174. The Sermon of the Mount. The Beatitudes (Part Five). Encounter with the Magdalene.
29th May 1945.
It is a glorious morning and the air is clearer than usual. Distances seem to be shortened and remote things seem to be seen through a magnifying lens so clear and neat are the least details. The crowds are getting ready to listen to the Master. Day by day the country is becoming more beautiful in its luxurious dress at the height of the springtime season, which in Palestine I think is at end of March and beginning of April, because later it has the look typical of summertime, with ripe crops and thick fully developed foliage.
The whole country is now in bloom. From the height of the mountain, which is adorned with its own flowers even in spots which would appear least suitable for blossom growth, one can see the flexuous corn undulating down in the plain, blown by the breeze making it look like sea-green waves, with a pale golden hue at the top of the ears now seeding in their bristly awns. The fruit trees, completely covered with petals stand straight above the crops undulating in the light breeze, and look like as many huge Powder-puffs or balls of white, pale pink, dark pink, bright red gauze. The olive-trees by contrast, in their dress of penitent ascetics seem to be praying and their prayers are already changing into a tentative snowfall of tiny white flowers.
The top of Mount Hermon is like pink alabaster and is kissed by the sun. Two diamond threads - they look like threads from here - run down from the alabaster top twinkling in an unbelievable fashion in the sun, and disappear into the green woods; they appear once again down in the valley where they form water-courses which flow towards Lake Merom, which cannot be seen from here. They then flow out with the beautiful waters of the Jordan and later drop into the light sapphire sea of Galilee, which twinkles like chips of precious stones set in and lit up by the sun. The sails moving on the lake, calm and splendid in its frame of gardens and wonderful countryside, seem driven by small light clouds sailing in the sea of the sky.
Nature really seems to be smiling in this early hour of a spring day.
And the crowds throng incessantly. They come up from all directions: old, healthy, sick, children and young couples who wish to start their married life with the blessing of God's word. There are beggars and wealthy people who call the apostles and give them offerings for those who are poor and they are so anxious to find a concealed place in which to do it that they seem to be going to confession. Thomas has taken one of the travelling bags and calmly pours all the money into it as if it were chicken-feed, and then takes it to the rock where Jesus is speaking, and he laughs happily saying: « Rejoice, Master! You have enough for everybody today! »
Jesus smiles and says: « And we shall start at once, so that those who are sad may be happy immediately. You and your companions will select the poor and sick people and bring them here. »
That takes a comparatively short time, although they have to listen to the cases of many people and it would have taken much longer without the practical help of Thomas, who, standing on a stone to be seen by everybody, shouts in his powerful voice: « All those suffering from physical trouble go to my right hand side, over there, in the shade. » The Iscariot follows his example as he, too, is gifted with an exceptionally powerful and beautiful voice, and he shouts: « And all those who think they are entitled to alms should come here near me. And make sure you are not telling lies because the eyes of the Master can read your hearts. »
The crowds start moving about to form three groups: those who are sick, those who are poor, and those who are anxious only to hear Jesus teaching.
But two people, and then three of the last group seem to be in need of something which is neither health nor money, but is more necessary than both: a woman and two men. They look at the apostles but dare not speak. The severe looking Simon Zealot passes by; also Peter passes by; he is busy speaking to a dozen little children to whom he promises some olives if they keep quiet until the end of the sermon, and a thrashing if they disturb while the Master is speaking; the elderly grave Bartholomew passes by; Matthew and Philip pass carrying a cripple who would have to struggle too much to open his way through the crowd; also the cousins of the Lord pass by helping an almost blind beggar and a very old poor woman - I wonder how old she is - who weeps telling James all her troubles; James of Zebedee passes by holding in his arms a poor girl, who is certainly ill, and whom he has taken from her mother to ensure that she does not get hurt by the crowds, while the panting mother follows him; the last to pass by are Andrew and John, whom I would call the indivisible ones, because while John, in his serene simplicity of a holy child, is willing to go with his companions, Andrew, on account of his reservedness, prefers going with his old fishing companion and fellow disciple of the Baptist. They had stayed at the junction of the two main paths, to show people to their places, but there being no more pilgrims on the stony path of the mountain, the two have come together to go to the Master with the last offerings received.
Jesus is already bending over sick people and the hosannas of the crowds punctuate each miracle.
The woman, who appears to be completely distressed, dares to pull John's tunic, while he is speaking to Andrew and she smiles.
He bends and asks her: « What do you want, woman? »
« I would like to speak to the Master… »
« Are you not well? You are not poor… »
« I am well and I am not poor. But I need Him… because there are evils without any fever and there is misery without poverty and mine… mine… » and she weeps.
