– From the Mystical Revelations of Maria Valtorta –
— INTRODUCTION —
In the letter to the Hebrews it is said of Christ that "...we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning" (Heb 4:15). A doctrine we can accept in faith and in theory, but when its implications are spelled out in the concrete experiences of Christ's earthly life, we might well balk at its "unfittingness" for the Christ image we have unconsciously composed for ourselves.
It is precisely this "spelling out" of the doctrine of Christ being tempted "in every respect...as we are" that is unfolded in Volume I of The Poem of the Man-God, a series of Visions and Dictations from Christ Himself, given to the great modern Italian mystic Maria Valtorta (1897-1961†), and scrupulously recorded in that great masterwork of hers. The implications of this doctrine are particularly evident in the Vision given her by Christ of His temptations: "Jesus is Tempted in the Desert by the Devil' [Vol. 1: pp. 247ff – 24 Feb. 1944], where, in a addition to the temptations recorded in the Gospels, Christ is shown to have undergone a sensual or sexual temptation from Satan as well. The latter especially provoked critics of Valtorta to say it was "unbecoming" for Christ to have undergone such a temptation, and therefore an indication of the bogus quality and human origin (i.e. her own "imagination") of Valtorta's claimed Visions and Dictations. Similar criticisms concerned other related Visions and their accompanying teachings in Volume 1 of The Poem...: "Jesus Meets James and John" [pp. 253ff - 25 Feb. 1944]; "Jesus Meets Judas Iscariot" [pp. 355ff - 3 Jan. 1945]; and "Jesus Returns to the Mountain where He Fasted and to the Rock of Temptation" [pp.424 ff - 17 Jan. 1945].
It was precisely to address these criticisms of Valtorta's critics concerning His temptations and teachings as recorded in the four episodes cited above, that on the 18th of February 1947, Christ gave Valtorta the lengthy Dictation presented here and translated especially for this web site, as recorded in her Il Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950 [Notebooks from 1945 to 1950]. Except for a brief introductory section that has been omitted, the Dictation is here reproduced in full. In this Discourse Christ treats particularly of His own temptations, but at the same time offers us valuable instruction on the nature of temptation. In order to understand better the context and focus of this Dictation therefore, the reader would be well advised to read or re-read the four episodes in the English version of Volume 1 of The Poem... cited above.
May this treatise on Christ's temptations, and ours, increase His disciples' love for their Master, Who is not "unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning."