The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity

The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity (2015) is now outdated; I strongly recommend you instead read the Crown of Sanctity (2019), which is also free and linked on the sidebar of this website




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The Crown and Completion
of All Sanctity
An introduction to the revelations on the Gift of Living in the Divine Will to the Servant of
God Luisa Piccarreta, using only moratorium-free material
Daniel O’Connor
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was a 19th and 20th century
Italian mystic whose revelations from Jesus, encompassing
thousands of pages of material, give amazing insight into a
new gift of sanctity for the Church, namely, the Gift of Living
in the Divine Will. In this book, you will find an introduction
to just what this “Gift” entails, an explanation of how to
receive this Gift yourself, and a theological defense of its
orthodoxy as perfectly compatible with Catholic faith and
Explanation of Subtitle:
There is currently a moratorium from the Archdiocese
of Trani (which alone holds legal and canonical rights
to Luisa’s writings) on the publication of Luisa’s
writings, until a complete critical edition may be
published. Although this does not restrict short
excerpts from being published, nor does it restrict
Luisa’s writings from personal use or in prayer groups
devoted to the Divine Will, I have nevertheless chosen
to present this book which, in order to fulfill the
wishes of the faithful who desire to be as compliant as
possible with this moratorium and take absolutely no
risk of disobedience to the Church, uses only excerpts
from Luisa’s writings that are taken directly from Fr.
Joseph Iannuzzi’s Doctoral Dissertation The Gift of
Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa
Piccarreta. Fr. Iannuzzi personally translated all of
these excerpts from the original Italian of Luisa’s
writings, and we can be assured of their orthodoxy.
His dissertation furthermore enjoys full Ecclesiastical
Approbation from the Pontifical Gregorian University
of Rome, authorized by the Holy See.
Explanation of Cover:
As you will see in reading this book, the mystery of
the Annunciation contains within it the essence of
Living in the Divine Will, and could be considered the
most important event in history to meditate upon. I
have chosen this particular painting by Leonardo Da
Vinci because it is among the few that rightly depicts
Our Lady as above the Archangel Gabriel – who,
though referred to as an Archangel, nevertheless
belongs to the highest (Seraphic) choir, and even still
is far below the Immaculata. This inferiority was true
even before Mary pronounced her Fiat and became
the true Virgin Mother of the Thrice Holy God, for
from her Immaculate Conception in the womb of St.
Anne, she was, is, and ever shall be the greatest of
God’s creatures and the pinnacle of His handiwork. I
have placed beams of light emanating, as it were, from
this event to symbolize the fact that from it, (and from
our “little incarnations” modeled after it – again, read
on to understand more) God’s plan for all creation is
realized and the way is made straight for Judgment
Copyright 2015 Daniel S. O’Connor
This book may be freely copied, printed, and distributed, granted it remains unmodified.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity
To my wife, Regina, whose
encouragement and support made this
book possible.
And to my mother, Eileen A. O’Connor,
who gave me my Catholic Faith, without
which the Gift of Living in the Divine Will
is nothing;
who from her conception shared life on
this Earth for three months with Luisa
Piccarreta, and who gave birth to her own
first child on Luisa’s 23rd heavenly
and who was recently diagnosed with
terminal cancer and may have only
months left on this Earth.
May she rejoice with God forever.
All for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, under the protection of St. Joseph, terror of
demons and patron of the Universal Church.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity
Table of Contents
Prologue ………………………………………………………………… 1
Chapter I) Introduction ………………………………………… 2
Why Bother with These Writings? …………………….. 2
What is the Objective? ……………………………………… 5
Similar Spirituality Elsewhere in Catholic Writings
………………………………………………………………………… 8
Chapter II) Introduction to the Gift …………………… 11
Receiving the Gift: Renunciation of Self-Will …… 11
Receiving the Gift: Desire ………………………………… 18
Desire in the Eucharist …………………………….. 19
Desire through St. Faustina’s Writings ……… 22
Desire Holiness ……………………………………….. 27
Receiving the Gift: Ask for It ……………………………. 27
Growing in the Gift: Purify your Intention ……….. 31
Against Pride …………………………………………… 31
Against Anxiety and Agitation ………………….. 33
Against Servile Fear …………………………………. 34
Growing in the Gift: Grow in Knowledge of It…… 37
The History of the Divine Will and the Human
Will …………………………………………………………. 37
Insights into Demons ………………………………. 39
The Moment of Death ……………………………… 39
The Rounds of the Soul in Creation …………………. 40
The Hours of the Passion ………………………………… 43
The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the
Divine Will……………………………………………………… 45
Chapter III) A Brief Overview of the Life of Luisa 47
Chapter IV) Answers to Objections …………………….. 50
Important Catholic Content Missing from Luisa’s
Writings? ……………………………………………………….. 50
Thy Will be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven …… 50
On the “Greatness” of a Soul Living in the Divine
Will ………………………………………………………………… 51
Living in the Divine Will and the Eucharist ……… 54
Original Holiness vs. Christian Holiness ………….. 56
A New Revelation? ………………………………………….. 59
“Only” Private Revelation? ………………………………. 60
An Organic or an Artificial Development? ……….. 62
On the Fundamental Possibility Itself of this Gift
………………………………………………………………………. 63
Millenarianism, Chiliasm, Legacy of Joachim of
Fiore? ……………………………………………………………… 65
On the Loftiness of Luisa’s Own Calling ………….. 70
Voluntarism: Intellect vs. Will…………………………. 70
Monothelitism and the Operation of the Human
and Divine Will ………………………………………………. 73
Why now? ………………………………………………………. 73
Chapter V) Advice to Current and Prospective
Devotees ……………………………………………………………… 75
Be an Ordinary Catholic …………………………………. 75
Be Zealous, not Fanatical ………………………………… 75
Do not Compare Luisa to Jesus ……………………….. 77
Do Not Assume You Have the Gift …………………… 78
Integrate Divine Will Spirituality into Your Current
Spiritual Regimen …………………………………………… 78
Foster and Follow a Holy Hunger for More
Knowledge of the Divine Will …………………………. 79
Spread This Knowledge …………………………………… 80
Epilogue ………………………………………………………………. 81
Appendix I) Prayers …………………………………………….. 82
Divine Will Consecration Prayer ……………………… 82
Steps to Live in the Divine Will as Taught by Mary,
Our Mother ……………………………………………………. 82
Opening Prayer for Divine Will Groups …………… 83
Invocation to the Divine Will In All Our Actions 84
Litany of the Divine Will…………………………………. 84
A Brief Way of the Cross Supplement for the Reign
of the Kingdom of the Divine ………………………….. 85
The Chaplet of the Divine Will ……………………….. 86
Mass Prayers in the Divine Will ………………………. 86
The Divine Will Gloria ……………………………………. 87
Prayer for the Glorification of the Servant of God
Luisa Piccarreta………………………………………………. 88
The Canticle of Daniel in the Divine Will ………… 88
Psalm 148 in the Divine Will …………………………… 89
Prayer of St. Francis in the Divine Will ……………. 90
Exhortation Prayer to St. Michael ……………………. 90
The Litany of Humility ……………………………………. 90
The Divine Will Reminders …………………………….. 91
Appendix II) Resources ………………………………………. 92
About the Author ………………………………………………… 93
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 1
It was nearing sunset on the 5th day of the 11th
month of the year of Our Lord 2010, and I was panting
and sweating after a day spent on my hands and knees
scrubbing away with all my might. I had only a steel
wire sponge at my disposal, with which I was
attempting to scrape off years of grime that evidently
had no intention of departing from its comfortable
home on a wooden kitchen floor. I was preparing the
old and dilapidated St. George’s rectory to be
converted into a transitional home for homeless
young men, to be called the John Bosco House, where
I later served as a live-in house father to the residents
we welcomed.
That day’s activities caused in me an
especially appreciative reaction to the clock striking
five, which heralded my hasty departure to St. Joseph
& St. Patrick Church, the Parish located a convenient
(even if highly unsafe – a fact undisputed by anyone
familiar with the city of Utica) five minute walk away.
I was simply off to attend daily Mass as I did each
ordinary, uneventful day. Or so I thought.
Instead of seeing the usual priest, I saw whom
I now know to be Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi in the Sanctuary.
A moment later, I realized I had come not to the
ordinary Friday evening Mass, but rather I had
stumbled upon the beginning of a weekend-long
retreat on a topic I had never before heard of: the Gift
of Living in the Divine Will in the writings of the
Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. What followed were
two days of utter holy amazement as I had never
before, nor have I since, experienced.
The adventure of life went on, and I continued
to both study the Gift of Living in the Divine Will and
strive to receive this Gift myself. Almost one year later,
Providence had me studying as a seminarian at Holy
Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT. The
Rector there, Fr. Douglas Mosey, is a holy man who is
one of those rare administrators who does not
succumb to a bureaucratic mentality; hence he
declared one day each month a “Day of Recollection,”
in which the seminarians kept total silence as they
prayed and attended a retreat given by a priest.
It was my first day of recollection as a
seminarian, and I entered the Chapel that morning
eager to receive whatever edification it might be God’s
Will to impart through the priest’s lips. As I looked
towards the sanctuary, I saw to my great surprise a
familiar face. I immediately knew I would not be
disappointed, for the holy amazement I had received
from this priest ten months earlier was alive and well.
In this book I wish to share that holy
amazement with you, in order to do my small part in
helping to fulfill Our Lord’s prayer that His Will be
done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I am breaking
somewhat from the expected, third-person,
professionally-detached form in this theological work,
for I wish to write to each of you as one friend
introducing another to his greatest joy.
Daniel S. O’Connor
March 4, 2015
Adoration at Holy Apostles College & Seminary
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 2
Chapter I) Introduction
Why Bother with These
Let us begin by discussing why you would
even be interested in revelations given to us by Luisa;
one who might seem to be just another obscure 20th
century mystic – a person whom you would be more
than happy to wait until heaven to get to know. For
just as no man can count the grains of sand on the
seashore, so it seems the various devotions, mystics,
and private revelations vying for and at times
demanding our attention are likewise innumerable.
In some circles, everyone and his uncle is a selfproclaimed
locutionist, and spares no expense in
publishing and marketing his revelations, even
compiling them in booklets that you may
conveniently purchase, not for $20, but for the much
more reasonable price of $19.99!
This brings us to the first reason why Luisa’s
writings are worth a chance: she did not seek out
people to listen to her; quite the contrary, she wanted
nothing but silence and solitude, and to be unknown
and forgotten. The greatest penance of her life was
writing down the revelations Jesus gave to her, for she
wanted absolutely nothing to do with worldly
recognition. Her humility in this regard was so heroic
that it was only when her spiritual director, Fr.
Gennaro Di Gennaro (who was appointed by the
Archbishop specifically to be Luisa’s director),
commanded her under holy obedience to write did
she in fact do so.1 Lest you be concerned that this
moment marked the end of her humility, know as well
that she stopped writing in the later years of her life,
when she was no longer told to do so under obedience.
From the very onset of these revelations it is only
thanks to the intervention of the Catholic Church
that we have any record of Jesus’ words to Luisa.
The next reason is that Pope St. John Paul II
himself canonized a certain priest, Hannibal Mary Di
1Cf. Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci, OFM: Luisa Piccarreta, A
Collection of Memories (Roma 52, San Ferdinando Di Puglia:
Tipolitographia Miulli, 2000), Ch. 1.
2 Homily given by Pope John Paul II, “Canonization of Six New
Saints, ”May 16, 2004 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana).
3 Archbishop Joseph Leo
Francia, in the year 2004. St. Hannibal was a truly
great man; a zealous worker of important apostolates,
including starting a school, an orphanage, and two
religious congregations dedicated to praying for
vocations. In his
homily, St. John
Paul II said that
St. Hannibal had
a “…love for the
Lord [that]
moved him to
dedicate his
entire life to the
spiritual wellbeing
of others.”2
What you
will not see in
any popular
work on the life of St. Hannibal is the fact that he was
appointed by his Archbishop3 to be Luisa’s spiritual
director, extraordinary confessor, and censor
librorum. St. Hannibal became so utterly convinced
not only of the legitimacy of Luisa’s revelations, but
also of their dire urgency and importance, that
towards the end of his life he completely devoted
himself to their promulgation, writing four months
before his death, “I want you to know that since I have
totally dedicated myself to the great work of the Divine
Will, I practically don’t concern myself at all with my
institutes.”4 He tirelessly worked to approve, publish,
print, and disseminate her revelations.
There is much more that could be said about
St. Hannibal. He is an incorruptible. He was
renowned for his gift of discernment. One of the seers
of La Salette, Melanie Calvat, was for a time a nun in
the convent he started, and he knew her well. 5
Additionally, do we not even risk doing Pope St. John
Paul II himself a disservice by failing to seek out
knowledge on this greatest love of a priest whom he
chose to canonize? For not only did this holy and great
Pope – the true spark from Poland who prepared the
4 Letter of St. Hannibal to Luisa Piccarreta, dated February 14th,
5 Gaetano Passarelli: Father Annibale, A Heavenly Dream
(Transcribed into eBook format by St. Hannibal Rogate Center,
2011), Ch. 7.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 3
world for Jesus’ Second Coming6 – choose to canonize
St. Hannibal, but he even went so far as to make his
own St. Hannibal’s belief in the reality of this coming
new holiness.
Seven years after beatifying Hannibal, and
seven years before canonizing him, John Paul said in
an address to the order that St. Hannibal founded, the
Rogationists, “in the ‘Rogate’ [St. Hannibal saw] the
means God himself had provided to bring about that
‘new and divine’ holiness with which the Holy Spirit
wishes to enrich Christians at the dawn of the third
millennium, in order to ‘make Christ the heart of the
world.’” 7 This is important not only because it
demonstrates Pope St. John Paul II’s clear and explicit
endorsement of Hannibal’s promulgation of the
Divine Will message of Luisa, 8 but also because it
touches on precisely how this will come about –
namely, through priests, especially through the
Eucharist that comes to us from their hands. “The
three foundational principles of St. Hannibal, or three
buds you could say, that would blossom into this new
springtime are: I. To put the Blessed Eucharist at the
centre of personal and community life…II. To exist as
a body in unity, in the unanimity of hearts that makes
prayer acceptable to God. III. Intimate association
with the suffering of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”9
These principles will be expanded upon in later
Five years later, the Pope became even more
bold, and in an address to the youth of Rome, made
an explicit reference to “entering into” and Living in
the Divine Will10 (although the English translation of
the address provided by the Vatican uses the term
“dwell” instead of “live,” nevertheless the same thing
is being referred to.)
