HOW THE DIVINE DECREES ARE CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO INSTANTS, AND WHATGOD IN EACH DETERMINED TO COMMUNICATE AD EXTRA.
35.I understood, that this ordercomprises the following instants. The first instant is: God recognizing hisinfinite attributes and perfections together with the propensity and theineffable inclination to communicate Himself outwardly.
This knowledge of God as beingcommunicative ad extra comes first.
The Majesty of God, beholding the natureof his infinite perfections, their virtue and efficacy operating withmagnificence, saw that it was just and most proper, and, as it were, a duty anda necessity, to communicate Himself and to follow that inclination of impartingand exercising his liberality and mercy, by distributing outside of Himselfwith magnificence the plenitude of the infinite treasures, contained in theDivinity.
For, being infinite in all things, it ismuch more natural that He communicate gifts and graces, than that fire shouldascend, or the stone should gravitate toward its center, or that the sun shoulddiffuse its light.
This unfathomable depth of perfections,this affluence of treasures, this impetuous infinity of riches, is set inmotion by its own inclinations to communicate itself.
At the same time God is in Himselfconscious that to distribute gifts and graces, is not to diminish his riches,but to increase them in the only possible way, by giving an outlet to theinexhaustible fountain of his riches.
36.All this did God see in the firstinstant after the communication ad intra by means of the eternal emanations.Seeing this He found Himself, as it were, obliged, in Himself, to communicateHimself ad extra, perceiving that it was holy, just, merciful, and god-like todo so; hence nothing could impede Him.
According to our mode of understanding,we can represent God to our minds as not being satisfied nor at rest withHimself until He reached the object of his desires, the creatures, where andwith whom, by making them partakers of his divinity and perfections, He seekshis delight.
37.In this enlightenment and knowledgewhich I possess, two things hold my lukewarm heart in wonder and inflame itunto annihilation.
The first is the inclination and urgentdesire, which I see in God, and the strong will, to communicate his Divinityand the treasures of his grace.
The second is the unspeakable andincomprehensible immensity of the good gifts, which I see He wishes todistribute according to this decree, assigning them for this purpose and yetremaining infinite, as if He had yet given nothing.
In this desire and inclination, whichfills his Majesty I see Him prepared to sanctify, justify, overwhelm with giftsand perfections all creatures together and each one in particular for itself.
He would be ready to give to each of thecreatures more than what is held by all the angels and seraphim together; evenif all the drops in the ocean and the grains of sand on their shores, all the stars,the planets and the elements, and all creatures were capable of reason and ofhis gifts, they would receive them without measure, provided they would disposethemselves and place no obstacle toward receiving them.
O fearful malice of sin, which alone iscapable of holding up the impetuous stream of such great and eternal gifts!
38. Thesecond instant was to confirm and determine the object and intention of thiscommunication of the Divinity ad extra, namely, that it should redound to hisgreater glory and to the exaltation of his Majesty and the manifestation of hisgreatness.
This his own exaltation God saw as theend, for which He would communicate Himself, make Himself known by hisliberality in the distribution of his attributes, and set in motion hisOmnipotence in order that He might be known, praised and glorified.
39. The third instant consisted in selecting anddetermining the order and arrangement, or the mode of this communication, so asto realize in an adequate manner the most exalted ends. The order namely, whichit is proper should be maintained in regard to the communications of theGodhead and its divine attributes; so that this activity of the Lord may haveits proper reasons and objects, and so that it might proceed with the mostbeautiful and admirable sequence, harmony and subordination.
In this instant was decreed first ofall, that the divine Word should assume flesh and should become visible.
The perfection and the composition ofthe most holy humanity of Christ our Lord was decreed and modeled in the divineintelligence.
Secondarily, also were formed the idealsof the rest of men in imitation of the First.
The divine mind prearranged the harmonyand adornment of the human nature composed of an organic body and a vivifyingsoul, endowed with faculties to know and enjoy its Creator, to discern betweengood and evil, and with a free will to love that same Lord.
40. Thishypostatic union of the second Person of the most holy Trinity I understoodnecessarily to have been the first incentive and object on account of which,before all others, the divine intelligence and will issued ad extra; and thereasons are most exalted, so that I cannot explain.
One of these reasons is, that God,having in Himself known and loved Himself, should, according to right order,know and love that, which approaches most intimately to his Divinity, as is thecase in the hypostatic union.
Another reason is, that the Divinity,having communicated Itself ad intra, should also communicate Itself ad extra;for thus the divine will and intention would begin to execute its works withthe highest end in view, and his attributes would be communicated in the mostbeautiful order.
The fire of the Divinity expended itselfin its fullest measure on that which was most immediately connected with It,namely, the hypo-statically united humanity; and his Divinity communicatedItself in the highest and most excellent degree to Him, who was to be closestto God in divine knowledge and love, and share the works and the glory of theDeity.
For God (speaking according to our lowlycomprehension) could not endanger the attainment of this end, since He alonecould be an object proportionate and worthy of so wonderful an operation.
