go now, as the sun is already set. So you are not committing any sin in going back to your house... And the Saviour absolves you of the sin you committed in coming to Him. Go in peace. And sin no more. »
« Oh! Master! Master!... I do not deserve such words!... Master... I... want to love You from now on... »
« Yes, of course. Go and do not delay. And remember this hour when I will be the slandered Innocent. »
THE FAMILY STRUCTURE
(Vol. 4, p. 211-4)
(In the cool of the morning in a village near Hippo, a crowd of people are waiting outside a house where Jesus is staying, to hear His talk. He appears at the doorway of the house and says to them:)
« Peace be with you all.
Were you waiting for Me? Were you afraid that I might run away without saying goodbye to you? I always keep My promises. I am with you today to evangelize you and I will remain with you as I promised, to bless your houses, your gardens and boats, so that each family may be sanctified, and your work may be sanctified as well. But, remember, My blessing is to be assisted by your good will in order to be fruitful. And you know which is the good will that must enliven a family so that the house sheltering it may be holy. The husband is to be the head, but not the despot, of the wife, of the children and of the servants, and at the same time he is to be the king, the true king in the biblical sense of word.
Do you remember chapter eight of the first Book of the Kings? The elders of Israel gathered together and went to Ramah, where Samuel lived and they said to him: "Look, you are old and your children do not follow your ways. So give us a king to judge us, like the other nations". King, therefore, means judge, and he should be a just judge in order not to make his subjects unhappy here on the earth with wars, abuse of power, unfair heavy taxes, or in eternal life with a kingdom permissive of lasciviousness and vice. Woe to those kings who fail in their ministry, who turn a deaf ear to the voices of their subjects, who turn a blind eye to the evils of the nation, who become responsible for the sufferings of the people through alliances formed against justice for the only purpose of strengthening their power with the help of allies! But woe also to those fathers who fail in their duties, who are blind and deaf to the needs and faults of the members of their families, who are the cause of scandal or grief for it, who stoop to arrange worthless marriages by compromise, in order to enter into an alliance with rich powerful families, without considering that matrimony is intended, besides procreation, for the elevation and comfort of man and woman; it is a duty, a ministry, not a bargain, it is not sorrow, it is not debasement of either husband or wife. It is love, not hatred. The head of the family, therefore, must be just without excessive hardness or pretensions and without excessive compliance and weakness. But if you had to choose between the former excess and the latter, pick the latter, because God, with regard to it, may say to you: "Why were you so good?" and will not condemn you, because excess in kindness is already a punishment for man through the overbearing action which other people take the liberty of performing against good persons; whereas He would always reproach you for your hardness, which is lack of love for your closest neighbour.
And the wife at home must be just with her husband, her children and servants. She must obey, respect, console and help her husband. She is to be obedient, providing her obedience does not imply consent to sin. The wife must be submissive but not degraded. Beware, o wives, that the first to judge you, after God, for certain guilty condescensions, are your very husbands, who persuade you to comply. They are not always desires of love, but they are also tests for your virtue. Even if he does not think about it at the moment, the day may come when the husband may say to himself: "My wife is very sensual" and thence he may begin to be suspicious of her fidelity. Be chaste in your conjugality. Behave in such a way that your chastity may impose on your husbands that reservedness which one has for pure things, and they may consider you as their equals, not as slaves or concubines kept only for "pleasure" and rejected when they are no longer liked. The virtuous wife, I would say the wife who also after conjugality retains that virginal "something" in attitude, in words, in her transports of love, can lead her husband to an elevation from sensuality to sentiment, whereby the husband divests himself of lewdness and becomes really "one thing" with his wife, whom he treats with the same respect with which a man treats a part of himself, which is just, because the wife is "bone from his bones and flesh from his flesh" and no man ill-treats his bones or his flesh, on the contrary he loves them, and therefore husband and wife, like the first married couple, look at each other without seeing their sexual nakedness, but let them love each other because of their spirits, without degrading shame.
Let the wife be patient and motherly with her husband. Let her consider him as the first of her children, because a woman is always a mother and man is always in need of a patient, prudent, affectionate, comforting mother. Blessed is the woman who knows how to be the companion and at the same time the mother of her husband to support him, and his daughter to be guided by him. A wife must be industrious. Work, while it does away with daydreams, is good for honesty and to one's purse as well. She should not torture her husband with foolish jealousies, which serve no purpose. Is the husband honest? A stupid jealousy, by driving him out of the house, exposes him to the danger of falling into the snares of a prostitute. Is he not honest and faithful? The fury of a jealous wife will not correct him, but her grave attitude, free from grudge and rudeness, her dignified and loving, still loving behaviour, will make him ponder and return to reason. Learn how to win back your husbands, when a passion separates them from you, through your virtue, just as you conquered them in your youth through your beauty. And, to gain strength for such duty, and resist the grief which might make you unfair, love your children and consider their welfare.
A woman has everything in her children: joy, a royal crown for the cheerful hours when she is really the queen of the house and of her husband, and a balm in sorrowful hours, when betrayal or other grievous experiences of married life scourge her forehead and above all pierce her heart with the thorns of her sad regality of martyr spouse. Are you so depressed as to wish to go back to your family, divorcing, or to find compensation in a false friend who craves for the female but feigns to feel pity for the heart of the betrayed wife? No, women, no! Your children, your innocent children, who are already upset and prematurely sad because of the domestic milieu, which is no longer serene or just, are entitled to their mother, to their father, to the comfort of a house, where, if one love has perished, the other remains vigilant to watch over them. Their innocent eyes look at you, they study you and they understand more than you think, and they mould their spirits according to what they see and understand. Never scandalise your innocent children, but take shelter in them, as in a bulwark of adamantine lilies, against the weakness of the flesh and the snares of snakes.
And let the woman be a mother. The just mother who is the sister as well as the mother, who is the friend as well as the sister of her sons and daughters. And who, above all and in everything, is an example. She must watch over her sons and daughters, correcting them gently, supporting them, making them ponder, and all that without preferences; because the children were all born of the same seed and of the same womb, and if it is natural that good children are well-liked, because of the joy they give, it is also fair that children who are not good should be loved as well, although with sorrowful love, bearing in mind that man must not be more severe than God, Who loves not only good people, but also those who are not good, and He loves them to try and make them good, to give them means and time to become so, and He is patient until the death of man, reserving to Himself the right to become just Judge when man can no longer make amends.
And let Me tell you now something which does not concern this subject, but is useful for you to bear in mind. Very often, too often, we hear people say that wicked persons are better off than good persons and that that is not fair. First of all I say to you: "Do not judge by appearances and by what you do not know". Appearances are often misleading and the judgement of God is not known on the Earth. You will become aware of it in the next life and you will see that the fleeting welfare of the wicked was granted as a means to attract them to Good and as a reward for the little good which even the most wicked man may do. But when you see things in the right light of future life, you will realise that the joyful time of the sinner was shorter than the life of a blade of grass, which began to grow in spring in the gravel-bed of a torrent, which dries up in summer, whereas one moment of glory in Heaven is greater than the most triumphant life any man ever lived, because of the joy which it confers on spirits who delight in it. Therefore, do not envy the prosperity of the wicked, but strive, through good will, to possess the eternal treasure of the just.
And reverting to how the members of a family and the inhabitants of a house should be, so that My blessing may remain fruitful in it, I tell you, children, to be submissive to your parents, to be respectful and obedient, so that you may be so also with the Lord your God. Because if you do not learn to obey the simple orders of your fathers and mothers, whom you see, how will you be able to obey the commands of God, which are given to you in His name, but you neither see nor hear Him? And if you do not learn to believe that he who loves, as a father and a mother love, can but order good things, how can you believe that the things, which are related to you as commands of God, are good? God loves, you know? and is a Father. And just because He loves you and wants you to be with Him, dear children, He wants you to be good. And the first school where you learn to become so, is your family. You learn there to love and to obey and there begins for you the way that leads to Heaven. So be good, respectful, docile. Love your fathers also when they correct you, because they do so for your own good, and love your mothers if they restrain you from doing actions which by their experience they know are not good. Honour your parents and do not make them blush because of your wicked deeds. Pride is not a good thing, but there is a holy pride, the pride of saying: "I did not grieve my father or my mother". Such behaviour, which makes you enjoy their company while they are alive, is peace on the wound of their death, whereas the tears, which a son causes his parents to shed, scorch the heart of the wicked son like melted lead, and notwithstanding every effort to soothe the injury, it is painful, and all the more so when the parent's death prevents the son from making amends… Oh! children, be good, always, if you want God to love you... »
A GRIEVING MOTHER-IN-LAW
(Vol. 4, p. 360-2)
(Jesus is walking along a road in sight of the Great Mt. Herman. He stops to listen to an old woman who, not knowing Who He is, complains about her daughter-in-law who has taken her son away. She becomes very upset, and Jesus asks:)
« Does your son leave you wanting anything? Has he neglected you since he got married?… »
« No. I cannot say that. But, in brief, he belongs to his wife now… » and she weeps moaning more loudly.
Jesus smiles a quiet pitiful smile for the jealous old woman. But, being as kind as ever, He does not reproach her. He feels pity for the suffering mother and tries to cure her. He lays His hand on her shoulder as if He wanted to guide her, because she is blinded by tears, perhaps to make her feel, through His contact, so much love that she may be comforted and cured, and He says to her:
« Mother, and is it not right that it is so? Your husband did so with you, and his mother did not lose him, as you say and think, but she felt that he belonged less to her because your husband divided his love between his mother and you. And your husband's father, in his turn, stopped belonging completely to his mother, to love the mother of his children. And so on from generation to generation, going back in time to Eve: the first mother who saw her children divide with their wives the love which they previously had exclusively for their parents. But does Genesis not say: "This at last is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh… This is why a man will leave his father and mother and will join himself to his wife and they will become one body". You may object: "It was the word of a man". Yes, but of what man? He was in the state of innocence and grace. He thus reflected without any shadow the Wisdom which had created him and he was aware of its truth. Through Grace and his innocence he possessed also the other gifts of God in full measure. As his senses were subdued to his reason, his mind was not obscured by the fumes of concupiscence. And because science was proportionate to his state, he spoke words of truth. So he was a prophet. Because you know that prophet means a person who speaks in the name of another person. And as true prophets always speak of matters concerning the spirit and the future, even if relating apparently to the present time and the body - because in the sins of the flesh and in the facts of the present time are the seeds of future punishments, or facts of the future have roots in ancient events: for instance the coming of the Saviour originates from Adam's sin, and the punishments of Israel, foretold by the prophets, were brought about by the behaviour of Israel - so He Who urges their lips to speak things of the spirit can but be the Eternal Spirit Who sees everything in an eternal present. And the Eternal Spirit speaks through saints, because he cannot dwell in sinners. Adam was a saint, because justice was complete in him and every virtue was present in him, because God had instilled the fullness of His gifts into His creature. Man has to work hard now, to attain justice and possess virtues, because the incentives of evil are in him. But such incentives were not in Adam, on the contrary Grace made him little inferior to God his Creator. So his lips spoke words of grace. And this is a truthful word: "A man will leave his father and mother for a woman and he will join himself to his wife and they will become one body". And it is so absolutely true, that the Most Good Lord in order to comfort mothers and fathers included the fourth Commandment in the Law: "Honour your father and your mother". A Commandment that does not end with the marriage of man, but lasts beyond marriage. Previously good people instinctively honoured their relatives also after they left them to set up a new family. Since Moses it is an obligation of Law. And the purpose of it is to mitigate the grief of parents who were too often forgotten by their children after they got married. But the Law has not cancelled the prophetic words of Adam: "Man will leave his father and mother for his wife". They were just words and they are still valid. They reflected the thought of God. And the thought of God is immutable because it is perfect. So, mother, you must accept without selfishness the love of your son for his wife. And you will be holy as well. On the other hand, every sacrifice is compensated on the Earth. Is it not pleasant for you to kiss your grandchildren, the children of your son? And will the evening of your life not be peaceful and your last sleep placid with the delicate love of a daughter near you, to take the place of those daughters who are no longer in your house?… »
« How do You know that my daughters, who are all older than my son, are married and live far away?… Are You a prophet, too? You are a Rabbi. I can tell by the tassels of Your mantle and even if You did not have them, Your word reveals it. Because You speak like a great doctor. Are You perhaps a friend of Gamaliel? He was here just the day before yesterday. Now I do not know… And there were many rabbis with him, and many of his favourite disciples. Perhaps You have arrived late. »
« I know Gamaliel. But I am not going to him. I am not even going into Giscala… »
« But who are You? You are certainly a rabbi. And You speak even better than Gamaliel… »
« Then… do what I told you. And you will have peace. Goodbye, mother. I am going on My way. You are certainly going to town. »
« Yes... Mother!… The other rabbis are not so humble with a poor woman... She Who bore You is certainly holier than Judith, if She gave You such a kind heart for every creature. »
« She is holy, indeed. »
« Tell me Her name »
« Mary. »
« And Yours? »
« Jesus. »
« Jesus!… » The little old woman is bewildered with astonishment. The news has paralysed her and riveted her where she heard it.
« Goodbye, woman. Peace be with you » and Jesus goes away quickly ...
A FAITHFUL AND FORGIVING WIFE
(Vol. 4, p. 381-3)
(Jesus has cured a small boy of blindness, and has sent the boy's mother home to reconcile with her husband. To Maria Valtorta Jesus comments:)
« It is most simple for the Lord and Creator to make two eyes, just as simple as to give the breath of life back to a corpse. The Master of Life and of Death, the Master of everything there is, in Creation, does certainly not lack the breath of life to be instilled into dead bodies or two drops of humour for a dried eye. If He wants, He can. Because it depends exclusively on His power. But when it is a matter of reconciliation between men, the "will" of men is required together with the desire of God. God only rarely does violence to human freedom. As a rule He lets you act as you wish.
That woman, who lived in a country of idolaters, and, like her husband, remained faithful to the God of her fathers, already deserves benignity from God. And she deserved a double miracle, because she carried her faith beyond the limit of human measure and overcame the doubts and the denials of most Jewish believers, which is proved by what she said to her husband: "Wait until I come back", as she was certain of going back with her son cured. She deserved also the difficult miracle of opening the eyes of her husband's spirit, as those eyes had become blind to love and to her grief, as they laid on her a blame, which is not a blame.
I would also like wives, in particular, to meditate on the respectful humility of their sister.
"I went to my husband and I said to him: 'Wait, sir'". She was in the right because to blame a mother for a birth defect is foolish and cruel. Her heart was already rent by the sight of her unhappy child. She is doubly in the right because she was neglected by her husband since she became barren, and she was aware of his intention to divorce her, and yet she remained his "wife": that is, the faithful companion, submissive to her companion, as prescribed by God and taught by the Scriptures. She did not harbour thoughts of rebellion or thirst for revenge or intention to find another man in order not to be the "lonely woman". "If I do not come back with my son cured, you can repudiate me. Otherwise do not break my heart and do not deny your children a father". Do you not seem to be hearing Sarah and ancient Hebrew women speak thus?
How different, o wives, is your present language! And how different, too, is what you get from God and from your husbands. And families are ruined more and more.
As usual, in working the miracle, I had to give it a sign to make it more incisive. I had to persuade a world enclosed in the barriers of an age-old way of thinking, led by a sect hostile to Me. Hence the necessity for making My supernatural power shine clearly. But the teaching of the vision does not consist in that. It consists in the faith, humility, faithfulness to one's consort, in the right path undertaken, o wives and mothers, who have found thorns where you expected to have roses, to see new flowery branches grow on the thorns which prick you.
Turn to your Lord God Who created marriage so that man and woman might not be alone and might love each other, forming one only indissoluble body, since they were joined together, and Who gave you the Sacrament so that His blessing might descend upon your marriage, and through My merits you may have what you need in your new life of consorts and procreators. And in order to be able to turn to Him with confident faces and souls, be honest, good, respectful, faithful, true companions of your husbands, not just guests in their houses, or worse still, strangers which chance has gathered under one roof, like two who meet by chance in a hotel of pilgrims.
That happens too often nowadays. Does man make a mistake? He is wrong. But that does not justify the behaviour of too many wives. And you are even less justified when you do not render good for good and love for love to a kind companion. I will not even take into consideration the too common case of your carnal unfaithfulness which makes you like prostitutes with the aggravating circumstance that you are hypocritically vicious, and you pollute the family altar around which are the angelical souls of your innocent children. But I refer to your moral unfaithfulness to the pact of love sworn before My altar.
Well: I said: "He who looks at a woman with lustful desire commits adultery in his heart"; I said: "He who dismisses his wife with a libel of divorce, exposes her to adultery". But now that too many wives are strangers to their husbands, I say: "Those who do not love their companions with their souls, minds and bodies, incite them to adultery, and if I ask such husbands why they committed adultery, I will also ask their wives the same question, because although they do not perform it, they cause it". It is necessary to understand the Law of God in its full extent and depth and it is necessary to live it in full truthfulness. »
TO THROW THE FIRST STONE
(Vol. 4, p. 502-5)
(In the Temple at Jerusalem, some Pharisees and others bring in a woman whom they accuse of adultery, and throw her at Jesus' feet. Jesus writes in the dust, then says: “If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Gradually the people all leave, including finally Peter and John. Jesus sends the woman away, telling her to sin no more ... Jesus comments to Maria Valtorta - in this dictation He calls her Mary:)
« What hurt Me was the lack of charity and sincerity in the accusers. Not because they lied in accusing. The woman was really guilty. But they were insincere being scandalised at something they had committed thousands of times and that only greater cunning and better luck had allowed to remain concealed. The woman, at her first sin, had not been so cunning and lucky. But none of the accusers, both male and female - because also women accused her in their hearts even if they did not raise their voices - were free from sin.
He is an adulterer who commits the act and he who desires the act and craves for it with all his might. Both he who sins and he who wishes to sin are lustful. It is not sufficient not to do evil. It is also necessary not to desire to do it. Remember, Mary, the first word of your Master, when I called you from the edge of the precipice where you were: "It is not sufficient not to do evil. It is also necessary not to desire to do it" He who cherishes sensual thoughts and excites sensual feelings by means of literature and performances sought for such purpose and through pernicious habits, is equally impure as he who commits the sin materially. I dare say: he is more guilty. Because with his thoughts he goes against nature, not only against morals. I am not referring to those who commit real acts against nature. The only extenuating circumstance for such person is an organic disease or mental illness. He who does not have such an extenuating circumstance is inferior to the filthiest beast by ten degrees.
One ought to be free from sin in order to condemn with justice. I refer you to past dictations, when I speak of the essential conditions to be a judge.
I was not unaware of the hearts of those Pharisees and scribes, or of the hearts of those people who had joined them in insulting the guilty woman. Sinners against God and their neighbour, they had sinned against faith, against their parents, against their neighbour and above all they had committed many sins against their wives. If by means of a miracle I had ordered their blood to write their sins on their foreheads, among the many charges that of "adulterers" by deed or by desire would have reigned supreme. I said: "It is what comes from the heart that contaminates man". And with the exception of My heart there was no one among the judges whose heart was pure. They lacked sincerity and charity. Not even their being like her in their hunger for lust induced them to be charitable.
It was I Who was charitable to the dejected woman. I, the Only One, Who should have been disgusted with her. But remember this: "The kinder one is, the more compassionate one is to culprits". One is not lenient to the fault itself. No. But one is indulgent to weak people who have not resisted temptation.
Man! Oh! More than a fragile reed and a thin bearbine, he is easily inclined to yield to temptation and to cling to whatever may make him hope to find solace. Because many times sin is committed, particularly by the weaker sex, owing to such search for comfort. I therefore say that he who has no love for his wife, or for his own daughter, is ninety per cent responsible for the sin of his wife or of his daughter and will have to answer for them. Both the stupid love, which is nothing but foolish slavery imposed by a man on his wife or by a father on his daughter, and the neglect of love or even worse, a sin of lechery which leads a man to other love affairs and parents to other cares than their children, are incentives to adultery and prostitution and are condemned by Me as such.
You are beings gifted with reason and guided by a divine law and by a moral law. To degrade yourselves to the behaviour of savages or of brutes should horrify your great pride. But pride, which in this case would be also useful, is used by you for completely different matters.
I looked at Peter and John in different ways, because I wanted to say to the former: "Peter, make sure you are not lacking in charity and sincerity as well", and I also wanted to say to him as My future Pontiff: "Remember this hour and in future judge as your Master did"; whilst to the latter, a young man with the soul of a child, I wanted to say: "You can judge, but you do not, because your heart is like Mine. Thank you, My beloved, for being so much Mine, as to be a second I". I sent the two disciples away before calling the woman as I did not wish to increase her mortification with the presence of two witnesses. Learn, o pitiless men. No matter how guilty a man is, he is to be treated with respect and charity. You must not rejoice at his annihilation, you must not be pitiless, not even with curious glances. Have mercy on those who fall!
I pointed out to the guilty woman the way she should follow to redeem herself: to go back to her house, to ask humbly to be forgiven and to obtain forgiveness through an upright life; not to yield any more to the flesh; not to trespass on divine Goodness and human kindness in order not to expiate more severely than at present for two or many sins. God forgives and He forgives because He is Goodness. But man, although I said: "Forgive your brother seventy times seven", is not capable of forgiving twice.
I did not wish her peace and I did not give her My blessing because she was not fully detached from her sin, as is required to be forgiven. In her flesh and unfortunately not even in her heart there was no nausea for sin. When Mary of Magdala savoured My Word, she became disgusted with sin and came to Me, full of good will to change completely. But this woman still hesitated between the voices of the flesh and those of the spirit. And in the excitement of the moment, she had not yet been able to use the axe against the stump of the flesh and cut it off in order to go, once she was mutilated of her greedy weight, to the Kingdom of God. Mutilated of what is ruin, but increased with what is salvation.
Do you want to know whether she was saved? I was not the Saviour for everybody. I wanted to be so, but I was not because not everyone wanted to be saved. And that was one of the most piercing arrows in My agony at Gethsemane. »
JESUS COUNSELS A ROMAN WOMAN
(Vol. 4, p. 743-8)
(The Roman woman Valeria tells Jesus she is worried about her daughter Faustina, but Jesus realises there is a deeper anguish. He talks to her about the Hebrew and Roman cultures of marriage, and their similarities ...)
« You, a loving faithful heathen wife, loved in your husband your earthly god with sensual love, your handsome god who made you worship him, degrading your dignity as his equal to the servility of a slave. Let the wife be subject to her husband, and be humble, faithful and chaste. Agreed. He, the man, is the head of the family. But head does not mean despot. Head does not mean capricious master to whom any whim is lawful not only on the body but also on the better part of his wife. You say: "Where you are Caius, there I am Caia". Poor women from a place where there is licentiousness even in the tales of your gods, those among you who are not unchaste or unrestrained, how can they be where their husbands are? It is inevitable for her who is not licentious and corrupt to part from her husband with disgust and feel a dreadful pain, as of lacerating fibres, and experience dismay and the total collapse of her cult for her husband so far contemplated as a god, when she finds out that he, whom she adored as a god, is a miserable being ruled by brutal animalism, licentious, adulterous, thoughtless, indifferent, a derider of the feelings and dignity of his wife.
