The Divine Will

(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)

 

Part 2

 

 “…I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good

and lead you on the way you should go. 

If you would hearken to my commandments,

your peace would have been as a river,

and thy justice as the waves of the sea….” 

(Is 48:17-18)

 

In Part 1 we reviewed:

The Gift of the Divine Will— a gift available to all, not just for saints. For in fact, this is what makes “saints,” I hope today in Part 2 to again only scratch the surface of this immense gift from God available to all souls, and to stimulate your interest to delve further into it on your individual spiritual journey, especially during this 2016 Lenten season. 

 

DIVINE WILL. The Will of God, which, like his knowledge, is purely and simply actual and absolutely independent of all extra-divine things. Since God is infinite there is, in his willing,…no sequence of individual acts, but one single successionless act of willing….His ardent longing for the salvation of humankind (Isaiah 65:2) is an expression of his benevolent love, which shows itself in the communication of benefits to creatures, beginning with the gift of their existence.  (Catholic Online Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon)

 

St. Alphonsus Liguori (Italian Bishop and Doctor of the Church, 1696-1787) goes on to differentiate the conformity of our human will to God’s with the uniformity of our will with God’s.  Conformity, he writes, signifies that we seek to join our wills to the Will of God.  It can be non-continuous and intermittent, decision-related, task-related and/or vocation-relatedUniformity means something more—it means that we make one will of God’s Will and ours, so that we will only what God wills; that God’s Will alone is our will.  This is the summit of perfection and to it we should always aspire; this should be the goal of all our works, desires, meditations and prayers.  To this end we should always invoke the aid of our holy patrons, our guardian angels, and above all, of our Mother Mary, the most perfect of all the saints because she most perfectly embraced the Divine Will.  (Uniformity With God’s Will, St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)

Part 2

Prior to the 19th and 20th centuries, we had learned from earlier mystics about the various degrees of the soul’s relationship with God, namely through the gift of Baptism (human ways of thinking, praying and acting, but with the capacity for the Divine), Mystical Betrothal (a mixture of the human and divine ways of thinking, praying and acting), and Mystical Marriage (a continual uninterrupted divine way of praying, thinking and acting).  However, as pointed out by both St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross (both 16th century),  even this state of Mystical Marriage still fell short of the eternal mode of operation enjoyed by the saints in Heaven.

However, through the writings of some of these later mystics, we begin to see evidence of a further spiritual indwelling of the soul in God and God in the soul offered to His Church, namely a Mystical Incarnation, Living in the Divine Will.  It is an eternal and continuous indwelling of God in a soul, which St. John of the Cross had described as the perfect state of glorythat is proper to the next life,” but previously less well defined.  This spiritual state may have very well been reached by many of the saints in heaven, but not as well understood as it became when Jesus presented it in great detail to Servant of God, Luissa Piccarretta.

In order for a soul to arrive at the continuous state of God’s eternal activity, it must traverse the traditional stages of purgation, illumination, unification and divinization, so as to be trained to greater comprehend, appreciate and remain continuously faithful to God’s gift.  These stages help dispose the soul by freeing it from its slightest inordinate attachments, illuminating its vision of the here and hereafter, and divinizing its faculties of operation while uniting them more intimately to the Holy Trinity.  (The Splendor of Creation, Iannuzzi, Rev. Joseph, St. Andrews, 2004)

What is God’s motive for reserving this gift for our modern times? 

In his address at the 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (later, Pope John Paul II) made a profound prophetic statement:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…”

Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, priest, theologian and exorcist has spent the last 20 years researching the works of the Church Fathers, Doctors and mystics in the area of eschatology or the end times. He is also assisting the Church in the critical translation of the works of Luissa Piccarreta on the Life in the Divine Will.  He proposed that in showering God’s new graces upon a world steeped in sin, His motive may all the more be about inviting everyone on earth to partake in His eternal realities, disposing the world for the era of universal peace and holiness, and bringing it about through the Holy Spirit who will renew the face of the earth with a new Pentecost.  (The Splendor of Creation, Iannuzzi, Rev. Joseph, St. Andrews, 2004)

Several of the 19th and 20th century mystics that introduced various aspects of that eternal mode of God’s continuous indwelling in a soul follow:

Venerable Concepcion Cabrara de Armida, “Cochita,” (1862-1937 was a Mexican mystic and writer whose experiences and messages were recorded in 200 books which were submitted to the Vatican.  She was declared “Venerable” in 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

Jesus speaks to Conchita

“…The time has come to exalt the Holy Spirit in the world….Once this transformation in Jesus is brought about in you, the Holy Spirit also becomes the spirit of the creature…the Holy Spirit absorbs the creature’s spirit in the course of transformation and fills it with this so pure love which is Himself….Loving with the Holy Spirit is the grace of graces…The creature no longer acts, for it is the Holy Spirit who acts…who lives in it and loves in it and wholly surrounds it…It is a union of the same nature as that of the union in heaven….”