It was also befitting and, as it were,necessary, that if God should create many creatures, He should create them insuch harmony and subordination, as would be the most admirable and gloriouswithin the reach of possibility.
In conformity with this therefore, theymust be subordinate to a supreme Chief, who should be as far as possible unitedimmediately with God, so that through Him they may have communication andconnection with his Divinity.
For these and for other reasons (which Icannot explain), the dignity of the works of God could be provided for only bythe Incarnation of the Word; through Him Creation should possess the mostbeautiful order, which without Him was impossible.
41. Thefourth instant was to determine the gifts and graces, which were to beconferred upon the humanity of Christ, our Lord, in union with the Divinity.
Here the Most High opened the liberalhands of his Omnipotence and his other attributes, in order to enrich the mostsacred humanity and the soul of Christ with the highest possible plenitude ofhis gifts and graces.
Then was fulfilled what afterward Davidsaid: “The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful” (Ps. 45, 5).
〔经文：河流要使天主的城邑欢乐，即至高者所住的至圣居所，(圣咏 45：5) 〕
When the stream of his gifts flowedtoward the humanity of the Word, communicating to it all the infused science,the grace and goodness of which his blessed soul was capable, and which fittedthat Being, which was to be God and true man, and at the same time, the Head ofall creatures capable of grace and glory, in order that from this impetuousstream they might partake in the manner in which it afterwards really happened.
42. Tothis instant also, and, as it were, in natural sequence, pertain the decree andpredestination of the Mother of the Divine Word incarnate; for here, Iunderstand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else whatever.
Thus, before all other creatures, wasShe conceived in the divine mind, in such manner and such state as befitted andbecame the dignity, excellence and gifts of the humanity of her most holy Son.
To Her flowed over, at once andimmediately, the river of the Divinity and its attributes with all itsimpetuosity, in as far as a mere creature is capable and as is due to thedignity of the Mother of God.
43. Inthe knowledge of these exalted mysteries and decrees, I confess myself ravishedin admiration and transported beyond my proper self.
Perceiving this most holy and pureCreature formed and conceived in the divine mind from the beginning and beforeall the ages, I joyously and exultingly magnify the Omnipotent for theadmirable and mysterious decree, by which He formed for us such a pure andgrand, such a mysterious and godlike Creature, worthy rather to be admired andpraised by all beings, than to be described by any one.
In my admiration I can say with St.Dionysius the Areopagite: “If faith would not instruct me, and if theunderstanding of what I see would not teach me, that it is God, who hasconceived Her in his mind, and who alone could and can in his Omnipotence formsuch an image of his Divinity, if this all were not present to my mind, I mightbegin to doubt, whether the Virgin Mother contain not in Herself Divinity.”
44.Owhat tears flowed from my eyes, and what sorrowful astonishment possessed mysoul, to see that divine prodigy not acknowledged and that wonder of the MostHigh not manifest to all the mortals.
Much is known of it, but much more isunknown, as this sealed book has not been opened.
I am ravished in the perception of thistabernacle of God, and I perceive that the Author of it is more admirable inher creation, than in that of all the rest of the world, although the diversityof the creatures manifests the wonderful power of their Creator.
In this Queen alone are comprehended andcontained more treasures than in all the rest of things joined together, andthe variety and the preciousness of her riches honor the Lord above all themultitudes of the other creatures.
45.Here (according to our way ofunderstanding) the promise and, as it were, the contract was made with the Wordas to the degree of sanctity, and perfection and the gifts and graces, whichwere to be possessed by Mary his Mother.
Also as to the protection, support anddefense, which was to be provided for this true City of God, in which hisMajesty contemplated the graces and merits, which She earned for Herself, aswell as the fruits to be gathered for his people by the loving returns, whichShe was to make to his Majesty.
In the same instant, and as it were inthe third and last place, God determined to create a locality and an abode,where the incarnate Word and his Mother should converse and dwell.
For Them primarily did He create theheaven and earth with its stars and elements and all that is contained in them.
Secondarily the intention and decreeincluded the creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the Head, and ofwhom He would be the King; in order that with kingly providence, all thenecessary and befitting arrangements might be made beforehand.
46.I pass overto the fifth instant, although in reality I have found that, which I sought.
In this fifth decree the creation of theangelic nature which is more excellent and more like unto the spiritual beingof the Divinity, was determined upon, and at the same time the division orarrangement of the angelic hosts into nine choirs and three hierarchies, wasprovided and decreed.
As they are created first of all for theglory of God, to assist before his divine Majesty and to know and love Him, sosecondarily they are ordained to assist, glorify and honor, reverence and servethe deified humanity of the eternal Word, recognizing Him as Head, and honoringHim also in his Mother, the most holy Mary, Queen of these same angels.Commission was given to these angels, “to bear them up in their hands” in alltheir ways (Ps. 90, 12).
In this instant Christ our Lord earnedfor them by his infinite merits, present and foreseen, all the grace, whichthey were to receive. He was constituted as their Head, Exemplar and supremeKing, of whom they should be subjects.
Even if the number of angels had beeninfinite, the merits of Christ our highest Good, would be abundantly sufficientto supply them all with grace.
47. Tothis instant belongs also the predestination of the good, and the reprobationof the bad angels.
God saw in it, by means of his infinitescience, all the works of the former and of the latter and the propriety ofpredestinating, by his free will and by his merciful liberality, those thatwould obey and give honor, and of reprobating by his justice those who wouldrise up against his Majesty in pride and disobedience on account of theirdisordered selflove.
In the same instant also was decreed thecreation of the empyrean heaven, for the manifestation of his glory and thereward of the good; also the earth and other heavenly bodies for the othercreatures ; moreover also in the center or depth of the earth, hell, for thepunishment of the bad angels.
48. Inthe sixth instant was decreed the creation of a people and congregation of menfor Christ, who was already formed in the divine mind and will, and accordingto whose image and likeness man was to be made, in order, that the incarnateWord might find brethren, similar but inferior to Himself and a people of hisown nature, of whom He might be the Head.
In this instant was determined the orderof the creation of the whole human race, which was to begin from one man andwoman and propagate itself, until the Virgin and her Son should be born in thepredestined order.
On account of the merits of Christ, ourSavior, the graces and gifts were prearranged, and also original justice, ifthey would only preserve it.
The fall of Adam was foreseen and in himthat of all others, except of the Queen, who did not enter into this decree.
As a remedy was it ordained, that themost holy humanity should be capable of suffering.
The predestined were chosen by freegrace, and the foreknown were reprobated with exact justice.
All that was convenient and necessaryfor the conservation of the human race and for obtaining the end of the Redemptionand the Predestination, was preordained, without interfering with the free willof men; for such ordainment was more conformable to God’s nature and to divineequity.
There was no injustice done to them, forif with their free will they could sin, so also could they abstain from sin bymeans of grace and the light of reason.
God violated the right of no one, sinceHe forsook no one nor denied to any one that which is necessary.
Since his law is written in the heartsof men, nobody is excused for not knowing and loving Him as the highest Good ofall creation.
49. Inthe perception of these mysteries I saw with great clearness and force the highmotives which caused God to manifest and magnify Himself and which shouldinduce men to praise and adore the greatness of the Creator and Redeemer ofall.
I also saw how tardy they are in theacknowledgment of these obligations and in making return for these benefits;and I was made aware of the complaints and the indignation of the Most High onaccount of this forgetfulness.
His Majesty commanded and exhorted menot to be guilty of such ingratitude, but to offer Him a sacrifice of praise,and a new song, and that I magnify Him in the name of all creatures.
50. Omost high and incomprehensible Lord I Would that I had the love and theperfections of all the angels and the just in order to confess and praiseworthily thy greatness!
I acknowledge, great and mighty Lord,that such a vile creature as I cannot merit the memorable benefit of receivingthis clear and exalted knowledge and light concerning thy exalted Majesty.
At the sight of thy greatness I perceivemy littleness, which before that happy hour was unknown to me; and I wasignorant of the greatness and excellence of the virtue of humility, which islearnt in this science.
I do not wish to say that I now possessthat virtue, but neither can I deny that I have been shown the certain pathwhich leads to it.
Thy light, O most high Lord, illuminesme and thy lamp shows me the paths (Ps. 119, 105), so that I see what I havebeen and what I am, and fear what I may become to be.
Thou hast lighted up, most high King, myunderstanding and inflamed my will with its most exalted object.
Thou hast entirely drawn me on to seekThee, and I wish to make this known to all mortals in order that they may leaveme in peace and I them: I am for my Beloved (Cant. 2, 16), and (although I amunworthy), my Beloved is for me.
你完全吸引了我来寻求你，我希望让所有的世人知道这一点，以便他们可以安静地离开我，而我也可以离开他们：我属于我的爱人(雅歌 2:16) ，我的爱人属于我。（虽然我不配）
［经文：我的爱人属于我，我属于我的爱人；他在百合花间，牧放他的羊群。(雅歌 2:16) ］
Strengthen then, O Lord, my weaknessthat I may run after Thee, and reaching Thee, I may never leave Thee or loseThee.
51. Veryshort and stammering is this chapter, for of this matter many books could bewritten; but I refrain, because I do not know how to speak and I am an ignorantwoman.
My sole object has been to explain, howthe Virgin Mother has been formed and preordained in the divine mind before theages (Ecclus. 24, 14).
［经文：起初，当世界未有以前，祂就造了我，我永远不会消灭。在神圣的帐幕里，我曾在祂面前供职。 (德训篇 24：14) ］
That which I have seen over and aboveconcerning this highest mystery, transforms my interior, and in silentadmiration makes me praise the Author of such magnificence in company with theblessed, saying: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Sabaoth (Is. 6, 3).
［经文：他们互相高呼说：「圣！圣！圣！万军的上主！他的光荣充满大地！ 」 (依撒意亚6：3) ］