XVIII. From the Acts of Mary
[An excerpt from The Acts of Mary as translated byC.T. Edwards, A. Healey, L. Moresco, and S. Weiss]
On one day a man in the crowd called out to me, “What about divorce? Did your Mashiach allow divorce?”
I replied, “Why do you ask about divorce? Why do you not ask about marriage? Great is the mystery of marriage. Without marriage, the world would not exist. Do you not know that the first commandment our God gave to us was to be fertile and multiply and fill the Earth? Or that he gave that commandment again to the family of Noah? We must marry and join with our husbands and wives to fulfill that commandment. What fulfills a commandment cannot break a commandment; therefore our union with the ones we love is not a sin, but a gift and a blessing.”
The man called again, “But what about divorce? Is it allowed?”
I replied, “Did not Moses also write that a man shall unite with his wife, and the two shall become one being? If the two have become one, they will never desire to be parted. No power in Heaven or on Earth could ever part them; hence divorce for them is impossible. But if the two have not become one and therefore desire to be parted, they were never truly married at all; hence divorce is unnecessary. For the one case or the other, the word of divorce has no meaning.
“One who has never been truly married in the eyes of God is free to marry, to be truly married. Whoever does not marry sins by not fulfilling God’s commandment.
“Therefore divorce is allowed, but only if the man and the woman have not become one, if the spirit has not joined them into one flesh. It is the true marriage according to the love of the Father and the Mother that will replenish the Earth, whereas the marriages of this world produce children but do not nourish them with the love and grace that the Spirit confers on those who do the will of the Father and who obey all the commandments with joy and with gratitude.
“That is how Joshua, my husband, and I fulfilled the Lord’s commandments, rejoicing that our God and your God, our Father and Mother, have given us their commandments to raise us up to be like them. If two people join in the love proper and possible for the truly married and become one, then they are married in truth and in the eyes of God; wherefore human law is opposed to the will of God if it does not recognize that their marriage already truly exists.
“What did Moses write? That adultery occurs only when a married man joins with another man’s wife. But those who are truly married will never desire anyone but their spouses. Whoever does desire someone other than that spouse is not truly married. Wherefore I say to you in the name of Joshua that adultery is also impossible and its name is meaningless.
“For our God has created us as male and female, men and women. Our desire for one another obeys God’s commandment. Our joy in one another reflects the passion of our Father and Mother in Heaven. Wherefore you shall celebrate God’s gifts with joy and generosity, for love cannot be divided; it can only be multiplied.
“I say to you in the name of Joshua, when you no longer believe that you own the one you love, when you rid yourself of jealousy, then you will clothe yourself in light and enter the bridal chamber, which is the Temple of the Mysteries of our Father and Mother in Heaven.“When you take off your clothes, lay them on the ground, and trample on them like a little child, and feel no more shame than a little child would feel, then you will be in the Kingdom, in the presence of the Queen.
“I say to you in the name of Joshua that it is our adversary who misleads men and women with false teachings that denigrate God’s most precious gift to us and call it sinful. Joshua taught us that our love, our joy, and our desire are all needed for our salvation,
“Evil would make that a shameful thing on which the soul expands its wings. If evil can destroy our ability to love in truth, with our bodies, our minds, and our spirits, then evil has destroyed our path to salvation and has locked the gates ofParadiseagainst us.”
When Joshua said, “Who looks at a woman with desire has already decided to make love with her,” did he mean that desire is a sin? Not at all. Our joining in love with one another fulfills a commandment and does not break one. Because we have no other way to fulfill that commandment, our joining is not a sin but a gift and a blessing.
It is the same with desire. If a man never felt desire for a woman, he would never fulfill the commandment. Since we must feel desire in order to fulfill the commandment, it too is a blessing and a gift, not a sin. Even Saul says that if a man is with a virgin and cannot control his desire, he has not commuted a sin, if she is willing, and they are free to marry.
But did Joshua teach that any man and any woman may cleave to one another, being free from any law? Not at all. Even an unmarried man may have obligations that would keep him from their going together. Therefore let each judge for himself whether he is free from obligation. Even if he errs in decision, he has made the decision thoughtfully. God wills that we should join in love as much as possible. That joining brings God’s grace and healing to us. A law that restricts our love as much as possible is not from the will of God, but from the malice of the enemy. It is better that we err on the side of love, for fear of love has corrupted all societies.
God has planted in us an ardent desire that neither law nor custom nor any other restraint can destroy, for without desire none would fulfill the commandment to be fertile and multiply. It is God’s will that men and women shall love in both body and spirit, for our love as men and women is a sacred mystery that brings us into the presence of the Queen of Heaven. Hence marriage, love, and the bearing of children are all cooperation with the work of creation.
The Kingdom will come when a man and a woman become completely equal, so that they no longer believe they own the one they love. When they rid themselves of jealousy, they will clothe themselves in light and enter the bridal chamber, where all true marriages take place.
The bridal chamber is not a place. It is a condition of the heart. A man and a woman enter it when in their loving union they become one. That is when they enter the Kingdom. That is why you must strive to rid yourselves of anger and jealousy and pride, to strip yourself naked, for you cannot see the Queen unless you are naked in both body and spirit.