THE LORD ON THE SECOND DAY CONTINUES HIS FAVORS IN PREPARATION FOR THE INCARNATION OF THE WORD IN THE MOST HOLY MARY.
16. In the first part of this history (Part I, 219), I mentioned, that the most pure body of Mary was conceived and perfectly formed within the space of seven days.
The Most High wished to work this miracle, in order that this most holy soul might not have to wait so long as the souls of ordinary mortals. He wished it to be created and infused before the usual time, (as it also really happened), in order that this beginning of the reparation of the world might have some similarity to the beginning of its creation.
This correspondence again took place at the coming of the Redeemer so that, having formed the new Adam, Christ, God might rest as one who had strained all the powers of his Omnipotence in the greatest of his works; and that He might enjoy the most delicious Sabbath of all his delights.
And as these wonders necessitated the intervention of the Mother of the divine Word, who was to give Him a visible form, and as She was to unite the two extremes, man and God, it was proper that She should bear relation to both.
Her dignity was inferior only to that of God and superior to all that was not God; to this dignity belonged also a proportionate knowledge and understanding, as well of the highest essence of the Divinity, as also of all the inferior creatures.
17. Following up his intention, the supreme Lord continued the favors, by which He wished to dispose most holy Mary for the Incarnation during nine days, as I have begun to explain. On the second day, at the same hour of midnight, the Virgin Mary was visited in the same way as described in the last chapter.
The divine power raised Her up by the same elevations and illuminings to prepare Her for the visions of the Divinity.
He manifested Himself again in an abstractive manner as on the first day, and She was shown the works performed on the second day of the creation.
She learnt how and when God divided the waters (Gen. 1, 6), some above and others below, establishing the firmament, and above it the crystal, known also as the watery heaven.
Her insight penetrated into the greatness, order, conditions, movements and all the other qualities and conditions of the heavens.
18. And in the most prudent Virgin this knowledge did not lay idle, nor remain sterile; for immediately the most clear light of the Divinity overflowed in Her, and inflamed and emblazoned Her with admiration, praise and love of the goodness and power of God.
Being transformed as it were with a godlike excellence, She produced heroic acts of all the virtues, entirely pleasing to his divine Majesty.
And as in the preceding first day God had made Her a participant of his wisdom, so on this second day, He made Her in corresponding measure a participant in the divine Omnipotence, and gave Her power over the influences of the heavens, of the planets and elements, commanding them all to obey Her.
Thus was this great Queen raised to Sovereignty over the sea, the earth, the elements and the celestial orbs, with all the creatures, which are contained therein.
19. This sovereignty and supreme power belonged to the dignity of most holy Mary on account of the reason mentioned above; and besides for two other special ones; the first: because this Lady was the privileged Queen, exempt from the common law of sin and its consequences: therefore She was not to be put in the same general class with the insensate sons of Adam, against whom the Omnipotent armed the creatures for vengeance of his injuries and for the punishment of their frenzy. (Wisd. 5, 18)
For if they had not in their disobedience turned against their Creator, neither would the elements nor their dependencies have been disobedient toward them, nor would they have molested them, nor turned against them the rigor and inclemency of their activity.
And if this rebellion of the creatures is a punishment of sin, it could not justly extend itself to the most holy Mary, who was immaculate and without fault.
Nor was it just, that She should be less privileged than the angels, who were not subject to these consequences of sin, or deprived of the dominion over the elementary powers.
Although most holy Mary was of corporeal and terrestrial substance, yet She raised Herself above all corporeal and spiritual creatures, and made Herself Queen and Mistress of all creation.
In this, therefore, She deserved so much the higher credit, as it was the rarer and the more precious. More must be conceded to the Queen than to her vassals, more to the Mistress than to the servants.
20. The second reason is, because her most holy Son was Himself to obey this heavenly Queen and his Mother. Since He was the Creator of the elements and of all things, it follows naturally that they should obey Her, to whom the Creator subjected Himself, and that they should be commanded by Her.
Was not the person of Christ himself, in so far as his human nature was concerned, to be governed by his Mother according to the constitution and law of nature?
This privilege of sovereignty tended also greatly to enhance the virtues and merits of most holy Mary, for thereby that which in ourselves is usually done under constraint and against our will, was performed by Her freely and meritoriously.
This most prudent Queen did not use her sovereignty over the elements and the creatures indiscriminately and for her own alleviation and comfort; but She commanded the creatures not to suspend their activities and influences in as far as they would naturally be painful and inconvenient to Her.
For in these things She was to be like her most holy Son and suffer conjointly with Him.
Her love and humility did not permit Her to withhold and suspend the inclemencies of the creatures in her regard, since She knew how valuable suffering is and how estimable in the eyes of the Llord.
21. Only on some occasions, when She knew that it was not for her benefit but necessary for her Son and Creator, the sweet Mother restrained the force of the elements and their influences, as we shall see farther on during her journey to Egypt and on other occasions, where She most prudently judged it proper, that the creatures recognize their Creator and reverence Him, or protect and serve Him in some necessity.
What mortal will not marvel at the knowledge of such a new miracle?
To see a mere earthly creature, yet One clothed with the sovereignty and dominion of the whole creation, esteem Herself in her own eyes as the most unworthy and insignificant of the creatures, and, in these humble sentiments, command the wrath of the winds and all the rigors of the natural elements to turn against Her and under obedience fulfill her command!
In obeying Her, however, these elements, full of reverence and courtesy toward such a Mistress, yielded to her wishes, not in vengeance of the wrongs of their Creator, as they do in regard to the rest of the children of Adam, but in order to respect her commands.
22. In the presence of this humility of our invincible Queen, we mortals cannot deny our most arrogant vanity and presumption, or rather our audacity, since, seeing that on account of our insane outrages we merit the furious rebellion of the elements and of all the harmful forces of the universe against us, we complain of their rigor, as if their molestations were an injury.
We deprecate the rigor of the cold, we complain of the exhaustion of heat; all painful things we abhor, and we condemn with all energy these ministers of divine justice and seek, our own comforts and delights, as if they were to last forever and as if it were not certain that we are only drawing therefrom a heavier punishment of our faults.
23. But returning to the consideration of the knowledge and power given to the Princess of heaven and the other gifts preparing Her worthily for the position of Mother of God, we can understand their excellence, for we see in them a certain infinity or boundlessness, participating of the Divinity, and similar to that which was afterwards possessed by the most holy soul of Christ.
For She not only knew all creatures in God, but comprehended them in such a way as to master them and at the same time reserve capacity for knowing many others, if there had existed more to be known.
I call this knowledge an infinity, because it seems to partake of the qualities of infinite knowledge and because, in one and the same action of her mind and without successive advertence, She saw and perceived the number of the heavens, their latitude and profundity, their order, motions, qualities, their matter and form; the elements with all their changes and accidents: all of these She knew at the same time.
The only thing the most wise Virgin did not know was the immediate end of this knowledge until the moment of her consent and the fulfillment of the ineffable mercy of the Most High.
She continued during these days her most fervent prayers for the coming of the Messias, according to the command of the Lord.
And He had given Her to understand that He would not tarry, as the time destined for his arrival was at hand.
INSTRUCTION WHICH THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN
24. My daughter, from what thou art going to learn of the favors and blessings conferred upon me in preparation for the dignity of Mother of God, I wish thee to perceive the admirable order of his wisdom in the creation of man.
Take notice, therefore, that his Creator made him out of nothing, not in order to be a slave, but in order to be the king and the master of all creation (Gen. 1, 26), and in order that he make use of creatures in sovereignty, command and mastery; yet at the same time man was to recognize himself as the image of his Maker and the work of his hand, remaining more devoted to God and more submissive to his will than the creatures to man; for all this was demanded by justice and reason.
And in order that man might not be without information and knowledge of the Creator and of the means of perceiving and executing his will, He added to his natural light a greater one, more penetrating, more limpid, more certain, more free and extensive, namely the light of divine faith, by which man might know the existence of God and of his perfections, and conjointly with these, his works.
Furnished with this knowledge and dominion man was established in good standing, honored and enriched, having no excuse for not devoting himself entirely to the fulfillment of the divine will.
25. But the foolishness of man disturbs this order and destroys this harmony, when, being created as the lord and king of creatures, he enslaves himself, subjecting himself to them, and degrading his dignity in using visible things not as a prudent master, but as an unworthy vassal. For he debases himself beneath the lowest of creatures, by losing sight of the fact that he is their superior.
All this perversity arises from the use of creatures not for the service of the Creator through well ordered faith, but for the indulgence of the passions and the delights of the senses.
Hence also arises man’s great abhorrence of those things which are not pleasing to the senses.
26. Thou, my dearest, look faithfully toward thy Creator and Lord and in thy soul seek to copy the image of his divine perfections: lose not the mastery and dominion over creatures, let none of them infringe upon thy liberty; but seek to triumph over all of them, allowing nothing to interpose itself between thee and thy Creator.
Subject thyself gladly, not to the pleasurable in creatures, since that will obscure thy understanding and weaken thy will, but to the adverse and the painful resulting from their activity.
Suffer this with joyous willingness, for I have done the same in imitation of my Son, although I had the power to neutralize their molestations and had no sins to atone for.