saint birgitta of swedenI saw a throne in heaven on which sat the Lord Jesus Christ as Judge. At his feet sat the Virgin Mary. Surrounding the throne was a host of angels and a countless multitude of saints. A certain monk, a great scholar of theology, stood high up on a rung of a ladder that was fixed in the earth and whose top reached up to heaven. With an impatient and agitated bearing, as though full of wickedness and guile, he put questions to the Judge:

First question. “O Judge, I ask you: You gave me a mouth. May I not say what I please?”

Second question. “You gave me eyes. May I not look at what I like with them?”

Third question. “You gave me ears. Why should I not listen to what I please with them?”

Fourth question. “You gave me hands. Why should I not do what I want with them?”

Fifth question. “You gave me feet. Why should I not walk where I wish with them?”

Christ’s answer to the first question. Seated on the throne, the Judge, whose bearing was meek and gentle, answered him, saying: “Friend, I gave you a mouth in order rationally to speak words beneficial to your soul and body as well as words for my glory.”

Answer to the second question. “Second, I gave you eyes that you might see the evils you must flee and the healthful things you must preserve.”

Answer to the third question. “Third, I gave you ears that you might hear that which pertains to truth and goodness.”

Answer to the fourth question. “Fourth, I gave you hands that you might use them to do that which is necessary for the body but not harmful for the soul.”

Answer to the fifth question. “Fifth, I gave you feet that you might leave behind the love of the world and go toward your soul’s rest and love and toward me, your Creator and Redeemer.”

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