I will leave you with two quotes of St.
Hannibal’s. The first is from a letter he wrote to Luisa
26 days before he died, and the second is from a
6 Cf. St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1732
7 Address of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Rogationist
Fathers. Paragraph 6. 16 May 1997. Emphasis added.
8 Although when we consider the context of this quote of Pope St.
John Paul II’s, it is clear that a reference is being made to Luisa’s
revelations, unfortunately this has not been noticed much in
mainstream circles, despite this particular quote of his getting much
note. For example, a wonderful book written by Fr. Kosicki, Be
Holy, bears endorsements from at least three Bishops, including the
late Cardinal George of Chicago. It devotes an entire Chapter to
precisely this quote of the Pope’s.
forward he wrote before publishing Luisa’s Hours of
the Passion. Without going so far as to believe that
saints are infallible, it is nevertheless important to
remember that all of the writings of a saint are
examined with a magnifying glass for any error before
he is canonized. So let us look at the following excerpt
of a letter from St. Hannibal to Luisa with this in mind:
“…The doctors cannot cure this trouble. This
is why I prayed you to ask for a miracle from Our Lord.
Once you made one by resurrecting a young man who
had been murdered… The letter you sent me arrived a
few hours after I had written to Jesus, and I took it as
an answer. It comforted me immensely… Your
speaking is holy, just and perfect…”11
And in speaking about Luisa, he wrote: “It
seems that Our Lord, who century after century
increases the wonders of His love more and more,
wanted to make of this virgin with no education, whom
He calls the littlest one that He found on earth, the
instrument of a mission so sublime that no other can
be compared to it―that is, the triumph of the Divine
Will upon the whole earth, in conformity with what is
said in the ‘Our Father’: thy will be done be done on
earth as it is in heaven.”12
Already you have the bold words of a saint,
and of the Pope who canonized him, in support of
Luisa’s writings. But this still only constitutes the very
tip of the iceberg of reasons why – from Church
authority – you should not be afraid of approaching
her revelations (as many are due to the grandiose
nature of their claims, the opposition to them by a few
common names, or an incorrect understanding of the
implications of the moratorium), but rather should
be zealous to learn from them. Three sets of her works
– amounting to thousands of pages of revelations
from Jesus, which indeed contain the essence of the
Divine Will message – were given an imprimatur by
Archbishop Giuseppe (Joseph) Leo.13 For those rightly
9 “The Coming New and Divine Holiness.” Mark Mallett.
10 Address of John Paul II to the youth of Rome preparing for world
youth day. March 21st, 2002. Paragraph 5.
11 Letter of St. Hannibal to Luisa Piccarreta, dated May 5th, 1927
12 Luisa Piccarreta: The 24 Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. Preface.
13 These writings were Luisa’s Hours of the Passion, Volumes 1-19
of her diary, and The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 4
wary of how much error has been promulgated these
past few decades in the name of imprimaturs by those
who assume that whatever has one contains only
infallible words, remember that these imprimaturs
given to Luisa’s works were granted almost a century
ago. Most recently, an excellent book by Stephen
Patton defending Luisa’s revelations, A Guide to the
Book of Heaven, received an imprimatur in 2013 by
Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento.
When St. Hannibal took Luisa’s Hours of the
Passion to Pope St. Pius X (Fr. Hannibal was well
known for his holiness and counted the Pope among
his friends) and briefly read from it, the Pope said to
him, “Father, this book should be read while kneeling:
it is Jesus Christ who is speaking!” 14 The Pope
proceeded to encourage him to have it printed and
promulgated immediately.
St. Pio (Padre Pio) was known to say to
pilgrims who came from Corato to see him, “What
have you come here for? You have Luisa, go to her.”15
Although these two never met in person (for Luisa
was confined to bed), they nevertheless esteemed
each other highly as a result of Padre Pio sending a
convert of his, a man by the name of Federico Abresch,
to go meet her. When Luisa’s writings were
condemned temporarily by the Holy Office, St. Pio
even sent her consolation by way of Federico, saying
“Dear Luisa, saints serve for the good of souls, but
their suffering knows no bounds.” 16 Padre Pio’s
canonization, despite the great opposition it
encountered, is yet another reason to give credit to
Luisa’s revelations, for this extraordinary Capuchin is
now agreed upon as being among the greatest saints
of modern times.
Above all, Luisa’s revelations should be
approached with confidence because Providence has
blessed her cause for Beatification, as well as the
canonical status of her writings, with great success.
The public critics of Luisa’s writings wrote the bulk of
their arguments against Luisa and her revelations in
the 1990s. Consider what has happened since then:
November 20th, 1994, Cardinal Joseph
14 Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci, OFM: Luisa Piccarreta, A Collection
of Memories (Roma 52, San Ferdinando Di Puglia: Tipolitographia
Miulli, 2000), Ch. 4.
Ratzinger nullifies the previous
condemnations of Luisa’s writings, allowing
Archbishop Carmelo Cassati to formally
open Luisa’s cause on the Feast of Christ the
King of the same year.
February 2nd, 1996, Pope St. John Paul II
permits the copying of Luisa’s original
volumes, which up until then had been
strictly reserved in the Vatican Archives.
October 7th, 1997, the beatification of Hannibal
Di Francis by Pope St. John Paul II
June 2nd & December 18th, 1997, Rev Antonio
Resta and Rev. Cosimo Reho (theologians),
respectively, submit evaluations of Luisa’s
writings to the Diocesan tribunal, affirming
nothing contrary to Catholic faith or morals
is contained therein.
May 16th, 2004, the canonization of Hannibal
Di Francia by Pope St. John Paul II.
October 29th, 2005, the diocesan tribunal and
the Archbishop of Trani, Giovanni Battista
Pichierri, render a positive judgment on
Luisa after carefully examining all of her
writings and testimony on her heroic virtue.
July 7th, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI formally
blessed and prayed next to a seventeen foot
high statue of St. Hannibal.
July 24th, 2010, both Theological Censors
(whose identities are secret) appointed by
the Holy See give their approval to Luisa’s
writings, asserting that nothing contained
therein is opposed to Faith or Morals.
April 12th, 2011, His Excellency Bishop Luigi
Negri officially approves the Benedictine
Daughters of the Divine Will (explicitly
dedicated to Luisa’s Divine Will
spirituality) as a Pious Association of the
November 1st, 2012, the Archbishop of Trani
writes a formal notice containing a rebuke
of those who “claim [Luisa’s] writings
contain doctrinal errors,” stating that such
people scandalize the faithful and preempt
judgment reserved to the Holy See.
November 22nd, 2012, the faculty of the
Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome
who reviewed Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi’s
15 Ibid., Ch. 3.
16 Ibid.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 5
Doctoral Dissertation defending these
revelations give it unanimous approval,
thereby granting its contents ecclesiastical
approval authorized by the Holy See.
2013, the aforementioned Imprimatur on
Stephen Patton’s book was granted.
2013-14, Fr. Iannuzzi’s Dissertation received the
accolades of almost 5018 Catholic Bishops,
including Cardinal Tagle.19
April 27th, 2015, the Archbishop of Trani writes
“I wish to let you know that the Cause of
Beatification is proceeding positively… I
have recommended to all that they deepen
the life and the teachings of the Servant of
God Luisa Piccarreta…”20
The fact becomes evident as you read these
points – Luisa’s cause is following the standard path
of a great saint, not of an obscure mystic whose
alleged revelations the Holy Spirit will permit to be
What is the Objective?
The Gift of Living in the Divine Will is the best
and broadest name for this new sanctity, but it has
many others. Among them are the continuous
participation in the Trinity’s one eternal operation,
the full actualization of the soul’s powers, the sharing
in God’s prime motion, the Divine and Eternal Mode
of holiness, the greatest sanctity, and the Real Life of
Jesus in the soul.
But what exactly is it? I must use great care in
telling you what the Gift of Living in the Divine Will
is, just as I would only with the utmost respect hand
to you a spectacular diamond. Therefore I shall do so
by posing three questions, followed by an explanation
of the proper responses to them in light of the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will. I bid you pause after reading
each question to ponder how to truly answer it in the
best and most complete possible way.
18 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, STD, Ph.D. “Living in the Divine Will”
Missionaries of the Most Holy Trinity (Nov. 2014-May 2015): Page
19 Cf. Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, (, 2014.
20 “Final Letter by the Archbishop”
21 Here I refer only to the created human nature/ human soul of
Christ (as opposed to His Personhood and His Divine Nature). The
Person of Jesus Christ is, of course, none other than the 2nd Person of
the Trinity, and is uncreated.
First: what four humans are unlike all others?
I do not mean merely by matter of degree; e.g. who is
mentioned most in Scripture, or who was the wisest
Doctor, or greatest Father, or noblest Patriarch. What
I mean is, what four people were so radically above all
others that it is impossible to compare them to
anyone else, just as it is impossible to compare a grain
of sand to a mountain? There is only one way to
answer such a question: Adam, Eve, Jesus, and Mary.
It is these four and these four alone who were created21
in perfection, with sin playing no part whatsoever in
them; their lives were products of the Divine Will as
daylight is a product of the sun.22 There was not the
slightest impediment between the Will of God and
their being, and therefore their acts, which proceed
from being. The Gift of Living in the Divine Will then,
open for the asking since Luisa’s time to any soul in a
state of grace, is that same state of sanctity as these
four possessed (albeit with important distinctions).
To Luisa, Jesus says of Adam, “Before man sinned, My
divinity was not concealed from him. By pulsating
around the reflections of My light, he became My
reflection and therefore My little light.”23
Now the Blessed Virgin Mary is truly the
quintessence of Living in the Divine Will and our
model for it. For her dignity far surpasses that of
Adam and Eve, and, furthermore, she remains a
creature unlike her Divine Son. Through Our Lady,
God demonstrates just what marvels of sanctity He is
capable of working in a created human being. In
Luisa’s revelations we learn that it is not God’s Will
that Mary alone remain in such a lofty state of sanctity,
merely for us to gaze upon from a nearly infinitely
inferior position. On the contrary, it is His Will that
we too rise up to her level, so that it can even be said
of us, as it has long been rightly said of her, that one
of our acts can give God more glory and surpass in
merit all of the acts of all other saints combined.24
22This perfection of course radically changed for Adam and Eve at
the Fall
23 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 2.1.
24 Cf. St. Louis de Montfort: True Devotion to Mary (Bay Shore, NY:
Montfort Publications, 2006), paragraph 63.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 6
It is important to note that no creature can
ever come close to Mary in love and in sacrifice, nor
can any other creature possibly receive the singular
privileges that God has bestowed upon her, privileges
which raise her up to a height of truly inaccessible
glory, especially the privilege of being the Sovereign
Queen of all Creation, the Mediatrix of all Grace, and
above all, the Mother of God. For all eternity these
attributes shall be hers and hers alone, and all
creatures without exception will bow down before her.
Nevertheless, through the Gift of Living in the Divine
Will, our sanctity becomes like her own and glorifies
God in a similar way.25
Second: what is the greatest thing that has
ever happened? Such a broad and fundamental
question will likely confound any Christian, for there
is no shortage of great things from which to choose!
But in reality, the answer is simple and there is no
close second: the Incarnation. In the Incarnation, the
infinite entered into the finite and in so doing exalted
it to the Divine Realm. The Catechism of the Catholic
Church states (quoting Athanasius and Aquinas,
respectively): “’For the Son of God became man so that
we might become God.’ [and] ‘The only-begotten Son
of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity,
assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might
make men gods.’”26
great as the
Incarnation was, “the
Father of Mercies
willed that the
Incarnation should be
preceded by assent on
the part of the
mother…” 27 “By pronouncing her ‘fiat’ at the
Annunciation and giving her consent to the
Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the
whole work her Son was to accomplish.”28 How simple!
25 Though even within that “similar way,” Mary remains supreme
and unreachable
26 Catechism of the Catholic Church 460, quoting St. Athanasius and
St. Thomas Aquinas.
27 Ibid., 488, cf. Lumen Gentium, Ch. VIII, Section 2, paragraph 56.
28 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 973.
29 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 3.1.1.
These clear, Magisterial teachings from the
Catechism of the Catholic Church set both the
framework and the foundation for understanding
Mary’s Fiat in light of the Gift of Living in the Divine
Will. And the understanding is this: God does not
want only one “Fiat” in history to be so great and so
pleasing to Him; rather, He wants all the acts of His
creatures to be reflections of that perfect and
quintessential Fiat of His beloved handmaid, so that,
as her “Fiat” preceded the very Incarnation itself, so
our “Fiats” may, as it were, cause as many incarnations
as acts we undertake. If ordinary virtuous acts build
up treasures of mansions and mountains in heaven,
then these acts build up treasures of cities and
But even that is not enough. Now that God has
willed to bestow this Gift upon whoever desires it, He
also calls us to spiritually “re-do” all the acts of
creation – past, present, and future – in the Divine Will,
as they would have been were the Fall to never have
happened, and as He Himself did throughout His
earthly life; for whatever He does as the Head, so must
we do as His body. Jesus says to Luisa, “There is
nothing — no love, greatness or power — that can
compare to My conception … the immensity of My Will,
enclosing all souls of the past, present and future,
conceived …the lives of all souls. And as My life
developed, so did all lives develop within Me.”29
The point is not to pretend that we can change
the past; objective acts of the past cannot be
changed 30 (not even by God) for “that which has
happened” to become “that which has not happened”
is simply a contradiction, like a four-sided triangle.31
However, what God is in fact calling us to do with this
Gift is to repair the relation between the acts of the
past and eternity, to ensure that the present has the
proper relation to eternity, and to prepare the future
to have the proper relation to eternity, mystically
taking it into ourselves. We do this by the intention
with which we undertake all of the ordinary acts that
form our days. In this way, Living in the Divine Will
30 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Sum I, Q25, A4
31 This is an extremely important point. The Christian Creed rests
upon and requires the certainty of historical events having occurred
in the past; e.g. The Incarnation. If you entertain the possibility that
the past can change, this certainty vanishes, and your faith becomes
merely conditional (which is not true Faith).
