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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget

Book Four

Chapter Sixty-Six

          In Chapter Sixty-Six of Book Four of the Prophesies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, the Blessed Virgin Mary continues to impart wisdom to the bride, this time using the brief analogy of a sluice gate, where a water channel is controlled by a gate. The sluice gate is our conscience, and Our Lady advises Bridget that it is alright to possess temporal goods so that some water seeping through is not bad as long as we do not flood our passions imprudently. The sluice gate governs how we will filter out the bad by letting it flow out into the lower regions of carnal desires, where we banish it from our minds, whereas the upper water we keep by damming up our concupiscence through relying on the inspirations of God and the words of the saints to block out the rush of temptations. This monitoring is vital in this time when there are so few safeguards for souls so vulnerable to the world, the flesh and the devil.

    The Mother speaks: "What harm does it do if someone's clothes get poked by a needle or a bit of iron so long as the skin is not injured?

    "In the same way, a prudent possession of temporal goods does no harm, provided that the desire to possess them is not disordered. Therefore, examine your heart to ensure that your intention is good, because the words of God must be spread to others through you.

    "As the sluice gate of a water-mill blocks the water and then lets it flow whenever necessary, so too you must carefully examine the various thoughts and temptations occurring to you in order to get rid of vain and worldly ideas, while keeping continously in mind divine ones. It is written, you know, that the lower waters flowed downward but the upper waters stood like a wall.

    "The lower waters stand for carnal thoughts and useless desires. These should just flow off without attracting any attention.

    "The upper waters stand for the inspirations of God and the words of the saints. These should remain in your heart like steadfast walls that no temptations can batter away from your heart."

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