« Listen, Andrew. This woman is sick in heart and would like to speak to the Master. What shall we do? »
Andrew looks at the woman and says: « It is certainly something which is painful to tell… » The woman nods assent. Andrew goes on: « Do not weep… John, try and take her behind our shed. I will take the Master there. »
And John, smiling, begs people to let him pass, while Andrew goes in the opposite direction towards Jesus.
But they are noticed by two distressed men, and one of them stops John, and the other Andrew, and shortly afterwards they are both with John and the woman behind the shed of branches which is part of the tent.
Andrew reaches Jesus when the Latter is curing the cripple who raises his crutches like two trophies, as brisk as a skilled dancer, shouting his blessing. Andrew whispers: « Master, behind our shed there are three people weeping. But it is their hearts that ache and their grief cannot be made known… »
« All right. I still have this girl and this woman. Then I will come.
Go and tell them to have faith. »
Andrew goes away while Jesus is bending over the little girl who is being held once again by her mother. « What is your name? » Jesus asks her.
« Mary. »
« And what is My name? »
« Jesus » replies the child.
« And Who am I? »
« The Messiah of the Lord Who has come to bring good to bodies and souls. »
« Who told you? »
« My mother and father who hope in you for my life. »
« Live and be good. »
The child, whose spine I think was affected by a disease, because although she is about seven years old, and perhaps older, she only moved her hands and was all enveloped in thick stiff bandages from her armpits down to her hips - they can be seen because her mother has lifted her dress to show them - remains as she was for a few minutes, then begins to slide down from her mother's lap on to the ground and runs towards Jesus Who is curing the woman, whose case I do not understand.
All the sick people have been satisfied and they are the ones who shout most in the crowd applauding « the Son of David, glory of God and ours. »
Jesus goes towards the shed.
Judas of Kerioth shouts: « Master! What about these? »
Jesus turns round and says: « Let them wait where they are. They will be comforted, too » and He walks fast to the back of the shed where the three people in anguish are with Andrew and John.
« The woman first. Come with Me into these hedges. Speak without any fear. »
« My Lord, my husband wants to leave me for a prostitute. I have five children and the last one is two years old… Great is my grief… and I am worried about my children… I do not know whether he will take them or leave them to me. He will certainly want the boys, at least the oldest one… And I who bore him will no longer have the joy of seeing him? And what will they think of their father and of me? They must think evil of one of us. And I would not like them to judge their father… »
« Do not weep. I am the Master of Life and of Death. Your husband will not marry that woman. Go in peace and continue to be good. »
« But… You will not kill him? Oh! Lord, I love him. »
Jesus smiles: « I will not kill anyone. But there is someone who will do his work. You must know that the demon is not greater than God. When you go back to your town you will find out that
someone killed that evil creature and in such a way that your husband will realise what he was doing and will love you again with revived love. »
The woman kisses the hand that Jesus had laid on her head and goes away.
One of the men comes: « I have a daughter, Lord. Unfortunately she went to Tiberias with some girl friends and it was as if she had taken some poison. When she came back to me she was like a mad woman. She wants to go away with a Greek man… and then… Why was she born? Her mother is heartbroken and perhaps will die of grief… I… only Your words, which I heard last winter, keep me from killing her. But, I tell You, my heart has already cursed her. »
« No. God, Who is a Father, only curses an accomplished and obstinate sin. What do you want from Me? »
« That You get her to mend her ways. »
« I do not know her and she will certainly not come to Me. »
« But You can change her heart also from far away! Do You know who sent me to You? Johanna of Chuza. She was leaving for Jerusalem when I went to her mansion to ask her whether she knew that wretched Greek. I was afraid she might not know him, because she is good, although she lives at Tiberias, but since Chuza has contacts with the Gentiles… She does not know him. But she said to me: "Go to Jesus. He called my soul back from very far away and He cured me, by that call, of my phthisis. He will cure also your daughter's heart. I will pray and you must have faith". I have faith. You can see it. Have mercy on me, Master. »
« Your daughter this evening will weep on her mother's knees asking to be forgiven. You must be as good as her mother and forgive her. The past is dead. »
« Yes, Master. As You wish and may You be blessed. »
He turns round to go away… but retraces his steps: « Forgive me, Master… But I am so afraid. Lust is such a demon! Give me a thread of Your tunic. I will put it in my daughter's pillow. The demon will not tempt her while she is asleep. »
Jesus smiles and shakes His head… but satisfies the man saying: « That your mind may be quieter. But you must believe that when God says: "I want it" the demon goes away without any further need. So keep this as a souvenir of Mine », and He gives him a small tuft from His fringe.
The third man comes: « Master, my father died. We thought he had some money. But we did not find any. That would not matter as my brothers and I are not short of bread. But I lived with my father as I am the eldest. The other two brothers are now accusing me of stealing the money and they want to sue me for theft. You can see my heart. I did not see one single coin. My father kept his Money in a coffer in a metal case. When he died we opened the coffer
but the case was no longer there. They say: "Last night, while we were sleeping, you took it". It is not true. Help me to restore peace and esteem among us. »
Jesus stares at him and smiles.
