In the School of Mary
Instruction of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Venerable Mary of Agreda
TAKEN FROM THE CITY OF GOD, Books I and V [Abridged and Unabridged Versions]

The Condition of the World at the Time of the First Christmas
The Virtue of Silence
The Trinity
The Creation of the Angels and Fall of Lucifer
The Creation and Fall of Man
Saint Joachim and Anne
The Immaculate Conception
Jesus Instructs His Mother in the Law of Grace
The Continued Prayers of Jesus and Mary for Mankind

The Condition of the World at the Time of the First Christmas

Ven. Mary of Agreda: ". . . He moved my will so that in her presence I promised to overcome my repugnance and with her assistance to set about writing her history, paying attention to three things: First, to remember that the creature must ever seek to acknowledge the profound reverence due to God and to abase itself in proportion to the condescension of His Majesty toward men and that the effect of greater favors and benefits must be a greater fear, reverence, attention and humility; secondly, to be ever mindful of the obligation of all men, who are so forgetful of their own salvation, to consider and learn what they owe to the Queen and Mother of piety on account of the part assumed by her in the Redemption, to think of the love and the reverence which she showed to God and the honor in which we are to hold this great Lady; thirdly, to be willing to have my spiritual director, and if necessary the whole world, find out my littleness and vileness, and the small returns which I make for what I receive.

To these my protestations the most Holy Virgin answered:  


Y DAUGHTER, the world stands much in need of this doctrine, for it does not know, nor does it practice, the reverence due to the Lord omnipotent. On account of this ignorance His justice is provoked to afflict and humiliate men. They are sunken in their carelessness and filled with darkness, not knowing how to seek relief or attain to the light.

This, however, is justly their lot, since they fail in the reverence and fear, which they ought to have.
Besides this the Most High and the Queen gave me many other instructions, in order to make clear to me their will in regard to this work. It seemed to me temerity and want of charity toward myself, to reject the instruction which she had promised me for narrating the course of her most holy life. It seemed equally improper to put off the writing of it, since the Most High had intimated this as the fitting and opportune time, saying to me in this regard: "My daughter, when I sent My Only-begotten, the world, with the exception of the few souls that served Me, was in worse condition than it ever had been since its beginning; for human nature is so imperfect that if it does not subject itself to the interior guidance of My light and to the fulfillment of the precepts of My ministers by sacrificing its own judgment and following Me, Who am the way, the truth and the life (John 14, 6), and by carefully observing My Commandments in order not to lose My friendship, it will presently fall into the abyss of darkness and innumerable miseries, until it arrives at obstinacy in sin. From the
creation and sin of the first man until I gave the law to Moses, men governed themselves according to their own inclinations and fell into many errors and sins (Rom. 5, 13). After having received the law, they again committed sin by not obeying it (John 7, 19) and thus they lived on, separating themselves more and more from truth and light and arriving at the state of complete forgetfulness. In fatherly love I sent them eternal salvation and a remedy for the incurable infirmities of human nature, thus justifying My cause. And just as I then chose the opportune time for the greater manifestation of My mercy, so I now select this time for showing toward them another very great favor. For now the hour has come and the opportune time to let men know the just cause of My anger, and they are now justly charged and convinced of their guilt. Now I will make manifest My indignation and exercise my justice and equity; I will show how well justified is My cause. In order that this may come to pass more speedily, and because it is now time that My mercy show itself more openly and because My love must not be idle, I will offer to them an opportune remedy, if they will but make use of it for returning again to My favor. Now, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so unfortunate a pass, and when, though the Word has become incarnate, mortals are more careless of their weal and seek it less; when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of time; when the night of eternity is approaching closer and closer for the wicked and the day without a night is being born for the just; when the majority of mortals are sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of their ignorance and guilt, oppressing the just and mocking the children of God; when My holy and Divine law is despised in the management of the iniquitous affairs of state, which are as hostile as they are contrary to My Providence; when the wicked least deserve My mercy; in these predestined times, I wish to open a portal for the just ones through which they can find access to My mercy; I wish to give them a light by which they can dispel the gloom that envelops the eyes of their minds. I wish to furnish them a suitable remedy for restoring them to My grace. Happy they who find it, and blessed they who shall appreciate its value, rich they who shall come upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand its marvels and hidden mysteries. I desire to make known to mortals how much intercession of Her is worth, who brought restoration of life by giving mortal existence to the immortal God. As recompense I desire that they look upon the wonders wrought by my mighty arm in that pure Creature, as upon a mirror by which they can estimate their own ingratitude. I wish to make known to them much of that, which according to My high judgment is still hidden concerning the Mother of the Word."