Do not weep. I also know everything, even without the reports of centurions. "Do not weep, woman. Learn instead to love your husband in an orderly way. »
« I cannot love him any more. He no longer deserves it. I despise him. I will not lower myself by imitating him, but I cannot love him any more. Everything is finished between us. I let him go away… without trying to keep him… Actually I am grateful to him for the last time, for his going away… I will not look for him. In any case, when was he my companion? Since I have become undeceived about my worship for him, I remember and judge his behaviour. Did he pity my heart when I wept having to follow him, leaving my sick mother and my fatherland, and I was just married and I was about to be delivered of my child? He laughed foolishly with his friends at my tears and when I felt sick he only warned me not to dirty his clothes. Was he beside me when I was homesick in a foreign country? No, he went out with his friends, feasting where I was not allowed to go because of my state… Did he watch with me over the cradle of our new-born baby? He laughed when they took our daughter to him and he said: "I would almost have her laid on the ground. I did not accept the marriage yoke to have daughters". Neither was he present at the purification saying that it was a pantomime. And as the baby was crying, he said going out: "Name her Libitina and may she be sacred to the goddess". And when Fausta was dying, did he share my anguish? Where was he the night before Your arrival? At a banquet in Valerian's house. But I loved him; he was, as You rightly said, my god. I thought that everything was good and fair in him. He allowed me to love him… and I was the most enslaved slave to his wishes. Do You know what repelled me from him? »
« Yes, I know. Because your soul woke up again in your body and you were no longer a female but a woman. »
« Exactly. I wanted to make my house respectable… and he asked to be transferred to Antioch, at the Consul's service, and ordered me not to follow him, and he took his favourite slave girls with him. Oh! I will not follow him! I have my daughter. I have everything. »
« No. You have not everything. You have a part, a small part of the Everything, as much as serves you to be virtuous. The Everything is God. Your daughter must not be for you a cause of injustice but of justice towards the Everything. It is your duty to be virtuous for her and with her. »
« I came to comfort You and You are consoling me. But I have also come to ask You how I must bring up this little girl to make her worthy of her Saviour. I was thinking of becoming a proselyte and of making her a proselyte as well… »
« And what about your husband? »
« Oh! It's all over with him. »
« No. Everything is beginning now. You are still his wife. The duty of a good wife is to make her husband good. »
« He says that he wants to divorce me. And he will certainly do that. So… »
« He will do it. But he has not done it yet. And until he does so, you are his wife also according to your law. And as such it is your duty to remain as wife in your place. And your place is second to your husband in the house, with regard to your daughter, the servants and the world. You are thinking: he has set the bad example. That is true. But that does not exempt you from setting virtuous examples. He went away. True. You must take his place with your daughter and the servants.
Not everything is blameworthy in your customs. When Rome was less corrupt, women were chaste, industrious, and they served the divinity with their lives of virtue and faith. Even if their poor condition of pagans made them serve false gods, the idea was good. They offered their virtue to the Idea of religion, to the need of respect for religion, for a Divinity Whose true name was unknown to them, but Whom they felt existed and was greater than licentious Olympus and the degraded deities that people it according to mythological legends. Your Olympus does not exist, neither do your gods. But your ancient virtues were the fruit of the firm belief that people had to be virtuous if they wanted to be watched over with love by the gods; they were the fruit of the duties you felt you had towards the gods you worshipped. To the eyes of the world, particularly of our Hebrew world, you seemed to be foolish for honouring what did not exist. But to the eternal true Justice, to the Most High God, the Only and Almighty Creator of all creatures and things, those virtues, that respect, those duties were not vain. Good is always good, faith has always the value of faith, and religion has always the value of religion if he who follows, practises and possesses them is convinced of being in the truth.
I exhort you to imitate your ancient chaste, industrious and faithful women, remaining in your place, the column and light in your house and of your house. Do not think that you will be bereft of the respect of your servants because you are alone. So far they have served you with fear and at times with a hidden feeling of hatred and rebellion. From now on they will serve you with love. The unhappy love the unhappy. Your slaves know what sorrow is. Your joy was a bitter goad for them. Your grief, by divesting you of the cold light of mistress, in the most hateful sense of the word, will reclothe you with a warm light of pity. You will be loved, Valeria, by God, by your daughter and by your servants. And even if you were no longer a wife, but a divorced woman, remember (and Jesus stands up) that a legal separation does not destroy the duty of a woman to be faithful to her marriage oath.
