The Gospel of Saint Luke EXPLAINED in The Mystical City of God

The Apostles, as saint Luke says (Acts 2, 2),were also replenished and filled with the Holy Ghost;for they received a wonderful increase of justifying grace of a most exalted degree. The twelve Apostles were confirmed in this sanctifying grace and were never to lose it. In all of them, according to each one’s condition, were infused the habits of the seven gifts :

  • Wisdom
  • Understanding
  • Science
  • Piety
  • Counsel
  • Fortitude
  • Fear

In this magnificent blessing, as new as it was admirable in the world, the twelve Apostles were created fit ministers of the new Testament and founders of the evangelical Church for the whole world: for this new grace and blessing communicated to them a divine strength most efficacious and sweet, which inclined them to practice the most heroic virtue and the highest sanctity.

Thus strengthened they prayed, they labored willingly and accomplished the most difficult and arduous tasks, engaging in their labors not with sorrow or from necessity, but with the greatest joy and alacrity.

In all the rest of the disciples and the faithful, who received the Holy Ghost in the Cenacle, the Most High wrought proportionally and respectively the same effects, except that they were not confirmed in grace like the Apostles. According to the disposition of each the gifts of grace were communicated in greater or less abundance in view of the ministry they were to hold in the holy Church. The same proportion was maintained in regard to the Apostles; yet saint Peter and saint John were more singularly favored on account of the high offices assigned to them : the one to govern the Church as its head, and the other to attend upon and serve the Queen and Mistress of heaven and of earth, most holy Mary.

The sacred text of saint Luke says, that the Holy Ghost filled the whole house in which this happy congregation was gathered (Acts 2, 7), not only because all of them were filled with the Holy Ghost and his admirable gifts, but because the house itself was filled with wonderful light and splendor.

This plenitude of wonders and prodigies overflowed and communicated itself also to others outside of the Cenacle; for it caused diverse and various effects of the Holy Spirit among the inhabitants of Jerusalem and its vicinity. All those, who with some piety had compassioned our Savior Jesus in His Passion and Death, deprecating His most bitter torments and reverencing His Sacred Person, were interiorly visited with new light and grace, which disposed them afterwards to accept the doctrine of the Apostles.

Those that were converted by the first sermon of saint Peter, were to a great extent of the number of those who, by their compassion and sorrow at the death of the Lord, had merited for themselves such a great blessing.

 

Others of the just who were in Jerusalem outside of the Cenacle, also felt great interior consolations, by which they were moved and predisposed by new effects of grace wrought in each one proportionately by the Holy Ghost.

 

Not less wonderful, although more hidden, were some contrary effects produced on that day by the Holy Ghost in Jerusalem. By the dreadful thunders and violent commotion of the atmosphere and the lightnings accompanying his advent, He disturbed and terrified the enemies of the Lord in that city, each one according to his own malice and perfidy.

This chastisement was particularly evident in those who had actively concurred in procuring the death of Christ, and who had signalized themselves in their rabid fury against Him. All these fell to the ground on their faces and remained thus for three hours. Those that had scourged the Lord were suddenly choked in their own blood, which shot forth from their veins in punishment for shedding that of the Master.

 

The audacious servant, who had buffeted the Lord, not only suddenly died, but was hurled into hell body and soul. Others of the Jews, although they did not die, were chastised with intense pains and abominable sicknesses.

 

These disorders, consequent upon shedding the blood of Christ, descended to their posterity and even to this day continue to afflict their children with most horrible impurities. This chastisement became notorious in Jerusalem, although the priests and pharisees diligently sought to cover it up, just as they had tried to conceal the Resurrection of the Savior. As these events, how ever, were not so important, neither the Apostles nor the Evangelists wrote about them, and in the confusion of the city the multitude soon forgot them.

 

 

The chastisement and terror extended also to the depths of hell, where the demons felt themselves seized with new confusion and oppression for three days, just as the Jews lay on the earth for three hours.

During these three days Lucifer and his demons broke forth in fearful howlings, communicating new terror and confusion of torments to all the damned. O ineffable and powerful Spirit! The holy Church calls Thee the finger of God, because Thou proceedest from the Father and the Son, as the finger from the arm and the body; but on this occasion it was manifested to me, that Thou holdest the same infinite power with the Father and the Son. Through thy sovereign presence the heaven and the earth are moved by such opposite effects in all its inhabitants at one and the same time; but they are similar to those, that will happen at the last judgment.