« Why are you smiling, Master? »
« Because your father is the guilty one, the guilt of a child who hides his toy lest someone should take it. »
« But he was not a miser. Believe me. He was charitable. »
« I know. But he was very old… It is the disease of old people… He wanted to preserve things for you, and out of too much love, he caused you to fall out with one another. But the case is buried at the foot of the cellar steps. I am telling you so that you may be aware that I know. While I am speaking to you, by pure chance, your younger brother, by striking the ground angrily, caused it to vibrate and so they discovered it and they are now embarrassed and sorry for blaming you. Go back home with a quiet mind and be good to them. Do not reproach them for their lack of esteem. »
« No, my Lord. I will not. But I am not going home, I am staying here to hear You. I will go tomorrow. »
« And if they take that money? »
« You say that we must not be greedy. I do not want to be so. It is enough for me if there is peace amongst us. On the other hand… I did not know how much money there was in the case and thus I will not suffer for any information contrary to the truth. And I consider that that money might have been lost… I will live now, as I lived before, should they deny me it. It is enough if they do not call me a thief. »
« You are well advanced on the way of God. Proceed and peace be with you. »
And also that man goes away happily.
Jesus goes back to the crowds, towards the poor people and gives them alms according to His own judgement. Everybody is now happy and Jesus can speak.
« Peace be with you.
I explain the ways of the Lord to you, that you may follow them. Could you follow the path that goes down on the right hand side, and at the same time follow the one on the left hand side? You could not. Because if you take one you must leave the other. Even if the two paths were close together you could not walk any length with one foot in one and one in the other. You would end up by being tired and making a mistake, even if there was a wager. But between the path of God and Satan's there is a great distance, which becomes greater and greater, just like the two paths that come out up here, but as they run down the valley they become farther and farther from each other, as one goes towards Capernaum and the other towards Ptolomais.
Such is life, it bestrides past and future, good and evil. Man is in the centre with his will power and free will; at the ends, on one side there is God and His Heaven, on the other side Satan and his Hell. Man can choose. Nobody forces him. Do not say to Me: "Satan tempts us" as an excuse for descending towards the low path. Also God tempts with His love, which is very strong, with His words, which are most holy, with His promises, which are most alluring! Why then should you allow yourselves to be tempted by one only of the two, by the most undeserving one to be listened to? Are God's words, promises, love not sufficient to counteract Satan's poison?
Consider that that is not to your favor. When a man is physically very healthy, he is not immune from contagion, but overcomes it quite easily. Whereas if a man is already ill and consequently weak, he will almost certainly die in the event of catching a new infection, and if he survives, he is more seriously ill than previously because his blood lacks the strength to kill the contagious germs completely. The same applies to the superior part. If a man is morally and spiritually healthy and strong, you may be sure that he is not free from temptations, but evil does not strike roots in him. When I hear anyone say to Me: "I approached this man and that one, I read this book and that one, I endeavoured to persuade this person and that one to do good, but in actual fact the evil which was in their minds and in their hearts, the evil which was in the book, entered my heart", I conclude: "Which proves that you had already created within yourself a suitable ground for penetration. Which proves that you are a weakling lacking in moral and spiritual strength. Because we must derive some good also from our enemies. By watching their errors we must learn not to fall into the same. An intelligent man does not become the laughing stock of the first doctrine he hears. A man saturated with a doctrine cannot make room in his mind for any other. This explains the difficulties met when one endeavours to convince those, who are persuaded of other doctrines, to follow the true Doctrine. But if you admit that you change your mind like a weathercock, I can see that you are thoroughly empty, that your spiritual stronghold is full of breaches, that the dam of your mind is leaking in hundreds of places, through which good water runs out and foul water runs in and you are so stupid and listless that you are not even aware of it and you do not see it. You are a wretch".
Of the two paths, therefore, choose the good one and proceed on it resisting to the allurements of senses, of the world, of science, of the demon. Leave half faiths, compromises, pacts with two people, one opposed to the other, to the men of the world. They, too, should avoid them, if they are honest. At least you, men of God, must shun them. You cannot have them either with God or with Mammon. You must not have them with yourselves either, because they would be of no value. If your actions are a mixture of good and evil, they are of no value whatsoever. The entirely good ones would be cancelled by the bad ones. The evil ones would lead you straight into the Enemy's arms. Therefore do not indulge in them. Be loyal in your service. No one can serve two masters with two different minds. He will either love one and hate the other or viceversa. You cannot be both of God and of Mammon. The spirit of God cannot be conciliated with the spirit of the world. The former ascends, the latter descends. The former sanctifies, the latter corrupts. And if you are corrupt, how can you act with purity? Senses light up in corrupt people and other lusts follow senses.
You already know how Eve was corrupted and how Adam became corrupt through her. Satan kissed the woman's eyes and bewitched them, so that every aspect, so far pure, became impure for her and roused strange curiosities. Then Satan kissed her ears and opened them to the words of a new science: his own. Also Eve's mind wanted to know what was not necessary. Then Satan showed her eyes and mind, now awake to Evil, what previously they had not seen or understood, and everything in Eve became sharp and corrupt. And the Woman went to the Man, revealed her secret and persuaded Adam to taste of the new fruit, so beautiful to the eye and so strictly forbidden so far. And she kissed him and looked at him with mouth and eyes already fouled by Satan's gloomy disorder. And corruption penetrated Adam who saw, and through his eyes he craved for what was forbidden and he bit it with his helpmate and fell from such height into mud.
A corrupt person will draw another person to corruption, unless the latter is a saint in the true sense of the word.
Watch your eyes, men. Both the eyes of your bodies and the eyes of your minds. If they are corrupt, they can but corrupt all the rest. The eye is the light of the body. Your thought is the light of your heart. But if your eye is not pure - because since the organs are subject to thought, a corrupt thought will corrupt also senses everything in you will become obscure, and a seducing haze will create impure phantasms in you. Everything is pure in him who has a pure thought which causes a pure look, and the light of God descends as a master where there is no obstruction of senses. But if out of ill will you have accustomed your eyes to disorderly visions, everything will become darkness in you. In vain you will look at the most holy things. In the darkness they will be nothing but blackness and blackness will be the deeds accomplished by you.
Therefore, o children of God, defend yourselves against yourselves. Look after yourselves diligently against all temptations. There is no evil in being tempted. An athlete prepares himself for victory fighting. But it is evil to be overcome because you are not prepared and you are negligent. I know that everything serves as a temptation. I know that defence is exhausting. I know that it is tiring to have to struggle. But think of what you will gain through these things. And for one hour of pleasure, whatever kind it may be, would you like to lose an eternity of peace? What does the pleasure of the flesh, of gold, of thoughts leave you? Nothing. What do you gain by rejecting them? Everything. I am speaking to sinners, because man is a sinner. Well, tell me the truth: after satisfying your senses, your pride, your greed, have you felt fresher, happier, safer? In the hour following your satisfaction, which is always the time of meditation, have you sincerely felt that you were happy? I have never tasted the bread of sensuality. But I will reply in your stead: "No. Languor, unhappiness, uncertainty, nausea, fear, restlessness: that was the juice squeezed out of the hour spent in pleasure".
But I beg you: while I say to you: "Never do that", I also say to you: "Do not be inflexible with those who make mistakes". Remember that you are all brothers, made of one flesh and one soul. Consider that there are many reasons why one is led to sin. Be merciful towards sinners and kindly help them and take them back to God, showing them that the path they have followed is full of dangers for the flesh, the mind and the spirit. Do that and you will receive a great reward… Because the Father Who is in Heaven is merciful to good people and He knows how to give you one hundredfold to one. Now I say to you… »
And here Jesus tells me that you must copy the vision dated 12th August 1944, from line 35 to the end, that is to the departure of Mary Magdalene.
12th August 1944.
Jesus says: « Look and write. It is the Gospel of Mercy that I give to everybody and in particular to those women who will recognise themselves in the sinner and whom I invite to follow her in her redemption. »
Jesus is standing on a rock and is speaking to a large crowd. It is a mountainous place. A lonely hill, between two valleys. The top of the hill is shaped like a yoke, or rather, like a camel's hump, so that a few yards from the top there is a natural amphitheatre where voices resound clearly as in a well-built concert hall.
The hill is all in flower. It must be summer. The crops down in the plain are beginning to ripen and are getting ready to be cut. The glacier of a high mountain in the north is shining in the sun. Directly below, to the east, the Sea of Galilee looks like a mirror broken into numberless fragments, each of which is a sapphire lit up by the sun. Its blue-gold twinkling is dazzling and it reflects a few fluffy clouds in a very clear sky and the shadow of some swift sails. Beyond the lake of Gennesaret there is a vast extent of plain ground, which because of a light mist near the earth, caused perhaps by evaporation of dew - in fact it must be early morning as the grass on the mountain still has a few dewy diamonds glittering on its stems - looks like a continuation of the lake with an opal-like hue veined with green. Further back there is a chain of mountains, the side of which is so bizarre as to give the impression of clouds sketched on the clear sky.
