To this I answer you: A rich man who is disposed in such away that he is afraid to have any ill-gotten goods, who is concerned not to spend his means wastefully or contrary to God's will, who holds his possessions and honors with reluctance and would willingly be separated from them, who is disturbed by the loss of souls and the dishonor done to God, and, although he is compelled by the plans of God to own the world to some extent, is vigilant concerning the love of God in his every intention, this is the kind of rich man who bears fruit and is happy and dear to God.
This bishop, however, is not rich in that way. He is like a monkey with four distinguishing features. The first is a costume that has been made for him that hangs down and hides his torso but leaves his private parts completely exposed. The second is that he touches stinking things with his fingers and puts them to his mouth. The third is that he has a humanlike face, although the rest of his coloring and appearance is that of a brute animal. The fourth is that, although he has both hands and feet, he tramples on the dirt with his hands and fingers.
This foolish bishop is like a monkey, curious about the vanity of the world, too deformed for any action deserving praise.
He wears a costume, that is, his episcopal ordination, which is honorable and precious in the sight of God, but his naked private parts are exposed, since the frivolity of his character and his carnal lust are displayed to others and bring ruin to souls. This goes against what that noble knight says about how a man's more shameful parts are given the greater honor, meaning by this that the animal urges of priests should be hidden by good works, so that the weak may not be scandalized by their example.
A monkey also touches and sniffs at stinking things. What do you do with a finger if not point to something you have seen, just as when I beheld God in His human nature and pointed to Him with my finger, saying, 'Behold the Lamb of God'? What are the fingers of a bishop if not his praiseworthy virtues through which he should point to God's justice and charity?
But, instead, this man's actions point to the fact that he is nobleborn and rich, worldly wise and lavish with his money. What is this if not to touch stinking rot with his fingers? Is glorying in the flesh or in a great household anything else than glorying in puffed-up sacks? A monkey has a human face but looks like a brute animal in other respects.
This man, too, possesses a soul stamped with the seal of God but deformed through his own greed.
In the fourth place, just as a monkey touches and tramples on the dirt with his feet and hands, so too this man covets the things of the earth in his appetites and actions, turning his face away from Heaven and lowering it to the earth like an oblivious animal. Does a man like that lessen the wrath of God? No, indeed, he rather provokes God's justice against himself."
The following revelation was made about a cardinal legate during the jubilee year.
The Son of God speaks: "O proud debater, where is your pomp, where is your equestrian finery now? You did not want to understand while you were being held in honor. This is why you have now fallen into dishonor. Answer My question then, although I know all things, while this new bride is listening."
And immediately it was as if an amazingly misshapen person appeared, trembling and naked. The Judge said to him: "O soul, you taught that the world and its riches should be spurned. Why then did you follow after them?"
The soul answered: "Because their filthy stench smelled better to me than Your sweet fragrance." And as soon as he said this, a demon poured a vessel of sulphur and poison into the soul.
Again the Judge spoke: "O soul, you were set up to be a shining lamp for the people, why did you not shine forth by word and example?"
The soul answered: "Because Your love had been wiped out from my heart. I roamed about like one who had lost his memory and like a vagabond, looking at things in the present and not thinking of the future."
When the soul had said this, it was deprived of the light of its eyes. The demon who was seen to be present said: "O Judge, this soul is mine. What shall I do?"
The Judge said: "Purge and scrutinize it as in a winepress until the council is held at which the allegations of both friends and enemies will be discussed."
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Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book Three: Chapter Three