The saints and the just Thou fillest with thy grace, thy gifts and thy ineffable consolations; and the impious and the proud Thou chastisest and overwhelmest with confusion and pain. Truly I see here fulfilled what Thou sayest through the mouth of David; that Thou art a God of vengeance and workest freely, dealing out retribution to the wicked, in order that they may not glory in their unjust malice nor say in their heart that Thou failest in perception or judgment while reproving and chastising their sins (Ps.93, 1).

 

Let the insipid of this world then understand, and let the foolish be warned, that the Most High knows the vain thoughts of men ; that if He is liberal and most kind to the just, He is also rigid in punishing the impious and the wicked (Ps. 93, 11). It was befitting that the Holy Ghost should show Himself to be the one as well as the other on this occasion; for He proceeded from the incarnate Word, who had assumed human nature for the sake of men, who had died for their salvation, and had suffered ignominies and torments without opening his mouth or seeking retribution for those insults and offenses. In coming down into this world it was just that the Spirit should be zealous for the honor of that same incarnate Word ; though He did not punish all his enemies, yet He indicated in the punishment of the most wicked, what all the others deserved, who, in their stubborn perfidy had despised Him, if by the respite allowed them, they did not return to truth in heartfelt penance.

It was also befitting, that the few, who had received the Word and had followed Him as their Master and Redeemer, and those who were to preach his faith and doctrine, be rewarded and furnished with the proper means for establishing the Church and the evangelical law.

 

The Apostle says, that leaving one‘s father and mother and uniting oneself with a wife (as also Moses had said), is a great sacrament in Christ and the Church (Gen. 2, 24; Ephes. 5, 32), because He descended from the bosom of the Father in order to unite Himself with it in his humanity.

Since then Christ came down from heaven in order to be with his spouse, the Church, it follows that the Holy Ghost came down on account of the most holy Mary, who was not less his Spouse than Christ was of the Church, and who was not less beloved by Him than the Church was beloved of Christ.

 

INSTRUCTION WHICH THE GREAT QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND OUR LADY GAVE ME

My daughter, in small esteem and thankfulness do the children of the Church hold this blessing of the Most High, by which, in addition to sending of His Son as their Master and Redeemer, He sent also the Holy Ghost into His Church. So great was the love, by which He sought to draw them to Himself, that, in order to make them sharers of His Divine perfections, He sent them first the Son, WHO IS WISDOM (John 3, 16) and afterwards the Holy Ghost, WHO IS LOVE, so that all might be enriched in the manner in which they were capable.

 

The Divine Spirit, in coming for the first time upon the Apostles and the others gathered with them, intended it as a pledge and testimony, that He would confer the same favor on the rest of the children of the Church, of light and of the Gospel, and that He was ready to communicate His gifts to all, if all will dispose themselves toward receiving them.

In witness to this truth the Holy Ghost came upon many of the faithful in visible form and with visible effects (Acts 8, 17; 10, 44; 11, 15), because they were truly faithful servants, humble and sincere, pure and ready of heart to receive Him. Also in our times He comes to many just souls, although not with such open manifestations, because it is neither necessary nor proper. The interior effects and gifts are all of the same nature, acting according to the disposition and state of the one who receives them.

 

Blessed is the soul which sighs and aspires after this blessing and seeks to participate in this divine fire, which enkindles, enlightens and consumes all that is terrestrial and carnal, which purifies and raises it up to a new existence, union and participation with God Himself.

 

This happiness, as thy true and loving Mother, I desire for thee, my daughter, and in order that thou mayest attain it in its fullness, I again exhort thee to prepare thy heart by seeking to preserve inviolable tranquility and peace in all that may happen to thee.

 

The divine clemency wishes to raise thee to a habitation very exalted and secure, where the torments of thy spirit shall come to an end and whither the assaults neither of the world nor of hell can reach ; where in thy own repose the Lord shall rest and find in thee a worthy dwelling-place and a temple of His glory. Thou shalt not escape the attacks and temptations, directed against thee by the dragon with the most cunning astuteness ; but do thou live in continued wariness, lest thou be disturbed or disquieted in the interior of thy soul. Guard thy treasures in secret ; enjoy the delights of the Lord, the sweet effects of His chaste love, the influences of His Holy science; for in this regard He has singled thee out from many generations in utmost liberality.