Some of the people are sitting on the grass, some on large stones, some are standing. The apostolic college is not complete. I can see Peter and Andrew, John and James, and I can hear the other two being called Nathanael and Philip. Then there is one who is and is not one of the group. Perhaps he is the last one who arrived: they call him Simon. The others are not there, unless they are among the crowds and I cannot see them.
The sermon has already started. I understand that it is the Sermon of the Mount. But the Beatitudes have already been proclaimed. I would say that the sermon is drawing towards the close because Jesus says: « Do that and you will receive a great reward. Because the Father Who is in Heaven is merciful to good people and He knows how to give you one hundredfold to one. So I say to you… »
There is much excitement amongst the people who crowd round the path leading to the tableau. The people closest to Jesus turn their heads round. Everybody's attention is distracted. Jesus stops speaking and turns His eyes in the same direction as the others. He is serious and handsome in His dark blue tunic, His arms folded on His chest while the first rays of the sun rising above the eastern peak of the hill shine on His head.
« Make room, you plebeians » shouts the angry voice of a man. « Make room for the beauty who is passing… » and four dandies, smartly dressed, come forward, one of whom is certainly Roman, because he is wearing a Roman toga; they are carrying Mary of Magdala, still a great sinner, triumphantly on their hands, crossed to form a seat.
And she smiles with her beautiful mouth, throwing back her head and her golden hair, which is all plaits and curls held by precious hair-pins and a pale gold leaf strewn with pearls, which encircles the upper part of her forehead like a diadem, from which small light curls hang down to veil her splendid eyes, made larger and more seductive by a refined make-up. The diadem disappears behind her ears, under the mass of plaits at the back of her snowwhite completely bare neck. And her nakedness extends much farther than her neck. Her shoulders are bare down to her shoulderblades and her breast is even more so. Her dress is held on her shoulders by two little gold chains. It is completely sleeveless. Her body is covered, so to say, by a veil the only purpose of which is to protect her skin from sunburn. The dress is of a very light fabric and when she throws herself back, out of affection, against one or the other of her lovers, she seems to be doing so completely nude. I am under the impression that the Roman is the one she prefers because she glances and smiles at him more frequently and rests her head on his shoulder.
« The desire of the goddess has been satisfied » says the Roman. « Rome has acted as a mount for the new Venus. Over there, there is the Apollo you wanted to see. Seduce Him, therefore… But leave some crumbs of your charm also to us. »
Mary laughs and with an agile provoking movement she jumps to the ground, showing her small feet shod in white sandals with golden buckles, as well as a good length of her leg. Then her dress covers her whole body. It is in fact a very wide one of snow-white wool as thin as a veil, held tight at the waist, very low, near her sides, by a large belt made of supple gold bosses. And she stands on the green tableland, where there is a vast amount of lilies of the valley and wild narcissi, like a flower of flesh, an impure flower, which has opened there by witchcraft.
She is more beautiful than ever. Her tiny purple lips seem a carnation opening on the whiteness of her perfect set of teeth. Her face and body would satisfy the most exacting painter or sculptor both because of her complexion and her figure. With her broad breast, her perfectly sized sides, her naturally supple slender waist, as compared with her sides and breast, she does look like a goddess, as the Roman said, a goddess sculptured in a light pinkish marble on the sides of which a fabric is draped and then hangs in the front in a mass of folds. Everything has been devised to please.
Jesus stares at her. And she defiantly resists His look while she smiles and twists lightly as the Roman tickles her, running on her bare shoulders and breast a lily picked among the grass. Mary with affected indignation, lifts her veil saying: « Have respect for my innocence » which causes the four to burst into a guffaw.
Jesus continues staring at her. As soon as the noise of the laughter fades away, Jesus resumes speaking, as if the apparition of the woman had kindled the flame of the sermon, which was losing intensity in its conclusion, and no longer looks at her. He looks instead at His audience who seem embarrassed and scandalised at the event.
Jesus says: « I told you to be faithful to the Law, to be humble and merciful, to love not only your brothers by the flesh but also those who are brothers because they were born, like you, of man. I told you that forgiveness is better than hostility, that compassion is better than stubbornness. But now I tell you that you must not condemn unless you are free from the fault you wish to condemn. Do not behave like the Scribes and Pharisees who are severe with everybody except themselves, who call impure what is exterior and can only contaminate what is exterior and then they receive impurity in the very depths of their hearts.
God does not stay with the impure. Because impurity corrupts what is the property of God: souls, and in particular the souls of children who are angels spread over the earth. Woe to those who tear off their wings with the cruelty of devilish beasts and throw those flowers of Heaven into the mire, by letting them taste the flavour of material things! Woe… It would be better if they died struck by thunderbolts rather than commit such sin!