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 7
can be seen as the full realization of the Little Way of
St. Thérèse of Lisieux. We also re-do the acts of
creation through special prayers given to Luisa;
namely, the “Rounds of Creation” and the “Hours of
the Passion,” both of which will be discussed later.
Third: How must “Thy will be done on Earth as
it is in Heaven” be fulfilled, if it is to be fulfilled in total?
For Jesus Himself prayed this prayer, and it is
impossible that supplication of the Son of God not be
granted. Many unfortunately assume this third
petition given by Our Lord in the prayer He taught us,
and which we recite each day at the holiest part of the
Mass, merely describes an ideal at which human
history should aim, as opposed to offering a request
that can actually be truly answered. This
understanding, however, doubts the power and mercy
of God, Who, according to Luisa’s revelations, will in
fact ensure that (within the realm of time) His Will
shall reign on earth as it does in heaven. This reign is
referred to as the “Third Fiat” of Sanctification (third
to Creation and Redemption). It is not a subtle
rewording of a modified Millenarian or Joachimist
heresy 32 that supposes a coming new Public
Revelation, or a passing of the Age of the Church, or
even a literal reign of the physical Jesus Christ on
Earth before His final coming. Rather, this coming age
that Jesus speaks of to Luisa entails a time when,
instead of this Gift only being enjoyed by a few people,
it is lived universally; and just as the consequences of
sin are seen in the devastation of the physical world,
so the consequences of this greatest grace being lived
by all will be seen in the physical world. This Reign of
the Divine Will on Earth is the best and fullest
understanding of what is also referred to in other
mystical revelations as the “Triumph of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary,” 33 the “Glorious
Eucharistic Reign of Peace,” or the “Era of Peace.”
Luisa’s revelations give no dates, but do indicate that
this prophesied time is to come very soon. Just how
soon largely depends upon our response.
The purpose of the times we are now living in
32 These concerns are addressed in detail in the “Answers to
Objections” Chapter
33 Third Apparition at Fatima, July 13th, 1917. “In the end, my
Immaculate Heart will triumph…”
34 Cf. St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 684. “At the
moment of Consecration, love rested satiated– the sacrifice fully
consummated. Now only the external ceremony of death will be
is to enable certain souls to receive this Gift as
individuals in preparation for the time when the
entire world will receive it. Consider the decades of
wonder and anticipation that preceded the Fiat of
Redemption that was fully consummated at the Last
Supper; 34 when word spread slowly but surely
regarding the amazing things that were happening,
when “…fear came on all their neighbors. And all these
things were talked about through all the hill country of
Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their
hearts, saying, ‘What then will this child be?’ For the
hand of the Lord was with him.”35 When Simeon and
Anna prophesied in the temple, when Herod knew
the Savior was upon us and instituted a massacre in
his demonically inspired, vain attempt to subvert the
Will of God (is that what is happening today with
abortion?), and when unprecedented and
unfathomable wisdom poured forth from the mouth
of a 12-year old boy in the Temple, and all were
amazed. Those days are analogous to current times.
Now the total fulfillment of this Third
Petition of the Our Father consists in this: living the
very life of the Blessed in Heaven as far as holiness is
concerned, while still retaining that which is intrinsic
to life on Earth – the absence of the Beatific Vision,
and the continued presence of the Veil.36
Jesus told Luisa, “My daughter, the first Fiat
was pronounced in creation with no intervention of a
human creature. The second Fiat was pronounced in
Redemption […] Now, for the fulfillment of both, I want
to pronounce the third Fiat […] This third Fiat will
bring to completion the glory and the honor of the Fiat
of Creation, and will be the confirmation and
development of all the fruits of the Fiat of Redemption.
These three Fiats will be the Most Holy Trinity’s
overshadowing of man on earth, and I will obtain My
Fiat Voluntas Tua on earth as it is in heaven. These
three Fiats will be inseparable, with each one
constituting the life of the other.”37
If, at this point, you find yourself worried
about the orthodoxy of such massive claims, I fully
carried out– external destruction; the essence [of it] is in the
35 Luke 1:65-66
36 Cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12
37 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 4.1.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 8
understand. Feel free to skip to the “Answers to
Objections” chapter. For now, it shall suffice to say
that these assertions regarding the Divine Will can
indeed be found elsewhere in good solid, orthodox
Catholic spirituality.
Similar Spirituality Elsewhere in
Catholic Writings
While Luisa should be considered the true
herald of this Gift and its primary secretary,
nevertheless essentially the same message is delivered
in the writings of a number of modern mystics. They
are the same mystics who have written since Luisa
herself first received the Gift in the late 19th century,38
thereby opening up the possibility of anyone who
earnestly desires it to receive it. Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi
argues well in his book entitled The Splendor of
Creation, that many of the gifts received by and
mentioned in the writings of well-known 20th century
saints and mystics all refer to essentially the same
thing as the Gift of Living in the Divine Will. These
include the “Mystical Incarnation” of Venerable
Conchita de Armida and Archbishop Luis Martinez,
the “New Indwelling” of Blessed Elizabeth of the
Trinity, the “Assumption of Souls in Love” of St.
Maximilian Kolbe, the “Divine Substitution” of
Blessed Dina Belanger, as well as elements of the
writings of St. Padre Pio, Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, St.
Faustina, and others.39
To take just one of the aforementioned
mystics and consider her revelations in greater depth,
let us meditate on the following encounter between
Jesus and Venerable Conchita, which took place on
none other than the Solemnity of the Annunciation
(March 25th) itself, in the year 1906: seventeen years
after Luisa was given the Gift of Living in the Divine
…Ever waiting, year after year, I expected today,
trembling, what the Lord had promised me…this
sublime mystery of the Incarnation which, I know not
why, ever filled me with wonder…before Mass,
prostrate before the Tabernacle, I humbled myself as
much as possible. I begged the Lord’s pardon, I
renewed my vows, I promised Him that I would never
38 September 7th, 1889, to be precise
39 Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, The Splendor of Creation (McKees Rocks,
PA: St. Andrew’s Productions, 2004), 3.5
let my heart be taken over by the things of the world as
I had done up to now. Thus, my soul empty of all else,
I received Him in Communion… I was taken over by the
presence of my Jesus, quite close to me, hearing His
divine voice which said to me:
“Here I am, I want to incarnate Myself
mystically in your heart…”
…Lord, what You had promised me, what You
had asked of me, was it marriage?
“That has already taken place. Now there is
question of an infinitely greater grace.”
Would it be, my Jesus, spiritual marriage?
“Much more than that… [it is, rather] the grace
of incarnating Me, of living and growing in your soul,
never to leave it, to possess you and to be possessed by
you as in one and the same substance… in a
compenetration which cannot be comprehended: it is
the grace of graces… It is a union of the same nature
as that of the union of heaven, except that in paradise
the veil which conceals the Divinity disappears… For
you [now] keep ever in your soul my real and effective
…What to do, yes, what to do to correspond to
it? Lord, Lord, what will I do but humble myself and
beg Mary to thank You for me and imitate You,
repeating in my lowliness and nothingness: ‘Behold the
handmaids of the Lord. Be it done unto me according
to Thy Word'”40
Hopefully it is clear that what Jesus describes
to Conchita is precisely the same Gift that He
describes to Luisa. Nevertheless, if you are still
worried that the magnitude of the claims in Luisa’s
writings may simply be too great, consider stopping
here and researching some of the claims that are
made by the other mystics mentioned earlier.
Many elements of the writings of saints
throughout Church history have also hinted at this
Gift and prepared us well for it; this notion of special
devotion to the Divine Will did not appear ex-nihilo
40 Fr. Marie-Michel Philipon, O.P. CONCHITA: A Mother’s Spiritual
Diary. Pages 57-58
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 9
in a vacuum. The first formal scholastic treatment of
tension between the Divine Will and the human will
occurred during the 12th century in the writings of
Peter Lombard, who himself commented on a passage
from St. Augustine. This observation set the stage for
further development. 41 Later, St. Albert the Great
taught that conformity to the Divine Will was the
highest rule of moral action. 42 Finally, Thomas
Aquinas definitively summed up what had been said
on the matter by using the words of Our Lord: “Not as
I will, but as Thou wilt,”43 to build his case, saying
“…the goodness of the will depends on the intention of
the end. Now the last end of the human will is the
Sovereign Good, namely, God… Therefore the goodness
of the human will requires it to be ordained to the
Sovereign Good, that is, to God. Now this Good is
primarily and essentially compared to the Divine Will,
as its proper object.” 44 Later in this same article,
Aquinas speaks of conformity to the Divine Will on
our part being limited in scope to mere imitation; in
other words, doing the Divine Will. Nevertheless,
from that point forward, conformity, or uniformity, to
the Divine Will was very prevalent in the spirituality
of the saints. Especially noteworthy is St. Alphonsus’
18th century work entitled Uniformity With God’s Will.
At this point we should briefly pause our
discussion of the development of Divine Will
spirituality to consider that this limitation mentioned
by Aquinas is precisely what Luisa’s revelations
change.45 We now have the ability not merely to do
the Divine Will (by imitation), but to live it – to relate
to the teaching of other Church Doctors, we are now
capable of not only the human and Divine modes of
prayer described by St. John of the Cross and St.
Teresa of Avila, but now the Eternal mode of prayer
that has not hitherto been experienced by any
creature after the Fall other than Mary. In comparing
these modes of prayer, Fr. Iannuzzi likens the human
and Divine modes of prayer to going from tombstone
to tombstone to in a cemetery to pray for the repose
of each soul; whereas the Eternal mode of prayer
would then be like flying over the cemetery in an
41 Peter Lombard: Sentences Book 1, Distinction XLVIII. (Peter
Lombard, Bishop of Paris, was a theologian who, though rarely
spoken of today, was an enormous influence on western theology. He
is referred to by Aquinas in the Summa simply as “the Master.”)
42 New Catholic Encyclopedia; Conformity to the Will of God
43 Matthew 26:39
44 St. Thomas Aquinas, Sum I-II. Q19, A9.
45 Luisa’s revelations build beautifully on the foundation laid by
2,000 years of Catholic Tradition, and in no way do they contradict a
airplane and being capable of simultaneously praying
for the souls of all those buried within it. “Living in the
Divine Will is to invite God’s one eternal operation into
our finite prayers and actions, who bequeaths to them
an eternal quality, whereby they impact all souls of the
past, present and future concomitantly.”46
Returning to the development of this doctrine
in the Church, let us look ad orientem. Earlier in
Church History, the concept of the Divinization or
Theosis of Man, long spoken of primarily in Eastern
Catholic Mysticism (most notably by Maximus the
Confessor), though incapable of arriving fully at what
it is suggesting or what it hints at,47 speaks in a way
that beautifully foreshadows Luisa’s revelations.
Fourteen years after Pope Benedict XVI nullified the
condemnation of Luisa’s writings (as Cardinal
Ratzinger), he said this about Maximus:
“St. Maximus tells us that, and we know that
this is true, Adam (and we ourselves are Adam)
thought that the “no” was the peak of freedom. He
thought that only a person who can say “no” is truly
free; that if he is truly to achieve his freedom, man
must say “no” to God; only in this way he believed he
could at last be himself, that he had reached the
heights of freedom. This tendency also carried within
it the human nature of Christ, but went beyond it, for
Jesus saw that it was not the “no” that was the height
of freedom. The height of freedom is the “yes”, in
conformity with God’s will. It is only in the “yes”
that man truly becomes himself; only in the great
openness of the “yes”, in the unification of his will
with the divine, that man becomes immensely
open, becomes “divine”. What Adam wanted was to
be like God, that is, to be completely free. But the
person who withdraws into himself is not divine, is not
completely free; he is freed by emerging from himself,
it is in the “yes” that he becomes free; and this is the
drama of Gethsemane: not my will but yours. It is
by transferring the human will to the divine will
that the real person is born, it is in this way that we
are redeemed.“ 48 As you can see, the overlap is
single Church teaching. Needless to say, however, they are not
simply identical to all that came before. More on this distinction is
contained in the “Answers to Objections” chapter.
46 Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. Manual for Instructing Others on the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will. 2.2.4
47 Since what it hints at is none other than the Gift of Living in the
Divine Will, which God has reserved for our age.
48 Benedict XVI. General Audience. June 25th, 2008 (Libreria
Editrice Vaticana). Emphasis Added.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 10
astonishing; to the point where it seems Pope
Benedict here explicitly intends to guide us to Luisa’s
Divine Will spirituality.
Before leaving this topic, we should also
consider these words of St. Louis de Montfort: that
great Marian priest and prophet so revered and
promoted by Pope St. John Paul II. For although he
did not specifically develop doctrine on the Divine
Will, he did prophesy precisely what era we are now
in the midst of thanks to the great Gift of Living in the
Divine Will; and he rightly recognized that this will
be mediated by the hands of Mary, who will clothe us
with her very own holiness, which is none other than
the Gift. “…the greatest saints, those richest in grace …
[will look] up to [Mary] as the perfect model … this will
happen especially towards the end of the world, and
indeed soon, because 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… These great souls
filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the
enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will
be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin.
Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food,
guided by her spirit…””49
Finally, as the fits of demons can be very
informative regarding the hidden workings of grace
(the unclean spirits were in fact among the first to
recognize Jesus), we should also examine Satan’s
revolt against this development of Divine Will
theology in the most twisted form of philosophy to
ever enter mainstream thought: that of Friedrich
Nietzsche. This German philosopher died at the onset
of the 20th century and provided the ideological
inspiration for its massacres (above all those
undertaken by the Nazis), which continue more
silently to this very day in the scourges of abortion50
and euthanasia. He taught the diametric opposite of
Luisa’s revelations: the will to power. “This world is
the will to power-and nothing besides! And you
yourselves are also this will to power-and nothing
besides!”51 was his mantra. It was precisely the same
decade when Nietzsche had descended into insanity
and was on death’s doorstep – having proclaimed God
49 St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary (Bay Shore, NY:
Montfort Publications, 2006), paragraph 47.
as dead and he himself the Antichrist – that lowly
Luisa, under the obedience of her spiritual director,
began to write. Luisa’s writings are to Nietzsche’s as
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to a Satanic ritual.
