What I see. Mary, a very young girl: She looks fifteen years old, at most. She is in a small rectangular room: a room most suitable for a girl. Along one of the longer walls, there is a bed: a low bed, without bedstead, covered with thick mats or carpets, which appear to be laid on boards or cane-trellis, because they are very stiff and without any curve, as is usual with our beds. Against the other wall there is a kind of bookcase with an oil lamp, some rolls of parchment, some needlework carefully folded: it seems to be embroidery work.
Beside the bookcase, towards the door, which opens onto the kitchen garden and which is now covered by a curtain gently moved by a light breeze, there is the Virgin sitting on a low stool. She is spinning some linen which is as white as snow and as soft as silk. Her little hands, just a little darker than linen, are whirling the spindle very quickly. Her beautiful young face is slightly bent forward and She is smiling gently as if She were caressing or following some sweet thought.
There is a great silence in the little house and in the kitchen garden. There is a great peace both on Mary's face and in the surrounding place. There is peace and order. Everything is neat and tidy and the room, although very modest looking and very modestly furnished - it is almost as bare as a cell - has something austere and regal about it because of its cleanliness and the care With which everything is laid: the clothes on the bed, the rolls, the lamp, the copper pitcher near the lamp, with a bunch of branches in bloom in it. I do not know whether they are peach or pear branches. They are certainly branches of a fruit-tree, with pinkish white flowers.
Mary begins to sing in a low voice, then She raises Her voice slightly. But She does not sing loudly. Still, it is a voice vibrating in the little room and one can perceive the vibration of Her soul in it. I do not understand the words as they are spoken in Hebrew. But as now and again She repeats Jehovah I realize that it is a sacred song, perhaps a psalm. Mary is probably remembering the songs of the Temple. And it must be a happy memory because She lays Her hands in Her lap, while still holding the yarn and the spindle, and lifts Her head leaning against the wall: Her face is beautifully flushed and Her eyes are lost behind… I wonder what sweet thought. Her eyes are shining with tears, which appear but do not overflow and they make Her eyes look larger. And yet those eyes are smiling, they are smiling at a thought they can see and by which Mary is abstracted from the earthly world. Mary's face, flushed and girded by the plaits She wears rolled up like a crown round Her head, seems a beautiful flower, as it emerges from Her plain white dress.
The song changes into a prayer: « Most High Lord God, do not delay any longer in sending Your Servant to bring peace to the world. Grant us the favourable time and the pure and prolific virgin for the coming of Your Christ. Father, Holy Father, grant Me, Your servant to offer My life for this purpose. Grant Me to die after seeing Your Light and Your Justice on earth and after knowing that our Redemption has been accomplished. O Holy Father, send the Promise of the Prophets to the earth. Send the Redeemer to Your maidservant, so that in the hour of My death, Your abode may be opened to Me, as its gates have already been opened by Your Christ for all those who have hoped in You. Come, come, O Spirit of the Lord. Come to the faithful who are expecting You. Come, Prince of Peace!… » Mary remains absorbed thus…
The curtain moves fast, as if someone behind it ventilated it or shook it to draw it. And a pearl white light mixed with pure silver makes the slightly yellow walls clearer and makes the colours of the cloths brighter and Mary's raised face more spiritual. And in such light, while the curtain is still drawn on the mystery to be accomplished, the Archangel prostrates himself: the curtain no longer moves: it is hanging stiff against the doorposts like a wall separating the inside from the outside.
The Angel must necessarily take a human appearance. But it is a transhumanised appearance. Of what flesh is this beautiful and gleaming figure made? With what substance did God form it to make it perceptible to the senses of the Virgin? Only God can possess such substances and use them so perfectly. It is a face, a body, eyes, a mouth, hair and hands like ours. But they are not our dull matter. It is a light that has taken the colour of flesh, of eyes,hair, lips, a light that moves and smiles, looks and speaks.
« Hail, Mary, full of Grace, Hail! » The voice is a sweet arpeggio as of pearls thrown on a precious metal plate.
Mary is startled and lowers Her head. And She is even more startled when She sees the shining creature kneeling at about a metre from Her and looking at Her with infinite veneration, his hands crossed over his chest.
Mary jumps to Her feet and She squeezes against the wall. She turns pale and red alternately. Her face shows surprise and fear. She subconsciously presses Her hands against Her breast hiding them under Her large sleeves. She stoops, endeavouring to conceal Her body as much as possible. An attitude of gentle modesty.
« No. Do not fear. The Lord is with You! You are blessed amongst all women! »
But Mary continues to be afraid. Where has that extraordinary being come from? Is he a messenger of God or of the Deceiver?
« Do not fear, Mary! » repeats the Archangel. « I am Gabriel, the Angel of God. My Lord has sent me to You. Do not be afraid, because You have found grace in the eyes of God. And You will conceive and bear a Son and You will call Him "Jesus": He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High (and such He will really be). And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Ancestor David and He will rule over the House of Jacob for ever, and His reign will have no end. Understand, o Holy Virgin loved by God, Daughter blessed by Him, called to be the Mother of His Son, what Son You will generate »
« How can this come about, since I do not know man? Perhaps the Lord God will no longer accept the offer of His maidservant and does not want Me a Virgin for His love? »
« Not by deed of man You will be a mother, Mary. You are the Eternal Virgin, the Holy Virgin of God. The Holy Spirit will come upon You and the power of the Most High will cover You with its shadow. So the Child born of You will be called Holy and Son of God. Our Lord God can do everything. Elizabeth, the barren one, in her old age has conceived a son who will be the Prophet of Your Son, and will prepare His ways. The Lord has removed her disgrace and her memory will remain amongst peoples together with Your name, as the name of her creature will be joined to the name of Your Holy Son, and until the end of centuries you will be called blessed, because of the grace of the Lord which has come to You both and particularly to You, by means of Whom Grace has come to all peoples. Elizabeth is in her sixth month and her burden lifts her to joy, and will lift her even more when she hears of Your joy. Nothing is impossible to the Lord, Mary, full of Grace. What shall I tell my Lord? Let no thought whatsoever disturb You. He Will protect Your interests if You trust in Him. The world,
Heaven, the Eternal Father are awaiting Your word! »
Mary crosses Her hands over Her breast and bowing down deeply, She says: « I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to Me. »
The Angel shines out of joy. He kneels in adoration because he certainly sees the Spirit of God descend upon the Virgin bent down in assent, and he disappears without moving the curtain, but leaves it well drawn over the holy Mystery.
17. The Disobedience of Eve and the Obedience of Mary.
5th March 1944.
«… Do we not read in Genesis that God made man the overlord of everything on the earth, that is everything except God and His angelical ministers? Do we not read that He made the woman the companion of man in his joy and his domination over all living beings? Do we not read that they were allowed to eat of everything with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil? Why? What is the meaning of the words "that he might rule"? And what is the meaning of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil? Have you ever asked these questions, you man, who ask so many useless ones and never ask your soul about heavenly truths? Your soul would tell you, if it were alive, because a soul in grace is held like a flower in the hands of your angel, and like a flower it is kissed by the sun and sprinkled with dew by the Holy Spirit, Who warms and illuminates it, sprays and decorates it with heavenly lights. How many truths your soul would tell you, if you only knew how to converse with it, if you loved your soul that makes you like God, Who is a spirit, as your soul is a spirit. What a great friend you would have if you loved your soul instead of hating it to the extent of killing it; what a great and sublime friend with whom you could talk of celestial matters, since you men are so eager to talk and you ruin one another with friendships which, if they are not unworthy ones (as sometimes they are), they are almost always useless and they turn into a vain and damaging tumult of worldly words.
Did I not say: "If anyone loves Me he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make Our home with him"? The soul in grace possesses love, and by possessing love it possesses God, that is the Father Who preserves it, the Son Who teaches it, the Spirit Who illuminates it. It therefore possesses Knowledge, Science, Wisdom, Light. Consider therefore what sublime conversations your soul could hold with you. Such conversations filled the silence of prisons, the silence of cells, the silence of hermitages, the silence of the rooms of holy sick people.
Such conversations were the consolation of prisoners awaiting martyrdom, of cloistered monks and nuns searching for the Truth, of hermits longing for an advanced knowledge of God, of sick people in bearing, nay, in loving their crosses.
If you knew how to question your soul, you would be told that the true, extensive meaning - as comprehensive as creation itself - of the words "that he might rule" is this: "That man might dominate everything, that is his three states. The lower state, the animal one. The middle state, the moral one. The superior state, the spiritual one. And all three of them are to be directed to one sole aim: to possess God". To possess Him by deserving Him through a strict control which subdues all the power of one's ego and conveys it to one only purpose: to deserve to possess God. Your soul would tell you that God had forbidden the knowledge of good and evil, because He had already granted good to His creatures gratuitously, and He did not want you to know evil, because it is a sweet fruit to taste, but once its juice becomes part of your blood, it causes a fever that kills you and produces a parching thirst, so that the more one drinks of that false juice, the more thirsty one becomes.
You may object: "And why did He put it there?" Because evil is a force that originated by itself like certain monstrous diseases in the most wholesome body.
Lucifer was an angel, the most beautiful of all the angels, a perfect spirit, inferior only to God, and yet in his bright essence a vapour of pride arose and he did not scatter it. On the contrary, he condensed it by brooding over it. And Evil was born of this incubation. It existed before man. God had hurled him out of Paradise, the cursed incubator of Evil, who had desecrated Paradise. But he is the eternal incubator of Evil and as he can no longer soil Paradise, he has soiled the earth.
That metaphorical tree proves this truth. God had said to the man and the woman: "You know all the laws and the mysteries of creation. But do not infringe on My right of being the Creator of man. My love will suffice for the propagation of the human race and it will spread among you and will excite the new Adams of the race without any lust of the senses but with purely charitable pulsations. I have given you everything. I am only keeping for Myself this mystery of the formation of man".
Satan wanted to deprive man of this intellectual virginity and with his venomous tongue he blandished and caressed Eve's limbs and eyes, exciting reflections and a perspicacity which they did not have before, because malice had not yet intoxicated them.
She "saw". And seeing, she wanted to try. Her flesh was aroused. Oh! If she had called to God! If she had hurried to Him saying: "Father! The Serpent has caressed me and I am upset". The Father would have purified and healed her with His breath, which could have infused new innocence into her as it had infused life. And it would have made her forget the snake's poison, nay it would have engendered in her a disgust for the Serpent, as it happens in those who bear an instinctive dislike for diseases of which they have just been cured. But Eve does not go to the Father. Eve goes back to the Serpent. The sensation is a sweet one for her. "Seeing that the fruit of the tree was good to eat and pleasing and agreeable to the eye, she took it and ate it".
And "she understood". Now Malice was inside her and was gnawing at her intestines. She saw with new eyes and heard with new ears the habits and voices of beasts. And she craved for them with insane greed.
She began the sin by herself. She accomplished it with her companion. That is why a heavier sentence is laid on woman. Because of her, man has become rebellious towards God and has become acquainted with lewdness and death. Because of her, he was no longer capable of dominating his three reigns: the reign of the spirit, because he allowed the spirit to disobey God; the moral reign, because he allowed passions to master him; the reign of the flesh, because he lowered it down to the instinctive level of beasts. "The Serpent seduced me" says Eve. "The woman offered me the fruit and I ate of it" says Adam. And the triple greed has ruled the three dominions since then.
Only Grace can relax the hold of this ruthless monster. And if Grace is alive, nay thoroughly alive, and kept more and more alive by the good will of a faithful son, it will succeed in strangling the monster and will no longer have anything to fear. It will not be afraid of internal tyrants, which are the flesh and passions; neither will it be afraid of external tyrants, these are the world and the mighty ones on the earth. It will dread neither persecutions nor death. It is as Paul the Apostle says: "I fear none of these things, neither do I care for my life more than I care for myself, provided I carry out the mission and the ministry the Lord Jesus gave me, and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God's Grace".[… ] »
8th March 1944.
