Blessed Agnes speaks to the bride, saying: "My daughter, love the Mother of mercy. She is like the flower or reed shaped like a sword. This flower has two sharp extremities and a graceful tip. In height and width it excels all other flowers. Similarly, Mary is the flower of flowers, a flower that grew in a valley and extended over all the mountains. A flower, I say, that was raised in Nazareth and spread itself on Mount Lebanon. This flower had, first of all, height, in the sense that the blessed Queen of heaven excels every creature in dignity and power. Mary also had two sharp edges or leaves, that is, the sorrow in her heart over her Son's passion along with her steadfast resistance to the attacks of the devil by never consenting to sin.
The old man prophesied truly when he said: 'A sword shall pierce your soul. In a spiritual sense she received as many sword-strokes as the number of wounds and sores she saw her Son receive and that she also had already foreseen. Mary had also a great width, I mean, her mercy. She is and was so kind and merciful that she preferred to suffer any hardship rather than let souls be lost. United now with her Son, she has not forgotten her native goodness but, rather, extends her mercy to all, even to the worst of men. Just as the sun brightens and sets ablaze the heavens and earth, so too there is no one who does not experience Mary's sweet kindness, if he asks for it. Mary also had a graceful tip, I mean, her humility.
Her humility made her pleasing to the angel when she called herself the Lord's handmaid, although she was being chosen to be His Lady. She conceived the Son of God in humility, not wanting to please the proud. She ascended the highest throne through humility, loving nothing but God Himself. Come forward, then, Conduit, and greet the Mother of mercy, for she has now arrived!"
Then Mary appeared and replied: "Agnes, you used a noun, add an adjective, too!"
Agnes said to her: "I might say 'most beautiful' or 'most virtuous,' for that belongs rightfully to no one but you, the Mother of everyone's salvation."
The Mother of God answered Blessed Agnes: "You speak truthfully, for I am the most powerful of all. Therefore, I myself will add an adjective and a noun, namely 'Conduit' of the Holy Spirit. Come, Conduit, and listen to me! You are sad because this saying is bandied about among men: 'Let us live as we like, since God is easily pleased. Let us make use of the world and its honor while we can, since the world was made for the sake of mankind.'
Indeed, my daughter, a saying like that does not come from love of God nor does it tend or lead toward the love of God. However, God does not forget His love because of it but in every hour displays His kindness in return for human ingratitude. He is like a craftsman crafting some great work. At times he heats up the iron, at times he lets it cool. God is the supreme craftsman who made the world out of nothing and has shown His love to Adam and his posterity.
But the human race cooled down to such an extent that they committed enormous crimes and almost regarded God as nothing. For that reason, God had mercy and gave a benevolent warning first, but then revealed His justice by means of the flood. After the flood, God made His pact with Abraham, showing him signs of affection, and led His children by means of great signs and wonders. He gave the law to His people from His Own lips, confirming His words and precepts by the most evident of signs. As time went by, again the people grew cold and fell into such insanity that they started to worship idols. Wanting to heat up the cold-hearted once more, God in His kindness sent His Own Son into the world.
He taught the true way to Heaven and gave an example of true humility to imitate. Although many have now quite forgotten Him in their neglect, He still displays and reveals His merciful words. However, things will not be accomplished all at once, no more now than before. Prior to the coming of the flood, the people were warned first and were given time for repentance. Similarly, before Israel entered the promised land, the people were first tested and the promise was delayed for a time. God could have led the people for forty days without delaying for forty years, but His justice demanded that the ingratitude of the people should become apparent and that God's mercy should be made manifest so as to render his future people so much the more humble.
It would be great audacity to ask why God made His people suffer so much or why there can be eternal punishment, given that a life in sin cannot last forever. It would be as great audacity as to try to reason out and comprehend the eternity of God. God is eternal and incomprehensible. His justice and recompensation is eternal, His mercy is beyond understanding. If God had not already shown justice to the first angels, how would we know of His justice and His fair judgment of everything?
If, again, He had not had mercy on humanity by creating it and then freeing it through innumerable miracles, how would we know that His goodness was so great or His love so immense and so perfect? Because God is eternal, His justice is eternal and there is neither increase nor decrease in it. It is as when someone plans ahead to do his work in such a way and on such a day.
When God exercises His justice or mercy, He manifests it by accomplishing it, since present, past, and future are known to Him from eternity.
God's friends should persevere patiently in the love of God and not lose their peace, even though they may see worldly men and women prospering. God is like a good washing-woman who puts the dirty clothes in the waves to make them cleaner and brighter by the motion of the water, paying close attention to the water currents so that the clothes do not sink beneath the waves. Likewise, God places His friends in the waves of poverty and hardship in the present time in order to cleanse them for eternal life, while keeping close watch so that they are not plunged into excessive sorrow or unbearable hardship."
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Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book Three: Chapter Thirty