From Thursday 17 till Thursday 24 March 2022, I had the grace of visiting France, the elder daughter of the Church. In this fascinating country, which gave lots of saints, I had the joy of being introduced to the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. From then on I felt in my heart a great desire to learn more about it.
Living the Divine Will is the hub and epicenter of Luisa Piccarreta’s mystical experience with Jesus. Hers is an experience which flow from her beautiful use of simple language, replete of examples, stories and images. The more you read her writings the more your soul is captivated by the desire to live that famous expression we all pray in the Our Father: Thy will be done, on eart as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10).
Luisa’s earthly mission is that of helping you and me to understand and live in every moment of our lives in the Divine Will of Jesus. You and I are called to live in God’s Will. Hence, with St Paul we can rightly affirm: it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20). Obviously living in the Divine Will of the Father does not mean that our will is dead. If that is the case then we are not human at all. If we say that we have only divine will we shall be falling into the heresy of monophysitism which said that in the person of incarnated Word, Jesus Christ, there was only one nature, divine. Thus, Christ had only divine will and not a human will.
To such a heretical teaching the Church responded by teaching, in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 stating that Christ is the eternal Son of God, made known in two natures without confusion, [i.e. mixture], without change, without change, division and separation and that the difference of the natures being by no means removed because of the union, but the property of each nature being preserved and coalescing in one prosopon (person) and one hupostasis [subsistence] ― not parted or divided into two prosopa [persons], but one and the same Son, only-begotten, divine Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, Christ has two wills, divine and human. However, he kept submitting his will to that of the Father’s will as he told us in John’s Gospel: My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work (John 4:34). I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me (John 5:30). For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).
Hence, living in the Divine Will means that, while maintaining our human will as Jesus did, and as the Church always taught, we willing let our will be completely transformed in the Divine Will. In this way, our human will becomes the will of a son who is intimately united with the will of his father. His will and that of his father become one in love. In her first tome of her writings, Luisa has some remarkable descriptions of this entering in the Divine Will, Jesus.
Oh! my Sun Jesus, one more ray of light over my lips, that I may say the pure truth, with the sole purpose of knowing whether it is really You, or rather, an illusion from the enemy. But, oh Jesus, how poor in light I still see myself in these arms of Yours. O please!, content me – You who love me so much, continue to send me light. Oh! my Sun, my beautiful One, I want to enter right into the center, that I may remain submerged completely within this most pure light. Oh Divine Sun, let this light precede me, follow me, surround me everywhere and penetrate into every intimate hiding place of my interior, that my terrestrial being may be consumed, and You may transform it completely in your Divine Being.
This entering into the Divine Will means removing the little world that surrounds Luisa.
So, from the beginning, the Divine Master began to strip my heart of all creatures, and through an interior voice, He would tell me: “I am all that is beautiful and that deserves to be loved. See, if you do not remove this little world that surrounds you – that is, thoughts of creatures, imagination – I cannot enter freely into your heart. This murmuring in your mind is a hindrance to letting you hear my voice more clearly, to pouring my graces, to truly enamoring you of Me. Promise Me that you will be all Mine, and I Myself will put my hand in the work. You are right that you can do nothing. Do not fear, I will do everything; give Me your will – this is enough for Me.”
Jesus’ entering into a soul is impeded by a person’s pride. It is all the opposite in the hearts which reek of pride. I cannot even enter into their hearts because they are so swollen with themselves that there is no space in which to put Myself. These miserable ones take my graces into no account, and they go from fall to fall, up to their ruin.
When the soul enters herself, where the Divine Will resides, then she can expriences the Divine Will in her. Louisa writes: I believe that if all the learned united together, they would all remain confused and mute at one single word of Jesus. Now, this way is more suitable for the human nature, and it can be manifested easily, because upon entering herself, the soul brings with her that which she has heard from the mouth of Our Lord, and she communicates it to the body. It is not so easy when it is through the intellect.
In the Diary of St Faustina we find a similar thought when it says in number 136: At that moment, I realized I was entering into communion with the incomprehensible Majesty. I felt that God was waiting for my word, for my consent. Then my spirit immersed itself in the Lord, and I said, “Do with me as You please. I subject myself to Your will. As of today, Your holy will shall be my nourishment, and I will be faithful to Your commands with the help of Your grace. Do with me as You please. I beg You, O Lord, be with me at every moment of my life.”
In number 629 we find St Faustina saying: When I entered the chapel for a moment that same evening, to thank God for all the graces He had bestowed on me in this house, suddenly God‟s presence enveloped me. I felt like a child in the hands of the best of fathers, and I heard these words: Do not fear anything. I am always with you. His love penetrated my whole being. I felt I was entering into such close intimacy with Him that (87) I cannot find words to express it.
With Blessed Charles de Foucauld let us pray so that the Father gives us the strength to enter more and more into His Divine Will so that we shall be changed in it:
I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap