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The Revelations of St. Elizabeth

Furthermore, one night Christ's handmaid, Elizabeth, had begun to meditate on how God the Father was well pleased in the glorious Virgin while she was yet living, in that he was willing to take flesh from her. The Blessed Virgin replied, "God did with me, my dear daughter, as one who knows how to play the cithara or viol. For first he tunes the instrument, so that it makes a sweet, harmonious sound; afterwards, chanting and plucking, he makes music. In this way did God the Father first tune and adjust in me every movement and sensation, both of body and mind. Then he touched me with the finger of his Spirit and tuned all my words and deeds to his good pleasure.
 

"Frequently he would raise me, accompanied by angels, to contemplate the court of heaven, where I would find such great solace and increase of mental sweetness that when at length I came to myself, I was so intoxicated with love for that heavenly homeland that I longed to embrace stones, trees, animals and all other creatures, and to serve them for love of him who had created them. I would also long to serve all the ladies who came to the Temple, for love of their creator, whose ineffable sweetness I was tasting.
 

"Therefore, daughter, when God wishes to give you some grace or consolation, you should accept it with humility and allow him to do whatever he likes with you. You ought not to be arrogant under the cloak of humility and say, 'Lord, why do you do these things to me? I am not worthy', and suchlike. For just as he is most wise, so he knows what he should do with you better than you do yourself. And the glory is his if he performs some miracle in you, not your own."
 

Now it so happened that while this intimate conversation was continuing at some length, one of Elizabeth's fellow nuns walked past the place where Christ's handmaid was praying. Blessed Elizabeth, reproaching her soundly, said with great asperity, "Why at this time of day did you walk across me from one side to the other?" She began almost to threaten her with her words and gestures.
 

As that woman was retreating, the Blessed Virgin said to Christ's handmaid, Elizabeth, "Daughter, how foolish and undiscriminating you still are! While you have me here with you, you should not pay attention to anything of this world. Now therefore profit from my presence this night. For by my son's special grace I have been sent to you so that you may confidently ask questions and I shall tell you the truth concerning everything that you ask. However, since you allowed your attention to wander to the action of that fellow of yours, and you rebuked her with such lack of discretion, I wish to give you as penance that you may not go back to bed tonight. Nor do I at present intend to reveal to you any secrets that I would have told you if you had not affronted my dignity."
 








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