“To speak of the Mystical Incarnation is then to consider the soul as entering into a phase of graces of transformation which will bring it, if it corresponds, to the identification of its will with Mine…in order that its union with God come to the most perfect likeness possible….In this loving act of supreme abandonment to the Will of my Father, there is perfection, the highest and complete sanctity….”

 

The Polish Franciscan priest and WWII martyr, St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) speaks of the holiness of Mary that will eclipse Christians in the end times:

“…Towards the end of the world (end of the era)…Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.

“It is because She was immaculately conceived for the very purpose of generating all of God’s children into the perfect likeness of her divine Son, for His holiness is more purely reflected in her than in any other creature….”  (Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit, Monteau-Bonemy)

 St.Faustina Kowalska, (1905-1938) an uneducated Polish nun and mystic, God’s Apostle of Divine Mercy:

“…Suddenly, when I had consented to the sacrifice with all my heart and all my will,  God’s presence pervaded me….I was extraordinarily fused with God…A great mystery took place between the Lord and my- self….My earthly body was the same, but my soul was different; God was now living in it with the totality of His delight….”  (137)   “My whole being is plunged in You, and I live Your divine life as do the elect in heaven, and the reality of this life will not cease, though I be laid in the grave….”   (Divine Mercy in My Soul, Kowalska, St. Faustina) (1393)

Blessed Dina Ballanger, (1897-1929), a Canadian nun and mystic:

“…I feel I am continually in the presence of the adorable Trinity.  ….My soul can dwell in heaven, live there without any backward glance toward earth, and yet continue to animate my material being …In this new divine indwelling, what strikes me is the power, the greatness and the immensity of God’s attributes…”.   (Autobiography, Ballanger, Dina)

Vera Grita (1923-1969) Italian mystic, author of The Living Tabernacles, which in 1989 received theNihil Obstat” of her local bishop:

Our Lady explained to Vera of a future era:

“…Jesus comes to you with immense grace, that which has never been given before to mankind.  This Eucharistic Jesus will descend upon you so that you may seek and save those that are lost.  Then the world will be purified by a visit from God, and also I, your Mother, will be with you and with My Son, the Eucharistic Jesus, to receive together with you, God the Creator in the revelation of His Love and of His Justice….”

The Gift of the Divine Will

(Splendor of Creation, Iannuzzi, Rev. Jos., St. Andrews, USA)

 

Luisa Piccarreta

For those of you who are unaware of Luisa Piccarreta and her teachings on the Divine Will, she was born in Corato, Italy in 1865 and died in the same home where she was born in 1947. During that time, she was regularly visited by Our Lord and Our Lady in dreams and visions and lived solely on the Eucharist and the Divine Will for more than 60 years. In 1889, at the age of 24, she was granted the grace of Mystical Marriage with Jesus and at the same time received the Gift of the Divine Will – a grace that enabled her to live in the Will of God much as Adam and Eve did before the fall. Jesus referred to the granting of this grace as the advent of the Third Fiat of God – the first being the Fiat of Creation, followed by the Fiat of Redemption. This final Fiat would be known as the Fiat of Sanctification.

Largely dictated to her by Jesus and Mary, her writings explain that living in the Divine Will here on earth is the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” In this state, God lives and operates directly in the soul because it is fused with His Will, so that only one Will operates. All of Luisa’s acts then became Divine acts, not because she was ‘another God’ but because as a creature of God, she consented to allowing His Will to operate within her. Some of her followers describe it as the human soul being like an empty glass that allows itself to be filled with the Will of God.

In total, Luisa wrote 36 volumes about the Divine Will, all of which are now under scrutiny by the Holy See, because there were some confusion with the first English translations and their interpretations.

