The Science of the Saints in the Passion of the Church

posted on : september 18, 2020  by : evensong
“This is the great science of the saints, so little heeded by the worldly . . .
In this science I wish thee to be studious and wise,
for with it thou canst buy thyself all good things.”
(Blessed Virgin Mary, Mystical City of God)

Our Most Blessed Mother gave us, through Venerable Mother Maria de Agreda beautiful and useful meditations for precisely this time in history. She referred to her teaching as “the science of the saints”.

My Son and Lord taught us this science when He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no one cometh to my Father except through Me” (John 14, 6). Tell me then, my daughter: if my Lord and Master has made Himself the life and the way for men through His Passion and Death, is it not evident that in order to go that way and live up to this truth, they must follow Christ crucified, afflicted, scourged and affronted? Consider the ignorance of men who wish to come to the Father without following Christ, since they expect to reign with God without suffering or imitating His Passion, yea without even a thought of accepting any part of His suffering and Death, or of thanking Him for it.

They want it to procure for them the pleasures of this life as well as of eternal life, while Christ their Creator has suffered the most bitter pains and torments in order to enter heaven and to show them by His example how they are to find the way of light. . . I do not count him a devoted child who does not suffer with me and my divine Son.

But our love for the eternal salvation of men obliges us, who see them forgetful of this truth and so adverse to suffering, to send them labors and punishments, so that if they do not freely welcome them, they may at least be forced to undergo them and so be enabled to enter upon the way of salvation.

And yet even all this is insufficient, since their inclinations and their blind love of visible things detains them and makes them hard and heavy of heart; they rob them of remembrance and affection toward these higher things, which might raise them above themselves and above created things. Hence it comes, that men do not find joy in their tribulations, nor rest in their labors, nor consolation in their sorrows, nor any peace in adversities.

For, altogether different from the saints who glory in tribulation as the fulfillment of their most earnest desires, they desire none of it and abhor all that is painful. In many of the faithful this ignorance goes still farther; for some of them expect to be distinguished by God’s most intimate love, others, to be pardoned without penance, others, to be highly favored.

Nothing of all this will they attain, because they do not ask in the name of Christ the Lord and because they do not wish to imitate Him and follow Him in his Passion.

Therefore, my daughter, embrace the Cross and do not admit any consolation outside of it in this mortal life. By contemplating and feeling within thyself the sacred Passion thou wilt attain the summit of perfection and attain the love of a spouse. Bless and magnify my most holy Son for the love with which He delivered Himself up for the salvation of mankind.

I wish also that thou lament with great sorrow the fact that Judas, in his malice and treachery, has many more followers than Christ. Many are the infidels, many the bad Catholics, many the hypocrites, who under the name of a Christian, sell and deliver Him and wish to crucify Him anew. Bewail all these evils, which thou understandest and knowest, in order that thou mayest imitate and follow me in this matter.

 

The above are instructions given by Our Blessed Mother to Mother Maria de Agreda to assist her in understanding what follows. As we read Mother’s account of the events which followed upon Our Lord’s tender and loving Last Supper with His beloved disciples, we will note the way they parallel the events we see now in the Passion of the Church. As Christ was taken captive by the followers of satan, so has the papacy fallen under the control of the ancient adversary. The following passages are most pertinent to our present and very near future times.

We now will see that Our Lord’s prophecy at the Last Supper, that all of the Apostles would be greatly scandalized in His Person (Matt. 26, 31) and that satan would attack them in order to sift them like wheat, was fulfilled.

When they saw their divine Master taken prisoner and when they perceived, that neither His meekness, nor His words so full of sweetness and power, nor His miracles, nor His doctrine exemplified by such an unblamable life, could appease the envy of the priests and pharisees, they fell into great trouble and affliction. Naturally the fear of personal danger diminished their courage and confidence in the counsels of their Master, and beginning to wander in their faith, each one became possessed with anxious thoughts as to how he could escape the threatening persecutions foreshadowed by what had happened to their Captain and Master.

The Apostles, availing themselves of the preoccupation of the soldiers and servants in binding and fettering the meek Lamb of God, betook themselves to flight unnoticed. Certainly their enemies, if they had been permitted by the Author of life, would have captured all the Apostles, especially if they had seen them fly like cowards or criminals.

But it was not proper that they should be taken and made to suffer at that time. This was clearly indicated as the will of the Lord, when He said: that if they sought Him, they should let his companions go free; these words had the force of a divine decree and were verified in the event.

 

“Let these go their way.”

“Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way”.(John 18,8) In this, we see the lenience of Our Lord, allowing His craven priests and bishops to “go their way”, until their time is come. Mother Maria de Agreda explains that Lucifer “wished to see the doctrine of the Savior and all His disciples blotted out from the world, so that not even the memory of them be left. Hence he would have been well satisfied, if the Jews had imprisoned and killed them all.”

The narrative continues to describe Lucifer’s reasoning thus,

“…  if he could weaken them now, he could more easily cause them to fall away entirely by subsequent persecutions . . .  When therefore he saw the Apostles filled with cowardly fear and much disturbed by the sorrow of their hearts, he rejoiced in their evil plight and considered it the best time to begin his temptations. He assailed them with rabid fury, filling them with strong doubts and suspicions against the Master of life and urging them to give Him up and betake themselves to flight. They easily yielded to his suggestions of flight; but they resisted many of the doubts against faith, although some failed more, some less, not all of the Apostles being equally disturbed or scandalized. . .

In the soul of each one of the eleven Apostles raged a battle of sorrow and grief, which wrung their hearts and left them without consolation or the least rest. On the one side battled reason, grace, faith, love and truth; on the other temptation, suspicion, fear, cowardice and sorrow. Reason and truth reproached them with their inconstancy and disloyalty in having forsaken their Master by cowardly flying from danger, after having been warned of it and after having offered themselves so shortly before to die for Him if necessary.

Their conviction that He was true God, urged them to return and seek Him, and to offer themselves to danger and death like faithful servants and disciples. To all this was joined the memory of His most sweet Mother, the consideration of her intense sorrow, and the desire to seek Her and attend upon Her in her trouble. But on the other hand was their timidity, exaggerating their fears of the Jews, their dread of death, of shame and confusion. In regard to seeking the company of the sorrowful Mother, they feared lest She would oblige them to return to their Master, and lest they should be more easily found if they stayed with Her in the same house.

Dreadful above all were the impious and horrible suggestions of the demons. For the dragon filled them with harassing doubts, . . .  that, if their Master could not free Himself, much less could He free them from the hands of the priests; that He would now certainly be put to death, and that therefore all ties between Him and them were dissolved, since they would not see Him any more; that, although His life seemed to be blameless, yet He had taught some very hard doctrines, some of them unheard of until that time, whence He had incurred the hatred of those learned in the law and of the priests, as well as the indignation of all the people. Moreover it was a serious matter to follow a Man, who was to be condemned to an infamous and frightful death.

Such was the interior contention and strife in the hearts of the Apostles. Satan under cover of this excitement, continually sought to instill into their minds doubts concerning the teachings of Christ and concerning the prophecies, that treated of the mysteries of His Passion.

As in their sad interior conflict they failed to see the least assurance of seeing their Master escape the hands of the priests alive, their fears settled into a profound sorrow and melancholy, in which they decided to fly from the danger and save their own lives.

 

The Role of Our Blessed Mother in the Passion

Mother Maria de Agreda then begins to tell of the Most Blessed Virgin Mother’s role in this, as from the Cenacle, she clearly saw all that happened, inwardly and outwardly to her Divine Son and to her children, the Apostles:

“She observed their tribulation and temptations, their thoughts and resolves, where each one was and what he did. But although all was known to the most gentle Dove, She allowed Herself no feeling of indignation against the Apostles, nor did She ever in the least reproach them for their disloyalty; on the contrary, She was the One, who was principally instrumental in restoring them to a better mind, as I shall show later on.

From that hour on She commenced to pray for them. In sweetest charity and with the compassion of a Mother, She interiorly addressed them:

“0 ye simple sheep, chosen by the Lord, do ye forsake your most loving Pastor, who cares for you and feeds you on the pastures of eternal life ? Why, being disciples of such a truthful doctrine, do you leave your Benefactor and Master? How can you forget the sweet and loving intercourse, which so attracted your hearts? Why do you listen to the master of lies and follow the ravenous wolf, who seeks your ruin?

