THE UNSEEN ENEMY
– From the Mystical Revelations of Maria Valtorta –
– INTRODUCTION –
Down untold ages of time, through uncounted eons of man's sad sojourn in this woeful world of exile, slowly there has dawned in the human spirit a knowledge born of countless generations of experience: that man does not walk this earth alone. He has gradually become aware that unseen Forces of great power, of far higher intelligence, accompany his jaded journey: kindly Forces that help him and seek his welfare; but also dark and sinister Forces that stalk him and seek his ruin.
This inherited, cumulative experience, this intuitive knowledge passed on from generation to generation in the mysterious depths of the human psyche, Jungian psychologists today call the archetypes of the collective unconscious. As "nodes of energy," they can be suddenly "constellated,"-- triggered -- by an appropriate symbol, powerfully moving man to some required action.
Whatever be the truth of this phenomenon in man's psyche, something analogous can be posited in his spirit: in that realm of mystic and silent union with the Communion of Saints and believers of Christ's Mystical Body where such archetypal symbols are active and vibrant.
One such archetypal symbol is the word angels. Connoting as it does mysterious, invisible, supremely intelligent spirits of good or evil -- external to man -- such spirits have been experienced over and over as powerfully influencing or guiding men's affairs. Frequent tales in both oral and recorded history, and especially in the Judeo-Christian scriptures, bear witness to these unseen angelic forces that accompany man's testing in this world of his mournful banishment from Eden. The good spirits always inspire him toward good for his ultimate fulfillment and eternal happiness; the evil spirits always lure him toward evil for his final fate: eternal ruin in union with them.
Unfortunately, the often pervasive agnosticism or atheism of modern psychology readily leads it to assert that such external spirits of superior intelligence are merely internal components of man's own psyche projected, and thus naively experienced, as being outside of him. Unfortunately, too, the rationalistic modernism of many well-known and influential biblical scholars and theologians today, both Protestant and Catholic, are all too willing to accept -- equally naively -- these bogus dogmas of psychology. This, even to the point at times of claiming that Christ Himself -- the Eternal Word of God and Himself the all-Knowing God -- was "culturally conditioned," accepting the popular belief in demons when in the New Testament He frequently casts them out. We are thus informed today by these enlightened savants, that the "alleged demons" were in actual fact simply psychological, physical or neurological illnesses of which ancient peoples were largely ignorant. --Indeed?
The compilation presented below consists of four separate Dictations by Christ , a Vision described by the great contemporary Italian mystic, Maria Valtorta (1961†) and followed by a commentary of Christ on the Vision, and finally a last Dictation from Valtorta's Guardian Angel, "Azariah1"-- all on this mysterious subject of the angelic spirit, here specifically the Evil Spirit. These Dictations have been translated especially for this Website from the collection of Revelations recorded on the dates indicated by the great contemporary Italian mystic, Maria Valtorta (1961†), in her I Quaderni del 1944 ["Notebooks for 1944"] and her I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950 ["Notebooks from 1945 to 1950"]. Hopefully this updated Celestial viewpoint on the subject will provide a more informed perspective for evaluating these... contributions of today's theologians, scripture scholars and psychologists on the question of angelic and demonic spirits.
– I –
"I want to talk to you, Maria, of a point which someone3 dear to Me and to you has desired, and on which subject I have not talked before since I was reserving it until now.
My Peter says: '. . . Your adversary, the Devil, goes about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour; resist him, strong in your faith, knowing that your brothers scattered throughout the world suffer the same as you.'4
In the African countries in which the lion dwells, men and beasts know how to conduct themselves with him. Once I brought you with Me into the East near a rich spring of water,5 and I said to you: 'Be like this.' Today I bring you with Me into the eternal forests whose gigantic trees are the great-grandchildren of those which emerged from nothing by the Will of the Father, and which amazed the astonished eyes of your first fathers. Thus you will see something different than that which [presently] saddens you.
Look: High against the sky of a deep blue darker than My own eyes, stand the tops of these green giants thousands of years old. And they are intertwined, one with the other, speaking up there to the winds and the stars of events happening below which [the winds and stars] do not see, since the green roof hides them.
Beneath [them] is the underbrush, tangled with creepers and roots that seem like serpents, and adorned with the treacherous necklaces which are [indeed] lurking serpents. Lower still, is the plush, thick grass, born in a virgin earth rich with thousands of juices, and in which it is sweet for the antelopes and gazelles to find pasture and rest , and where food [is found] for the millions of birds of every song and color. Flowers, ferns, necklaces of corollas, green dens, mossy caves and cool streams of water, and a restful green light in the midst of a sun that dazzles wherever it penetrates: on roads opened with toil by man, or along a mirror of water so wide as to oblige the vegetal vault to open itself into a green pool. In these forests, the lion is king. None of those that run or leap, crawl or climb, fly or walk, stands up to him. Man, who passes with his weapons at the edge of the forest, migrating toward areas of pasture and marketing, constructs for himself and his peers spiked corrals to enclose his herds therein during the cool and serene nights. The animals hide themselves in the thicket or crouch on the top of the trees as evening falls, to escape the lion's attack. For the lion does not attack while the sun is in the sky. He waits for the night, the deceptive shadow of the moon, or the deep darkness, for his prey. He goes forth and roars as evening comes. He roars around man's enclosures and around the dens of the beasts. He does not penetrate [into them]; he waits. He waits for the imprudent one that comes out of its refuge.
How much imprudence, always! The desire for comfort, the curiosity to see, the haste to arrive. The lion is there. He waits: anticipating the taste of the prey, he beats his flanks [with his tail] from impatience and wrath at the long wait. He goes around seeking the point from which the imprudent one will come out. And when he finds it, he takes up his position there. Or, lurking in ambush, he studies the signs of its habitual tracks. And he is quiet now, since he knows that the imprudent one is going to come out. He is quiet so it will be thought that he is no longer there. And he is never more there then when he is quiet.
Maria, the devil acts like the lion. He circles around, taking advantage of the falling of the Sun, he circles around your souls. He does not dare to go out and attack while the Sun is high above your spirit. He roars, but does not attack. And what does it matter if he roars? Let him roar with rage. Stay beneath the Sun, beneath your God, and have no fear.
You no longer see the Sun? But He is there. If an hour of trial makes you blind, know how to feel Him through His warmth, since you cannot see His appearance. Do you not know that you would die of cold if your Sun were dead for you? If your spirit lives, even though God has made it blind, it is because the Sun kisses you still.
Oh! If souls knew how to remain always under the eternal Sun, and even in the darkness of a trial, not to go out from that Solar zenith and to say: 'I remain in my place. Here, where He has left me, my God will find me again because I do not change my thought of faith and of love!'
The devil goes around seeking a gap into which to reach the claws of his paw and snatch the careless one that stays too near the opening: --temptation. Or else he waits for him to come out: a willing prey [wanting] to cheer up the senses. Or again, he is quiet and lies in ambush: it is the most cunning ambush. And whoever proceeds without connection to the Divine falls into his trap.
I repeat: While he roars he is of little danger; but when, after making himself heard, he is quiet, then he is dangerous in the extreme: he is quiet because he has discovered your weak point and your habits, and is now ready to pounce upon you.
4b...The lion, I said, knows the habits of those he wants to tear to pieces. He studies their habits to know them. He is very intelligent. He understands at once. Satan, too, is very intelligent and understands at once. He is always an angel. Fallen, but remaining [an angel] in his mind which he now uses for evil, while I had given him a powerful mind to work good.The lion knows that his prey go at evening to quench their thirst at the water ways that line sun-burned lands. He knows to what pastures they go to graze on the thick grass. He knows when man returns from his labor to his dwellings. He need only station himself at these resting places.
Desire for physical relief, or human imprudence, brings man and animal toward his inexorable fangs. Look at the meek gazelles and the swift antelopes: so cautious and fearful in the daytime, they become bold at evening. Thirst, hunger, drive them. And they go to meet their death. Look at man: too greedy for gain, tarrys still to work after sunset. And death stops him forever on his return. Look: carnal appetite drives two people from the protection of the inhabited area to find cover for their illicit loves. And the beast dissolves forever what their lust had bound together. But in African lands or regions of ice it is always the same three-pointed goad that drives men towards Satan's claws. It is always lust of the flesh, of money, and of power which puts you within range of him who "prowls around you like a roaring lion" tirelessly (1 Pet 5:8).
Remember that I too was tempted in the flesh with hunger of My viscera4c and with the offering of carnal food for my senses; in My mind by the greed for power, in My spirit by inducing Me to tempt God (Matt 4:1-11). Imprudence is a temptation toward God.
Know how to imitate Me. Put Satan to flight by imitating Jesus, your Master. "Not by bread alone does man live, but by the word of God." "You shall not tempt the Lord your God,." "You shall adore the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve" (ibid.). Bind flesh and spirit with bandages steeped in the spices of God's Law. Whoever lives wrapped in these, preserves his flesh and spirit from the germs that carry the decay of disease and death....
Be vigilant. If the light of God is upon you it will illumine you, and nothing else is needed. But if you are in darkness, stay anchored in the faith. Nothing and no motive should make you budge from it. All seems dead and annulled? Say to yourselves: 'No. All is as before.' Say it to Satan: 'No. All is as before.'
How many, before you, have undergone your same tortures! 'Your brothers scattered throughout the world.' 4 Your brothers. Throughout the world. 'The world,' here, is not so much this Earth which you inhabit, with its living beings. ''The world' is the Communion of all the living. 'Of all the living,' I say. That is of all those who are in Life in eternity after having willed and known how to remain in 'Life' while they were on Earth.
Well then, these your brothers scattered like eternal flowers in My Paradisal Gardens, not only recall their own passed battles, and therefore know how to understand yours; but, through the Charity which is now their Life, they suffer, in bliss, to see you suffer. A suffering of love which does not blunt their joy, but which mixes with it a vein of superactive charity and makes them pity and help you in your anxieties. All Heaven is tensed over those of you who struggle with My Name in your heart, and for My Name, and [all Heaven] helps you.
Do not go out of the triple barrier of the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity. Nor from the sure defense of the fourfold cardinal virtues: justice, temperance, fortitude and prudence --here are your defenses. The claws of Satan are broken against these, and he loses his severity without harming you.
When the Sun, your God, returns to shine on your spirits, victorious in the night which has tortured you, you are astonished to see how much work of liberation this same demon has done, against his own will, circling furiously around you. In his powerless fury, putting you on the defensive, he has thus caused the smallest imperfections to die definitively, like thin grass too often trampled; and on the ground, now naked, the triumphant light descends to make your flower -- your spirit, created to live in Heaven -- grow more strongly.
Go in peace. Return, with peace, onto your cross and into your darkness.6 And bring with you this memory of the sun. Go. Believe in Me and in My Mother even if in these hours, which are between the sixth and the ninth, you cannot see Us because suffering blinds you."
1."Azariah": this Hebrew name means "Help
God." Valtorta's Guardian Angel had also dictated to her a series of
commentaries on the Propers of the Tridentine pre-Vatican II Masses for
Sundays and Holy Days collected in : The Book of Azariah,
David G. Murray, (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl,
Via Po 95, I 03036 Isola del Liri Fr, Italia, 1993).
2. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni Del 1944 (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, I 03036 Isola del Liri Fr, Italia, 1985): 338-341.
3. "...someone dear...": probably Valtorta's spiritual director, Fr. Romuald Migliorini, OSM.
4. 1 Peter 5:8-9.
4b. "...The lion, I said...disease and death..." —The following four paragraphs are interpolated here into Christ's May 11th, 1944 Dictation as a continuation of His description of the lion and Satan. However, Christ actually continued this description the following day in His Dictation of May 12th, 1944.
4c. "...hunger of My viscera" —Christ almost certainly uses a euphemism here to refer to sexual temptations. Some, possibly of the Servite clergy, had raised questions to Valtorta with regard to Christ's temptations in the desert and throughout His earthly life — especially "sensual", i.e., sexual temptations with which Satan tempted Him in the desert, as portrayed in The Poem of the Man-God, Valtorta's masterwork. Such temptations the questioners deemed unbecoming for Christ to have experienced. The reader is therefore advised to read or re-read the episodes of Christ's temptation in the desert in The Poem of the Man-God, Vol. 1: "Jesus is Tempted in the Desert by the Devil" [pp. 247 ff – 24 Feb. 1944], as well as in that same volume: "Jesus Meets James and John" [pp. 253 ff - 25 Feb. 1944]; "Jesus Meets Judas Iscariot" [pp. 355 ff - 3 Jan. 1945]; and "Jesus Returns to the Mountain where He Fasted and to the Rock of Temptation" [pp.424 ff - 17 Jan. 1945].)
5. In a Vision of June 21, 1943 recorded in Valtorta's Maria Valtorta's, I Quaderni del 1943 [Notebooks for 1943] (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 1985).
6.This refers to the terrible state of God's apparent abandonment of her suffered by Valtorta from April 9th of that year (1944).
Lion Image for this document used with permission of The Lion Research Center
– I I –
"Among the many things which the world denies, swollen as it is with pride and with today's incredulity, is the power and the presence of the demon. Atheism which denies God, logically also denies Lucifer: created by God, the rebel of God, the adversary of God, the Tempter, the Envier, the Cunning, the Tireless, the Imitator of God. I have already said to all of you2 that Satan, who became that through a sin of pride, even now that he has been hurled from the Kingdom of the Most High which he dared to attack, into the deep abyss where there is darkness and horrors, that he wanted to establish in that deep place a copy of the Celestial Court, to have his own ministers and his own angels, his own subjects and his own sons. And that in his manifestations he disguises himself as a spirit of light, covering his appearance and his thought as the most Debased with deceiving cloaks copied from the Most High, in order to draw you all into error.
But those who really live with their spirit enlivened by Grace, hear the false sound and see beyond the appearance, and by spiritual intuition know the Seducer behind the disguise that is shown. Naturally that happens for those whom the triple virutes3 protect with a holy defense and whom Grace enlivens. The others -- and not only the atheists who deny, but the lukewarm who doze, the indifferent who do not notice, the distracted who do not reflect, the imprudent who go on like lunatics -- these others cannot see Satan behind that harmless or hypocritical appearance, and thus they become a laughingstock.
Do not deny the existence of Satan, sons who perish from always denying --from denying everything. Satan is not [just] a poor women's tale, and he is not a medieval superstition. He is a true reality.
There is a Satan. And he is tireless in his action. On High, God is tireless in the good. Down Below, Satan is tireless in evil. The word of the psalm is not [just] a lovely phrase of piety, nor the word of the Apostle [just] the lovely phrase of an orator.4 Satan is around all of you like a roaring lion, and in darkness he acts to bring you to himself. But [think] to what extent your incredulity now, your indifference, your atheism would allow him to act even in the light, openly, since you throw wide the gates of your soul and with your immoderate desires say to him: 'Enter. Provided I have what I want in this hour on earth, I make you lord of my self.' If it were not so, you could not have arrived at that form of life which you have reached and which horrifies God and His saints, His servants and sons.
But remember that [whether] metaphorically, artificially, or really, Satan acts deceitfully in darkness. He gets around you with the twistings and subtleties of a serpent lurking in the thick woods. However much he sees you already so torn away from God, still he does not dare present himself face to face and say to you: 'It is I. Follow me,' because he knows you are as much cowards in evil as in good. In this explicit encounter there are still few among you daring enough to say to him: 'I am coming.' You are hypocrites even in evil and, though desiring his help, you dare not confess this desire.
But Satan has no need of words. His gaze penetrates your heart like My own. I see your lust for Satanism; he sees the same thing, and acts.
After he tried to destroy the Christ by tempting Him,5 the Church by giving Her dark epochs, Christianity by its schisms, civil society by its sects: now, on the eve of his manifestation in preparation for the final one, he tries to destroy your conscience after having already destroyed your thought. Yes. Destroyed. Destroyed: not your capacity for thinking as men, but as sons of God. Rationalism and science, separated from God, have destroyed your thought as gods, and now you think [only] as mire can think: at the level of the earth. You do not see God with His seal impressed upon the things that your eye sees. For you, they are [only] stars, mountains, rocks, water, grass, animals. For the believer, they are works of God, and without needing anything else he immerses himself in the contemplation and praise of the Creator before the innumerable signs of His power which surround you and make your existence beautiful, and are useful in your lives.
Now Satan attacks your conscience. He offers the ancient fruit 6: pleasure, greediness to taste [it], arrogant pride, and the sacrilegious hope -- biting you in your flesh and in your knowledge -- to attain to becoming gods. And that pleasure makes you into animals burning with lust, repulsive, sick, condemned in this life to the sicknesses of the flesh, and in the other [life] to the death of the spirit. And that greediness to taste gives you into the hand of the Deceiver, since through your illicit thirst to experience and know those things which are the mysteries of God, and by trying to impose on God your will to [have] knowledge, you thus enable Satan to ensnare you in his errors.
You make Me pity you. And you cause Me horror. Pity, because you are lunatics. Horror because you want, you will to be thus, and you brand the flesh of your souls with the sign of the Beast, rejecting the Truth for the Lie.
And you can believe that Satan serves you? No. It is much easier for God to grant you what you ask, if it is something licit, than that Satan should give it to you. Satan is self-serving. And I assure you that for that one hour [he gives you], he asks for your whole life; for that one triumph, [he wants] all your eternity.
And you can think that by saying: "I want, I will," that God wills it? No. God wills only your good. Not all that you want.
And you can delude yourselves that at your command God and His ministers come to you? No. Only a chaste and pious life, only a life crowned with the three torches of faith, of hope, of charity, only a life defended by the other virtues practiced against Satan, the world and the flesh, only a life lived in My Law, in that teaching of Mine which is in My fourfold Gospel, and which has been the same for twenty centuries -- and will be the same while earth and man exist -- only, that is, a "Christian" life, a life like that of Christ: of homage, obedience, fidelity to the Father, of constant generosity, [only such a life] obtains for your spirit that purification, that sensitivity which can allow you to receive God and His ministers in so sensible a manner as to give you the joy of a vision and the joy of words simply inspired or really spoken.
I have said to you: ' God and Satan cannot be served together.' 7 No. Where the one is, the other is not. Your life is the sign of God, and your life is [also] the sign of Satan.
When you are capable of reflection -- I admit that you still have a piece of your soul free from the possession that kills -- examine yourselves, your works, the inspirations you receive. If you see them still to be only humanly honest, say: 'The power of God could be here.' But if they are contrary to human morals and at poles opposite to suprahuman morals, say likewise: 'Here it cannot be God, but His Enemy.'
And those of you already mislead to the point of having embraced the ominous religion I call 'Satanism' -- that parody of religion which is a sacrilege and a crime -- remember that I have no need of darkness, of solitude, of magnetism in order to come. I am Myself Light, and My saints are light. I do not fear the sun and I do not fear the crowd. I know how to transport [one] from the midst of a crowd and to appear as the Sun in the sun.
My disciples can tell you how simple, sweet, spontaneous and absolute is My coming to them; how it lifts them above all that surrounds them, engulfing them in the light and sound which is Heaven come to them.
They can tell you how after every contact they felt their materiality losing its weight and acquiring a spiritual quality, how after every fusion their flesh dies a little more and I live always more strongly in them --I, Conqueror of the flesh [which is] the instrument of Satan, and therefore [I am] Conqueror of Satan.
My disciples can tell you how, being renewed each time more profoundly, they die mystically and rise again each time always more spiritualized.
They can tell you what peace, what serenity, what balance is in them, what intelligence, what love, what purity. Not human, and still more than suprahuman: Mine, because I become them and they become Me. The creature is no more. I am there.8 They are a drop of blood in My Heart. I live. I reign. I make them gods since I assimilate them to Me.
What Satan does not give, he cannot give: becoming like God. I give it to these, My disciples, because I fuse them with Myself and deify them in that fusion."
1. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni del 1944
Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del
Liri (FR), Italia, 1985): 28-32.
2. In Maria Valtorta's, I Quaderni del 1943 (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 1985): the Visions of June 19th and August 22nd.
3. "The triple virtues": i.e., the theological virtues: faith, hope, charity.
4. Psalm 21:14; 1 Peter 5:8.
5. Matthew 4:1-11.
6. Genesis 3:1-5.
7. Matthew 6:24.
8. Cf. Galatians 2:20.
– I I I –
"His primeval name was Lucifer: in the Mind of God it meant 'banner-bearer' or light-bearer,' that is, of God, because God is Light. Second in beauty among all that exists, [Lucifer] was a pure mirror that reflected the intolerable Beauty [of God]. In missions to men he would have been the executor of God's Will, the messenger of the decrees of Goodness which the Creator would have transmitted to His blissful, faultless children,2 to bring them always higher into His likeness. This light-bearer, with the rays of Divine Light which he carried, would have talked with men. And they, lacking any faults, would have understood these flashes of harmonious words full of love and joy.
Seeing himself in God, seeing himself in himself, seeing himself in his [angelic] companions -- for God enveloped him with His Light and took delight in the splendor of His archangel, and the angels venerated him as the most perfect mirror of God -- Lucifer admired himself. He should have admired God alone. But in the being of everything created, all forces both good and wicked are present, and these interact until one of the two sides conquers in order to produce good or evil: as in the atmosphere all the gaseous elements exist, because [they are] necessary. Lucifer attracted arrogant pride to himself. He cultivated it, expanded it. He made a weapon of it for himself, and a [means of] seduction. He wanted more than he had. He wanted all: he who was already so great. He seduced the less attentive among his companions. He distracted them from contemplating God as the supreme Beauty. Knowing the future marvels of God, he wanted himself to be in the place of God. With his troubled thought, he saw himself as head of future mankind, adored as a supreme power. He thought: 'I know the secret of God. I know His words. His plan is known to me. I can do all that He wants [to do]. As I presided at the first creative works, I can go ahead. I am.' 3That word which only God can say was the shout of ruin for this proud one. And he was Satan.