50 To Luisa it is revealed that abortion is the sin that cries out most to
God. It was in the 1920s that abortion really started entering into the
mainstream of the world stage.
51 Friedrich Nietzsche: The Will to Power, final paragraph.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 11
Chapter II) Introduction to
the Gift
This chapter is described as a mere
“introduction” because it would be downright foolish
to pretend that, in these several pages, the spirituality
of Luisa’s revelations and writings (which amount to
more than all of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas
put together) could be adequately conveyed in their
This limitation raises an essential point that
should be covered at the onset, regarding our
approach to Luisa’s revelations; we must do so as
poets, not as logicians. G.K. Chesterton shared great
insight when he said, “The poet only asks to get his
head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to
get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that
splits.”52 What is laid down for you in this book is,
please God, sufficient that if you follow it, you may
indeed accomplish (or rather, God may accomplish in
you) the important thing: receiving the Gift and
advancing in it. But when you actually delve into
Luisa’s writings, or the more in-depth explanations of
them, do not expect everything to fit neatly together
into a simple structure. Expect to feel overwhelmed if
you take the approach of a logician; striving to master
these revelations the same way you study the material
in a textbook before the final exam of an important
class. There are seemingly endless analogies, modes,
explanations, applications, and so on. How they all fit
together will not be readily apparent.
I do not in the least wish to discourage reading
Luisa’s writings due to these difficulties. Rather, I
merely wish to encourage reading them with the
approach of the poet, saying to yourself as you
approach them, “I will not worry about trying to
memorize this or trying to categorize it according to
how I already understand her revelations. I will simply
read this for the same reason I listen to a beautiful
symphony; to be spiritually built up by the impressions
it leaves upon my soul rather than to methodically
analyze it, writing down the succession of notes and
52 G.K. Chesterton. Orthodoxy. Chapter II
53 Gnosticism is essentially the heresy of the “doctrine of salvation
by knowledge,” whereby those who are privileged enough to have
these certain bits of knowledge are superior, and the only elect.
54 Then why am I writing this book? Because specific knowledge of
what is desired is a great benefit. This is why missionaries preach
determining precisely what instruments are used.”
These writings certainly must be analyzed by
theologians, indeed! I am not attempting to exempt
Luisa’s revelations by stealth from doctrinal scrutiny.
But thanks be to God we have a Church to do the
theological analysis for us, and we do not need to do
it all ourselves. Furthermore in these revelations, as in
all mystical literature, the will runs ahead of the
intellect, in a certain sense. To take everything
contained in them as literal truth at their face value
without qualification would be a recipe for disaster.
Remember that Scripture, Tradition, and
Magisterium are never to be judged by Luisa’s
revelations, but rather it is these permanent,
unchangeable, and unquestionable foundations of
Faith that are to judge, qualify, and specify Luisa’s
revelations. If it seems to you that something you read
in Luisa’s writings contradicts something you read in
the Catechism, then you must absolutely choose
submission to that which you read in the Catechism,
and seek out someone learned and orthodox to
explain to you the seeming contradiction. It may even
be an actual contradiction, for bad translations of
Luisa’s revelations abound. Recall that in order to
ensure doctrinal safety in this book, I have chosen to
only include excerpts from her writings that are
contained in Fr. Iannuzzi’s Dissertation.
Receiving the Gift: Renunciation
of Self-Will
The most important thing to know from the
onset, and to continue to remind yourself throughout
the process of growth in the Gift, is that there are no
special formulas, no magical procedures, and no
Gnostic53 secrets. Jesus Himself says precisely this to
Luisa in her revelations, and insists that what matters
is simply the soul’s desire for the Gift.54 The Gift of
Living in the Divine Will is a grace, and it is given in
the same manner as is all grace: based upon the
humble, pure, sincere receptivity of the one who
desires it. If all you are left with once you are finished
Christ; not because it is objectively impossible to be saved without
explicit Faith in Him while on earth – see Lumen Gentium paragraph
16 -, but because that clear, explicit Faith is an enormous benefit to
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 12
with this book is the reminder to earnestly ask, with
trust, that God bestow upon you the greatest union
with Him possible, then that is enough. Such a prayer
is not only clearly permissible to speak, but it would
even be lamentable for a Catholic to forego such a
prayer, for that would entail a false humility that
simply fails to recognize the love that God has for His
creatures. Nevertheless, God cannot, as it were, give
us the gift of His Will if we insist upon clinging to our
own wills. Hence, the need for renunciation of the
So let us begin our discussion of this
renunciation by meditating upon several teachings
from the great Saints of the Church on the disposition
needed to receive this Gift. These saints were perfectly
disposed for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, even
though they did not live in the time that God, in His
inscrutable wisdom, deigned to grant this Gift to
mankind.55 The Gift of Living in the Divine Will, and
indeed Luisa’s revelations in general, do not dispense
us from one iota of the traditional means of pursuing
sanctity that have developed so beautifully
throughout two thousand years of Catholic tradition
(if anything, we are now obliged to pursue these
means more zealously, as was the insistence of St.
Hannibal, who said “[Those who seek to live in the
Divine Will] must also have all the virtues, and in
heroic degree, of ancient Saints…”56).
St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:
“The essence of perfection is to embrace the
will of God in all things, prosperous or
adverse…It is certain and of faith, that
whatever happens, happens by the will of
God…Let us will always and ever only what
God wills; for so doing, he will press us to his
St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church:
“…like the burning coal that no one can put
55 See the Answers to Objections chapter for more on this point
56 Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. Splendor of Creation. Page 121
57 St. Alphonsus Liguori, Uniformity with God’s Will.
58 St. Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue, p. 147.
59 St. John of the Cross: Ascent of Mt Carmel. Book III, Ch. 16,
Paragraph 3.
60 St. Therese of Lisieux: Counsels and Reminiscences, p. 23.
61 Matthew 11:12
62 Pope Innocent XI wrote an Encyclical against Quietism, Coelestis
Pastor, in which forty three propositions are condemned. The 12th
condemned proposition gives a particularly good insight into what
the heresy of Quietism is, as it states “He who gives his own free will
out once it is completely consumed in the
furnace, because it has itself been turned into
fire. So it is with these souls cast into the
furnace of [God’s] charity, who keep nothing
at all, not a bit of their own will… They have
been made one with [God] and [God] with
St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church: “The
entire matter of reaching union with God
consists in purging the will of its appetites and
emotions so that from a human and lowly will
it may be changed into the divine will, made
identical with the will of God.”59
St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church: “In
Heaven, God will do all I desire, because on
earth I have never done my own will.”60
Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “To be a saint
means…I will renounce my will, my
inclinations, my whims and fancies, and make
myself a willing slave to the will of God.”
The common thread in these quotes is clear,
and it is identical to the necessary disposition to
receive the Gift of Living in the Divine Will: the total
renunciation of the self-will.
What exactly is the total renunciation of the
self-will? First I must establish that it is diametrically
opposed to the heresy of Quietism (ironically the very
thing a few accuse Luisa’s revelations of promoting),
for “The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and
the violent bear it away.”61 Quietism teaches a simple
passivity and indifference to all things; by this false
teaching, the only negative thing is to exert the will
whatsoever. There is not one page of Luisa’s writings
that fails to dispute Quietism. 62 It has long been
understood that self-renunciation, or “abandonment,”
can be misinterpreted in a quietist fashion, 63 so it
should not be surprising that some confuse the two as
intrinsically linked, which would necessarily lead
to God should care about nothing, neither about hell, nor about
heaven; neither ought he to have a desire for his own perfection, nor
for virtues, nor his own sanctity, nor his own salvation-the hope of
which he ought to remove.” Luisa represents the very opposite of this
approach; for one example, when she learns of her mother’s death,
she incessantly begs Jesus to deliver her mother from Purgatory until
He finally does so!
63 For example, the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia article on
Abandonment states “It is also misused to express a quietistic
condition of the soul, which excludes not only all personal effort, but
even desires, and disposes one to accept evil with the fatalistic
motive that it cannot be helped.”
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 13
them to wrongly accuse Luisa’s writings of Quietism.
In truth, rather, the total renunciation of the
self-will taught by Catholic tradition and insisted
upon in Luisa’s writings is a vigorous battle that we
must fight every moment of every day. It involves both
the moral and the supernatural virtues, a spirit of
constant prayer and thanksgiving, absolute trust in
Providence no matter the situation, mortification of
flesh, and profound humility.64
The first thing we should consider in the
renunciation of the self-will is how we respond to
those crosses that are already a part of our lives. Jesus
tells Luisa that this response is what differentiates the
elect from the reprobate. St. Faustina said, “I often felt
the Passion of the Lord Jesus in my body, although this
was imperceptible [to others], and I rejoiced in it
because Jesus wanted it so. But this lasted for only a
short time. These sufferings set my soul afire with love
for God and for immortal souls. Love endures
everything, love is stronger than death, love fears
nothing…”65 Whether or not you pursue mortification
of flesh and a life of penance, you will suffer. But the
question is: what will you do with this suffering?
Dwell on how annoyed you are at it and whatever or
whomever caused it? Lament it and complain about
it? Endlessly ponder how you could have avoided it to
try to ensure you won’t have to feel it again? Stop at
nothing to try and be rid of it? These attitudes do not
conform to God’s will or the necessary trust we must
have in it. Therefore we must honestly take stock of
how we react to suffering. If you are one of the types
to react in the ways mentioned, it might be rather
hard, and maybe even impossible, to receive the Gift.
If, however, you unite all suffering that God’s
Will permits you to undergo with Christ’s passion,
and meditate upon His own sufferings, then this
achievement can powerfully inflame your love and
desire and dispose you to receive the Gift, and God
will say to you what He said to Faustina:
“‘Host pleasing to My Father, know, My
daughter, that the entire Holy Trinity finds Its
special delight in you, because you live
64 This is not to put Luisa’s writings on the opposite extreme of
Jansenism. Jesus also firmly dispels that heresy to Luisa, insisting to
her, for example, that forgiven sin should not be dwelt upon, and
admonishing her against neglecting to receive Communion over
scruples regarding trifles, temptations, and fears.
exclusively by the will of God. No sacrifice can
compare with this.’ After these words, the knowledge
of God’s will came to me; that is to say, I now see
everything from a higher point of view and accept all
events and things, pleasant and unpleasant, with love,
as tokens of the heavenly Father’s special affection.
The pure offering of my will will burn on the altar of
love. That my sacrifice may be perfect, I unite myself
closely with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. When
great sufferings will cause my nature to tremble, and
my physical and spiritual strength will diminish, then
will I hide myself deep in the open wound of the Heart
of Jesus, silent as a dove, without complaint. Let all my
desires, even the holiest, noblest and most beautiful,
take always the last place and Your holy will, the very
first. The least of Your desires, O Lord, is more
precious to me than heaven, with all its treasures. I
know very well that people will not understand me;
that is why my sacrifice will be purer in Your eyes. “66
If you were to quickly leaf through St.
Faustina’s diary, one thing especially would strike you:
an entire page with a large “X” over it along with the
words “From today on, my own will does not exist.”67
She wrote this in her own diary – reproduced faithfully
in the printings of it – because Jesus had specifically
directed her to do precisely that. This direction
occurred after she had prayed “I beg You, by all the love
with which Your Heart burns, to destroy completely
within me my self-love and, on the other hand, to
enkindle in my heart the fire of Your purest love…”68
Jesus responded, “you will cancel out your will
absolutely in this retreat and, instead, My complete
will shall be accomplished in you.”69
Precisely what does a complete “cancellation”
of the self-will entail? We must be completely
practical and honest: first, it means following the
Commandments, no matter our temptations, desires,
inclinations, or whatever else. But there also must be
mortification of flesh. The beginning of Luisa’s
writings especially is full of invitations from Jesus to
mortify her inclinations; in food, in comforts, in
conversation, in amusements and enjoyments, etc.
There is no use looking to Divine Will Spirituality as
65 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 46.
66 Ibid., 955-957.
67 Ibid., 374.
68 Ibid., 371.
69 Ibid., 372.
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a shortcut around the ascetical life. If anything, it is
an ever-deeper invitation into it!
Why? Because a spiritual cream puff will
always do the self-will. Laxity and lenience in the
spiritual life will never succeed. The fallen aspect of
our nature, which hates growth in the spiritual life,
makes sure we always have plenty of excuses if it is not
overcome by discipline. Please do not think you have
this area of the spiritual life covered just because you
have two small meals and one big meal on Ash
Wednesday and Good Friday! St. Josemaría Escrivá
said that the day you have eaten a meal without at
some point during it mortifying the flesh by holding
back from completely indulging the appetite is the
day you have eaten like a pagan. St. Faustina said it is
so important to undertake small sufferings willingly
each day so that we are prepared for the big ones when
they come. Of course, only God’s grace will get us
through difficulties, but let us not forget that grace
also builds upon nature, and we are not thereby
dispensed from doing our part. God understands, yes
— He is well aware of the weakness of our flesh. He is
also well aware of the strength of the spirit He has put
in us! We mustn’t presumptuously suppose He will be
pleased by the refusal to exercise it.
Fasting from food is perhaps the most
important form of mortification. This discipline is
largely frowned upon today by those who say that
“fasting” from other things will suffice. That is a not
true! Fasting, in the most literal possible terms, is
more direly needed today than ever before; in so many
apparitions Our Lady is begging us to fast. This
should be a part of our weekly routine in whatever
form and to whatever extent we discern we are called.
Some will say that mortification should only
occur under the close supervision of a spiritual
director, but that is not always realistic. Spiritual
direction is very important, and you should indeed
pray that God sends you a spiritual director, as well as
seek one out (one who ideally will be a holy and
orthodox priest). But even with that diligence, some
will take years to find a spiritual director, and
mortification must not be put off for years. Try small
but consistent mortifications (and tell no one, lest
they merely become bragging points). In this way we
work, slowly but surely (which is often the best way)
at canceling the self-will. I am most definitely not
advocating for a stoic approach to life. Remember that
God wants us to be happy and partake in wholesome
enjoyments as well! But mortification must be a
regular – daily – part of our lives. Just be sure to be
constantly on guard against pride, and keep the
mortifications small enough that you are not at all
tempted to brag (even to yourself ) about them.
When it comes to the larger mortifications,
penances, and sacrifices, great care must be taken.
God needs victim souls, yes, and we should indeed
offer ourselves as these. But consider that a sacrifice
which is holy and pleasing in God’s sight is in fact one
that causes less suffering than would its absence. This
simple truth was demonstrated all throughout Luisa’s
life. When she was deprived of the sufferings that she
wished to undertake for Jesus (perhaps because holy
obedience, to which all in her life was submitted,
directed otherwise), it was this deprivation that
caused her more anguish than the suffering itself! We
should apply that to our own lives as well. For
example, if you feel called to take on a daily holy hour
at nocturnal adoration from 3am-4am as a sacrifice,
then you may indeed well be. But pause to ensure that
you do so not out of a sense of external imposition,
but out of a sense of internal attraction (incidentally,
this is the key to discernment in general). For if such
a sacrifice is to be pleasing in God’s sight, then it is a
response to a desire He has put on your heart, and the
refusal of that desire causes you more suffering (often
in the form of restlessness, anxiety, and frustration)
than would dragging yourself out of bed at 2:30am
each day.
To illustrate the same concept in more human
terms, imagine your closest loved one stuck in her car
in a snow bank on the side of the road many miles
away from any sign of life. It will be a long time until
help can come and she will be cold, hungry, and
thirsty. Wouldn’t you rather be with her than merely
be comfortable at home? Wouldn’t partaking in the
cold, hunger, and thirst along with her be better than
bearing the sorrow of knowing that your loved one
suffers alone?
And now consider an everyday example. You
arrived at a busy event early enough to reserve for
yourself a nice comfortable seat. As the event begins,
you recognize an elderly woman struggling to remain
standing in the aisle. Wouldn’t you yourself, taking
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 15
her place and bearing the discomfort of a long
duration of standing, involve less suffering than
seeing her in pain as you sit comfortably?
This is how we must suffer redemptively. If we
have no desire to suffer redemptively (or, in other
words, to offer ourselves as victim souls) then we have
a problem that we must work to resolve, and not a
mere lack of a calling to be victim souls! A healthy
young man really must give up his seat for that
struggling elderly woman. It is not a matter of
discernment, but as you can see, it requires love. I will
discuss this in more detail in the section on the Hours
of the Passion. In these writings of Luisa, we learn a
profound truth about redemptive suffering on our
part; in other words, about being victim souls. We
learn that it is really about simply being close to Jesus,
and not primarily about experiencing a certain degree
of pain. We are not supposed to go about intentionally
making our lives miserable in an effort to be victim
souls! That would amount to masochism, or at best a
misguided stoicism. Rather, we are to be utterly close
to Jesus, to meditate upon His sufferings, to be with
Him in them (especially by being with Him as long as
possible in adoration of the Eucharist, in which all of
His Acts – including those of His passion – are
present), and to be completely open to whatever He
may give us. So long as this openness is genuine and
sincere, it can itself be just as meritorious as the
suffering of one with miraculous visible stigmata,
even if this openness has only so far resulted in
smaller sufferings (which none of us are free from),
nevertheless borne with gratitude, joy, love, and
We know that the beautiful and still urgently
necessary Sacred Heart devotion given to St. Margaret
Mary Alacoque has its Scriptural basis in St. John
resting his head on Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper. In
Luisa’s Hours of the Passion, we learn that Jesus, after
observing Judas choosing damnation, was so
devastated, that He was in need of consolation from a
soul that would let Him save him. Jesus therefore took
the beloved apostle and placed his head on His own
Most Sacred Heart. Herein lies the essence of the
consolation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and
therefore of redemptive suffering in general: being
70 Cf. Fr. Iannuzzi. Splendor of Creation. Page 113
close enough to Him that He – and you – can delight
in the fact that you have said, and firmly intend to, say
“yes” to Him – Fiat. It is good that you are willing to
carry Christ’s cross with Him, and carry it you must,
to whatever extent He permits. But in reality, you
could not carry one microscopic splinter of that cross.
He does it all; and Living in the Divine Will makes
that even truer. Your duty is simply to be near Him,
even in your imperfection, and to be unafraid of His
wounds, for that means the world (and more) to Him.
In addition to the Eucharist, it is also essential to find
this closeness to Him through His Word: Sacred
Scripture (by way of Lectio Divina), and through His
mystical body, the Church, especially in her suffering
and poor members. By constantly being among these
three presences of Christ, we develop the openness
needed in order to be victim souls and help bring to
fruition God’s plan for our times.
In the early 20th century, God told Sr. Mary of
the Holy Trinity (whose writings also exhibit the same
fundamental sanctity as Luisa’s Gift of Living in the
Divine Will)70 “I desire an army of apostolic souls…
not to expiate the sins of others by extraordinary trials;
no…. I desire a great army of victim souls who will join
me in the apostolate of My Eucharistic Life… I desire
these victims to be everywhere: in the world and in the
cloisters; in every occupation… in families…
everywhere… I want souls to know that by the Vow of
Victim they enter into a life of union with Me… It is
thus that society will be reconstituted.”71
So offering one’s self as a victim soul is
perhaps the single most powerful means of the
renunciation of the self-will. But there are more
things we can consider to this end.
For example, another way to begin the
renunciation of the self-will is to (without
succumbing to a form of Providentialism that
amounts to neglect of duties and commitments)
develop a preferential option for both the opinions
and preferences of those around us and for the
direction given by the circumstances we find
ourselves in – over and above the plans we may have
71 Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity, excerpted from They Bore the
Wounds of the Christ: The Mystery of the Sacred Stigmata by
Michael Freze. Pages 66-67.
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made – to guide our days. Ponder ways you can make
yourself more docile to the workings of the Holy Spirit
through the people and circumstances around you.
Perhaps you simply need to add some serenity to your
days. Constantly being in a rush is one of the most
effective ways of making this docility impossible.
There is no time to relish the moment, no time to
respond to the needs of those you pass, no time to
evangelize, and no time to pray carefully, if you are
rushing. Try leaving for things earlier and spacing out
your events more prudently, and you can watch all of
the opportunities for grace that Providence has
wanted to shower upon your life open up before you;
and see things that you used to have to strive with
such difficulty to achieve happen naturally.
Renunciation should also be seen as an
essential aspect of the Imitation of Christ, for He
“emptied himself, taking the form of a slave…becoming
obedient even unto death; death on a cross.”72 In its
commentary on French Spirituality, the New Catholic
Encyclopedia says the following: “In the complete
possession of Christ’s humanity by the divinity
wherein the humanity of Christ lacks its own
subsistence, its own personality, they saw the absolute
condition of self-renouncement and clinging to God.
From this state of ‘infinite servitude’ they drew the
most fundamental characteristic of their
spirituality—the deep, total renunciation of self that is
at the same time total adherence to Christ and being
possessed by Him.” 73 Earlier we settled that the
Incarnation was the greatest event in history. But let
us now consider how much of a self-renunciation it
was for the Second Person of the Thrice Holy God to
so infinitely empty Himself as to be born in the
likeness of sinful flesh. He, the almighty and eternal
God, “infinitely perfect and blessed in himself,”74 Who
needs nothing and from Whom all good things
proceed, deigned to descend a greater distance than
you would if you were to become an ant, or rather, a
speck of dust. This is not to mention the
unimaginable emptying of self through the scandal of
the Cross that this omnipotent Son of God undertook.
He Who could have unmade the universe with a
thought instead submitted Himself to an unheard of
torturous, public, humiliating death. Confronted
with such an unspeakable and indescribable
72 Philippians 2:7
73 New Catholic Encyclopedia, “Spirituality, French School of.” Page
renunciation of self, how could we – who are nothing
– dare hold onto even the smallest morsel of our own
puny and pathetic self-wills?
Summing up the importance and the effects
of the renunciation of the self-will is a beautiful
soliloquy written by an 18th century Jesuit priest, Jean-
Pierre de Caussade. I present it here in its entirety
because of how spot-on it is with what we are aiming
for in becoming disposed to receive the Gift of Living
in the Divine Will:
“If, besides, [souls that tend towards sanctity]
understood that to attain the utmost height of
perfection, the safest and surest way is to accept the
crosses sent them by Providence at every moment, that
the true philosopher’s stone is submission to the will
of God which changes into divine gold all their
occupations, troubles, and sufferings, what
consolation would be theirs! What courage would they
not derive from the thought that to acquire the
friendship of God, and to arrive at eternal glory, they
had but to do what they were doing, but to suffer what
they were suffering, and that what they wasted and
counted as nothing would suffice to enable them to
arrive at eminent sanctity: far more so than
extraordinary states and wonderful works. O my God!
how much I long to be the missionary of Your holy will,
and to teach all men that there is nothing more easy,
more attainable, more within reach, and in the power
of everyone, than sanctity. How I wish that I could
make them understand that just as the good and the
bad thief had the same things to do and to suffer; so
also two persons, one of whom is worldly and the other
leading an interior and wholly spiritual life have,
neither of them, anything different to do or to suffer;
but that one is sanctified and attains eternal happiness
by submission to Your holy will in those very things by
which the other is damned because he does them to
please himself, or endures them with reluctance and
rebellion. This proves that it is only the heart that is
different. Oh! All you that read this, it will cost you no
more than to do what you are doing, to suffer what you
are suffering, only act and suffer in a holy manner. It
is the heart that must be changed. When I say heart, I
mean will. Sanctity, then, consists in willing all that
God wills for us. Yes! Sanctity of heart is a simple “fiat,”
74 The First Paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 17
a conformity of will with the will of God.”75
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary as
taught by St. Louis de Montfort as well as St.
Maximilian Kolbe and others, is an especially
powerful means to renounce the self-will and open
ones’ self to the Gift of Living in the Divine Will. For
by way of this devotion, we give all that we have, not
merely physical and temporal, but even all of our
intentions and all of our good works, to our Heavenly
Mother. She, like her Divine Son, is never outdone in
generosity, and she will exchange our meager merits
with her own perfect merits and clothe us with her
own splendor. We must remember that the Blessed
Virgin Mary is the Mediatrix of All Grace, and that the
Gift of Living in the Divine Will is a grace! Therefore
if we desire this gift, we must consecrate ourselves to
Mary, from whom we will receive it, and ask her for it.
Those well versed in St. Louis’ True Devotion will
likely find Living in the Divine Will the logical
extension of what is promised therein; for indeed, St.
Louis rightly tells us that when we consecrate
ourselves to Our Lady, she gives us her own virtues
and merits. Now, few have any trouble realizing that
her virtues and merits are precisely those described as
proceeding from the Divine Will, and therefore it
follows that we ourselves must also be given the grace
of living and acting in the Divine Will, if Our Lady is
to be fully true to her promise as St. Louis describes it
(which of course she will be).
“Once this good Mother has received our
complete offering …She clothes us in the clean, new,
precious and fragrant garments of [her Son Jesus
Christ]… she is the treasurer and universal dispenser
of the merits and virtues of Jesus her Son. She gives and
distributes them to whom she pleases, when she
pleases, as she pleases, and as much as she
pleases…She imparts new perfume and fresh grace to
those garments and adornments by adding to them the
garments of her own wardrobe of merits and virtues. …
Thus all her domestics, that is, all her servants and
slaves, are clothed with double garments, her own and
75 Abandonment to Divine Providence (also known as The Sacrament
of the Present Moment). Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Section IX.
76 St. Louis de Montfort. True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Paragraph 206
77 In another sense of the word, “Abandonment” can also referred to
the feeling that one is forsaken by God, as in the Dark Night of the
Soul. Additionally, beware of false notions of abandonment that
entail an act of surrender to things that are intrinsically contrary to
His Will; e.g. sacrificing your very salvation for the sake of
those of her Son.”76
There is so much more that can be said on the
renunciation of the self-will, but the bottom line is
that it is a battle that must be continually fought.
There is no difference between the renunciation of
the self-will in Luisa’s writings and those of any of the
saints (referred to also as abandonment,77 surrender,
abnegation, or emptying), so feel free to pursue this
end by means of whatever orthodox Catholic
spirituality you feel drawn to. St. Francis de Sales,
often known as the doctor of the spiritual life for the
laity, is also referred to as the “Doctor of Self-
Abandonment,”78 and his works are very much worth
reading in pursuing this.79 I will end this discussion
with a quote from Bl. John of Rusybroeck, a concrete
piece of advice for you to act on, and a brief list of
potential next steps. “By renouncing self-will in doing,
in leaving undone, and in suffering, the material and
occasion of pride are wholly cast out, and humility is
made perfect in the highest degree. And God becomes
the Lord of the man’s whole will; and the man’s will is
so united with the will of God that he can neither will
nor desire in any other way. This man has put off the
old man, and has put on the new man, who is renewed
and made according to the dearest will of God. Of all
such Christ says: Blessed are the poor in spirit – that is
to say, those who have renounced self-will – for theirs
is the Kingdom of Heaven.”80
Perhaps, then, you could attempt the
following simple spiritual exercise. Place yourself,
sitting or kneeling, in front of Our Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament. Strive to be as close to Him as possible; at
least ensuring that no one is in-between you and Him.
Remain there for a time with arms at your side or
resting on your lap, and with palms facing up toward
the Tabernacle or Monstrance. 81 In this posture,
meditate upon everything you hold dear; not just
possessions, not just friends, not just family, but even
your intentions, your plans for the future, your desire
abandonment. That is a contradiction, the very opposite of true
renunciation of the self-will, and is a form of Quietism.
78 Cf. New Catholic Encyclopedia, Self-abandonment, Spiritual Page
79 Particularly noteworthy among his works are: Introduction to the
Devout Life and Finding God’s Will for You.
80 Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage. 14
81 This same exercise is efficacious in front of a Divine Mercy
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 18
to avoid certain things and pursue other things, your
temporal hopes, your good works, your very self,
everything – meditate on simply dumping it all out in
front of the Tabernacle for Jesus to do with as He
wishes. Envision this being like casting the small
pebble of your will into the immense sea of Christ’s
Divinity which dwells in all its fullness mere feet in
front of you. Tell Him that you do this with all of your
freedom, with all of your love, and with all of your
desire to be filled with nothing but His Divine Will.
Most importantly in this act, converse with Him in
your own words, as you would with a trusted friend.
