The Mother is speaking to the bride of Christ: "Why are you troubled, my daughter?"
She replies: "Because I am afraid of being sent to hardened sinners."
And the Mother said: "How do you know whether they are hard-hearted or friends of God?"
She said: "I do not know how to discern it. Certainly, I do not dare to judge anyone, for two men were shown to me. The first was very humble and holy in human eyes, whereas the other was prodigal and ambitious. However their intentions and will did not correspond to their deeds. They were terribly frightening to my mind."
The Mother answered: "It is permissible to the mind to make judgments based on clearly visible signs of badness in order to be able to show compassion or to make corrections. However, it is not safe for the mind to make judgments in doubtful and uncertain cases. This is why I want to indicate to you who God's friends are. Know that God's friends are those who receive God's gifts with pious fear, who are always thanking him for them and do not crave unnecessary possessions but content themselves with what they have been given.
"But where are such as these to be found? Let us inquire first among the common people. Who among them says, 'I have enough, I crave nothing more'?
"Let us inquire among the knights and other lords. Which of them thinks as follows: 'I inherited the goods that I have, and I require only a reasonable means of support from them as is appropriate before God and men. I shall share the rest with God and the poor. But if I should discover that my hereditary goods were ill-gotten, then I shall either restore them or submit to the decision of God's chosen spiritual servants.' Such thoughts, my daughter, are rare here on earth.
"Let us also inquire among kings and generals. Who among them is in a commendable state? That man is a king who is like Job in character, like David in humility, like Phinehas in zeal for the law, like Moses in meekness and patience. That man is a general who leads the king's army and forms them for battle; who, like Joshua, has trust in God and pious fear; who, like Joab, seeks the advantage of his lord rather than his own advantage; who, like Judas Maccabees, shows zeal for the law and wants the best for his neighbor.
Such a general is like a unicorn with a sharp horn on its forehead and a precious jewel beneath the horn.
"What does the general's horn represent if not his manly heart with which he should fight vigorously and smite the enemies of the faith? The jewel beneath his horn is the general's divine charity that remains firmly in his heart and renders him agile and invincible in every undertaking. Nowadays, however, generals are more like rampant bucks than unicorns, for they do battle everywhere for the sake of the flesh, not for the sake of their souls or for God.
"Let us inquire, then, among kings. Which of them does not burden his subjects in his pride. Which of them maintains his state according to the revenues of the crown? Who restores the property that the crown retains unjustly? Who is there that takes the time to carry out justice for God's sake? My daughter, would that such kings might appear in the world to give glory to God!
"Let us inquire, moreover, among the clergy who are obliged to love chastity, poverty, and piety. To be sure, they, too, have gone astray. What are priests if not God's poor almsmen? Living on the divine offering, they should be all the humbler and more fervent toward God to the extent in which they have removed themselves from worldly cares. The church rose up from hardship and poverty in the beginning so that God might be their inheritance, and so that they might not glory in the world nor in the flesh but in God.
"But, my daughter, could not God have chosen kings and rulers as apostles, and then the Church would have been enriched through their earthly inheritance? He could have done so, of course, but God Who is rich came into the world as a poor man in order to show that earthly possessions are fleeting, and so that men and women might learn from the Lord's example and not be ashamed of poverty but rather hasten on toward the true riches of Heaven. Thus, He founded the beautiful organization of the Church upon a poor fisherman and put him in his place to live in the world on divine providence and not on an inheritance.
"Thus the Church began with three goods: first, with zealous faith; second, with poverty; third, with the power of virtues and miracles. These three things were found in the blessed apostle Peter. He had zealous faith, when he outspokenly proclaimed his God and did not hesitate to die for Him. He had poverty, too, when he went around begging and feeding himself through manual labor. Yet he showed himself to be rich in spiritual goods, which is more important, when, for example, he gave the lame man the ability to walk (which no prince could do), though he had no silver or gold to give him.
"But could not Peter, who had raised dead persons to life, have obtained gold if he had wanted it? Certainly he could have, but he had unburdened himself from the burden of wealth in order to enter into Heaven unencumbered, and in order that the master of the sheep might give them an example of humility, showing that humility and poverty (whether spiritual or physical) make up the way into Heaven.
"Third, he had the power of miracles, for, apart from his greater miracles, the sick were cured by his very shadow. Because Peter possessed in himself the perfection of virtues - to oneself with necessities - his tongue became the key to Heaven and his name is blessed in Heaven and on earth.
However, those who invoked their own names on earth and loved dung, that is, earthly things, are forgotten on earth and receive a terrifying description in the book of justice.
"Yet God wished to show that the poverty of both Peter and the other saints was not coerced but voluntary. Accordingly, he inspired many souls to give generously to them. However, the saints themselves found their glory more in poverty than in the thorns of wealth. Hence, the greater the poverty they lived in, the more abundantly their devotion increased. Is that strange?
"How could those who had made God their portion and their joy be without Him? Or how could those who sought worldly delights find any delight in God? He was, rather, a poor pilgrim in their eyes. In the course of time, however, in order that God's friends might be more fervent and ready to preach the word of God, and in order that people might know that it is not riches that are bad but only their abuse, temporal goods were granted to the Church under the papacies of Silvester and others. These were for a long time used by the holy men only for their own necessities as well as for those of God's friends and for the sustenance of the poor.
"Know, therefore, that God's friends are those who are content with God's dispensation. Even if they are not known to you, my Son has a keen perception of them. Gold is indeed often found in hard metal, and one can get a spark of fire out of flint. Go on, then, without worrying. Clamoring comes before doing. Not even when my Son was in the flesh did He convert all of Judea at once, nor did the apostles convert the Gentiles once and for all. No, longer time is needed for carrying out the work of God."