Woe to you, rich and fast living people! Because it is amongst you that the greatest impurity thrives and idleness and money are its bed and pillow! You are now sated. The food of concupiscence reaches your throats and chokes you. But you will be hungry. And your hunger will be terrible, insatiable and unappeasable for ever and ever. You are now rich. How much good you could do with your wealth! Instead you do so much harm both to yourselves and to other people. But you will experience a dreadful poverty on a day that will have no end. You now laugh. You think you are triumphing. But your tears will fill the ponds of Gehenna. And they will never cease.
Where does adultery nestle? Where does the corruption of young girls hide? Who has two or three licentious beds, in addition to his own matrimonial one, on which he squanders his money and wastes the strength of a healthy body given to him by God that he may work for his family and not to wear himself out through filthy unions which place him below unclean beasts? You heard that it was said: "You shall not commit adultery". But I tell you that he who looks at a woman lustfully, that she who wished to go with a man, has already committed adultery in his or her heart, simply by that. There is no reason which can justify fornication. None. Neither the abandonment nor the repudiation of a husband. Nor pity for the repudiated woman. You have one soul only. When it is joined to another soul by a pact of faithfulness, it must not lie. Otherwise the beautiful body for which you sin will go with you, o impure souls, into the inexhausted fire. Mutilate your body, rather than kill it for ever by damning it. Come to your moral senses, o rich men, verminous sinks of vice, so that you may not disgust Heaven… »
Mary, who at the beginning listened with a face which was a dream of allurement and irony, sneering now and again, at the end of the sermon becomes livid with rage. She realises that although Jesus does not look at her, He is speaking to her. She becomes more and more livid and rebellious and at last can resist no longer.
She spitefully envelops herself in her veil and followed by the glances of the crowds jeering at her and by Jesus' voice which pursues her, she runs down the slope of the mountain, leaving strips of her dress on the thistles and dogrose bushes growing on the edges of the path, laughing out of anger and mockery.
I see nothing else. But Jesus says: « You will see more. »
29th May 1945.
Jesus resumes: « You are indignant at what happened. For two days our shelter, which is well above the mud, has been upset by Satan's hiss. It is therefore no longer a shelter and we will leave it. But I wish to conclude this code of the "most perfect" in this wide and bright horizon. God really appears here in the majesty of the Creator and watching His marvels we can firmly believe that He and not Satan is the Master. The Evil One could not create even a blade of grass. But God can do everything. This should comfort us. But you are all already in the sun. And that is harmful. Spread out on the slopes where there is shade and it is cool. Have your meals, if you wish so. I will speak to you again on the same subject. Many things have delayed us. But do not be sorry about it. You are with God here. »
The crowds shout: « Yes, we are. With You » and they move under the thickets spread on the eastern side so that the slope of the hill and the tree branches shelter them from the sun, which is already too warm.
In the meantime Jesus tells Peter to take the tent down.
« Are we really going away? »
« Yes, we are. »
« Because she came?… »
« Yes, but do not tell anybody, especially the Zealot. He would be upset because of Lazarus. I cannot allow the word of God to be mocked at by heathens… »
« I see, I see… »
« Well, there is another thing you must understand. »
« Which, Master? »
« That it is necessary to be silent in certain cases. Please do not forget. You are so dear, but you are also so impulsive as to burst out into biting criticism. »
« I understand… You do not want for Lazarus and Simon… »
« And for others as well. »
« Do You think there will be any today? »
« Today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, always. It will always be necessary to watch the rashness of My Simon of Jonah. Go now and do what I told you. »
Peter goes away calling his companions to help him.
The Iscariot is pensive in a comer. Jesus calls him three times,
but he does not hear. At last he turns round: « Do You want me, Master? » he asks.
« Yes, go and take your food and help your companions. »
« I am not hungry. Neither are You. »
« Neither am I, but for different reasons. Are you upset, Judas? »
« No, Master. I'm tired… »
« We are now going to the lake and then to Judaea, Judas. To your mother's, as I promised you… »
Judas cheers up. « Are You really coming only with me? »
« Of course. Love Me, Judas. I would like My love to be such in you as to preserve you from all evil. »
« Master… I am a man. I am not an angel. At times I feel tired. Is it a sin to feel the need of sleep? »
« No, providing you sleep on My chest. Look over there how happy the people are and how beautiful the scenery is from here. Also Judaea must be lovely in springtime. »
« Most beautiful, Master. But spring, there, on the mountains, which are higher than here, is later. But there are beautiful flowers. The apple-orchards are magnificent. Mine, which is looked after by my mother, is one of the most beautiful ones. And when she moves about in it, with the doves following her to get some corn, believe me, it is a sight that soothes your heart. »
« I believe you. If My Mother is not too tired, I would like to take Her to see yours. They would love each other, because they are both good. »
Judas, drawn by this idea, cheers up and forgetting that « he was not hungry and he was tired » runs happily to his companions and tall as he is, he undoes the topmost knots without any trouble and eats his bread and olives, as happy as a child.
