Chapter Three features many useful remarks beginning with the words of amazement from the Mother of God to the bride, then about five houses in the world whose inhabitants represent five states of people, namely unfaithful Christians, obstinate Jews and pagans separately, Jews and Pagans together, and the friends of God.
Mary said: "It is a terrible thing that the Lord of all things and the King of glory is despised. He was like a pilgrim on earth, wandering from place to place, knocking on many doors, like a wayfarer seeking welcome. The world was like an estate that had five houses.
When my Son came dressed as a pilgrim to the first house, He knocked on the door and said: 'Friend, open up and let me enter to rest and stay with you, so that the wild animals do not harm me, so that storm-showers and rain may not fall upon me! Give me some of your clothes to warm me from the cold, to cover me in my nakedness! Give me some of your food to refresh me in my hunger and something to drink to revive me. You will receive a reward from your God!'
The person inside answered: 'You are far too impatient, so You are unable to live with us peaceably. You are far too tall. For that reason we are unable to clothe You. You are far too greedy and gluttonous, so we are unable to satisfy You, for there is no end to Your greedy appetite.'
Christ the pilgrim responded from outside: 'Friend, let Me in cheerfully and voluntarily. I do not need much room. Give Me some of your clothes, since there are no clothes in your house so small that they will not be able to offer Me at least some warmth! Give Me some of your food, since even a tiny morsel can satisfy Me and a mere drop of water will refresh and strengthen Me.'
The person inside replied: 'We know You well enough. You are humble in speech but importunate in Your requests. You seem easily contented but are in fact insatiable when it comes to having Your fill. You are far too cold and hard to clothe. Go away, I will not take You in!'
Then He came to the second house and said: 'Friend, open up and look at Me! I will give you what you need. I will defend you from your enemies.'
The person inside answered: 'My eyes are weak. It would hurt them to look at You. I have plenty of everything and I have no need of anything of Yours. I am strong and powerful. Who can harm me?'
Coming, then, to the third house, He said: 'Friend, lend Me your ears and hear Me! Stretch forth your hands and take hold of Me! Open your mouth and taste Me!'
The inhabitant of the house answered: 'Shout louder so I can hear You better! If You are nice, I will draw You to myself. If You are pleasant, I will You let in.'
Then He went to the fourth house whose door was about half-open. He said: 'Friend, if you were to consider that your time has been uselessly spent, you would take Me in. If you were to understand and to listen to what I have done for you, you would have compassion on Me. If you paid heed to how much you have offended Me, you would sigh and beg for forgiveness.'
The man answered: 'We are nearly dead from waiting and longing for You. Have compassion on our wretchedness and we will be most ready to give ourselves to You. Behold our misery and look on the anguish of our body, and we will be ready for Your every wish.'
Then He came to the fifth house, which was completely open. He said: 'Friend, I would gladly enter here, but know that I seek a softer resting-place than that provided by a feather-bed, a greater warmth than can be had from wool, a fresher food than fresh animal meat can offer.'
Those who were inside answered: 'We have hammers lying here at our feet. We will gladly use them to shatter our feet and legs, and we will give You the marrow flowing from them to be Your resting-place. We will gladly open up our inmost parts and entrails for You. Come right in! There is nothing softer than our marrow for You to rest upon, and nothing better than our inmost parts to warm You. Our heart is fresher than the fresh meat of animals. We shall be happy to cut it up for Your food. Just come in! For You are sweet to taste and wonderful to enjoy!'
The inhabitants of these five houses represent five different states of people in the world. The first are the unfaithful Christians who call my Son's sentences unjust, His promises false, and His commandments unbearable.
These are the ones who in their thoughts and in their minds and in their blasphemy say to my Son's preachers: 'Almighty He may well be, but He is far away and cannot be reached. He is high and wide and cannot be clothed. He is insatiable and cannot be fed. He is most impatient and there is no getting along with Him.' They say He is far away because they are weak in good deeds and charity and do not try to rise up to His goodness. They say He is wide, because their own greediness knows no limit: they are always pretending they lack or need something and are always imagining problems before they come. They also charge Him with being insatiable, because Heaven and earth are not enough for Him, but He demands even greater gifts from mankind.
They think it foolish to give up everything for the sake of their soul in accordance with the precept, and harmful to give the body less. They say He is impatient, because He hates vice and sends them things against their will. They think nothing is fine and useful except that which the pleasure of the body suggests to them. Of course, my Son is indeed almighty in Heaven and on earth, the Creator of all things and created by none, existing prior to everything, after whom no one is to come. He is indeed farthest away and widest and highest, within and without and above all things.
Yet although He is so powerful, still in His love He wants to be clothed with human help - He Who has no need of clothing, Who clothes all things and is Himself clothed eternally and unchangeably in perpetual honor and glory. He, Who is the bread of angels and of men, Who feeds all things and Himself needs nothing, wants to be fed with human love. He Who is the restorer and author of peace asks for peace from men. Therefore, whoever wants to welcome Him in a cheerful mind can satisfy Him with even a morsel of bread, so long as his intention is good. He can clothe him with a single thread, so long as his love is burning. A single drop can still his thirst, provided a person has the right dispositions.
So long as a person's devotion is fervent and steadfast, he is capable of welcoming my Son into his heart and speaking with Him. God is spirit and, for that reason, He has willed to transform creatures of flesh into spiritual beings and ephemeral beings into eternal ones. He thinks that whatever happens to the members of his body also happens to himself. He takes into account not only a person's work or abilities, but also the fervor of his will and the intention with which a work is carried out. In truth, the more my Son cries out to these people through hidden inspirations, and the more He admonishes them through His preachers, the more they harden their will against Him.
They do not listen or open the door of their will to Him or let Him in by means of charitable acts. Therefore, when their time comes, the falsehood they rely on will be annihilated, truth will be exalted, and the glory of God made manifest. The second ones are obstinate Jews. These people seem to themselves to be reasonable in every way and they regard wisdom as being legal justice. They assert their own deeds and hold them to be more honorable than the works of others. If they hear of the things my Son has done, they hold them in contempt. If they hear His words and commandments, they react with scorn.
Worse still, they would regard themselves as sinful and unclean if they were but to hear and reflect on anything having to do with my Son and as even more wretched and miserable if they were to imitate His works. But while the winds of worldly fortune still blow upon them, they think themselves most lucky. So long as their physical forces are sound, they believe themselves to be most strong. For that reason, their hopes will come to nothing and their honor will turn into shame.
The third ones are the pagans. Some of them cry out in mockery each day: 'Who is this Christ? If He is gracious in giving present goods, we shall gladly receive Him. If he is gentle in condoning sins, we shall even more gladly honor Him.' But these people have closed the eyes of their mind so as not to perceive the justice and mercy of God. They stop up their ears and do not hear what my Son has done for them and for everyone. They shut their mouths and do not inquire what their future will be like or what is to their advantage. They fold their arms and refuse to make an effort to search out the way in which they might escape lies and find the truth. Therefore, since they do not want to understand or take precautions, although they can and have the time to do so, they and their house will fall and be enveloped by the tempest.
The fourth ones are those Jews and pagans who would like to be Christians, if they only knew how and in what way to please my Son and if only they had a helper. They hear from people in neighboring regions everyday, and also know from the appeals of love within themselves, as well as from other signs, how much my Son has done and suffered for everyone. This is why they cry out to Him in their conscience and say:
'O Lord, we have heard that You promised to give Yourself to us. So we are waiting for You. Come and fulfill Your promise! We see and understand that there is no divine power in those who are worshipped as gods, no love of souls, no appreciation of chastity. We only find in them carnal motives, a love for the honors of the present world. We know about the Law and hear about the great works You have performed in mercy and justice, We hear from the sayings of Your prophets that they were awaiting You whom they had foretold. So come, kind Lord! We would like to give ourselves to You, because we understand that in You there is love for souls, the right use of all things, perfect purity, and life everlasting. Come without delay and enlighten us, for we are nearly dead from waiting for You!'
That is how they cry out to my Son. This explains why their door is half-open, because their intention is complete with respect to the good, but they have not yet attained its fulfillment. These are people who deserve to have the grace and consolation of my Son.
In the fifth house are the friends of my Son and me. The door of their mind is completely open for my Son. They are glad to hear Him calling. They not only open when He knocks but joyfully run to meet Him as He comes in. With the hammers of the divine precepts they shatter anything they find distorted in themselves. They prepare a resting-place for my Son, not out of the feathers of birds but out of the harmony of the virtues and the curbing of evil affections, which is the very marrow of all the virtues. They offer my Son a kind of warmth that does not come from wool but from a love so fervent that they not only give their belongings to Him but their very selves as well. They also prepare food for Him that is fresher than any meat: it is their perfect heart that does not desire or love anything but its God.
The Lord of Heaven dwells in their hearts, and God Who nourishes all things is sweetly nourished by their charity. They keep their eyes continually on the door lest the enemy enter, they keep their ears turned toward the Lord, and their hands ready for doing battle against the enemy. Imitate them, my daughter, as far as you are able, because their foundation is built on solid rock. The other houses have their foundations in mud, which is why they will be shaken when the wind comes."
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Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book Two: Chapter Two