Archbishop Pichierri is hoping to have a critical edition of Luisa’s writings prepared in order to provide the faithful with a trustworthy text of her writings. He has also forbidden anyone to publish (not to reflect on) any translation of her writings through print or Internet in anticipation of this approved volume.  (Women of Grace, Brinkman, Jan 7, 2013)

Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta describing His gift to humanity:

“…The souls that have given themselves completely to Me and that I love, I don’t want them to wait to go in the beatific state when they go to Heaven.  I want it to begin on earth.  I want to fill those souls not only with a Heavenly happiness, but also with the goodness, sufferings, and virtue that My Humanity had on earth.  I therefore divest them not only of material desires, but also of the spiritual ones to refill them with all My goodness, and give them the beginning of true Beatitude (Beatific Vision)….” (Manuscripts, Dec. 6, 1904)

Jesus to Luisa:

“…To enter into My Will…the creature does nothing other than remove the pebble of her will….This is because the pebble of her will impedes My Will from flowing in her…But if the soul removes the pebble of her will, in that same instant she flows in Me, and I in her.  She discovers all of My goods at her disposition:  light, strength, help and all that she desires….It is enough that she desires it, and everything is done!...” (Manuscripts,  Piccarreta, Luisa, 2/16/21)

 

As the soul exchanges love with its Creator, no sooner does it realize its awfully finite character of love, than it turns to its Creator to take from Him His infinite Love that embraces heaven and earth and every act of creation in time and in eternity, in order to fuse itself within His divine and eternal being….The creature’s virtues, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, rear it to Live in the Divine Will with a continuous respect and with a holy fear…It is a gift that is ours for the asking, and all we have to do is desire it, know it, grow in its virtue, and live it.  ((The Splendor of Creation, Iannuzzi, Rev. Joseph, St. Andrews, 2004) 

Thus, living in the Divine Will requires first the desire, and then the Divine attitude, whatever your daily duties, to little by little learn to always do them for the love of Jesus and in Jesus

St. Faustina addressed this process of placing one’s daily actual acts in the Divine Will:

“…Before each important action, I will stop to consider for a moment what relationship it has to eternal life and what may be the main reason for my undertaking it:  Is it for the glory of God, or for the good of my own soul, or for the good of the souls of others?  If my heart says yes, then I will not swerve from carrying out the given action…”  (Diary, Kowalska, 1549)

Venerable Jesuit priest prolific writer and retreat master, Fr. John Hardon, (USA, 1914-2000), asked the question, “How do we really give God greater glory?  And then He answered it:

“…We give glory to God by recognizing who He is and acting accordingly.  He is God; we are creatures; and we act accordingly by doing God’s Will which we know is the heavy task of surrendering and submitting our will to His…The better we know Him, the better we appreciate His wisdom, His Love and Mercy, and His power and majesty….the greater the glory we give Him.”  (Fr. John Hardon, December 1988 retreat)

This attentiveness and knowledge, however, must be fostered through prayer, the sacraments, especially the Most Holy Eucharist, Sacred Scripture, the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, consecration to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, spiritual reading, and the devotions to the angels and saints as well as acts of charity and mercy towards others.  Through this attentiveness and all these modalities of grace, the soul progresses in virtue.

“…In order that a soul may live in the Divinity and dwell there, she must leave everything that is her own, that is, deprive herself of everything, leave her own passions; in a word abandon everything to find everything in God….”  (Manuscripts, July 10, 1900)

Jesus told Luisa that the most obvious fruit of living in the Divine Will is the peace that will exist, regardless of any apparent internal or external trials and tribulation and the heroic virtue that results.

“In Me you will find the vessel of all virtues, and by walking in their midst, you will be nourished with their perfume so much so as to be full as from a meal.  Then you, yourself, will do nothing else but send light and Heavenly perfume, because to live in Me is the true virtue.”  It has the power to give to the soul the same form of the Divine Person in Whom she makes her residence, and to transform her into the very divine virtues in which she is nourished…”   (Manuscripts, July 9, 1900)

There are various degrees of remaining in the Divine Will.  Since this is a gift from God, and He can give to whatever degree He pleases to whomever He pleases and this is not a matter of merit.  Our Lord shares with Luisa:

 “…(For) souls who live in My Will, There are various ways of remaining;  some remain on the surface, others penetrate within, while yet others are completely immersed in Me.  These are distinguished according to the ways in which they live in My Will:  some imperfectly, others more perfectly, and yet others to such profound depths as to lose themselves completely in My Will….”  (Manuscripts, 6/29/14)

Luisa describes her early experience of living in the Divine Will:

 “…I found myself in Jesus, my little atom swam in the Eternal Will.  Moreover, since this Eternal will is a single Act that contains together all the acts of the past, present, and future, I, being in the Eternal Will took part in that single Act which contains all acts, in as much as it is possible for a creature.  I even took part in the acts which do not yet exist, and which must exist, unto the end of the centuries, and as long as God will be God….”  (Manuscripts, 4/ 8/1918)

Our Lord explains the value of Living in His Divine Will:

“…It is only My Will, which is Eternal and Immense, that finds everything.  It reduces the past, present and future to a single point, and in this single point It finds all hearts palpitating, all minds alive and all of my works in act.  Moreover, the soul, making this Will of Mine its own, does all, satisfies for all, loves for all, and does good to all and to each one as if all were one….”  (Manuscripts, 5/5/21)

