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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget

Book Four

Chapter Sixty-One

          In Chapter Sixty-One of Book Four of the Prophesies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, we see how the devil attempted to deceive the bride and try to plant doubt as to the True Presence of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. The devil does this to many and it is an excellent lesson on realizing that when we are tempted, often in the most sublime times, such as at Holy Mass, when we turn back to God at that moment, we drive the devil away. God shows to Bridget and the devil how He is truly present at each true Mass, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity from the Consecration on in true Masses. As an angel of the Lord comforts her not to fear, Christ forces the devil to tell her the truth. Lucifer has no choice but to fess up. Then Our Lord reveals to her how the Body of Christ is received by the wicked as well as the good as he lays out the proper remedy in temptations regarding His True Presence.

    A monstruous creature appeared to the bride at the elevation of the body of Christ and said: "Do you really believe, silly woman, that this wafer of bread is God? Even if He had been the highest of mountains, He would have been consumed long ago. None of the wise Jews to whom God has given wisdom believes this, nor can anyone believe that God would allow Himself to be touched and loved by a most impure priest with the heart of a dog. If you would ascertain the truth of what I say, well, this priest is mine and whenever I want - and he is at the point of it now - I will snatch him away to myself."

    Right then, a good angel appeared and said: "O, daughter, answer not a fool according to his folly! It is the father of lies who has appeared to you. But get ready, for our Bridegroom is now near."

    Jesus the Bridegroom came and said to the devil: "Why are you troubling My daughter and bride? I call her daughter, because I created her, and I call her bride, because I redeemed her and have joined her to Myself through My love."

    The devil answered: "I am speaking to her so that she will grow cold in Your service, because I have been given permission."

    The Lord said: "She experienced that last night when you pressed down on her eyes and the rest of her body and would have done worse, if you had been allowed. Instead, each time she resists your intrusions, her rewards will be doubled. However, devil, as you were saying that I would have been consumed long ago, answer Me while she is listening with her physical sense of hearing. Scripture says that, when the people were perishing, a bronze serpent was raised up and everyone who had been bitten was cured upon looking at it. Tell me whether this curative force came from the power of the bronze or the kind of snake or the virtue of Moses or was it a divine and hidden force?"

    The devil answered: "The curative force came from nothing other than God's Own power and from the faith of a believing and obedient people who believed that God, having made all things out of nothing, was also able to do all sorts of things that had never been done before."

    God said again: "Tell Me, devil, whether the staff was made into a serpent because Moses accomplished it or was it because God commanded it? Was it because Moses was holy or was it because God's word said so?"

    The devil said to him: "What was Moses but a human being weak in himself whom God had made righteous? At his word, because God commanded and allowed it, the staff became a serpent, inasmuch as God truly commanded it and Moses was His compliant servant. Prior to God's command and word, the staff remained a staff. When the true God ordered it, the staff truly became a serpent, so much so that even Moses was frightened."

    Then the Lord said to the bride who was watching all this: "This is what is now taking place on the altar. Prior to the sacramental words, the bread on the altar is bread. When the words 'This is My Body' are spoken, the bread becomes the body of Christ that people receive, both the good and the wicked, one person as much as one thousand, according to the same truth but not with the same effect, for the good receive it unto life, while the wicked receive it unto judgment. What the devil said about God being defiled by the impurity of the offering minister is most truly false. It is as though a servant that is a leper were to deliver keys to his master, or if a sick person were to offer medicinal mixtures made from potent herbs, their condition would present no obstacle to the recipient of the service, inasmuch as the objects have the same power in themselves, no matter who brings them. Accordingly, God is not made bad because of the badness of a bad minister nor better because of a good minister, for God is always unchangeable and always the same. The devil spoke truly about this man being about to die soon, though he knew this by means of his natural cunning and through external causes, but he will not be able to snatch him away without My permission.

    "This priest does belong to him, however, unless he reforms himself. There are three reasons for this. The devil said as much when he said that he had stinking limbs and the heart of a dog. He really does stink and is sick with fever, for he has outer warmth but inner coldness, unbearable thirst, slackness of limb, a loathing for bread and a repugnance of every sweetness. He is indeed warm toward the world and cold toward God. He thirsts for carnal pleasure but has a repugnance to the beauty of virtue. He has no taste for God's commands but is full of fervor for everything carnal. It is therefore not strange that My Body holds no other taste for him than that of bread baked in an oven, because he does not meditate on or have any taste for spiritual work, but only for that of the flesh.

    "Once the Agnus Dei has been said, and My Body has been received into his body, the Father's power leaves him and the Son's sweet presence disappears. Once he has taken off the sacred vestments, he no longer has the favor of the Holy Ghost, Who is the bond of unity. Only the form and memory of bread remain for him. However, you should not think that he or any other person is without God, however wicked he or she may be. God leaves him in the sense of not giving him greater consolation, but He remains with him by showing him tolerance and defending him against the devil.

    "Concerning what the devil said about how none of the wise Jews are willing to believe in this, My answer is: The disposition of these Jews is as though they had lost their right eyes. They limp along on both their spiritual feet and are therefore void of wisdom and will remain so till the end. Thus, it is not strange that the devil blinds and hardens their hearts and induces them to shamelessness and to actions that go against faith. Therefore, whenever any such thought regarding the Body of Christ occurs to your mind, have recourse to your spiritual friends and stand firm in the faith, because you may be completely certain that the Body that I assumed from the flesh of the Virgin, which was crucified and now reigns in Heaven, this very same Body is on the altar, and that both the good and the wicked receive it.

    "Just as I showed myself in a different shape to the disciples on the way to Emmaus, and though I was true God and true man when I came to the disciples through locked doors, so too I show Myself beneath a different shape by means of priests so that faith may have its reward and human ingratitude may be revealed.

    "That is no wonder: I am still the same now as when I revealed the power of My divinity by means of fearful signs and portents, and yet the people said at the time, "Let us make gods who can precede us." I also revealed My humanity to the Jews, and they crucified it. I am the same each day on the altar, and they say: 'We are disgusted and solely tried by this food.

    "What greater ingratitude can there be than to try to comprehend God with one's reason and dare to judge the secret counsels and mysteries in God's Own power and possession? Hence, by means of an invisible effect and a visible form, I wish to reveal to the unlearned and humble what the visible form of bread is without the substance of bread, what substance is in its form, what division in form is without substance, and why I endure such indignities and outrages upon My Body. It is in in order that the humble may be exalted and the proud be put to shame."

Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden
Book Four: Chapter Sixty-One