Jesus looks at him pitifully and then goes towards the apostles.
« Here is some bread, Master. And an egg. I got that rich man over there, the one wearing the red tunic, to give me it. I said to him: "You listen and you are hungry. He speaks and is exhausted. Give me one of your eggs. It will do Him much more good than it would do you". »
« Peter! »
« No, Lord. You are as pale as a baby sucking from an empty breast, and You are becoming as thin as a fish after the mating season. Let me see to it. I do not want to have to reproach myself. I will put it under these warm ashes of the faggots I burnt, and You will eat it. Don't You know it is… how many? most certainly weeks that we have been feeding on bread and olives and a little milk. H'm!… One could say that we are purging ourselves. And You eat less than everybody and speak for everybody. Here is the egg. Take it while it's warm, it will do You good. »
Jesus obeys and seeing that Peter is eating bread only, He asks:
« And what about you? Where are your olives? »
« Sss! I need them for after. I promised them. »
« To whom? »
« To some children. But if they are not quiet until the end, I will eat the olives and give them the stones, that is blows. »
« Very good indeed! »
« Ehi! I will never do that. But if we don't say so… I got so many blows myself, and if they had given me all the ones I deserved for all my pranks, I should have had ten times as many! But they do you good. I am like this because I got them. »
They all laugh at the apostle's sincerity.
« Master, I would like to remind You that today is Friday and that these people… I do not know whether they will be able to get food in time for tomorrow or reach their homes » says Bartholomew.
« That's true. It is Friday! » several of them say.
« It does not matter. God will provide. But we will tell them. »
Jesus stands up and goes to His new place, in the middle of the crowds spread in the thickets. « First of all I wish to remind you that this is Friday. I say that those who are afraid they cannot reach their homes in time and are not in a position to believe that God will provide food for His children tomorrow, should go away at once, so that they will not be still on the road at sunset. »
Of all the crowd there, about fifty people get up. All the others stay where they are.
Jesus smiles and begins to speak.
« You heard that in the old days it was said: "You shall not commit adultery". Those who among you have heard Me in other places know that I have spoken about that sin several times. Because, look, as far as I am concerned, it is a sin not for one person only, but for two or for three. I will make Myself clear. An adulterer sins with regard to himself, he sins with regard to his accomplice, and sins causing the betrayed wife or husband to sin, they may in fact be led to despair or to commit a crime. That with regard to the accomplished sin. But I will say more. I say: "Not only the accomplished sin, but the desire to accomplish it is already a sin". What is adultery? It is to crave for him, who is not ours, or for her, who is not ours. One begins to sin by wishing, continues by seduction, completes it by persuasion, crowns it by the deed.
How does one begin? Generally with an impure glance. And that is connected with what I said before. An impure eye sees what is concealed from a pure eye and through the eye thirst enters the throat, hunger enters the body and fever the blood. A carnal thirst, hunger, fever. Delirium begins. If the person looked at is honest, the delirious looker-on is left alone on tenterhooks, or will denigrate in revenge. If also the person looked at is dishonest, he 'will reply to the look and the descent into sin begins.
I therefore say to you: "If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her because his thought has accomplished the deed of his desire". If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to be without one eye than to be thrown into the infernal darkness for ever. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away, for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell. It is true that it is written that deformed people cannot serve God in the Temple. But after this life, the deformed by birth who are holy and those who are deformed out of virtue, will become more beautiful than angels and will serve God, loving Him in the happiness of Heaven. It has also been said to you: "Anyone who divorces his wife, must give her a writ of dismissal". But that is to be condemned, for it does not come from God. God said to Adam: "This is the helpmate I made for you. Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it". And Adam, full of superior intelligence, because sin had not yet dimmed his reason made perfect by God, exclaimed: "This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh. This is to be called woman, that is: another I, because this was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife and the two become one body". And in an increased splendour of light the Eternal Light approved smiling Adam's word, which became the first indelible law. Now, if owing to the ever increasing hardness of man, the human lawgiver had to give a new law; if owing to the ever increasing inconstancy of man, the lawgiver had to put a restraint and say: "If you have dismissed her you cannot take her back", that does not cancel the first genuine law, passed in the Earthly Paradise and approved by God.
I say to you: "Whoever divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, exposes her to adultery". Because what will the divorced woman do in ninety per cent of the cases? She will get married again. With what consequences? Oh! How much there is to be said about that! Do you not know that you can cause involuntary incests by such system? How many tears are shed because of lust. Yes: lust. There is no other name for it. Be frank. Everything can be overcome when the spirit is righteous. But everything is an excuse to satisfy sensuality when the spirit is lustful. Woman's frigidity, dullness, ineptitude for housework, shrewish tongue, love for luxury, everything can be overcome, also diseases and irascibility, if one loves holily. But as after some time one does not love as on the first day, what is more than possible is considered impossible and a poor woman is thrown on to the road and to perdition.