You could also use words to the effect of “Jesus, I am
nothing, You are everything. Take all that I am and all
that I have. Give, in return, all that You are and all that
You have. For I wish to have no will but Yours.” And
“The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be
the Name of the Lord.”82
Other practices that help us to renounce the
self-will include:
 Obeying even when we can get away with
disobeying (for example, submitting to noninfallible
but nevertheless Magisterial
statements83 that we feel like opposing).
 Bearing insults and all sorts of persecution with
complete silence, and praying for whomever they
come from.
 Giving alms generously and taking care to not be
 Performing works of mercy.
 Meditating each day on the Four Last Things84 –
especially as we fall asleep.
 Confessing our sins regularly in the Sacrament of
Penance in a heartfelt and open manner, after a
thorough and prayerful examination of
 Clearing worldly clutter that breeds attachment
from our homes, cars, daily routines, etc., and
instead living frugally and simply.
 Performing a regular life examen85 to remind
82 Job 1:21
83 Whatever teachings are contained in Encyclicals, Apostolic
Exhortations, Council Documents, etc. are necessarily Magisterial;
even if not every statement in them qualifies as an infallible
proclamation on Faith or Morals.
84 Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven
85 The Examen is an exercise in Ignatian Spirituality whereby we
prayerfully reflect on God’s presence and activity in our lives
86 Just do not let this become an insistence on always enjoying
yourself with prayer. We must remain faithful to our prayer and other
ourselves that the self-will has never before given
us the happiness it promised.
 Praying each day with our families at home
(especially the Rosary) so as to help ensure these
relationships are grounded in God and lead us
toward God instead of causing inordinate
attachment to creatures.
 Remaining silent even when we are right.
 Taking measures to not be noticed or thanked
for good deeds and pious practices.
 Doing all we can to help ourselves enjoy prayer
more than anything else we do: going on Rosary
walks in a beautiful place in God’s creation,
taking time to say our prayers slowly enough to
relish them, seeking out Masses that are said
reverently, having always at hand a favorite holy
hymn, Scripture passage, Psalm, etc., to recite
when we find ourselves slothful, and other such
Merely to oppose an evil,87 however, is a dead
end; no one has the strength to fight this battle
successfully if he is not inflamed with love and desire
of the opposite good. Buddhism and other eastern
Pagan religions erroneously teach the elimination of
all desire as the necessary thing; with the
corresponding emptying of self as an end in itself.
Christianity, on the other hand, entails the precise
opposite: the emptying of self as a mere step in being
filled with the Holy Spirit, and ardent desire as the
means by which this goal is attained.
These two ends – renunciation of self-will and
desire for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will – must
be pursued simultaneously, as it is unlikely that you
will soon arrive at the point where you can realistically
say you have either end mastered.
Receiving the Gift: Desire
spiritual commitments and regimens whether or not we’re in the
mood on any given day. We should also do works of mercy that are
in no way enjoyable in and of themselves; for example, praying
outside a Planned Parenthood despite being heckled for it, or visiting
those in nursing homes despite overwhelmingly bad odors.
87 The human will is not an evil, rather only the “self-will,” meaning
the movement of the human will that resists or opposes the Divine
Will, is evil.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 19
To receive the Gift of Living in the Divine Will,
we must fan the flames of our desire for it into a
roaring fire. Pay special attention to St. Faustina,
whose revelations on the Divine Mercy not only
overlap with the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, as
will be discussed more in the following section, but
also serve as the greatest preparation for receiving the
Gift of Living in the Divine Will by her descriptions of
the type of holy desire, especially in the Eucharist,
that we must have.
Desire in the Eucharist
St. Faustina often referred to the Blessed
Sacrament as a “living host,” until one day when her
desire for union with Christ became so great, she
wrote in her diary, “When I had received Jesus in Holy
Communion, my heart cried out with all its might,
‘Jesus, transform me into another host! I want to be a
living host for You. You are a great and all-powerful
Lord; You can grant me this favor.’” As soon as she
made this request, He responded that she was indeed,
at that moment, a living host.88 In other words, she
had received the Gift of Living in the Divine Will.
Here then is the vital disposition in receiving the Gift:
a burning desire for the greatest possible union with
God imbued with a firm trust that – in His
omnipotence and mercy – He can and will grant it.
Faustina displayed this perfectly, and therefore He
readily gave her that Gift, despite her not having
specific knowledge of it through Luisa’s writings. But
specific knowledge of this Gift’s precise and complete
explication (which is only found in Luisa’s revelations)
is extraordinarily helpful nevertheless, and can
partially make up for (though never dispense from the
whole-hearted pursuit of ) what an ordinary soul may
lack in the heroic virtue that Faustina possessed. In
either case, the grace flows from the Eucharist, and
this is how we too should enkindle our desire for the
In another excerpt from her diary, which
emphasizes the particular beauty of the desire for the
88 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1826.
89 Ibid., 1289.
90 Confusions regarding comparisons between the Eucharist and the
Gift of Living in the Divine Will are discussed in the “Answers to
Objections” Chapter
91 Address of John Paul II to the youth of Rome preparing for world
youth day. March 21st, 2002. Paragraph 5.
Gift of Living in the Divine Will, we see more evidence
of the primacy of the Eucharist. “Most sweet Jesus, set
on fire my love for You and transform me into Yourself.
Divinize me that my deeds may be pleasing to You.
May this be accomplished by the power of the Holy
Communion which I receive daily. Oh, how greatly I
desire to be wholly transformed into You, O Lord!”89 As
stated in Vatican II, reiterated by the Catechism, and
emphasized by countless great men and women of
Faith, the Eucharist is the Source and Summit of the
life of a Christian. In a real way, the Eucharist is the
Divine Will, for the Divine Will is God, and the
Eucharist is God. In terms of enkindling our desire for
the Gift, preparing ourselves to receive the Gift, and
growing in the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, there
is absolutely no close second to Eucharistic devotion.
Luisa’s entire life demonstrated this, and St. Faustina
recognized it, as evidenced by this excerpt from her
diary. Lengthy Eucharistic adoration and frequent
Communion, approached with unbounded reverence,
fervency, trust, and love, will be the sure means of
calling down the Divine Will upon your soul.90
Pope St. John Paul II himself agreed, saying
“This sublime and demanding reality [ following God’s
will] can only be grasped and lived in a spirit of
constant prayer. This is the secret, if we are to enter
into and dwell in God’s will. Thus what are extremely
helpful are the initiatives of prayer – especially
Eucharistic adoration – that young people are
spreading in the Diocese of Rome as a result of your
work.”91 The emphasis is from the original.
The devil recognizes this connection, and has
been working at a frantic pace recently to wreak havoc
upon this primary means of the coming of the Reign
of the Divine Will, a Reign that is equally validly
considered Eucharistic. Satan’s victories (temporary
though they will be) are sadly all too clear. He has
convinced most Catholics to not even attend Mass
regularly, and even among those that do, most
communions appear sacrilegious. 92 Instead of
consoling Jesus, sacrilegious Communions scourge
92 That is, as a simple analysis of the facts suggests, most Catholics
who receive Communion nevertheless live in a state of objective
grave sin and do not go to confession, nor do they even believe in the
Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Such an analysis makes no
attempt to ascertain their culpability, which God alone knows, but is
still an important analysis to make, lest we simply bury our heads in
the sand.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 20
Him all over again and sabotage His plan on Earth.
Restricting our consideration now to those who
appear to receive worthily, they often (if not usually)
nevertheless treat Him as a dead object, 93
approaching reception of Communion as just another
box to check off on the to-do list. They have less
reverence than they would have at any serious secular
event, and less love than they have in pursuing their
hobbies. Even at daily Mass, many parishes seem to be
not places of prayer, but rather places of socialization,
where discussing the details of the day’s errands
seems far more important than prayerfully preparing
for, or giving thanks for, receiving the Almighty and
Eternal God in the Eucharist (and this is not to
mention the far worse utter disregard for reverence
and silence at many Sunday Masses). More emphasis
is placed on the fellowship aspect than on the fact that
here creatures gather to worship their Creator in His
Real Presence, a presence far greater than even Moses
had access to in the Tent of Meeting, and we know
that there was rightly no frivolity in the latter. If there
is any significant amount of true Faith in the Real
Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, then this is
certainly not evidenced in the least in the deeds and
demeanors of average Churchgoers.
The devil has furthermore convinced all too
many pastors that they are not shepherds, but rather
mere buddies, whose job it is only to facilitate
whatever inclinations his parishioners might have.
Therefore, as with a businessman competing for
patrons, so here with the pastor correction is never
given, and worldliness defines the direction of his
flock. And far from merely refusing to issue fatherly
correction, his own choices also become defined by
the same worldliness. The safety of the gold
candlesticks becomes more important than keeping
the Church open so that his flock may be with their
Eucharistic Lord in prayer, at any time.94 In this we
can see that the Tabernacle becomes Jesus’ prison
within a prison; and not only that, but one in which
visitors are not allowed. Homilies become rambling,
platitudinous story-telling times devoid of any truly
edifying content, or, even worse, explicitly contain
convenient heresies, encourage lukewarmness, and
stifle grace. The Creed and the prayers of the Liturgy
93 Jesus complains of this to St. Faustina, Cf. Divine Mercy in my
Soul, paragraph 447, 1385.
of the Eucharist are then sloppily rushed through, and
only the bare minimum is included – that is, if the
prayers are even obediently said as contained in the
Missal at all, which (especially given the new
translation) does not happen in the case of a priest
who wants at all costs to avoid giving the congregation
any sense of the power that flows from the Eucharist,
preferring it to be seen as a “communal meal” and
nothing more. The Confiteor, Collects, Prefaces,
Antiphons, etc. are completely ignored. Familiarity,
silliness, superficial joviality, effeminacy, and
childishness begin then to permeate everything;
whether in the Sanctuary, in the pews, or in the
sacristy. These sacristies begin to sound like coffee
shops before and after Mass instead of places of
prayerful preparation and thanksgiving. Confession is
offered for half-an-hour a week; in other words, it is
practically non-existent. Any attempt from an
inspired parishioner to initiate perpetual adoration,
Benedictions, devotions, processions, evangelization
efforts, vigils, and the like are met with tepidity at best,
but even more often with downright rejection, as such
things are foreign to the culture that has conquered
the parish. The list goes on and on.
As you can see, the devil is terrified of what
will come if the graces of the Eucharist are unleashed
upon the Church and the world; hence, in every way
he can, he strives to put a stranglehold on these
channels of grace.
This discourse is no mere aside to the focus of
this book. I am concentrating so much on the issue
because a rediscovery of the Eucharistic source and
summit of Catholicism is the only way we can hope to
live in the Divine Will as individuals and as a Church;
for we must make no mistake that God is calling us to
this latter end as well. As a dog on a chain,95 the devil
has no power over us, and we do not need to let him
succeed in his efforts. Our duty is to be signs of
contradiction against this Eucharistic irreverence and
neglect that he has insinuated into the Church; not
with the slightest hint of judgment or in ostentation,
but in silent, meek, perseverant witness.
While tradition should always be our
94 Pope Francis calls the many reasons parishes give for locking their
doors “excuses,” and insists that the doors should be open – literally.
See also Evangelii Gaudium, paragraph 47.
95 Attributed to Padre Pio
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 21
foundation as Catholics, it would nevertheless be
wrong to boil this issue down to a “Latin Mass vs.
Novus Ordo” debate. The real issue is far deeper and
its implications far less subject to a rigid one-size-fitsall
solution. What is essential is that our hearts – and
our actions that proceed from them – are formed by
the simple fact that the Eucharist is truly Jesus Christ.
When it comes to the details, remember that God has
the angels for perfect worship, and we need not let our
hearts be troubled by every Liturgical imperfection
we witness. Focus on the fundamental attitudes and
approaches to the Eucharist.
But how exactly do we fight this battle? We
must do so by choosing the path of Mary, not the path
of Peter in the garden. Peter reacted with violence and
anger at His Lord being disrespected, and became
consumed by it. As the path he chose was devoid of
grace, since it was not God’s will, he did not even have
the strength to remain close to Jesus, and instead
denied Him. This is the path chosen by no small
number of Catholics today who, seeing the sorry state
of the Church and especially how the Eucharist is
treated, become increasingly caustic in their language,
wrathful in their hearts, enclosed in their circles,
joyless in their demeanor, rigid on what is optional,
and in a word, completely lacking the doctrinallydefined
Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are the
sure evidence of God’s presence in the heart.
Peter was not there for Jesus – not in the way
that Jesus actually wanted of him. Jesus wanted prayer,
and Peter wanted sleep, and we know whose will
prevailed in that case. Peter was, however, ready and
willing to throw a fit when things started going wrong.
Is that what we are like? Are we doing what Jesus is
clearly asking of us now – that is, what He is asking us
through Scripture, through the Magisterium, through
apparitions of His mother, and through His Vicar, the
Pope? Are we adoring the Eucharist and receiving it
as often as possible with love and reverence,
performing works of mercy, going out to the
peripheries, evangelizing, living and spreading the
Divine Mercy devotion, fulfilling Our Lady’s requests
at Fatima, fasting and sacrificing, etc.? Or are we, like
Peter, sleeping through all of these clear calls from
heaven, even though we are quite ready to complain,
criticize, and gossip about the sins and bad decisions
of individual priests, bishops, and others in the
Do not follow that path. If you do, then you
will fall like Peter did, because Jesus loves you far too
much to see you go along that path for long. In your
fall, you will be humbled, and you will need to start
anew. But why not recognize that, and start anew
right now?
Therefore take heart, and let us not be like
Peter but rather like Mary, at the foot of the cross,
enduring not only the passion of her Son, but also the
raucous debauchery of the drunken soldiers around
her. She did not judge even them, and they did not
feel judged by her. But, even while on earth, not one
of them forgot her witness, for it was emblazoned
upon their memories like a flash of lightning
illuminating a landscape. Similarly, the cowardly
apostles no doubt felt no judgment from Mary, even
though they felt ashamed of their own cowardice due
to her example of strength and trust.
We must, therefore, first of all pray earnestly
and frequently for our priests, without a hint of
judgment on them. Remember that the demons,
knowing that their most lethal strategy is to strike the
shepherds, focus far more of their attention on
tempting them than upon tempting lay people.