He was 'Satan.' Truly I say to you that the name of Satan
was not given by man who, even by the order and will of God, gave a
to all that he knew existed. And man still christens his discoveries
a name he has created. Truly I tell you that the name 'Satan' 4
came directly from God, and it is one of the first revelations that God
made to the spirit of His poor son 5
wandering over the earth. And as My most holy Name has the meaning
I said to you once,6
now listen to the meaning of this horrible name. Write as I tell you:
This is Satan. And this is what those who are sick with Satanism are. And again he is: Seduction, Astuteness, Tenebrosity,9 Agility, Nefast.10 The 5 accursed letters that form his name, written with fire on his lightning-struck forehead. The 5 accursed characteristics of the Corrupter against which My 5 blessed Wounds flame out and which, with their suffering, save whoever wants to be saved from that which Satan continually infects.
The name of "demon, devil, Beelzebub" can be [used] of all the dark spirits. But this name [Satan] is "his" alone. And in Heaven he is only named with that [name] because There one speaks the language of God in a fidelity of love, even when indicating whatever one wishes, in accordance with God's thought of it.
He is the "Opposition." That which is opposed to God. That which is the opposite of God. His every action is the antithesis of God's actions. And his every pursuit is to bring men to be opposed to God. This is what Satan is. He is the 'setting-himself-against-Me' in action. To My three theological virtues he opposes the threefold concupiscence.11 And to the four cardinal [virtues]12 and all the others which issue from Me [he opposes] the serpentine hatchery of his horrible vices.
But as it is said that of all the virtues the greatest is charity,13 so I say that the greatest and most repulsive to Me of his anti-virtues is arrogant pride.14 Because through it all evil has come. For this [reason] I say that, while I still have pity on the weakness of the flesh that yields to the heat of lust, I also say that I cannot have pity for pride which, like a new Satan, wants to compete with God.
I seem unjust to you? No. Consider that lust is, after all, a vice of one's lower part which, in some, has so voracious an appetite, satisfied in moments of stupor, that it dazes them. But arrogant pride14 is a vice of one's higher part, consummated with an acute and lucid intelligence, premeditated, perduring. It wounds that part which is most like God. It tramples on the gem given by God. It communicates likeness with Lucifer. It sows more suffering than the flesh. Because the flesh can make a spouse, a woman, suffer. But pride can make victims in whole continents, in every class of persons. From arrogant pride man has been ruined and the world will perish. From pride the faith languishes. Arrogant pride: the most direct emanation of Satan.
I have forgiven the great sinners of the senses, because they were without pride of spirit. But I was unable to redeem Doras, Giocana, Sadoc, Eli and others like them,15 because they were the "proud."
1. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950
["Notebook from 1945 to 1950"] (Edizioni Pisani / Centro
Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 1985):
2. "...faultless children": This refers to and assumes the condition of Adam and his posterity before the Fall of Original Sin occurred.
3. To grasp the significance of this statement it must be related to God's statement of His Divine existence to Moses at the Burning Bush in Exodus (3:14): "I AM WHO AM" and "I AM sent me to you." Thus by usurping this statement and applying it to himself, Lucifer is claiming to be God.
4. "Satan" occurs with the same spelling in the original Hebrew of the Old Testament as in Italian and English, and means "Adversary" or "Accuser". [cf. especially, e.g., Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1-2] .
5. "His poor son...wandering": i.e., Adam, driven from the Garden of Eden after his fall.
6. In the Dictation of August 22, 1943 in: I Quaderni del 1943 (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 1985): 156-160. Translated on this Website as Babylon the Great (See especially Notes 14 & 15 of that document).
7."Supercilious": The original Italian word used here: "Superbo/Superbia," has the meaning of arrogant, overbearing pride, haughtiness, contemptuous."
8. "Nefarious": "Wicked"--used here to complete the acronym in place of the original Italian word "Nemico": literally: "Enemy."
9. "Tenebrosity": "Darkness" [Italian: "tenebra"]
10. "Nefast": "Evil, Wicked." (same as "nefarious" above).
11. "Threefold concupiscence": Defined elsewhere by Christ in this work as: "money, the flesh, power;" and again as: "sensuality, pride, greed."
12. "Cardinal virtues": i.e., justice, fortitude, temperance, prudence.
13. See 1 Corinthians 13:13.
14. "Arrogant pride": Italian: "Superba." See Note 7 above.
15. Pharisees in Valtorta's great masterwork on the Gospel, Poem of the Man-God
– I V –
"Besides being cunning, Lucifer is extremely intelligent. His cunning he uses to trap [you], but his intelligence [he uses] to think whether and when and how he can hurt Me and ruin a creature. And believe it, he never uselessly wastes his time.
Granted, therefore, that however omnipresent he is on earth, he has so much to do near so many men who inhabit the globe; and granted also whatever good man's little attention and meager will may accomplish: I say therefore of Lucifer's truly great power -- almost an omnipotence over creatures -- that he must calculate his time well and not lose a moment of it in order to work with usefulness. --With his wicked usefulness, which is to fatten his infernal coffers with treasures robbed from God: souls.
He is truly a tireless worker. On high, the Tireless One works good for each of you. Below, this tireless one works evil for you. And truly I say to you that he has more luck than God. His conquests are more numerous than Mine. But from what was said above, you can well understand that cunning, intelligent, and busy as he is, he cannot grant himself the luxury of being occupied with all in the same measure. And he is not.
Oh! in his evil he is an ascetic for the idea he pursues, wholly devoted to it. And he is not distracted, nor does he arrive at compromises, weariness, or postponements! Would that you, O men, acted toward the good as Satan does toward evil! But you do not.
As the creature is born little by little to intelligence, Lucifer at first concerns himself very little about it. He limits himself to watching it, eyeing it as a probable future goat of his infernal flock. As a creature is born little by little to knowing how to will and how to think, that is, after six years [of age], [Lucifer] increases his attention and begins his instruction.
The angelic minister instructs and leads spirits with words of light. The satanic minister instructs and stirs up spirits with words of darkness. It is a struggle which has no end. Whether conquered or conqueror, the former: the angel of light, and the latter: the angel of darkness, battle around a spirit until its last mortal hour, to snatch the prey from one another: the angel of light delivering it to its Lord, in light, after having had [the soul] in his protection all its earthly day; the angel of darkness dragging it with him into the darkness, if the final victory is his.
However, between the two who battle there is a third, and he is, after all, the most important personage. There is man for whom the two [spirits] battle. Man: free to follow his own will and endowed with intelligence and reason, fortified by the incalculable strength of Grace which Baptism has returned to him and which the Sacraments maintain and increase in him.
Grace, as you know, is the union of the soul with God. Therefore it should give you such strength as to render you impregnable and incorruptible to Satanic traps and corruption, because union with God should make you demigods. But to remain such it is necessary to want it, to will it. It is necessary to say to Satan and to yourself: 'I am God's and I want to be only God's.' Therefore: obedience to the precepts and the counsels; therefore continuous effort to follow, pursue, and conquer the good --and an always greater good; therefore absolute fidelity and constant vigilance; and therefore heroism to conquer self and what is external [to self] in the seductions of the threefold concupiscence,2 and in its multiple faces.
Few, very few, too few, know how to do these things. And then? And then for [the others], they are so easily caught when they want to be, they are so inert in escaping when they have been caught, that Satan is little concerned [about them]. He acts like a cat with a mouse: he catches them, chokes them a little, stuns them, and then lets them alone, limiting himself to giving them another clawing, and snapping again at them if they give any sign of attempting a timid flight. Nothing more. He knows they are 'his,' and he does not lose much time on them, nor much [of his] intelligence.
But with 'Mine!' Oh! with Mine it is something else! They are the prey that tickles his livid hunger most. They are the 'impregnable.' And Satan, expert hunter that he is, knows that there is merit in capturing the difficult game. They are the 'joys' of God. And Satan holds a great festival when he can give sorrow and offense and disappointment to God. He lives from hate. As God lives from love. He is Hate. As God is Love. Hate is his blood. As Love is Mine. See him, then, multiplying his cares and surveillance around one of 'Mine.'
To enter a dismantled fortress is child's play. The cruel king of Hell does not want that. He wants the fortresses of God, the clean, smooth rocks, limpid as crystals, resistant as steel, which show sculptured on every side, even in their deepest recesses, the most holy Name: God. --Rather, it is from these hidden recesses that [the holy Name] exudes like a fluid which flows from inside to the outside. It is the Name which they love, serve, pronounce with their adoring spirit at every beat of their heart. To catch them, to catch you, to snatch you from Me, to cancel that Name from your triune being of spirit, flesh and reason, to make of all of you -- the flowers of My garden -- an uncleanness for his Hell, and to laugh, hurling his blasphemous laughter against the Divine Throne, to laugh for his victory over man and over God: --this is the joy of Satan.
The more you are 'Mine' the more also he persists in making you his. And since there is in you an unremitting vigilance and will, he, the Cunning, does not follow and pursue you with his usual method for others. But he attacks you treacherously, at always greater distance, in the most unforeseen moments and with the most unexpected motives. He takes advantage of pain, of need, of abandonment, of disappointment, and leaps like a panther upon your bewildered, grieving, momentary weakness, hoping to conquer you then in order once for all to make his own again all that you had conquered.
The means? Infinite. The method? Only one: that of a benevolent, lying sweetness, of a reasonable and quiet word, of an apparent friendship that helps, that wants to help.
Have you had attacks from him? And you will have them again: many, and always more cunning. Oh! what spite [he has] for Me and for you! You will have always more [of his attacks], and so subtle as to draw into deception even the shrewdest person. Shrewdness humanly speaking. Because --smile, soul that I love-- because simplicity permeated with God, and kept as such, is impenetrable to every subtlety.
He will wound you externally. But the soldier's honor is the scar that marks his flesh and says: 'This mark is proof of a manly battle.' And the more a soldier's flesh is striped with these marks, the more too does the world bow to his valor. In spiritual battles the same thing happens. And your wounds -- which do not damage your spirit but only bruise that which envelopes your king-spirit -- are your honor. And for these wounds you will be honored in Heaven.
Truly I say to you, you call 'martyrs' only those who perish by the work of tyrants. But all My saints are martyrs. Because in order to be saints they had to undergo persecution by Satan and remain faithful. Glory to the one who conquers! The palms of Heaven are for you."
1. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni del 1944
Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del
Liri (FR), Italia, 1985): 654-657.
2. "Threefold concupiscence": Defined elsewhere by Christ in this work as: "money, the flesh, power,"; and again as: "sensuality, pride, greed."
– V –
". . . It is since the evening of the 18th that the good Jesus shows me a horrifying, ugly beast, so horrifying that it disgusts me and I want to scream.>2 And the good Jesus makes me understand that its appearance is always less than the reality, because no human reality could reach an exact imitation of supreme Beauty and supreme Ugliness.
Now I describe the ugly beast.
I seem to see a great hole: black, black, and very deep. I understand that it is very deep, but I do not see anything but its opening, completely occupied by a horrible monster. It's not a serpent, it's not a crocodile, it's not a dragon, it's not a bat, but it has something of all four [of these].
A long and pointed head without ears and with two sly and savage eyes which are always hunting for prey; a very wide mouth and armed with quite sharp teeth, always intent on catching in flight anything careless that arrives within range of its jaws. To sum up, its head has much the form of a serpent, and its teeth are like a crocodile's. A long and flexible neck allows much agility to the dreadful head.
An ugly, slippery body covered with skin like that of an eel, that is, without scales (to help you understand), with a color between rust, violet, dark gray. . . I really don't know. It even has the color of leeches.
