— INTRODUCTORY NOTE —
A long-standing controversy among theologians and scripture scholars has been that of the extent or limit of Christ's human knowledge during His sojourn among us. Despite His dual nature as fully human and also fully divine, could there have been some lacunae in His knowledge as man? And how would this have interacted with or been affected by His omniscience as God?
In the 2007 edition referenced here of L'Evangelo come mi è stato rivelato1 [formerly Il poema dell'Uomo-Dio], Valtorta's curator and publisher, Emilio Pisani, has included an extensive footnote at paragraph [=par.] 59.5 which treats especially of this subject of Christ's human knowledge as provoked by events depicted in this paragraph. While the paragraph numberings in the English translation fortunately correspond exactly with those of the Italian edition, this important footnote has regrettably not been included in the English translation of The Gospel as Revealed to Me.2
Pisani indicates that the [Italian] texts he has italicized in the footnote were inserted on a separate page by Valtorta into D23 —the final corrected version of her Work. However, Valtorta gives no indication as to the original source of the texts she has thus inserted. The content of the texts, however, seem beyond the range of Valtorta's theological acumen. They could have been authored by Fr. Conrad Berti, OSM, (annotator of all Valtorta's works), but in this reader's experience, their tenor seems typical of other such explanatory dictations given to Valtorta either by Christ or the Holy Spirit as she was correcting the [D2] typescript.
Because of the importance of the question of Christ's human knowledge, Pisani's extensive footnote—omitted from the English edition of The Gospel as Revealed to Me—is offered here in English translation to Valtorta readers for a better understanding of our Divine Master as He lived among us during His earthly sojourn.
--November 2, 1944
[Jesus]: "Who you are, I do not know." — [Pisani]: Such an affirmation from Jesus is explained by the following note of Valtorta [=MV] on her typewritten copy [D2]: "Christ, as God and as the Saint of saints, penetrated into consciences and saw and knew their secret places [perfect introspection]. But as Man, He knew persons and places only according to the human manner when His Father and His own divine nature did not judge it useful for Him to know such persons and places without asking."
On the same typewritten copy [D2], Valtorta records the following note at the words [of Jesus]: Aggeus! Come forward... which occur at the beginning of [par.] 59.7: "Here, needing to give proof to the Pharisee of His divine omniscense, He calls by name the unknown Aggeus, whom he knows is possessed, while in the preceding page, as Man, He had said to the Pharisee: "I do not know who you are." These two notes of Valtorta's are confirmed in the text of [paras.] 224.2, 357.3, 527.4/6, 554.7 and they justify the statements of "ignorance" on the part of Jesus that we meet, e.g., in 73.7 - 75.3 - 362.2 - 365.10 -376.9 - 377.2 - 382.5 - 395.2 - 406.9 - 413.8 - 433.5 - 472.4 - 488.5 - 583.23 - 584.6.
A second explanation on the "ignorance" of Jesus is given apropos of a series of questions which Christ directed to Annalia in 156.3. The related note of MV, put on a typewritten copy, says:"Jesus knew and remembered, but He wanted souls to open themselves with maximum freedom and confidence." This explanation finds confirmation in the text of 128.1 and 153.1, as well as in a singular expression of [Judas] Iscariot in 468.4: "I know that You know and yet that You wait for me to say it."
A third explanation is in a long note included by MV apropos of the affirmation of Jesus: "Who he is, I do not know," which is found in 175.5. We report here that handwritten note, which occupies four sides of a page inserted in the typewritten copy:
D2 —[on a separate page]: In order for men to be able to enjoy redemption, in the day of the immolation of His Son, God wanted them to have within themselves: faith in the word of the Man-God, hope in the promises of the Master of Truth, charity for the Divine Friend Who so loved them as to give Himself completely to them, tirelessly, powerfully, mercifully, and finally totally by giving His life for them. But as for us now, in order to merit Heaven, we must believe, hope, and love, without any sensible things of our materiality confirming [anything] for us and giving us matter for believing, hoping, and loving—so then as well, God the Father wanted the hearers and compatriots of the Nazarene to have believed, hoped, and loved without irrefutable proofs of the Divinity of Jesus-Word of God made flesh, and one like man in all but sin.
For this reason at the Baptism of Jesus, according to the testimony of the Baptist and the Apostle John, the only Evangelist present at the Baptism of Christ, the Dove and the divine Voce were seen and heard only by Christ and the Precursor [Jn 1:32]. At the Transfiguration only Peter James and John were present, to whom Jesus commanded: "Do not speak of what you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead" [Mt 17:9; Mk 9:8; Lk 9:36 and I Pt 17, 18]; while at the last manifestation of the Father to the Son when His Passion was already impending [Jn 12:28-29], their spirits were still so darkened that some believed it was thunder and some the voice of an angel. And they still did not want to believe that He was the Son of God.