Remember also that they gave up their lives to bring
you the Sacraments. We must never be critical or
gossipy, but instead persevere as silent, strong,
humble witnesses to love of, and reverence for, the
Eucharist. Remember that Mary, Mother of the
Eucharist, is ever our patroness and intercessor in this
We must spare no expense to ensure that the
Eucharist is truly the source and summit of our lives
as Christians. This means attending Mass as often as
possible and taking each one as seriously as if it were
the last Mass ever to be said. If Catholics had the
slightest notion of the graces given by the Eucharist,
each daily Mass would be just as crowded as Sunday
Mass. It means approaching Mass not as an errand,
not as a mere stop on the itinerary, but rather, it
means approaching each and every Mass with a true
sense of pilgrimage; coming early to prepare, and
staying late to give thanks, and even leaving only with
a sense of regret. It means focusing every morsel of
our attention upon it, and fighting off mercilessly any
and all distractions in our minds, whether they be
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 22
from other things or people in the Church, or merely
from the drifting of our thoughts.96
We must spend more time than we think we
can spare with Him in the Eucharist; whether in the
Tabernacle, or exposed in the Monstrance – whichever
we have access to. Today more than ever there is a
plethora of worldly needs and distractions ever
demanding our immediate attention. Jesus has the
answer to that: “But seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as
well.” 97 Do not say you don’t have time. There is
always, always time for what we love. Is anyone busier
than the Pope? Is there really a higher demand on
anyone’s time than there is on his? Pope Francis (as
did Pope St. John Paul II before him, and most likely
Pope Benedict XVI as well) spends two hours each day
with Jesus in the Eucharist before morning Mass (and
that is only what we know of ). Adoration of the
exposed Eucharist is of course the ideal, and perhaps
if there is no perpetual adoration chapel in your
parish or city, you could even work to start one!
We must then bring the graces of the
Eucharist out into the world. To this end I recommend
especially the approach of the Divine Will
Missionaries of Mercy,98 which is applicable not only
to actual missionaries, but to anyone who would like
to live with the spirit of one. The approach is
essentially to turn your endeavors after Mass each day
into a quasi-Eucharistic procession into the world.
(More information can be found on their website.)
Desire through St. Faustina’s
Returning to St. Faustina’s writings, and in
addition to understanding the Eucharistic devotion
we must have from them, let us also use these writings
to inflame our desire for the Grace of All Graces by
meditating upon a few of those excerpts from her
Diary that most clearly refer not merely to desire, as
96 One method I find helpful in this effort is, when distractions arise,
briefly meditating upon the world ending immediately after Mass is
over. It is a theoretical possibility – perhaps our eschatological
timeline is mistaken! So why not use it to help you focus and
appropriate as much grace as possible from the Mass? For if that
were to occur, it would be immediately obvious that no distraction is
worth entertaining, but rather, all that matters is the perfect worship
of God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, in that moment.
already discussed, but directly to the Gift of Living in
the Divine Will itself. These are especially powerful
means to enkindle our longing because we can
approach St. Faustina’s writings with an enormous
degree of confidence, for these writings have been
approved by the Church in the greatest possible ways.
Therefore a brief discussion is in order to demonstrate
the grounds for this confidence.
Pope St. John Paul II said, when speaking
about his Encyclical Dives in Misericordia (which was
greatly inspired by his reading of the Divine Mercy
Diary): “Right from the beginning of my ministry in St.
Peter’s See in Rome, I consider this message [“Divine
Mercy”] my special task. Providence has assigned it to
me in the present situation of man, the Church and the
world. It could be said that precisely this situation
assigned that message to me as my task before God.”99
He also spoke of the Divine Mercy Message as
“forming the image of [his] pontificate.” Lest anyone
be concerned he was merely speaking of Divine Mercy
in general, and not intending to allude to Faustina’s
writings, he also said that he had a “burning desire”
that this particular message of St. Faustina’s be
proclaimed “to all the peoples of the earth.” 100 On
Divine Mercy Sunday of 1993, he beatified Faustina;
on Divine Mercy Sunday of 2000, he canonized
Faustina and declared that day a Feast of the Universal
Church; on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday of 2005,
he entered into his eternal reward; and on Divine
Mercy Sunday of 2014, he was declared a saint. Divine
Mercy Sunday of 2015 was Luisa Piccarreta’s 150th
birthday as measured by the Liturgical Feast on which
it occurred – the Second Sunday of Easter (though not
the actual exact same day of April). Pope St. John Paul
II’s insistence upon St. Faustina’s Divine Mercy
revelations could be the topic of a book of its own;
here I just present a small morsel.
Later his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, in his
very first message as the Vicar of Christ, said: “Dear
friends, this deep gratitude for a gift of Divine Mercy is
uppermost in my heart in spite of all. And I consider it
97 Matthew 6:33
99 Pope John Paul II, Angelus Address to Collevalenza on November
22nd, 1981.
100 Homily at Mass of Dedication of the Divine Mercy Shrine on
August 17th, 2002.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 23
a special grace which my Venerable Predecessor, John
Paul II, has obtained for me. I seem to feel his strong
hand clasping mine; I seem to see his smiling eyes and
hear his words, at this moment addressed specifically
to me, ‘Do not be afraid!’” 101 The following Divine
Mercy Sunday, he said: “The words [John Paul II]
pronounced on that last occasion [Dedication of the
Divine Mercy Shrine] were as a synthesis of his
Magisterium, evidencing that devotion to Divine
Mercy is not a secondary devotion, but an integral
dimension of a Christian’s faith and prayer.” 102 The
next month he said the following: “Sr Faustina
Kowalska, contemplating the shining wounds of the
Risen Christ, received a message of trust for humanity
which John Paul II echoed and interpreted and which
really is a central message precisely for our time.”103
And later, during the homily at Mass on the third
anniversary of the death of John Paul II, he said,
“God’s mercy, as [John Paul II] himself said, is a
privileged key to the interpretation of his Pontificate.
He wanted the message of God’s merciful love to be
made known to all and urged the faithful to witness to
it. This is why he desired to raise to the honor of the
altars Sr Faustina Kowalska, a humble Sister who,
through a mysterious divine plan, became a prophetic
messenger of Divine Mercy.”104
Pope Francis’ words are no less supportive of
precisely this message of Divine Mercy from St.
Faustina. He said to a gathering of the priests of Rome:
“[We are here] to hear the voice of the Spirit speaking
to the whole Church of our time, which is the time of
mercy. I am sure of this. It is not only Lent; we are
living in a time of mercy, and have been for 30 years or
more, up to today. [St. John Paul II] sensed that this
was the time of mercy, [he said] ‘… the light of Divine
Mercy, which the Lord in a way wished to return to the
world through Sr Faustina’s charism, will illumine the
way for the men and women of the third millennium’ It
is clear. Here it is explicit…Today we forget everything
far too quickly, even the Magisterium of the Church! …
we cannot forget the great content, the great
intuitions and gifts that have been left to the People of
God. And Divine Mercy is one of these. It is a gift which
he [JPII] gave to us, but which comes from above. It is
101 First Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Wednesday,
April 20th, 2005.
102 Pope Benedict XVI. Regina Coeli Address at St. Peter’s Square.
April 23rd, 2006.
103 Benedict XVI. General Audience. May 31st, 2006.
104 Benedict XVI. Homily. St. Peter’s Square. April 2nd, 2008.
up to us, as ministers of the Church, to keep this
message alive.”105
Pope Francis later took the enormous step of
declaring an Extraordinary Jubilee – a Holy Year of
Mercy – taking its inspiration from none other than
St. Faustina. In formally proclaiming this Holy Year,
Pope Francis wrote, “I am especially thinking of the
great apostle of mercy, Saint Faustina Kowalska. May
she, who was called to enter the depths of divine mercy,
intercede for us and obtain for us the grace of living
and walking always according to the mercy of God and
with an unwavering trust in his love…” 106 More
amazing still, it appears Pope Francis chose to
structure this Holy Year in a way that prophetically
emanates from Jesus’ words to St. Faustina. For Jesus
said to Faustina: “…before I come as a just Judge, I first
open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to
pass through the door of My mercy must pass
through the door of My justice…”107 and in this Holy
Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has called for a literal,
physical, “Door of Mercy” to be opened at each
Cathedral in the world. He said, “I will have the joy of
opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the
Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door
will become a Door of Mercy…”108
Three Popes in a row now have expressed their
most heartfelt, zealous, and unflinching support for
this message of St. Faustina. They have unabashedly
asserted that she is indeed a Prophet of God, bringing
God’s own message to us. Her diary, of course,
remains a private revelation; it is not the inerrant
Word of God that Scripture alone contains, nor can it
be approached as an infallible guide to Faith and
Morals like the Magisterium. But consider what you
have just read – you can see that it is, nevertheless,
absolutely trustworthy. It is simply beyond question
that whatever St. Faustina’s revelations teach us
comprises a true and undeniable call from Heaven,
which is why her writings serve as a most powerful
means of enkindling our desire for the Gift of Living
in the Divine Will.
105 Pope Francis. Address to the Priests of Rome. March 6th.
106 Misericordiae Vultus. Bull of Indiction. Paragraph 24.
107 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1146. Emphasis
108 Misericordiae Vultus. Bull of Indiction. Paragraph 3. Emphasis
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 24
Therefore, we can now delve into the treasure
chest of overlap of Divine Mercy in my Soul with
Luisa’s own revelations on the Divine Will. Approach
what follows without the slightest hint of doubt, and
from that absence of doubt let proceed a blazing fire
of desire for what is described.
The following quotes from Faustina’s diary
contain added emphasis to draw special attention to
the references to the Gift of Living in the Divine Will:
“However, the soul receiving this
unprecedented grace of union with God cannot
say that it sees God face to face, because even here
there is a very thin veil of faith, but so very thin that
the soul can say that it sees God and talks with Him.
It is “divinized.” God allows the soul to know how
much He loves it, and the soul sees that better and
holier souls than itself have not received this
grace. Therefore, it is filled with holy amazement,
which maintains it in deep humility, and it steeps itself
in its own nothingness and holy astonishment; and the
more it humbles itself, the more closely God unites
himself with it and descends to it… in one moment,
[the soul] knows God and drowns in Him. It
knows the whole depth of the Unfathomable One,
and the deeper this knowledge, the more ardently the
soul desires Him.”109
St. Faustina describes Living in the Divine
Will here with the term “unprecedented grace.”
Despite knowing nothing of Luisa and not herself
being the one instructed by God on the Gift, Faustina
here in fact answers the very first concern that most
people have about the Gift of Living in the Divine Will,
namely “How could I, who am so unworthy, receive a
gift so much greater than what was received by the
saints of days past who dwarf me in virtue?” We must
be amazed at the offer that God extends to us. The
more we learn, the more amazed and desirous we
must become, for what is known more can be loved
more. The more we receive, the more humble we must
become; for we recognize that, despite being
unworthy servants,110 and far inferior in ourselves to
the saints of ages past, we have been given such a
109 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 771.
110 Cf. Luke 17:10
111 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1489.
112 Ibid., 1324.
greater Gift.
“My beloved child, delight of My Heart, your
words are dearer and more pleasing to me than the
angelic chorus. All the treasures of My Heart are
open to you. Take from this Heart all that you need for
yourself and for the whole world. For the sake of your
love, I withhold the just chastisements, which mankind
has deserved. A single act of pure love pleases Me more
than a thousand imperfect
prayers. One of your sighs
of love atones for many
offenses with which the
godless overwhelm Me.
The smallest act of
virtue has unlimited
value in My eyes because
of your great love for Me.
In a soul that lives on
My love alone, I reign as
in heaven. I watch over it
day and night. In it I find
My happiness; My ear is
attentive to each request of
its heart; often I anticipate
its requests. O child,
especially beloved by Me, apple of My eye, rest a
moment near My Heart and taste of the love in which
you will delight for all eternity.” 111 And very
similarly, Faustina herself said to Jesus “The veils of
mystery hinder me not at all; I love You as do Your
chosen ones in heaven,”112 and later, “I live Your divine
life as do the elect in heaven…”113
Here we see Jesus revealing to Faustina that
her acts are more meritorious – more pleasing to Him
– than all of the angels. By referring to the “angelic
chorus,” He refers to all Nine Choirs; not merely to “an”
angelic chorus, which one could argue only refers to
the lowest of the nine choirs. This is what the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will does – it makes our acts truly
unlimited in their value, as Faustina here says, which
means that even the angels cannot hope to please God
as we can. It allows God to reign in our souls just as
He reigns in the souls of the blessed in Heaven. But it
still gives us the benefit of the veil,114 so that we can
113 Ibid., 1393.
114 In and of itself, the veil is no benefit; but in so far as God permits
it temporarily so that we may use it to build up treasures in Heaven,
it is indeed a benefit.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 25
continue to build up merit as we suffer in Faith and in
union with His passion.
“When a reluctance and a monotony as
regards my duties begins to take possession of me, I
remind myself that I am in the house of the Lord, where
nothing is small and where the glory of the Church and
the progress of many a soul depend on this small deed
of mine, accomplished in a divinized way. Therefore
there is nothing small in a religious congregation.”115
In this excerpt, we learn in a very clear way
that the most mundane, boring, and seemingly
unimportant duties can (and must!) be Divinized.
How great a thought – and how true – that the “glory
of the Church” and “the progress of many a soul”
depend upon doing the laundry in the Divine Will
(that is, Divinized)! St. Faustina ends this paragraph
by saying that nothing is small “in a religious
congregation.” This is because in those settings, it is
expected that everything is done as a prayer. Sadly
outside such places, we tend to see our duties as mere
“necessary evils” that we rush through with no peace,
so that we can get to what we like. But it does not have
to be that way! The life of prayer and work that is the
expected norm in a religious congregation can, and
should, be lived everywhere, especially now that we
are offered this incredible gift of Divinizing even the
smallest acts – doing them in the Divine Will.
“O Divine Will, You are the delight of my heart,
the food of my soul, the light of my intellect, the
omnipotent strength of my will; for when I unite myself
with Your will, O Lord, Your power works through me
and takes the place of my feeble will. Each day, I seek
to carry out God’s wishes.”116
Although it may at first glance appear that this
is an ordinary meditation on the importance and the
glory of doing God’s will, it is in fact more. For here St.
