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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget

Book Four

Chapter Eighty-Seven

          In Chapter Eighty-Seven of Book Four of the Prophesies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Christ returns and resumes His metaphor of the body and how Bridget can keep her body beautiful and unblemished. He compares parts of the flesh in a spiritual sense to the perfect love of God and of neighbor, especially the friends of God. He explains how the arms enfold Him and keep Him close to our own hearts, warmed by the fire of His unending Divine Love. The ribs are our very own parents, just as Eve was taken from the rib of Adam, and the skin that covers us represents our neighbor and will be radiant if we love our neighbor, and wilt if we do not. He concludes what the bride should do in a spiritual way is compared to what the phoenix does in a physical way, that is, to collect wood and burn herself up without burning away for the fire then will burn brighter and not be extinguished for she will rise above worldly things.

    The Son speaks to the bride: "I told you earlier that you should have limpid eyes in order to see the evil you have done and the good you have neglected to do.

    "Let your mouth, that is, your mind, be clean of all evil. Its lips are the two desires you should have: the desire to give everything up for My sake and the will to remain with Me. These lips should be red in color, for red is the most becoming of colors and can be seen from farthest away.

    "Color signifies beauty, and all beauty is found in the virtues, because it is more acceptable to God when someone offers that which he or she loves the most and that which is more spiritually edifying for others.

    "Therefore, whether in affections or with deeds, a person should give to God that which he or she holds dearest. It can be read that God rejoiced when His work was completed.

    "God rejoices, too, whenever a person offers his or her whole self up to him with the intention of living according to God's will whether in suffering or in joy.

    "Your arms should be flexible and agile with respect to God's honor.

    "The left arm represents the contemplation of My favors and the good I have done for you by creating and redeeming you, as well as of your own ingratitude toward Me.

    "The right arm is a love so fervent for Me that you would rather suffer torment than lose Me or provoke Me to anger.

    "Willingly I take My rest between these two arms, and your heart shall be My heart, for I am like a fire of divine love, and I want to be loved fervently there in your arms.

    "The ribs that protect your heart are your parents - not your natural parents but My chosen ones whom you should love like Me and more than you love your own parents. They are truly your parents, for they have caused you to be born again to life eternal.

    "The skin of the soul should be so beautiful as not to have any blemish. The skin here stands for your every neighbor whom, if you love him as yourself, My love and the love of My saints is kept inviolate. However, if you hate him, then your heart gets injured and your ribs are stripped away, that is, the love of My saints will become smaller in you. Your skin should be without a blemish, for you ought not to hate your neighbor but to love everyone according to God's will, for then My whole heart will be with your heart.

    "I was saying to you earlier that I want to be loved fervently, for I am like a fire of divine love. There are three marvelous things about My fire.

    "First, it burns but is never enkindled; second, it is never extinguished; third, it burns but is never consumed.

    "In this way, My love for humankind existed from the beginning in My divine nature. When I assumed My human nature, it burned even more. It burns so intensely that it is never extinguished but renders the soul fervent, not consuming her but strengthening her ever more.

    You may gather this from the example of the phoenix. In old age she gathers wood on a high mountain. Then, once the wood is set aflame from the heat of the sun, she throws herself into the fire and, having thus died, comes back to life through that very fire. So too the soul, set aflame by the fire of divine charity, emerges from it like the phoenix better and stronger than ever."

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