« I obeyed in My joy, because when I understood the mission to which God called Me, I was full of joy, My heart opened like a closed lily and it shed that blood which was to become the soil for the Lord's Seed.
The joy of being a mother.
I had consecrated Myself to God since My childhood, because the light of the Most High had shown Me the cause of evil in the world and, as far as it was in My power, I wanted to remove from Myself every trace of Satan.
I did not know I was without stain. I could not think I was. That simple thought would have been presumption and pride, because, since I was born of human parents, it was not right for Me to think that I was the Chosen One to be the Faultless One. The Spirit of God had informed Me of the pain of the Father because of the corruption of Eve, who had lowered herself to the level of inferior creatures, whereas she was a creature of grace. It was My intention to soothe that pain by remaining unprofaned by human thoughts, wishes and contacts and thus restoring an angelical purity in My body. The palpitations of My heart were to be only for Him, and only for Him My whole being.
But if there was no passion of the flesh in Me, there was still the sacrifice of not being a mother. Also Eve had been granted by the Father Creator the gift of maternity, a maternity devoid of what now degrades it. The sweet and pure maternity without a sensual burden! I experienced it! Of how much did Eve divest herself by giving up such wealth! More than immortality. And do not think that I am exaggerating. My Jesus and I, His Mother, with Him, have experienced the languor of death. I, the sweet languor of a tired person who falls asleep, Jesus, the intense languor of who dies sentenced to death. So we also experienced death. But only I, the new Eve, experienced maternity without any kind of profanation, that I might tell the world how sweet was the destiny of woman called to be a mother without any bodily pain. And the desire of such pure maternity was possible and actually existed in the Virgin wholly devoted to God, because that maternity is the glory of woman.
If you consider in what high esteem the Israelites held a mother, you will realise even more what sacrifice I had made when I consecrated Myself to virginity. Now the Eternal Good Father granted Me, His servant, this gift, without divesting Me of the purity I had clothed Myself in to be a flower on His throne. And I rejoiced with the double joy of being the mother of a man and the Mother of God.
The joy of being the Woman by means of Whom peace was reestablished between Heaven and earth.
Oh! What a joy to have desired this peace for the sake of God and of men and to know that it was coming to the world through Me, the poor handmaid of the Almighty! What a joy to say: "Men, do not cry any longer. I have in Me the secret that will make you happy. I cannot tell what it is because it is sealed in Me, in My heart, just as the Son is enclosed in My inviolate womb. But I am already bringing it to you, and the moment when you will see Him and hear His Holy name is getting nearer and nearer".
The joy of having made God happy: the joy of the believer for his God made happy.
Oh! The joy of removing from God's heart the bitterness of Eve's disobedience, pride and disbelief!
My Jesus explained the fault with which the first Couple got stained. I redeemed that sin by going up the same stages as they descended.
Disobedience was the beginning of the downfall: "Do not eat and do not touch of that tree" said God. And man and woman did not respect that prohibition, although as kings of creation they were allowed to touch and eat of everything except of that tree because God wanted them to be inferior only to angels.
The tree: the means to test their obedience. What does obedience to God's commands imply? It implies all possible good, because God commands nothing but good. What is disobedience? It is evil, because it brings about a rebellious mental state in which Satan can be active.
Eve goes toward the tree, which, if avoided, would have caused her welfare, if approached, would cause her ruin. She goes there led by the childish curiosity of seeing what is special about it, and by a rashness that makes her consider God's command a useless one since she is strong and pure, the queen of Eden, where everything is subject to her and nothing can hurt her. Her presumption is her ruin. Presumption is the yeast of pride.