At its shoulders and at its haunches (I say 'haunches' because there its throbbing belly swollen with prey ends, and its long tail begins which terminates in a point), are attached four short and webbed paws like those of a crocodile. At its shoulders, two ugly bat-wings.
The ugly beast does not move its great, loathsome body. It only moves its tail, which writhes back and forth like an 'S,' and it moves its horrible head with its fascinating eyes and murdering jaws.
O Divine Mercy! What an ugly, awful beast! From its black den spurts darkness and horror. I assure you that yesterday, as I saw it with a very vivid accuracy -- and didn't understand what it was about to do -- the desire came to me to scream with disgust. A good thing that I saw it was never looking toward me as if from revulsion. A mutual revulsion if ever there was one. If this is a pale representation of Satan, what ever will he [really] be? It's to die twice over just to see him.
A good thing too that if, in one corner, was the awful beast, very near [also] was my Jesus: white, beautiful, blond . . . Light in light! Comparing the luminous, comforting figure of Christ with that of the other, His most sweet, clear gaze with that wicked one of the other, is truly to weep with unhappy sinners destined for the second, [the beast], because they have rejected Jesus.
Well then, now that I have seen . . . I don't want to see him anymore because he is too ugly. I will pray that the least possible [number] of such unfortunate [sinners] end up in his clutches, but I pray the good God to take away from me this sight.
Today it is less vivid and I am most grateful to the Lord for that. And I am still more grateful that the dear Voice makes me understand the reason for that Vision which yesterday terrorized me, believing that it was destined for me as a warning.
"Consider [Maria] My Radiance and My Beauty with respect to the black monstrosity of the Beast.
Have no fear of looking even if it is a repulsive spectacle. You are within My arms. He cannot draw near and harm you. You see him? He does not even look at you. He already has so much prey to follow.
Now does it seem to you that it is worth your leaving Me to follow him? And yet the world follows him and leaves Me for him.
Look how glutted and throbbing he is. It is his hour for feasting. But look also at how he seeks out the shadow to act. He hates the Light, and he calls himself Lucifer!3 You see him, how he hypnotizes those who are not marked with My Blood? He heaps up his efforts because he knows that it is his hour and that My hour draws near in which he will be conquered eternally.
To increase his prey, his infernal cunning and Satanic intelligence are a constant working of Evil, in opposition to Our One and Triune working of Good. But cunning and intelligence would not prevail if My Blood and their honest will were in men. Man lacks too many things to have the weapons to oppose the Beast, and It knows that and acts openly, without even veiling Itself with a deceptive appearance.
Let Its loathsome ugliness push you to an always greater diligence and an always greater penitence. For you and for your unfortunate brothers who have a soul bereaved or seduced and do not see, or, seeing him, run to meet the Fiend, even to have his help for an hour, and to pay with an eternity of damnation."
1. From Maria Valtorta's, I Quaderni del 1943
Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del
Liri (FR), Italia, 1985): 224-226.
2. Valtorta is addressing her spiritual director, Fr. Romuald Migliorini, OSM. [Note: In the original Italian, Valtorta's description of this Vision comes after Christ's Dictation about it. But for this presentation, the order has been reversed: Valtorta's description is placed before Christ's Dictation about the Vision.]
3. Lucifer: "Light-bearer."
– V I –
"While I work with the needle, I mentally contemplate the moral figure of Jesus Christ. I think that if I could have a picture painted of Him according to my own indications, and therefore the nearest possible to what His most holy Face as a Man was, I would want to have written beneath it a phrase which would be 'all' that Jesus of Nazareth was. I think of: 'Come to Me;' of: 'I am the Way - the Truth, the Life;' of: 'I am, do not fear.' But I feel that it is still not what my soul wants in order to indicate 'the Christ.' Azariah speaks to me:"
"Jesus is the Epitome of the love of the Three. Jesus is the Epitome of that which is the Most Holy Trinity and Unity of God. The Perfection of the Three is epitomized in only One. The infinite, multiform Perfection is epitomized in Jesus. An abyss of Perfection before which the Heavenly armies and blessed multitudes of Paradise prostrate themselves. An abyss of Love which could be and can be grasped and accepted only by those who possess love.
Whence here is the explanation of how that archangel [Lucifer] could become the Spirit of Evil, who was [formerly] a kind and holy spirit. --But not holy to the point of being all love. It is the measure of love which one has in oneself, that gives the measure of one's perfection and resistance to any corruption. When love is complete, nothing more can enter to corrupt one. That particle [of oneself] that does not love is an easy breach through which to be infiltrated with the first elements that are not love. And they force, widen, flood and submerge the good elements, until they kill them.
Lucifer had an incomplete measure of love. His self-complacency occupied a space in him, a space in which there could be no love. And it was the breach through which entered -- ruinously -- his depravity. Because of it, he could not grasp and accept the Christ-Love, the Epitome of the infinite, unique, Triune Love. And the fact that today the heresy is more widespread which denies the Divine Humanity of the Second Person and makes of Him [but] a simple good and wise man, is easily explained with this key: the lack of love in the human heart, the incapacity to love, the poverty of the possession of love.
Observe, my soul, that whether in the time of Christ or later in His era, for the man who could not believe if he were not humble and loving, there were always two points on which such a man's arrogant intellect halts: 1) that the Christ was God and Man and was performing only spiritual acts --and for these He was hated even by His own most intimate [followers], and therefore betrayed; and also: 2) that He created the Sacrament of Love. Then, now, always, those 'without love' said and will say, heretically, that God could not be in Jesus, and that Jesus could not be in the Most Holy and adorable Eucharist.