The Intimate Sorrows of Jesus

If in this transtemporal activity, whereby the creature is able to mystically trilocate into the past, present and future in God’s one Eternal Act that has neither beginning nor end, it can penetrate eternity….So too can the soul experience and gain knowledge of and share in the intimate and hidden sorrows of Heart of Jesus….”  (The Splendor of Creation, Iannuzzi, Rev. Joseph, St. Andrews, 2004)

According to Venerable Conchita, Our Lord shared with her: 

“…Nothing moves my beloved Father so much as those intimate sorrows which have infinite virtue.  To St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, (+1680), was manifested the infinite Love of My Heart, but the infinite suffering was reserved to be made known during these present times….”

 

Why Does God Offer This Gift to Humanity?

Though exerting an eternal influence over all creatures, the mystic’s transtemporal activity neither alters the history and objective acts of the past, nor the creature’s particular judgment.  Rather, in God’s eternal act time assumes the lineaments (properties) of the ongoing present, in which the creature makes reparation to God for all bad actions and glorifies Him for all good actions of every creature….”   (The Splendor of Creation, Iannuzzi, Rev. Joseph, St. Andrews, 2004)

In penetrating within the Divine Will and embracing its immensity, the soul  multiplies itself with Jesus and penetrates everywhere—even in Heaven and in all hearts, and in all times —past, present and future—while yet remaining on Earth.

Jesus to Luisa:

“…As often as a soul enters into the Divine Will to pray, work, love or to do anything else, it opens many paths between the Creator and the creature.  The Divinity, seeing that the creature is coming to It, opens up paths in order to meet its creature.  In this encounter, the creature imitates the virtues of its Creator, absorbs into itself Divine Life, and enters more fully into the Eternal secrets of the Supreme Will.  That is how, in my Will, the creature approaches likeness to Me, how it realizes my designs, and how it fulfills the purpose of Creation….”  (Manuscripts, 5/5/23)  “...Living in My Will is the apex of sanctity, and it bestows continuous growth in grace….” (Manuscripts, 7/18/1926)

Example of Praying in the Divine Will

Remembering that God is infinite in His willing and there is no sequence of individual acts, then there is with God but one single successionless act of willing. When we receive the Eucharist, pray that we might be fused with the Divine Will and traverse all eternity, entering the minds, hearts, souls and spirits of all the souls in Heaven, in Purgatory, all living on earth now and those who will live in the future, and from each of them let us pray to Our Lord: 

“I believe, I adore, I love, I trust, I thank You and I bless you; and I beg pardon for all those who do not believe, adore, love, trust You, thank and bless You. My Lord and my God; my God and my all! Forgive me Father, I’m sorry that I have disobeyed You and offended You.  Have mercy on me.  Jesus & Mary, I trust in you. Save souls!” 

This Gift of the Divine Will is truly a gift for these end times when we live in a world of unprecedented evil, where most of humanity act as if God did not exist, that sin was an outdated imaginary deterrent without consequences, and that man himself has become his own deity.  May the desire for and knowledge of this gift of the Divine Will spread throughout the Church, particularly the remnant Church, leading to the heroic virtue and to that Life in the Divine Will, thus providing Our Lord with the “saints” He so desires to help Him make all things new!

“…And He Who sat on the throne said,

“Behold, I make all things new!...”

(Rev 21:5)

 

References:

Uniformity With God’s Will (de Liguori, Fr. Alphonsus)

http://daughtersofthechurch.com/uniformity-with-gods-will/

 

The Splendor of Creation, by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Splendor-Creation-Joseph-Iannuzzi/dp/1891903330

 

 

 

Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska

http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Divine-Mercy-My-Soul/dp/1596141107

 

Living in the Divine Will,  by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Divine-Writings-Luisa-Piccarreta-ebook/dp/B00C24YSGE

 

2014 Video by Fr. Iannuzzi on Living in the Divine Will (1 hr. 21 min)

https://vimeo.com/93672606

 

Act of Resignation to the Divine Will (Pope St. Pius X, 1904)

http://thetuckerbunch.typepad.com/just_another_day_in_parad/2008/08/act-of-resignat.html

 

Consecration to the Divine Will (Piccarreta, Luissa)

http://www.comingofthekingdom.org/luisateachings/downloadable-prayers/consecration-to-the-divine-will/

 

“Fiat”: Foundation of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Fiat -- Part I - Jesus' "Fiat", Mary's "Fiat"; Our "Fiat"

Fiat -- Part II - Total Surrender to the Divine Will

Fiat -- Part III - Total Abandonment to Divine Providence