At the tree she finds the Seducer, who sings his song of lies to her inexperience, to her beautiful virginal inexperience, to her badly guarded inexperience. "You think there is evil here? No, there isn't. God told you because He wants to keep you as slaves under His power. You think you are king and queen? You are not even as free as wild animals. Animals can love one another with true love. You cannot. Animals are granted the gift of being creators like God. Animals generate little ones and see their families grow as much as they like. You do not. You are denied this joy. Why make you man and woman if you have to live thus? Be gods. You do not know the joy of being two in one flesh, that creates a third one and many more. Do not believe God when He promised you the joy of posterity seeing your children forming new families, leaving their father and mother for their families. He has given you a sham life: real life is to know the laws of life. Then you will be like gods and will be able to say to God: 'We are equal to You' ".
And the allurement continued because there was no will to break it, on the contrary there was the will to continue it and to learn what did not belong to man. And the forbidden tree becomes really mortal for the human race because from its branches there hangs the fruit of bitter knowledge that comes from Satan. And the woman becomes a female and with the yeast of Satanic knowledge in her heart, she moves on to corrupt Adam. With their bodies and souls degraded and their morals corrupted, they became acquainted with sorrow and the death of both their souls deprived of Grace and of their bodies divested of immortality. And Eve's wound engendered suffering, which will not subside until the last couple on earth are dead.
I went along the road of the two sinners, but in the opposite direction: I obeyed. I obeyed in every way. God inspired Me to be a virgin. I obeyed. When I loved virginity that made Me as pure as the first woman before she met Satan, God asked Me to get married. I obeyed, elevating marriage to the degree of purity intended by God when He created the First Parents. I was then convinced that My destiny was solitude in marriage and the contempt of people because of My holy sterility, when God asked Me to be a Mother. I obeyed. I believed that it was possible and that the word came from God, because I was filled with peace when I heard it. I did not think: "I deserved it". I did not say: "Now the world will admire Me, because I am like God, creating the flesh of God". No, I did not. I lowered Myself in My humility.
Joy gushed out of My heart like the stem of a rose. But it was soon decorated with sharp thorns and it was clenched in the tangle of sorrow, like branches enveloped by the bearbines of convolvuli. Sorrow for the pain of My spouse: it suffocated My joy. Sorrow for the pain of My Son: a thorn that pierced My joy.
Eve wanted pleasure, triumph, freedom. I accepted sorrow, humiliation, slavery. I gave up My peaceful life, the esteem of My spouse, My own freedom. I kept nothing for Myself. I became the maid of God in the flesh, in morals, in the spirit, relying on Him not only for the virginal conception, but also for the protection of My honour, for the consolation of My spouse, for the means suitable to elevate him also to the sublimation of marriage, so that we could restore man and woman to their lost dignity. I embraced the will of the Lord for Myself, My spouse and My Creature.
I said "Yes" for the whole three, as I was certain that God would not break His promise to assist Me in My sorrow of a spouse who realises she is considered guilty, and of a mother who knows she is generating a Son to deliver Him to sorrow. I said "Yes" and nothing else. That "Yes" cancelled Eve's "No" to God's command. "Yes, My Lord, as You wish. I will know what You want Me to know. I will live as You want Me to live. I will rejoice if You wish so. I will suffer for what You want Me to suffer. Yes, for ever, My Lord, from the moment Your ray made Me a Mother to the moment You called Me back to You. 'Yes', for ever 'Yes'. All the good voices of the flesh, all the good passions of the spirit were under the weight of My perpetual 'Yes'. And above, on a diamond pedestal, there was My spirit, lacking wings to fly to You, but it was the master of the whole 'ego' subdued and made Your servant. Servant in joy, servant in sorrow. But smile, o God. And be happy. Guilt has been defeated. It has been removed and destroyed. It lies under My heel, it was washed in My tears and destroyed by My obedience. The new Tree will be born of My bosom and it will bear the Fruit that knows all the evil because It suffered it all in Itself and will give all the good. All men will be able to come to It and I shall be happy if they take of It, even if they do not remember that It was born of Me. Providing man is saved and God is loved, let it be done to His handmaid what is done to a clod of earth on which a tree is planted: a step to ascend".