"I have not revealed these mysteries in the primitive Church, because they are so great, that the faithful would have been lost in the contemplation and admiration of them at a time when it was more necessary to establish firmly the law of grace and of the Gospel. Although all mysteries of religion are in perfect harmony with each other, yet human ignorance might have suffered recoil and doubt at their magnitude, when faith in the Incarnation and Redemption and the precepts of the new law of the Gospel were yet in their beginnings. On this same account the person of the incarnate Word said to His disciples at the Last Supper: "Many things have I to say to you; but you are not yet disposed to receive them" (John 16, 12). These words He addressed to all the world, for it was not yet capable of giving full obedience to the law of grace and full assent to the faith in the Son, much less was it prepared to be introduced into the mysteries of His Mother. But now mankind has greater need for this manifestation, and this necessity urges Me to disregard their evil disposition. And if men would now seek to please Me by reverencing, believing, and studying the wonders, which are intimately connected with this Mother of Piety, and if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief. I will not longer withhold from men this mystical City of refuge; describe and delineate it to them, as far as thy shortcomings allow. I do not intend that thy descriptions and declarations of the life of the Blessed Virgin shall be mere opinions or contemplations, but reliable truth. They that have ears to hear, let them hear. Let those who thirst come to the living waters and leave the dried-out cisterns; let those that are seeking for the light, follow it to the end. Thus speaks the Lord, God Almighty!"

The Virtue of Silence


DESIRE that you esteem as a great treasure, the virtue of silence, which I began to practice from my birth . . . I attached myself this with great predilection, resolving to adhere to it as a companion and a friend during all my life. Thus I kept it with inviolable caution . . .

"Speaking without moderation and forethought is a two-edged sword which wounds both the one who speaks and the one who hears, and the two of them destroy or hinder charity and all the virtues. From this you can understand how much God is offended by the vice of inconsiderate and loose talk, and how justly loquacity and the tumult of dispute estranges His spirit and veils His presence. For those who talk much cannot keep free from grievous sins. Only with God and His Saints can one speak with security, and even then it must be with forethought and discretion. With creatures it is very difficult to preserve the golden mean without danger of passing from the correct and necessary to the imperfect and superfluous.

'The remedy that will guard you against all danger is to tend continually toward the other extreme, striving rather to be silent. For the prudent middle course of speaking only what is necessary is found more in being silent a great deal than in immoderate speech. Remember that you cannot amuse yourself in self-sought conversation with creatures without relinquishing God in the secret interior of your soul; and that what you cannot do without impudence and insult in your relations with other creatures, you should not do in your dealings with your Lord and the Lord of all. Close your ears to the deceitful conversations which might induce you to say what you should not; for it is not just for you to speak more than what is enjoined you by your Lord and Master.

"Listen to His holy law, which He has written in your heart with so liberal a hand; hear there the voice of your Pastor, and reply to Him there, and to Him alone. I wish to impress you with the fact that if you are to be My disciple and companion, it must be by distinguishing yourself especially in this virtue of silence. Reflect much and write this doctrine in your heart today-----and attach yourself more and more to this virtue; for first I wish to see this disposition in you, and then I will teach you how you must speak.

"I do not want to dissuade you from speaking words of admonition and consolation to your daughters . . . Speak also with those who can give you tokens of your Beloved, and who can encourage and inflame you with His love. In such conversations you will acquire a profitable silence of the soul; for in them is excited a horror and disgust for conversation of men, and you will learn to relish only conversation about the wished-for Eternal good . . .

"O My daughter, forget all earthly things in the hiding place of your silence, and imitate Me with all your fervor and all your might; for thus shall you arrive at that state to which your Spouse invites you . . . for His Majesty
speaks to those who are alone and in silence."