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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget


Book Four

Chapter Eighty-One

          In Chapter Eighty-One of Book Four of the Prophesies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, the bride hears the Lord reveal to her about three knights of whom God renders judgment according to each man's heart and works even though Bridget has prayed to God in intercession for mercy. Christ reveals the difference between tears that are meritorious and tears that are not. He shares how love for God grows through meditation on the humility of Christ and His Passion and that He did indeed shed His blood on the cloth, most likely here referring to the Veil of Veronica though it is not specifically identified, however the three knights are as well as their origins. In revealing to the bride the fate of each, He explains filial fear and inital fear and from those, what is necessary for Heaven, what will damn one to hell, and what awaits one who will see neither.

    The Voice speaks to the bride. "That man is like a sack of grain from which one grain is removed but ten are added. The man you are praying for is just like that. He gives up one sin out of fear but adds ten for the sake of worldly esteem. Concerning the second man for whom you are making petitions, I answer you that it is not customary to add expensive seasoning to putrid meat. You may be praying for him to be given bodily tribulation for the good of his soul, but his own will is contrary to your petition. He longs for worldly honors, you see, and desires great wealth rather than spiritual poverty, and sensual pleasure is sweet to him. This is why his soul is putrid and fetid in My sight. Therefore he has no right to the expensive seasoning that consists in the tribulations of justice.

    "Furthermore, concerning the third man in whose eyes you see tears, My answer to you is that you see his body but I behold his heart. Sometimes you see a dark cloud climbing up from the earth and hanging in the sky beneath the sun, bringing on the triple precipitation of rain, snow, and hail. Then the cloud vanishes, for it has arisen out of the impurity of the earth. Every man fed on sin and sensual pleasure up to his old age resembles such a cloud. When old age comes, then he begins to fear death and to think about his danger, yet sin still delights his mind.

    "Thus, as a cloud climbs up in the sky from the impurity of earth, so the conscience of such a man climbs up out of the impurity of the body (the impurity, that is, of sin) to self-examination and gives off three kinds of tears in his own regard. The first tears may be compared to water. They are for the things the man loved carnally, for example, when he loses his friends or temporal goods or his own health. Because he feels bitter about God's plans and the things he allows to happen, he sheds many unwise tears.

    "The second kind of tears can be compared to snow. When a man begins to think about the imminent danger to his body and the pain of death and the misery of hell, then he starts to weep - not from love but from fear. And so, just as snow quickly melts away, such tears, too, melt away quickly.

    "The third kind of tears can be likened to hail. When a man considers how sweet sensual pleasure has been and still is to him, and that he will lose it, and also what great consolation there is in Heaven, then he starts to weep over the price of damnation and of his own loss. He does not bother to weep over the dishonor done to God whenever God loses a soul redeemed by His blood, nor does he care whether he will see God after death or not. He only wants to obtain some dwelling in Heaven or on earth where he will not feel any pain but can have his pleasure forever. Such tears are quite properly compared to hail, for the heart of such a man is exceedingly hard and has no warmth of love for God. Tears such as these do not bring a soul to Heaven.

    "However, I will show you now the tears that do bring a soul to Heaven. They may be compared to dew. Vapor sometimes arises from the sweetness of the earth and ascends in the sky, climbing up just beneath the sun. It turns into moisture through the heat of the sun and descends again to earth, rendering all the things that grow upon the earth fruitful. You call this dew, and it can be seen on the petals of roses, which, exposed to heat, first give off moisture from themselves and then the moisture drips down.

    "This happens, too, in the case of a spiritual man. Each person who meditates on that blessed earth, that is, on the body of Christ, and on those words that Christ Himself uttered, and on the great grace He conferred on the world and the bitter pain He bore, moved by the fire of His love for our souls, then that person's love for God rises up with great sweetness to his brain, which can be likened to the heavenly sky.

    "His heart, which can be compared to the sun, becomes filled with divine warmth, and his eyes with tears, weeping for his offenses against such an infinitely good and kind God, preferring to suffer any kind of pain for the glory of God rather than to have any kind of delight but to be without God.

    "Such tears may well be compared to the falling dew, for they provide the strength to carry out good deeds and lead to fruit in the sight of God. Just as growing flowers attract the falling dew, and the flower is embraced in dew, so too the tears shed out of the love for God enclose God in the soul and God attracts the soul to Himself.

    "However, it is good to be fearful for two reasons. First of all, because such good deeds can be performed out of fear in such a way that they later introduce a spark of grace into the heart and thus obtain charity.

    "You might understand this by way of a similitude. It is as when a goldsmith places pure gold on the scales, and the collier comes and says: 'Sir, I have the coal you need for your work. Pay me the price it is worth.' The goldsmith answers: 'The value of coal is set at a fixed price.' So the goldsmith pays the price in gold and uses the coal he needs for his work, while the collier takes the gold as his means to live on.