Therefore, my soul, if you had to have one word written under the image of the Man-God, you should have this written: 'I am the Epitome of Love.'"
"And holy Azariah is silent, adoring. What peace! What peace in me, what light, what sensation of mental well-being, of a thought that is calmed by an answer that totally persuades it. And after the angelic lesson these [feelings] continue! I close my notebook with my treasure, and turn to manual work while my mind, gratified, contemplates the lesson it has had.
I re-read it later, meditate and stop short at the phrase: 'Lucifer [was] not holy to the point of being all love.' In the sublime concept that I have of the angels I do not succeed in grasping how a spirit such as an angel is, would have been able to have anything lacking. My amazement before the sin of the angels has always been invincible! And no one has ever given me an explanation that persuaded me as to how some of these spiritual beings had been able to sin [when they were] created by the perfect Will of God in a creation in which the element of 'Evil,' not yet formed, was lacking, and who were contemplating the eternal Perfection, and That alone. And now the phrase: 'not holy [to the point] of being all love,' stops me, stirring up anew my: 'How can that be.' Holy Azariah says to me:"
"The angels are superior to men. I say 'men' in speaking of beings called thus, composed of matter and of spirit. We [angels], then, are superior, we [who are] all spirit. But recall that when Grace lives in man and [in him] circulates the Blood of the Mystical Body whose Head is Christ, and while the seven Sacraments strengthen him from birth to death for every state and for every phase of life, then in all of you -- 'living temples of the Lord,' -- we [angels] see the Lord and adore Him in you, and then you yourselves are superior to us: you are 'other Christs,' and you have what is called the 'Bread of angels' but is solely the Bread of men. What mystical, insatiable hunger for the Eucharist is in us, and how it makes us cleave to you when you nourish yourselves with It, so that we may smell the Divine fragrance of this perfect Food!
But to return to the initial point, I tell you that in the angels -- different in nature and perfection from all of you -- there is in the angels, as in you, free will. God has created no one a slave. In the beginning there was in creation only Order. But that Order does not exclude freedom. Rather in that Order is perfect freedom. To be exact, in such order there is not even the fear of an invasion, an intrusion, of the anarchy of other wills which could produce collusion and ruin that penetrate into the orbit and trajectory of other beings or created things. Thus it was for the whole Universe, before Lucifer abused his own freedom and with his own will put into himself the disorder of passions, so as to create disorder in that perfect Order. Had he been all love, he would have had no place in himself for anything that was not love. Instead he had a place for arrogant pride which could be called: the disorder of the intellect.
Would God have been able to hinder this deed? Yes. But why violate the free will of the most beautiful, most intelligent archangel? Would not He Himself, the Most Just, then have put disorder into His own ordered Thought? by no longer wanting what He had previously wanted: that is, the freedom of the archangel? God does not oppress a troubled spirit in order violently to place it in the impossibility of sinning. Lucifer's not sinning would then have had no merit. Even for us [angels] it was necessary 'to know how to want the Good' in order to continue to merit enjoying the vision of God, infinite Bliss!
As God had wanted this sublime archangel at His side in His first creative works, and wanted him to know about the future of His creation of love, so God wanted him to know the adorable and sorrowful necessity that his sin would have imposed on God: the Incarnation and Death of a God to counterbalance the ruin from the Sin that would have been created should Lucifer not have conquered pride in himself. Love could not but speak this language. God's first annihilation is in this act of wanting to bend sweetly, gently, this proud [archangel]; and with the vision of what his pride would have imposed on God, almost imploring him not to sin, and thus bring others to sin. It was an act of love.
Lucifer, already become a Satan, took this act as fear, weakness and an insult, as a declaration of war. And he stirred up war against the Most Perfect, saying:
'You are? I also am.3 Whatever You made, it was for me You made it. There is no God. And if there is a God, I am3 [he]. I adore myself. I detest You. I refuse to recognize as my Lord One Who does not know how to conquer me. You should not have created me so perfect if You wanted no rivals. Now I am3 and I am against You. Conquer me, if You can. But I do not fear You. I, too, will create; and because of me Your Creation will tremble, for I will shake it like a shred of cloud caught by the winds. For I hate You and I want to destroy whatever is Yours, to create upon its ruins that which will be mine. I neither know nor recognize any other power outside of myself. And I no longer adore, no longer adore, NO LONGER ADORE any other than myself.'Truly then in Creation, in all Creation, from the lowest [form] to the very depths, there was a horrendous convulsion from the horror of these sacrilegious words. A convulsion such as will not [again] be until the end of Creation. And from it was born Hell: the kingdom of Hate.
My soul, do you understand how Evil was born? From a free will, and, being respected as such by God, from one who was not 'all love.' And believe it: upon every fault which is committed from then on is this judgment: 'Here there is not all love.' Complete love forbids one to sin; and without any effort. He who loves does not toil to reach justice! Love carries him above all the mire and dangers, and from moment to moment purifies him from barely apparent imperfections that are still there in the last step of consummate holiness: in that state in which the spirit is so [far] developed as to be truly a king, already united by spiritual marriage to its Lord, enjoying but one step less than that which is the life of the blessed in Heaven: so much does God give Himself and reveal Himself to His blessed child.
Glory to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit."
~ † ~
1. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950
["Notebooks from 1945 to 1950"] (Edizioni Pisani / Centro
Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 1985):
2. See paragraph 6 of the Introduction above , and its Note 1 on "Azariah" referenced there.
3. "You are? I also am." --To grasp the significance of this statement it must be related to God's statement of His Divine existence to Moses at the Burning Bush in Exodus (3:14): "I AM WHO AM" and "I AM sent me to you." Thus by usurping this statement and applying it to himself, Lucifer is claiming to be God.