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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget

Book Four

Chapter Sixty-Nine

          In Chapter Sixty-Nine of Book Four of the Prophesies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Our Lord points out the analogy of the good conduct and good deeds of the clergy to clear, refreshing spring water and a priest's bad conduct and bad deeds to filthy, brutish water in a short soliquy to the bride on what pleases him in His sacerdotes and what displeases Him. He likens a bad priest to one of a leper who scoops up clean water from the brook, but in his infectious hand it becomes dirty, fetid and loses its purities, thus being of no good to anyone. This equates to pride and concupiscence when a priest, who has taken vows betrays God's trust in him and often can cause scandal, leaving his conduct and deeds to be washed down the drain into the devil's sewer for the evil spirit wallows in the sludge as he invites God's chosen ones to dabble in the fetid waters of the world, the flesh and the devil.

    The Son speaks: "You can tell that water from a spring is not good, depending on three things. First, if the water does not have the proper color; second, if it is muddy; third, if it is always stagnant and not in motion, letting in dirt but not getting rid of it.

    "By these waters, I have in mind the conduct and hearts of the clergy. In the goodness of their conduct, they should be like springwater that is sweet to drink, impervious to all the dirt of vice.

    "Therefore, a priest's proper color is true humility. The more he sees himself as obliged to work for God, the more he will humble himself in thought and deed.

    "The devil's color is found wherever there is pride. Pride is like a leprous hand scooping up water from a spring and making the water itself seem repulsive to those watching. In the same way, a priest's pride shows his works to be defiled.

    "The water is muddy if a priest is greedy and not content with the necessities of life. When he is anxious he is useless to himself and harmful to others through the example of his greed.

    "Third, the water is unclean when it lets in but does not rid itself of any dirt. This arises both from its outlet being closed and because it has no motion.

    "A priest is thus unclean when he loves carnal pleasures in his heart and body and does not get rid of the unclean things that occur to him. Blemishes anywhere on the body are ugly but especially so on the face.

    "In the same way, impurity should be hateful to everyone but especially to those who are called to higher things. Accordingly, those priests should be chosen for My work who are not full of verbose knowledge but of humility and purity, who behave well in themselves and teach others by word and example.

    "Even a leprous hand is useful for my work, provided the mind is good and the spiritual hand is not lacking."

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