 

Take heed then of thy calling and assure thyself, that the Most High offers thee anew the participation and communication of His Divine Spirit and His gifts. Remember however, that when He confers them, He does not take away the freedom of thy will ; for He ever leaves the election of good or evil to its free arbitrament.

 

Hence, trusting in the divine favor, thou must efficaciously resolve to imitate me in the works shown to thee of my life and thou must never hinder the effects and the operations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In order that thou mayest understand better this my doctrine, I will explain to thee the effects of all his seven gifts.

 

The first one, which is the gift of Wisdom, fills the mind with the knowledge and the delight of divine things and moves the heart to a sincere love toward the practice and exercise of all that is good, all that is best, most perfect and agreeable in the eyes of the Lord.With this impulse thou must concur, yielding thyself entirely to the pleasure of his divine will and despising all that might hinder thee, no matter how pleasant it may seem to thy inclinations or alluring to thy appetite.

 

Wisdom is aided by the second gift, that of Intellect,which gives special light to penetrate profoundly into the object presented to the understanding. With this gift thou must co-operate by diverting and turning aside thy attention and thoughts from all the bastard and foreign objects of knowledge, which the demon either by himself or through other creatures shall present to thy mind in order to distract it and prevent it from penetrating deeply into the truth of divine things.

 

This kind of distraction greatly embarrasses the mind, for the two kinds of knowledge are incompatible with each other, and whenever the limited faculties of man are divided into their attention to many objects, they enter into them less and attend less, than if all their operations were riveted on one alone. In this is evident the truth of what the Gospel says : that no one can serve two masters (Matth. 6, 24). When the whole attention of the soul has thus been riveted on understanding the good,Fortitude, the third gift, is necessary, in order to execute resolutely all that the understanding has perceived as most holy, perfect and agreeable before the Lord.

 

The difficulties and hindrances in the pursuit of the good are to be overcome by Fortitude, making the creature ready to suffer whatever labor or pain, in order not to be deprived of the true and highest Good it has come to know.  But it often happens, that natural ignorance and doubt added to temptation withhold the creature from following out the conclusions and consequences of the divine truth, and thus create hindrances in the execution of what is more perfect.

 

Hence, against the false prudence of the flesh, God furnishes the fourth gift, that of Science, which gives light to distinguish between different kinds of good, teaches the most certain and secure way, and decides upon it, when necessary.

 

To this is joined the gift of Piety, the fifth, which inclines the soul with sweet urgency to all that is truly pleasing and acceptable to the Lord and to what is of real spiritual benefit to the one executing it. It inclines the creatures to these things not through the natural passions, but by holy, perfect and virtuous motives.

 

Then, in order that man may be guided by high prudence, the sixth gift, that of Counsel, supports his understanding, in order that he may act with precision and without temerity; weighing the means and taking counsel with himself and with others discreetly for gaining honest and holy ends by the selection of the proper means. To all these is added Fear, the last, which guards and sets the seal upon all of them.

This gift inclines the heart to fly and avoid all that is imperfect, dangerous or alien to the virtues and perfections of the soul, thus serving as a wall of defense.It is necessary to understand the object and the manner of this holy Fear, lest it grow excessive and cause the creature to fear, where there is no occasion. Such has often happened to thee through the astuteness of the serpent, when, under guise of holy Fear, the devil entangled thee in an inordinate liking for the blessings of the Lord. But by this instruction thou art now informed how thou must exercise in thee the gifts of the Most High and prepare thyself for them. I remind and admonish thee, that this science of holy Fear is the accompaniment of the favors communicated to thee by the Most High, and that it fills the soul with sweetness, peace and tranquility.

 

It enables the creature properly to estimate and appreciate the gifts, which come from the powerful hand of the Almighty; neither are any of them unimportant, nor does this Fear hinder a proper estimate of these gifts. It induces the soul to give thanks with all its powers and to humiliate itself to the dust. In under standing these truths without error and in suppressing the cowardly fear of slaves, thou shalt be filled with filial Fear, which, as thy guiding star, will help thee to navigate securely in this ocean of tears.