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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget

Book Four

Chapter Forty-Seven

          In Chapter Forty-Seven of Book Four on the Prophesies and Revelations of the holy mystic St. Bridget of Sweden we see Our Lord's words to the bride about how we ought to beware of temptations from the devil, and his description of the devil as an enemy of the state. Christ admonishes not to be like a goat who is hard-hearted, nor the ram who butts his way into trouble, but to stand still and be still, to hold one's tongue and to quietly take shelter beneath the protective wings of God in the metaphor of a mother hen for His power and wisdom are represented as wings, His mercy as feathers, and the people as chickens who need to be protected from the feral foxes and beasts who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

    The Son speaks: "If the enemy is battering at the city gates, you should not be like goats that run toward the wall or like rams that rear themselves up on their hind legs and butt against each other with their horns. Instead you should be like chickens that see a bird of prey in the sky aiming to harm them and take refuge beneath the wings of their mother and hide there. They are happy even if they only get hold of a single one of the mother's feathers and take cover there.

    "Who is your enemy if not the devil, who looks maliciously upon every good deed and is wont to batter and agitate the human mind with temptations? Sometimes he batters it with anger and slander, sometimes with impatience and criticism toward God's decisions whenever things do not turn out as one wishes. Very often he batters and upsets you with innumerable thoughts in order to draw you away from God's service and cast a shadow over your good works before God.

    "Therefore, no matter what temptations you have, you should not abandon your position nor be like the goats that run up toward the wall, that is, to be hard of heart, or to criticize other people's actions in your hearts, since a person who is bad today is often good tomorrow. Rather, you should lower your horns, stand still, and listen, that is, humble yourselves and be fearful, patiently entreating God so that bad beginnings may be changed into a happy ending. Nor should you be like the rams brandishing their horns, that is, paying back insult with insult and adding taunt to taunt.

    "Rather you should stand steadily on your feet and remain silent, that is, check your passions, so that in your speech and responses you may show forethought and patient forcefulness, because the righteous man overcomes himself and restrains himself even from licit remarks in order to avoid loquacity and offensiveness. When a person is agitated in mind and lets go of everything he feels inside, he seems somehow to have vindicated himself and revealed the instability of his mind. This is the reason why he will be left without a reward, because he was unwilling to be patient for a time. Had he been patient, he would both have won over his offending brother and fitted himself for a greater reward.

    "What do the hen's wings represent if not divine power and wisdom? You see, I am like a hen that powerfully protects from the snares of the devil those chickens that run to me when I call, that is, those who desire the shade of my wings, and I summon them to salvation through my wise inspirations. What does the feather represent if not my mercy? One who obtains my mercy can feel as secure as a chicken sheltered beneath its mother's wings. So, be like the chickens running toward my will. In all temptations and adversities say both out loud and in your deeds: May God's will be done! For, I protect those who trust in Me with My power; I refresh them with my Mercy; I hold them with My patience; I visit them with My solace; I enlighten them with My wisdom; I reward them a hundredfold with My love."

Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden
Book Four: Chapter Forty-Six