You would like to embrace our religion. One of the divine precepts of it is that woman is flesh of the flesh of her husband and that no person or thing can separate what God has joined into one flesh only. We also have divorce. It came as the wicked fruit of human lust, of the sin of origin, of the corruption of men. But it did not come spontaneously from God. God does not change His word. And God had said, inspiring Adam, who was still innocent and spoke therefore with intelligence not dimmed by sin, the words: that husband and wife, once united, were to be one flesh only. And the flesh is separated from the flesh only through the calamity of death or disease. The Mosaic divorce, granted to avoid dreadful sins, gives woman only a very poor freedom. A divorcee is always inferior in the opinion of men, whether she remains such or marries for the second time. In God's judgement she is an unhappy woman if she was divorced through the ill-will of her husband and remains a divorcee; but she is a sinner, an adulteress, if she is divorced through disgraceful sins of her own and she marries again. But you want to embrace our religion to follow Me. So I, the Word of God, as the time of the perfect religion has come, say to you what I say to many people. It is against the law to separate what God has united, and he or she is always adulterous by getting married again while the consort is still alive.
Divorce is legal prostitution, as it puts man and woman in a position to commit lustful sins. Only seldom a divorcee remains the widow of a living man, and a faithful widow. A divorced man is never faithful to his first marriage. Both he and she, by passing to other unions, descend from the level of men to that of brutes, which are granted to change female at each appeal of sensuality. Legal fornication, dangerous to families and to the Fatherland, is criminal towards innocent children. The children of a divorced couple must judge their parents. The judgement of children is a severe one! At least one of the parents is condemned by the children. And the children, through the selfishness of the parents, are doomed to a mutilated affective life. Then, if to the family consequences of divorce, that deprives innocent children of their father or mother, a new marriage is added of the consort to whom the children have been entrusted, to the doom of an affective life mutilated of a member, a further mutilation is added: that of the more or less total loss of the affection of the other member, who is divided or completely absorbed by the new love and by the children of the second marriage.
To speak of marriage, of matrimony in the case of a new union of a divorce or divorcee, is to profane the meaning and the essence of marriage. Only the death of one of the consorts and the consequent widowhood of the other can justify a second marriage. However, I think that it would be better to yield to the always just verdict of Him Who controls the destinies of men, and to remain chaste when death has put an end to the matrimonial state, devoting oneself to the children and loving the dead consort in the children. A holy, true love, deprived of all materialism. Poor children! To experience, after the death or the ruin of a home, the hardness of a second father or of a second mother and the anguish of seeing caresses shared with other children who are not their brothers!
No. There will be no divorce in My religion. And he who divorces by civil law to contract a new marriage will be an adulterer and sinner. Human law shall not change My decree. Matrimony in My religion will no longer be a civil contract, a moral promise, made and ratified in the presence of witnesses appointed for that purpose. But it shall be an indissoluble bond stipulated, confirmed and sanctified by the sanctifying power I will give it, as being a Sacrament. To make you understand: a sacred rite. A power that will help to practise all matrimonial duties in a holy way, but that will also be the sentence of indissolubility of the bond.
So far marriage has been a mutual natural and moral contract between two people of different sexes. When My law comes into force, it will extend to the souls of the consorts. It will therefore become a spiritual contract sanctioned by God through His ministers. Now you know that nothing is superior to God. Therefore what He has united, no authority, law or human whim will be able to separate. Your ritual "where you are Caius, there I am Caia" lasts in life to come in our, in My rite, because death is not the end, but a temporary separation of the husband from his wife, and the obligation to love lasts also after death. That is why I say that I would like widows to be chaste. But man does not know how to be chaste. And also because of that I say that consorts have the reciprocal duty to improve the other consort.