Mary, we must always be steps so that other people may ascend to God. It does not matter if they tread on us, providing they are successful in reaching the Cross. It is the new tree that has the knowledge of Good and Evil, because it tells man what is good and what is evil so that he may choose and live and at the same time it is a medicine that cures those who are intoxicated by the evil they wanted to taste. Let our hearts be under the feet of men, that the number of the redeemed may increase and the Blood of My Jesus not be shed fruitlessly. That is the destiny of the maids of God. But then we deserve to receive the holy Host in our hearts and to say at the foot of the Cross drenched with His Blood and our tears: "Here is, o Father, the immaculate Host which we offer to You for the salvation of the world. Look at us, Father, melted with It and give us Your blessing for Its infinite merits".
And I give you My caresses. Rest now, My dear daughter. The Lord is with you. »
« My Mother's words should disperse all perplexity of thought also in the minds most confused and muddled by pseudo science I… I.
I said: "metaphorical tree". Now I will say: "symbolical tree". Perhaps you will understand better. Its symbol is clear: the inclination to good and to evil of the two children of God, would be understood by their behaviour towards the tree., Like 'aqua regia' that tests gold and the scales of the goldsmith that weigh its carats, that tree, by God's command, became a means of testing and it gave the measure of Adam's and Eve's symbolic metal purity.
I can already hear your objection: "Was the punishment not excessive and the means used to condemn them not childish?"
Not so. Actual disobedience in you, who are their heirs, is not so grave as if it were in them. You have been redeemed by Me. But Satan's poison is always ready to rise again, like certain diseases that never disappear completely in the blood. The First Parents possessed Grace without ever even nearing Disgrace. They were therefore stronger and more firmly supported by Grace that generated love and innocence. The gift given them by God was infinite. Much graver is therefore their fall notwithstanding that gift.
Also the fruit that was offered and eaten was symbolical. It was the fruit of an experience they wanted to have at Satan's instigation to break God's command. I had not forbidden men love. I only wanted them to love each other without malice; as I loved them in My holiness, they were to love each other in the holiness of affections unsoiled by lewdness.
It must not be forgotten that Grace is light, and whoever possesses it knows what is good and useful to know. Mary, Full of Grace, knew everything, because Wisdom taught Her, Wisdom that is Grace, and She knew how to live in a holy way. Also Eve knew what was good for her to know. But not more, because it is valueless to know what is not good. But she did not have faith in God's word, and was not faithful to her promise of obedience. She believed in Satan, she broke her promise, she wanted to know what was not good, she loved it without regret, she turned love into something corrupt and degraded, which I instead had permitted as something holy. A sullied angel, she wallowed in mud and litter, whereas she could have run happily amongst the flowers of the earthly Paradise and she could have seen her offspring flourish around her, like a plant that is covered with flowers without bending its leaves into the mire.
Do not be like the foolish children mentioned by Me in the Gospel; they heard other children sing and they stopped their ears, they heard them play the pipes and they did not dance, they heard them weep and they wanted to laugh. Do not be narrow-minded, do not be deniers. Accept the Light without malice and stubbornness, without irony and disbelief. Enough said about that.
To make you understand how grateful you must be to Him Who died to elevate you to Heaven and to defeat Satan's concupiscence, I wanted to speak to you, in this period of preparation for Easter, of what was the first link of the chain by which the Word of the Father was dragged to death, the Divine Lamb to the slaughterhouse. I wanted to speak to you about it, because at present ninety per cent of you are like Eve intoxicated by Lucifer's breath and words, and you do not live to love one another, but to glut yourselves with sensuality, you do not live for Heaven but for filth, you are no longer creatures gifted with soul and reason, but dogs without soul and without reason. You have killed your souls and perverted your reason. I solemnly tell you that brutes surpass you in the honesty of their love. »
The Annunciation Philippe de Champaigne 1644
Written by Maria Valtorta. From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, volume one, pp. 79-89.
Copyright 1986 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.