He who rejects her commits adultery. He who marries her after the divorce, commits adultery. Death only dissolves a marriage.
Remember that. And if your choice is an unhappy one bear the consequences as a cross, being both of you unhappy but holy, without making also the children unhappy, as they are innocent and suffer more because of such unfortunate situations. The love for your children should cause you to ponder one hundred times, also in the case of death of your partner. Oh! I wish you could be satisfied with what you already have had and to which God said: "Enough!" I wish you, widows and widowers, realised that death is not an attenuation but an elevation to the perfections of parents! To be a mother in the place of a dead mother. To be a father in the place of a deceased father. To be two souls in one and receive the love for the children from the cold lips of the dying partner and say: "Go in peace, without worrying for those who were born of you. I will continue to love them, on my own and on your behalf, I will love them twice and will be their father and mother and they will not suffer the unhappiness of orphans, neither will they feel the inborn jealousy that the children of a remarried consort experience with regard to him or her who takes the sacred place of mother or father called by God to a new abode".
My children, My sermon is drawing to its end, as the day is nearing its end while the sun is setting in the west. I want you to remember the words of this meeting on the mountain. Engrave them in your hearts. Read them over and over again and very often. Let them be your everlasting guidance. And above all be good to those who are weak. Do not judge that you may not be judged. Remember that the moment might come when God could remind you: "That is how you judged. So you knew that that was bad. You therefore committed a sin, knowing what you were doing. You must now pay for it".
Charity is an absolution. Be charitable to everybody and in everything. If God gives you much assistance to keep you good, do not be proud of it. But endeavour to climb the full length of the ladder of perfection and give a hand to those who are tired or unaware and to those who are easily disappointed. Why do you observe so diligently the splinter in your brother's eye if first you do not go to the trouble of taking the plank out of your own eye? How dare you say to your brother: "Let me take the splinter out of your eye" while the plank in your eye is blinding you? Son, do not be a hypocrite. Take the plank out of your own eye first and then you will be able to take the splinter out of your brother's eye, without ruining him.
As you avoid being uncharitable, avoid also being imprudent. I said to you: "Give a hand to those who are tired or unaware and to those who are easily disappointed". But if it is charity to teach the ignorant, to encourage the tired, to give new wings to those whose old ones are broken, it is imprudence to reveal the eternal truths to those affected by satanism, who take possession of them to pretend they are prophets, to insinuate themselves among simple people, to corrupt, lead astray and sacrilegiously foul the things of God. Absolute respect, to be able to speak, to be silent, to ponder, to act, are the virtues of the true disciple in order to make proselytes and serve God. You are gifted with the faculty of reason and, if you are just, God will grant you all the light to make a better use of your reason. You must consider that the eternal truths are like pearls, and no one has ever seen pearls thrown in front of pigs, which prefer acorns and rank broth to precious pearls, which they could crush under their feet and then, furious at being mocked at, they would turn against you to tear you to pieces.Do not give dogs what is holy. That is for the present and the future.
I have told you much, My children. Listen to My words; he who listens to them and puts them into practice, can be compared to a thoughtful man, who wishing to build a house, chose a rocky place. He certainly worked hard to lay the foundations. He had to work with pick and stone chisel, he got callous hands and broke his back. But he was able to put lime in the fissures of the rock and lay bricks one close to the other, like the wall of a fortress, and the house was as solid as a mountain. The house was exposed to the inclemency of the weather and to downpours, the rain caused the rivers to overflow their banks, the winds whistled, the waves beat it, but the house resisted everything. Such is he who has a sound faith. Instead who listens superficially and does not strive to engrave My words in his heart, because he is aware that to do so he would have to work hard, suffer and extirpate too many things, is like a man who out of indolence and foolishness builds his house on sand. As soon as the inclement weather comes, the house quickly built, quickly collapses and the forlorn fool contemplates the rubble of the house and the ruin of his capital. And in that case the ruin can be repaired with expenses and work. But if the edifice of the spirit crashes, because it was badly built, there is no way to rebuild it. One cannot build in future life. Woe to those who present themselves there with rubble!
I have finished. I am now going down towards the lake and I bless you in the name of the One and Trine God. May peace be with you. »
But the crowds shout: « We are coming with You. Let us come. No one has words like Yours! » And they begin to follow Jesus Who goes down on the opposite side from which He came up and which is in the direction of Capernaum.
The descent is steeper but faster and they soon reach the foot of the mountain on a green flowery plain.
(Jesus says: « Enough for today. Tomorrow… »)
Written by Maria Valtorta. From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Volume #2, Chapter 174.
Copyright 1986 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.