“O most patient and sweetest Lord, how meek, and kind and merciful does the love of men make Thee! Extend thy gentle love to this little flock, which is now troubled and dispersed by the fury of the serpent. Do not deliver over to the beasts those souls, who have confessed Thy name (Ps. 73, 19). Great hopes hast Thou set in those, whom Thou hast chosen as thy servants and through whom Thou hast already accomplished great things. Let not such graces be in vain, nor reject those whom Thou hast freely chosen for the foundations of Thy Church. Let not Lucifer glory in having, beneath Thy very eyes, vanquished the best of Thy family and household.

“My Son and Lord, look upon Thy beloved disciples John, Peter and James, so much favored by Thy love and good will. Turn an eye of clemency also upon the rest, crush the pride of the dragon, which now pursues them with implacable fury.”

We see here Our Lady’s intercession for the Apostles which is now continuing in her loving intercession for the Church, both laity and priests. In all this, Our Dear Lord’s love for His Mother and for us is never-failing. He does hear her pleadings and ours as well, when we are her faithful children as He asked us to be.

In all that most holy Mary did on this occasion and in the pleasure She caused the Almighty by her holiness, She exceeded in grandeur all that was ever possible in men and angels. Over and above the sensible and spiritual sorrows caused by the torments of her divine Son and the affronts perpetrated against His divine Person (for which the blessed Mother entertained the highest veneration attainable by a creature), She was overwhelmed with the sorrow caused by the fall of the Apostles, the greatness of which She alone could properly estimate.

She was obliged to witness their weakness and forgetfulness in the face of His divine favors, His doctrines and exhortations, and in so short a time after the last Supper, when He had warned them so lovingly, given them holy Communion and elevated them to such a high dignity as the priesthood.

She saw also the danger of their falling into even greater sins on account of the astute and furious attacks of Lucifer and his demons, and on account of the heedlessness of the Apostles in their greater or less confusion and fear. Yet notwithstanding this great sea of sorrow She multiplied and intensified her petitions in order to merit for them sufficient assistance and speedy pardon from her Son, so that they might again return to their faith and to His friendship in grace.

She alone was the powerful and efficacious instrument of these results. During these hours the great Lady united within Herself all the faith, all the holiness, all the worship and divine cult of the Church; for in Her was preserved and enclosed as in the living and incorruptible ark and as in the temple and sanctuary, the evangelical law and sacrifice. She by Herself alone then constituted the entire Church, because She alone preserved full faith, hope and love, complete worship and adoration for the great object of our faith, not only supplying her full share for Herself, but for the Apostles and for the whole human race.

She it was who compensated, as far as was possible to a creature, for the deficiencies and faults in the rest of the mystical members of the Church. She performed heroic acts of faith, hope, love toward Her Son and true God, She venerated and adored Him by her prostrations and genuflections, She blessed Him with wonderful songs of praise, not allowing her deep and bitter sorrow to interfere with the beautiful and harmonious disposition and the full operation of all her faculties, as preordained by the Almighty.

From: “The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes”, Venerable Maria de Agreda, Veritatis Splendor Publications, Kindle Edition.

Please prayerfully reread the above! May you all be given the grace to understand the reason for Our Lord’s insistence that we devote ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of His most Blessed Mother. In the above narrative dictated by Our Lady to Mother Maria de Agreda many centuries ago, we see more clearly than ever before, the strength, patience and wisdom of the Immaculata, Mother of the Apostles, Mother of the Church, Mother of Priests. With her Rosary, this Mother of Wisdom teaches us the Science of the Saints and of the Martyrs.

This essay is intended also to encourage us to join with Our Lady, interceding for our leaders, both the lay leaders of traditional Catholics and our priests and bishops who have, like the Apostles wandered afar, and many of whom have allowed their faith to become tepid to the extent that they have busied themselves with worldly remedies.

This time is our own Via Dolorosa and we accompany our Sorrowful Mother who sees all that is happening while never taking her eyes from her Divine Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. We are not even within sight of the end, but take heart, for we know the victory has been given to these two Hearts!

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

 ✝︎  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
 ✝︎  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
 ✝︎  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
 ✝︎  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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