Most in Israel could accept Him in the garment of a prophet—and prophets also worked miracles—but woe to those who did not welcome Him even as such, as Peter recalls in the Acts of the Apostles [3:23]. In the garment of a prophet, of the greatest prophet. And the Father permitted that to separate up till then the lambs from the goats, to reward those who, without proof of the Divinity in Christ, knew how to believe He was God. Jesus will later say to Thomas: "Blessed those who, without seeing, believed and will believe " [Jn 20:29].
Now to have spontaneous and valid faith, hope and charity so as to merit redemption and the divine Life "by welcoming Christ, the True Light" [Jn 1:12, 9] in order to become sons of God, it was necessary that the Hebrews believed the Word that He professed: "God, Son of God, one single thing with the Father, the Beginning Who speaks—but without seeing His divine Nature united hypostatically to that human [nature]. It was necessary that in the Man—a wise Man and capable of miracles, but a true Man—that they should know how to see the Son of God with an intellectual vision which only the three theological virtues, truly practiced, could grant them to see. Instead, after years of teaching and miracles, there were many who still asked themselves: "When the Christ [Messiah] comes, will He perhaps do more miracles than those which this Man has done?" [Jn 7:31] This shows that they still did not believe Him to be the Christ [Messiah]. And the Eternal Father, in order to prove their hearts and separate the sons of God and of the Light, from the sons of the flesh and of darkness, permitted in the presence of the Apostles, of the disciples and of the crowds, some lacunae [gaps] in the all-seeing-ness of the Son, like this question and response: "Who is this? I do not know him..." And that was for men.
But it was also for His beloved Son, to prepare Him thus for the great darkness of the hour of darkness, of the abandonment of the Father; a dreadful hour in which Jesus was Man, and Man rejected by the Father, having become "Accursed for us" [Gal 3:13]; an hour in which every light on the future was extinguished, and every coming moment was full of the unknown and of terror, after having contemplated and known in Gethsemani all the sea of horror and sufferings about to submerge Him; [it was] an hour of darkness which tore from Him Who had never complained about the will of the Father, the sorrowful complaint: "My God, why have You abandoned me?"[Ps 21:2] A shout which made Him appear more than ever—man: a simple man to His enemies, mockers and executioners, and hence caused Him to be covered again with a last extreme wave of mockeries and insults.
Mysterious designs of God! Obscurity in the Son and in the Mother, in the two most loved. And as Mary, in whom the Spirit gave His Lights, knew darkness and did not know how to find Jesus for three days in His twelfth year [Lk 2:41-50]: a preparation for the darkness and separations of the 3 years of [His] public life and the three days of His Passion and Death—so Jesus also had these little lacunae [gaps in His knowledge] as a preparation for the total redemptive darkness. And the men who followed Him noticed them—a means for proving their faith, hope, and charity for the Master and Wonderworker: Jesus.
The explanation given by MV is confirmed by the words of the apostle John in the context of 334.2/3, as regards proving hearts. As regards the preparation of the beloved Son for the hour of darkness, it is confirmed and deepened in 582.14, 598.4 603.5, 603.4, and is an explanation which confers a profound significance on some indecisions of Jesus (as in 302.4.7), and above all to His disconcerting vacillations found in 339.4 and 464.14.
Given the aforesaid and warranted exceptions, Valtorta's Work presents Jesus as omniscient and all-seeing, or prescient and clairvoyant, as is explicitly stated in: 48.6 - 60.7 - 78.3 - 80.9.10 - 89.2 - 117.5 - 133.2 - 149.1/2 - 160.6 - 174.7 - 203.1 - 204.4 - 218.1 - 220.4 - 224.2 - 236.5 - 317.3/5 - 329.14 - 335.13 - 340.5 - 351.4 - 357.3 - 371.9 - 387.3 - 391.8 - 406.11 - 409.3 - 411.8 - 471.3 - 473.5 - 503.,2 - 522.5 - 524.8 - 525.2 - 531.10 (last lines) - 531.20 (last lines) - 532.4.6 - 534.9 - 540.7 - 548.27 - 555.4 - 561.14 - 563.5 - 565.3/4 - 566.18 - 567.18.21 - 580.2 - 587.5.8 - 595.6 - 602.4/5. [—Emilio Pisani]
- NOTES -
1- Maria Valtorta, L'Evangelo come mi è stato rivelato, 10 Volumes, curator Emilio Pisani, by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl. Reprinted in Italy, 2007.
2- Maria Valtorta, The Gospel as Revealed to Me, 10 Volumes, Second edition, by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR) - Italy. Reprinted in Italy, 2014.
3- As a point of possible interest for Valtorta Readers: Valtorta's publisher, Pisani, informs us that there are 3 versions of Valtorta's works which he designates as:
A- Valtorta's original manuscript handwritten on legal notepads.
D1- A copy of "A" as typed out by her director, Fr. Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M.
D2- The final version containing Valtorta's (and sometimes Christ's) corrections and additions of "D1".