And now what shall I tell you, o souls who feel your faith is dying? Those Wise Men from the East had nothing to assure them of the truth. Nothing supernatural. All they had was an astronomic calculaton and their own considerations made perfect by a strictly honest life. And yet they had faith. Faith in everything: in science, in their own conscience, in God's goodness.
Science made them believe in the sign of the new star, which could only be "the one" expected by mankind for centuries: the Messiah. Because of their consciences they had faith in the voices of their consciences, which heard heavenly "voices" saying to them: "That is the star announcing the advent of the Messiah". Because of God's goodness, they believed that God would not deceive them, and since their intention was honest, He would help them in every way to reach their aim.
And they were successful. Among so many people fond of studying signs, they were the only ones who understood that sign, because their souls were anxious to know the words of God for an honest purpose, the main care of which was to praise and honor God immediately.
They did not seek any personal advantage. On the contrary, they have to face hardships and meet expenses but they do not ask for any human reward. They only ask God to remember them and save them for eternal life.
As they have no desire for any future human rewards, so they have no human worry, when they decide on their journey. You would have had hundreds of problems: "How will I be able to make such a long journey in countries and among peoples speaking different languages? Will they believe me or will they put me in prison as a spy? What help will they give me to cross the deserts, rivers and mountains? And the heat? And the winds of the highlands? And the malarial fever along stagnant marshes? And the floods and heavy rains? And the different food? And the different languages? And ... and... and..." That is how you reason. But they do not reason like that. With sincere, holy daring they say: "You, o God, can read our hearts and You see the purpose we are aiming at. We trust to Your hands. Grant us the superhuman joy of adoring Your Second Person, Who has become Flesh to save the world."
That is all. And they set out from the far away Indies. Jesus then tells me that when He says the Indies, He means meridional Asia where Turkey, Afghanistan and Persia are located in our geography. From the Mongolian chains of mountains which are the dominions of eagles and vultures, where God speaks with roars of winds and torrents and writes words of mystery on the immense pages of glaciers. From the land where the Nile rises and then flows with its green blue waters to the azure heart of the Mediterranean, neither mountains, nor woods, nor sands, dry oceans more dangerous than the seas, can stop them from proceeding. And the star shines upon them at night, preventing them from sleeping. When one seeks God, natural habits must yield to superhuman considerations and necessities.
The star guides them from the north, the east and the south, and by a miracle of God, it proceeds for the three of them towards one point. And by another miracle of God, after many miles it gathers them at that point and by a further miracle, it anticipates the Pentecost Wisdom, bestowing on them the gift of understanding and making themselves understood, as it happens in Paradise, where only one language is spoken: God's.
They are dismayed only for a moment, when the star disappears and since they are humble, because they are really great, they do not think it is due to the wickedness of other people, as the corrupted people of Jerusalem did not deserve to see the star of God. But they think they had failed to deserve God themselves, and they examine themselves with trepidation and contrition ready to beg forgiveness.
But their consciences reassure them. Their souls were accustomed to meditation and each of them had a most sensitive conscience, refined by constant attention, and by sharp introspection, which made of the interior a mirror on which even the slightest faults of daily actions are reflected. Their conscience has become their teacher, a voice that warns and cries not at the least error, but at the least inclination towards errors, at everything human, at the satisfaction of one's "ego". Consequently, when they place themselves before that teacher and that severe clean mirror, they know that it will not lie. It reassures them and gives them heart.
"Oh! How sweet it is to feel that there is nothing against God in us! To feel that He is kindly looking at the soul of His faithful son and blesses him. Faith, trust, hope, strength and patience are increased by such a feeling. The storm is raging just now. But it will pass, because God loves me and He knows that I love Him, and He will not fail to help me again." That is how those speak who enjoy the peace that comes from an upright conscience, that is the queen of every action of theirs.
I said that they were "humble because they were really great." What happens, instead, in your lives? There a man is never humble not because he is great, but because he is more domineering and makes himself mighty by means of his arrogance and because of your silly idolatry. There are some wretched men who, simply because they are the butlers of some overbearing fellow, or ushers in some office, or officials in some small village, that is, servants of those who employed them, put on the airs of demigods. And they arouse pity!...
The three Wise Men were really great. Firstly, because of their supernatural virtues, secondly because of their science, last because of their wealth. But they feel that they are nothing: dust on the dust of the earth, in comparison with the Most High God, Who with a smile creates the worlds and scatters them like grains of corn to satisfy the eyes of the angels with the jewels of the stars.
They feel they are a mere nothing as compared to the Most High God Who created the planet on which they live and He made it most varied. An Infinite Sculptor of boundless works, with a touch of His thumb, He placed a ring of hills here, the bone structure of mountain ridges and peaks there, like vertebrae of the earth, of this enormous body, the veins of which are the rivers, it basins the lakes, its hearts the oceans, its dresses the forests, its veils the clouds, its decorations the crystal glaciers, its gems the turquoises and emeralds, the opals and the beryls of all the waters that sing, with the woods and the winds, the great chorus of praise to their Lord.
But they feel they are nothing with regard to their wisdom as compared to the Most High God, from Whom their wisdom comes and Who gave them more powerful eyes than those two pupils by means of which they see things: the eyes of their souls, which know how to read in things the word not written by human hands, but engraved by God's thought.
And they feel they are nothing with regard to their wealth: an atom as compared to the wealth of the Owner of the universe, Who scatters metals and gems in the stars and planets and grants super-natural unexhausted riches to the hearts of those who love Him.
And when they arrive before the poor house, in the poorest town in Judah, they do not shake their heads saying: "Impossible", but they bend their backs, their knees, and above all their hearts and they adore. There, behind that poor wall, there is God. The God they have always invoked, but never had the least hope of seeing. And they invoke Him for the welfare of all mankind, and "their" eternal welfare. Oh! that was their only wish. To see Him, know Him, possess Him in the life where there are no more dawns and sunsets!
He is there, behind that poor wall. Will His heart of a Child, which is still the heart of a God, perceive those three hearts, which prostrated in the dust of the road are crying: "Holy, Holy, Holy, Blessed the Lord our God. Glory to Him in the Highest Heaven and peace to His servants. Glory, glory, glory and blessings."?
They are wondering with loving tremor. And during the whole night and the following morning they prepare with the most ardent prayer their souls for the communion with the Child-God.
They do not go to that altar, which is the virginal lap holding the Divine Host, with their souls full of human worries, as you do. They forget to eat and to sleep, and if they wear the most beautiful robes, it is not for human ostentation, but to honor the King of kings. In royal palaces the dignitaries wear the most beautiful clothes. And should the Magi not go to that King in their best garments" Which greater opportunity is there for them?
Oh! In their far away countries, many a time they had to adorn themselves for men like themselves. To welcome and honor them. It is only fair, therefor, that they should prostrate purples and jewels, silks, and precious feathers at the feet of the Supreme King. It is fair to put at His sweet little feet the fibres of the earth, the gems of the earth, the feathers of the earth, the metals of the earth--they are all His work--so that all these things of the earth may adore their Creator. And they would be happy if the Little Creature should order them to lie down on the ground and become a living carpet for His little baby steps, and if He trampled on them, since He left the stars to come down to them, who are but dust.
They were humble, generous and obedient to the "voices" from Above. They tell them to take gifts to the New-Born King. And they take gifts. They do not say: "He is rich and does not need them. He is God and will not die". They obey. And they are the first to help the Savior in His poverty. How useful that gold will be for Him Who is about to be a fugitive! How meaningful that myrrh is for Him Who will soon be killed! How pious that incense is for Him Who will have to smell the stench of human lewdness raging round His infinite purity!
They were humble, generous, obedient and respectful to one another. Virtues always generate other virtues. From the virtues directed to God, derive the virtues regarding our neighbors. Respect, which is charity. The oldest is entrusted with the task of speaking on behalf of them all, he is the first to receive the Savior's kiss and to hold Him by His little hand. The others will be able to see Him again. He will not, because he is old and the day for his return to God is not far away. He will see Christ after His heart-rending death and will follow Him, together with the other blessed souls, in His return to Heaven. But he will never see Him again in this world. May, therefor, the warmth of His little hand entrusted to his wrinkled one, be a viaticum for him.
There is no envy in the others. On the contrary, their veneration for the old Wise Man increases. He certainly deserved more than they did, and for a longer period of time. The God-Infant knows. The Word of the Father does not speak yet, but every action of His is a word. And may His innocent word be blessed, because it designated him as His favorite.
But, My dear children, there are two more lessons in this vision.
The behavior of Joseph who knows how to keep "his" place. He is present as the guardian of Purity and Holiness. But not as the usurper of their rights. It is Mary with Jesus who receives the homage and the words. Joseph rejoices because of Her and does not grieve becuase he is a secondary figure. Joseph is a just man: he is the Just Man. And he is always just. Also at the present moment. The fumes of the feast do not go to his head. He remains humble and just.
He is happy for the gifts. Not for himself, but because he thinks that with them he will be able to make his Spouse's and the sweet Child's lives more comfortable. There is no greed in Joseph. He is a workman and will continue to work. But he is anxious that "They", his two loves, should be more comfortable. Neither he nor the Magi know that those gifts serve for a flight and a life in exile, when riches vanish like clouds scattered by winds, as well as for their return to their country, where they have lost everything, customers and household furnishings, and where only the walls of their house have been saved, which were protected by God, because there He was united to the Virgin and became Flesh.
Joseph is humble, in fact, although he is the guardian of God and of the Mother of God and Spouse of the Most High, he holds the stirrups of these vassals of God. He is a poor carpenter, because sustained human pressures have deprived David's heirs of their royal wealth. But he is always the offspring of a king, and has the manners of a king. Also of him it must be said: "He was humble, because he was really great".
A last, kind, significant lesson.
It is Mary who takes the hand of Jesus, Who does not yet know how to bless, and She guides it in the holy gesture.
It is always Mary who takes Jesus' hand and guides it. Even now. Now Jesus knows how to bless. But sometimes His pierced hand falls down tired and disheartened, because He knows that it is useless to bless. You destroy My blessing. It falls also indignant, because you curse Me. It is Mary then Who removes the disdain from My hand with Her kisses. Oh! the kiss of My Mother! Who can resist that kiss? And then, with Her slender, but lovingly irrestible fingers, She takes My wrist and forces Me to bless. I cannot reject My Mother, but you must go to Her, and make Her your Advocate.
She is My Queen, before being yours, and Her love for you makes such allowances that no one can possibly imagine or understand. And even without any word, but only with Her tears, and the memory of My Cross, the sign of which She makes Me trace in the air, She pleads your cause and exhorts Me: "You are the Savior. Therefor save."
That is, My dear children, the "Gospel of faith" in the vision of the scene of the Magi. Meditate on it and imitate it. For your own good."
Written by Maria Valtorta
Copyright 1986 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.