Do not shake your head. That is the duty and it is to be accomplished if one really wants to follow Me. »
« You are severe today, Master. »
« No. I am the Master. And I have in front of Me a creature who can grow in the life of Grace. If you were not what you are, I would exact less of you. But you have a good temperament and suffering purifies and hardens your character more and more. One day you will remember and bless Me for being what I am. »
« My husband will not draw back… »
« And you will go forward. Holding your innocent child by the hand, you will walk on the way of Justice: without hatred, without revenge; but also without vain expectations and regret for what has been lost. »
« So You know that I have lost him! »
« I do. But not you: he has lost you. He did not deserve you. Now listen… It is hard, I know. You brought Me roses and innocent smiles to console Me… I… I can but prepare you to bear the wreath of thorns of forlorn wives… But consider. If we could go back in time to that morning when Fausta was dying and your heart were put in the condition of choosing between your daughter and your husband, having definitely to lose either one or the other, which would you choose?… »
The woman becomes pensive, pale but strong in her grief after the few tears shed at the beginning of the conversation… Shethen bends over the little girl who is sitting on the floor enjoying herself putting some white little flowers round Jesus' feet, she picks her up, embraces her and shouts: « I would choose her because I can give her my very heart, and I can bring her up as I have learned one should live. My creature! And be united to her in the next life. I… always her mother; she… always my daughter! » and she smothers her with kisses while the little one clings to her neck with loving smiles. « Tell me, oh! tell me, Master, who teach people to live heroically, what must I do to rear this child so that we may be both in Your Kingdom? Which words, what acts shall I teach her?… »
« No special acts or words are required. Be perfect so that she may reflect your perfection. Love God and your neighbour that she may learn to love. Live on the Earth with your affections in God. She will imitate you. That for the time being. Later My Father, Who has loved you in a special way, will see to your spiritual needs, and you will become wise in the faith that bears My Name. That is what is to be done. In the love of God you will find all necessary restraint against Evil. In the love for your neighbour you will have assistance against the depression of solitude. And teach both yourself and your daughter to forgive. Do you understand what I mean? »
« Yes, I do… It is just… »
THREE ATTAINABLE PERFECTIONS
(Vol. 4, p. 816-7)
« Not everything that we now call "law of nature" is really such and good. All the laws connected with the human nature that God had given the first parents were good: the need for food, rest, for beverage. Then animal instincts, intemperance, all kinds of sensuality replaced through sin the natural laws and mingled with them polluting with their immoderateness what was good. And Satan has kept the fire burning, fostering vices with his temptations. You can now see that it is not a sin to yield to the need for rest and food, whereas debauch, drunkenness and prolonged idleness are sinful. Neither is the need to get married and procreate sinful, on the contrary God gave orders to do so to populate the Earth with men. But the act of copulating only to satisfy one's senses is no longer good. Are you convinced also of that? »
« Yes, Master. But tell me one thing. Those who do not want to procreate… do they sin against God's order? You once said that the condition of virginity is good. »
« It is the most perfect one. As is most perfect the condition of those who, not satisfied with making good use of their wealth, divest themselves completely of it. They are the perfections attainable by a creature. And they will be highly rewarded. Three are the most perfect things: voluntary poverty, perpetual chastity, absolute obedience in what is not sinful. These three things make man like angels. And one is by far the most perfect of them all: to give one's life out of love for God and for one's brothers. That makes the creature like Me, because it raises him to absolute love. And he who loves perfectly is like God, is absorbed in and united with God. So be at peace, My beloved John. There is no sin in you. I am telling you ... »
A GRAVE AND HOLY ACT
(Vol. 5, p. 845-6)
(Jesus gives His last teachings to the apostles before His Ascension-Day. He speaks of marriage between believers - and marriage between a believer and a non-believer ...)
« In the Mosaic religion matrimony is a contract. In the new Christian religion let it be a sacred indissoluble act, on which may the grace of the Lord descend to make of husband and wife two ministers of His in the propagation of the human race. From the very first moments, try to advise the consort belonging to the new religion to convert the consort who is still out of the number of the believers, to enter and become part of it, to avoid those painful divisions of thought, and consequently of peace, that we have noticed also among ourselves. But when it is a question of believers in the Lord, for no reason whatsoever what God united is to be dissolved. And when a consort is Christian and is united to a heathen, I advice that consort to bear his/her cross with patience, meekness and also with strength, to the extent of dying to defend his/her faith, but without leaving the consort whom he/she married with full consent. This is My advice for a more perfect life in the matrimonial state, until it will be possible, with the diffusion of Christianity, to have marriages between believers. Then let the bond be sacred and indissoluble, and the love holy.
It would be bad, if owing to the hardness of hearts, what happened in the old faith should happen also in the new one: the authorization of repudiation and dissolution to avoid scandal created by the lust of man. I solemnly tell you that everybody must bear his cross in every state, also in the matrimonial one. And I also solemnly tell you that no pressure is to subdue your authority in saying: "It is against the law" to those who want to marry for the second time before one of the consorts is dead. It is better, I tell you, that a putrid part breaks off, by itself or followed by others, rather than to keep it in the Body of the Church, grant it something contrary to the holiness of marriage, scandalising the humble and making them express thoughts unfavourable to sacerdotal integrity and on the value of wealth and power.
Marriage is a grave and holy act. And to prove that, I took part at a wedding and I worked My first miracle there. But woe if it degenerates into lust and whim. Let marriage, the natural contract between man and woman, be elevated to a spiritual contract, by which the souls of two people who love each other swear to serve the Lord in reciprocal love, offered to the Lord in obedience to His order of procreation to give children to the Lord. »
Written by Maria Valtorta. From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Five hardcover volumes, approximately 4,200 pages.
Copyright Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.