    "So it also is in spiritual matters. Deeds done without charity are like coals, and charity is like gold. People who perform good deeds out of fear but with a desire of earning the salvation of their souls through them, even though they do not desire God in heaven but only fear being lodged in hell, still have deeds that are good, albeit cold and like coal in God's sight.

    "God, however, can be compared to the goldsmith. He knows how to reward good deeds with spiritual justice and with what kind of justice the charity of God may be earned. He arranges it so in His providence that, because of good deeds done out of fear, people can be granted the charity that they may use for the salvation of their souls. Accordingly, as the charitable goldsmith makes use of coal in his work, so God makes use of cold deeds for His glory.

    "The second reason why it is good to be fearful is that people will be freed from punishment in hell for all the sins they have omitted out of fear. However, inasmuch as they lack charity, they do not possess the righteousness needed to ascend to Geaven. A person whose will is such that, if he only could, he would want to live forever in the world, does not possess love for God at all. God's deeds are as if it were dark to him. He therefore sins mortally and will be sentenced to hell.

    "Nevertheless, he is not bound to burn in torment but will sit in the shadows, since he omitted sin out of fear. He will not, however, know the joy of Heaven because he did not desire it while he lived. For that reason, he will sit like a blind and deaf man and like a man without hands or feet, because his soul understands the evil of hell, yet very little of the joy that is in Heaven."

EXPLANATION

    This revelation concerns three knights. The first was from Skåne. The following revelation was made concerning him: Lady Bridget saw a soul dressed as it were in twice-dyed scarlet cloth but splattered with a few black spots. As soon as she saw the soul, it vanished from her sight. Again after three days she saw the same soul entirely red and shining with gems like glittering gold. While she was wondering at this, the Spirit of God said: "This soul was held back by worldly cares but possessed true faith. He came for the indulgences obtainable at Rome with the intention of gaining divine charity and favor and with the desire of not sinning knowingly anymore.

    "Your vision of the soul dressed in twice-dyed scarlet cloth means that before the death of his body he did gain divine favor but only imperfectly. That his soul was splattered with black spots means that he felt the pull of physical affection for his parents and the desire to see his homeland. However, he entrusted his entire will to Me. His soul therefore deserved to be cleansed and prepared for more sublime things. The gems glittering against the red color signifies that the soul was approaching its desired reward because of its goodwill as well as because of the effect of the indulgences.

    "See and consider then, my daughter, what good the indulgences of this city do for those people who come here with a holy intention for the sake of those very indulgences. Even if a million years were granted to someone - as indeed they are granted because of the faith and devotion of those who come here - still it would not be enough to earn them divine charity without God's grace. This charity, however, is truly given and earned due to the indulgences that My saints merited with their blood."

    In regard to the second knight in the same revelation, who was from Halland, God's Son says: "What did that pompous windbag tell you? Was it not that many people have doubts about the truth of the relic of My face cloth? Reply firmly to him with the four things I tell you now.

    "The first is that many people lay up treasure but do not know for whom.

    "The second is that every person entrusted with the Lord's talent who does not spend it cheerfully will incur a judgment.

    "The third is that a person who loves land and flesh more than God will not join the company of those who hunger and thirst for justice.

    "The fourth is that every person who does not hearken to others will himself cry out and not be heard.

    "Concerning the relic of My face cloth, have him know that just as the sweat of My blood flowed from My body when My suffering was imminent and I prayed to the Father, so too sweat flowed from My face onto the cloth because of the quality of the woman who prayed to Me and for the solace of future generations."

    The third knight in the same revelation was from Sweden. The following revelation concerns him: "It is written that an unbelieving husband is saved by a believing wife. The wife of this man ran and snatched her husband from the jaws of the devil with her own two hands. She snatched him from the devil with one of her hands, that is, with her tears and prayers and works of mercy. She snatched him with her other hand, that is, with her warnings and example and instruction with the result that he already draws near to the way of salvation.

    "Accordingly, he should consider three things written in the common law. There are three sections in it. One is entitled 'on owning,' another is called 'on selling,' the third is 'on buying.'

    "In the first section on owning, it says that nothing is justly owned unless it is justly acquired. Any acquisition made by means of devious tricks or occasions of malice or at too low a price is not pleasing to God.

    "The second section is called 'on selling.' Sometimes a thing is sold due to poverty or fear, sometimes due to violence or unfair settlements. A person must examine his conscience to see if there is compassion and mercy in his heart.

    "The third section is called 'on buying.' Anyone who wants to buy something should look into the matter to see if the item to be sold has been justly acquired. It is not legally acceptable when something has been acquired by means of unjust exaction. So let this man examine these three matters in his mind.

    "May he understand that he will render an account to Me for everything and especially for the possessions left to him by his parents, if perhaps he has used them more for the world's sake than for God's and beyond their proper use. Have him understand that he will render to Me an account of his knighthood - his intention in receiving it, the way he lived it, and the way he has fulfilled the vow that he vowed to Me."


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