Faustina insists that the Divine Will “takes the place
of [her] feeble will.” It is this Divine Substitution that
we receive in the Gift of Living in the Divine Will.
Before Luisa, this union with God’s will was limited to
imitation, as Aquinas’ teaches in the Summa (cited in
115 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 508.
116 Ibid. 650
117 Here, “graces” must not be understood in the common sense of
the word which refers to the accident of God’s action in a soul, but
rather merely as charismatic graces.
the previous chapter); now the union becomes far
greater than that.
“Neither graces, 117 nor revelations, nor
raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect,
but rather the intimate union of the soul with God.
These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but
constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My
sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of
my will with the will of God.”118
St. Faustina was always conscious of her
nothingness and misery, but she was certainly not one
to succumb to false humility. She was aware of the
sanctity and perfection of her soul, and yet she
attributed it all to the union of her will with God’s will.
That union, which finds its epitome in the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will, is the most complete
response to Our Lord’s insistence that we “be perfect,
as our Father in Heaven is perfect.”119
Early in the Diary, St. Faustina describes a
profound turning point in her life. While at the
convent, she was asked by Jesus to give her consent to
being a victim soul: “And the Lord gave me to know
that the whole mystery depended on me, on my free
consent to the sacrifice given with full use of my
faculties. In this free and conscious act lies the whole
power and value before His Majesty. Even if none of
these things for which I offered myself would ever
happen to me, before the Lord everything was as
though it had already been consummated. 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”…Suddenly,
when I had consented to the sacrifice with all my heart
and all my will, God’s presence pervaded me. My soul
became immersed in God and was inundated with such
happiness that I cannot put in writing even the
smallest part of it. I felt that His Majesty was
enveloping me. I was extraordinarily fused with
God….A great mystery took place during that
adoration, a mystery between the Lord and myself. …
118 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1107
119 Matthew 5:48
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And the Lord said to me, You are the delight of My
Heart; from today on, every one of your acts, even the
very smallest, will be a delight to My eyes, whatever
you do. At that moment I felt transconsecrated. My
earthly body was the same, but my soul was different;
God was now living in it with the totality of His
delight. This is not a feeling, but a conscious reality
that nothing can obscure. “120
“Transconsecration” is not a word you will
often hear! And yet it is a wonderful name for the Gift
of Living in the Divine Will. By using this word (and
it appears she may have been the first), St. Faustina
dares to say that what occurs to the host during the
Mass, has indeed occurred in her soul as well. Jesus
tells Luisa the same. This particular passage from St.
Faustina’s Diary gives a powerful instruction on
receiving the Gift because of the buildup to it: I
heartily recommend opening her diary to this passage.
In it we learn how pleasing and necessary offering
one’s self as a victim is to God, and how, so long as this
offering is truly free and entire, it is infinitely
meritorious even if the openness does not wind up
resulting in anything at all happening.
But now for the most perfect reference of all
to the Gift of Living in the Divine Will. St. Faustina
refers to a “great secret” in her writings. This great
secret is referred to most clearly here: “In this
seclusion, Jesus himself is my Master. He himself
educates and instructs me. I feel that I am the object
of His special action. For His inscrutable purposes and
unfathomable decrees, He unites me to Himself in a
special way and allows me to penetrate His
incomprehensible mysteries. There is one mystery
which unites me with the Lord, of which no onenot
even angels-may know. And even if I wanted to
tell of it, I would not know how to express it. And yet, I
live by it and will live by it for ever. This mystery
distinguishes me from every other soul here on earth
or in eternity.”121
Great scholars of St. Faustina’s writings
puzzle over this passage and others like it in the
Diary. 122 In my humble opinion, this is a direct
reference to the Gift of Living in the Divine Will. I am
not thereby imputing deceit to St. Faustina because
120 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 136-7
121 Ibid., 824.
she said no one will ever know of this great union; she
knew nothing of Luisa Piccarreta, and therefore
Faustina could only have thought that what was
uniting her to the Lord was so utterly great and
mysterious that it would not be possible for anyone to
ever know of.
Now, the whole point of this section is to
present instances in St. Faustina’s writings which do
in fact refer to the Gift; I am not here denying that the
other references are valid! I am simply saying that the
full reality of the Gift of Living in the Divine Will hit
her in such a profound way when she wrote this entry
(and similar ones) that she felt compelled to portray
its utter mysterious transcendence of words, as
indeed Luisa herself would often do.
If nothing else, this passage should make it
abundantly clear that St. Faustina was given a far
greater sanctity than even the greatest sanctity
commonly known of in her time (namely, Spiritual
Marriage), otherwise she would not have asserted that
“no one- not even angels- may know [it].” Knowing
that what she had was simply not expressed in any
commonly known mystical writing to date, she was
forced to say that this union “distinguishes” her from
every other soul, and that it was a “secret.” This is
perfectly compatible with Luisa’s revelations, which
refer to the same essential thing – but explicitly. For
in them, Jesus tells Luisa that not even the angels are
permitted to comprehend what glory is bestowed
upon acts performed in the Divine Will by humans
here on Earth.
It would be possible to continue on in this
manner for many pages, but I would not want to risk
causing you to think that you need not read St.
Faustina’s entire Diary yourself. I cannot recommend
Divine Mercy in my Soul enough to anyone who feels
drawn to Luisa’s revelations. Faustina’s revelations
should truly come first, as they dispose us perfectly for
the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, and as
Providence has deemed they should receive
Ecclesiastical approbation first.
Now in a word, the essence of the Divine
Mercy devotion is this: Jesus, I Trust in You. And the
122 For example, “What Was St. Faustina’s Big, Mysterious Secret?”
Dr. Robert Stackpole. Nov. 16th, 2011
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essence of the Divine Will devotion is this: Thy Will
be Done. The former disposes us for the greatest
possible result of the latter. These two devotions, in
my opinion, constitute God’s final and greatest efforts
in this world for salvation and sanctification,
respectively (though at their very core they are the
same mission).
Desire Holiness
It is impossible to truly desire the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will if we do not also desire – as
our foundation – the same holiness the saints have
always had. For Our Lord said, “Blessed are those who
hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be
What else could you possibly want? “There is
only one tragedy, ultimately; not to have been a
saint.”124 Everything else is nothing. Even other people,
whether friends, parents, children, or even your very
own spouse, except insofar as they accept the mercy
of Christ so that they may attain salvation, are
nothing but dust, and to dust they shall return.
“Indeed I count everything as loss because of the
surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For
his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count
them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ.”125
Considering these stunning realities, what
analogy suffices? In this book and elsewhere, this
desire that we must have is repeatedly likened to a
blazing fire as the only comparison that comes close;
yet even those words utterly fail unless you happen to
be near one so as to be reminded of its intensity. The
almighty, eternal, uncreated, perfect God of the
Universe offers His very own life to you, who are
nothing. He promises that this life, which can be
formed in you here and now, is what shall then
sensibly constitute your existence when, in the
twinkling of an eye, this fleeting world passes and you
embark upon the life of eternity.
And when you find yourself in that eternity,
the breadth of your joy, your glory, and your closeness
to God is no accident: it is decided by (and indeed
123 Matthew 5:6
124 Debated origin. Perhaps Charles Peguy
125 Philippians 3:8
126 Matthew 13:45-6
proceeds from) the holiness you attain to here and
now. In building a house, how zealously do you attend
to the details of its construction so as to ensure it is
tailored to your needs for the short few decades you
will reside in it? And yet, the holiness you will enjoy
in Heaven will scarcely have begun after countless
trillions of centuries have passed. There, the love you
now expand your soul to accommodate will be the
food you eat, the water you drink, and the splendor of
the Kingdom you find yourself in. There, the degree
of union with God you now arrive at will be the
garment you wear forever. “There” might be “here” for
you in a decade, a year, a month, a day, or a minute.
There is absolutely no time to waste.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in
search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great
value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”126
Spare no expense. Go all in. Hold nothing
back. Put all of your eggs in one basket.
Lord, teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
-St. Ignatius of Loyola
Receiving the Gift: Ask for It
“My Jesus, penetrate me through and through
so that I might be able to reflect You in my whole life.
Divinize me so that my deeds may have supernatural
value. Grant that I may have love, compassion and
mercy for every soul without exception.”127
“Everlasting love, pure flame, burn in my heart
ceaselessly and deify my whole being.”128
We must have the boldness that St. Faustina
here demonstrates; the boldness to ask Jesus to
Divinize us and our deeds; to deify our whole being.
(This is precisely what the Gift of Living in the Divine
Will does.)129
127 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1242
128 Ibid, 1523
129 I included the last sentence of that excerpt because of how
inseparable it is from the Gift. We must never forget to have mercy
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Each and every day we must explicitly ask God
for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will. This request
should at least be made upon rising, along with your
usual morning prayers. In Luisa’s writings, this is
referred to as the “Prevenient Act.”130 With this short
prayer, we make a morning offering in the Divine Will,
where we state our intention to live and act only in His
will, and likewise firmly affix our purpose on the same.
There are many ways to do this, and you may feel free
to search online for one that suits your preferences.
Here is one that I use in addition to the
aforementioned prayers of St. Faustina:
Good morning, Blessed Mother,
I love you. Come, help me to offer my
first act of the day as an act of love in the
Divine Will of God.
Most Holy Trinity, setting my
will in Yours, I affirm I want only to live
and act in Your Will, and I set all of my
acts of the day in order in You. O Jesus,
through, with, and in the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, I consecrate and give my
will to You in exchange for Your Divine
Will. I truly want Your Divine Will to
generate Its Divine Life in me this day –
to think in all my thoughts, to speak in
all my words, and operate in all my
actions for the glory of our Heavenly
Father and to fulfill the purpose of
Creation. Abandoned in Your arms, my
Jesus, I invite all the angels and saints,
especially Mary Most Holy, to join in all
the Divine Will does in me today, and I
am confident that You will not fail to
give me the grace to be always faithful
and attentive to Your action within me
so that my own will dare not interfere
with Your freedom to form Your Real
Life in me. O my Jesus, I love You with
Your own Will and thank You
for all souls. Therefore, a thorough examination of conscience is
essential. We can ask ourselves “to whom are we refusing mercy?
What daily or weekly habits have we been unwilling to expose to the
Light for fear of their imperfect nature being revealed? Have we
become satisfied with reflecting Jesus in only a portion of our lives;
even if that portion is almost our whole lives, but not our whole
lives?” Many are those willing to write God a very generous check,
profoundly for the knowledge and Gift
of the Divine Will.
Saint Joseph, be my protector,
the guardian of my heart, and keep the
keys of my will in your hands. Keep my
heart jealously, and never give it to me
again, that I may be sure of never
leaving the Will of God.
My Guardian angel, guard me;
defend me; help me in everything so
that I may be an instrument to draw all
people into the Kingdom of the Divine
Will. Amen.
After the “Prevenient act” above come the
“present acts” throughout the day. As the “righteous
man falls seven times” 131 so we, until we are very
advanced in the Divine Will, likely will not succeed at
remaining perfectly and continuously anchored in
it.132 Because of this fluctuation, we must reaffirm our
desire to enter into the Divine Will continuously
throughout the day; and we do this through our
“present acts,” which are really just ejaculatory
prayers that we should offer up regularly. How exactly
this is done is not important; but you can feel free to
use pieces of your Prevenient act, or words of your
choosing, or any other prayer.
Just as importantly, always ask Jesus to do with
you, through you, and in you whatever you are doing
at the moment. This first of all serves as a continual
examination of conscience throughout the day; for
Jesus cannot sin, and therefore whatever you do that
is sinful in any way, shape, or form, cannot possibly be
done in the Divine Will. The “practice of the presence
of God” is an essential precursor to this. It also bears
a great resemblance to, and serves as a beautiful
development of, the sanctification of the ordinary, as
taught in the “Little Way” of St. Therese of Lisieux as
well as the spirituality of St. Josemaría Escrivá and
but He has no use for generous checks. He only has a use for blank
130 “Prevenient” simply means “coming before.”
131 Proverbs 24:16
132 Bear in mind that nothing in these revelations dispense a soul
from the ordinary means of grace for Catholics. Serious sin must
always be confessed to a priest, and indeed regular confession is an
invaluable means for receiving and growing in the Gift.
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Opus Dei.
But don’t let your consideration of Jesus
acting in you stop at merely asking “is this sinful? If so,
I better not do it, since Jesus then could not do it in me.”
Let this consideration instead permeate even those
behaviors of yours that you are accustomed to
dismissing as irrelevant to the spiritual life – for truly,
nothing is irrelevant to the spiritual life. Apply it to
posture, tone, comportment, dress, conversations,
recreation, demeanor, attitude: everything. “Put on
the Lord Jesus Christ.”133
To develop this way of life, we must consider
practical ways of turning the ordinary acts of our day
into prayer. Jesus asks us to pray constantly, as St. Paul
instructs, in order to live in the Divine Will. Jesus tells
Luisa “What I ask of you is a spirit of continuous
prayer. The continuous effort of the soul to converse
with Me — with its heart or with its mind, with its
mouth or with a simple intention — renders it so
beautiful in My sight that the notes of its heart
harmonize with the notes of My heart. I feel so drawn
to converse with this soul that I manifest to it not only
the operation ad extra of My humanity, but I keep
manifesting to it something of the operation ad intra,
which My divinity accomplished in My humanity.”134
So ask yourself honestly: what is your mind
usually doing? Is it reciting a worldly song that is
stuck in your head, strategizing about finances, or
pondering the To-Do list? Is it indulging in the
anticipation of some upcoming physical enjoyment
(e.g. the next meal, the next social gathering, getting
home from work, going to bed), plotting out the next
career move, worrying about loved ones, or anything
of the sort? We must say no to such thoughts
constantly invading our minds and hearts. We must
instead implement practical ways of ensuring that we
are constantly in a state of recollection, peace, and
prayer. Keeping good company is a first and obvious
step. Turning off the worldly vanity is essential as well.
In all things, say “Jesus, I trust in You. Thy Will be
Done.” Whenever you find yourself with a free
moment, start praying a Rosary or Divine Mercy
Chaplet. Constantly ponder (with great joy!) the
133 Romans 13:14
134 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013) 4.1.10
Truths of our Faith as you slowly recite the Creed,
dwelling on each statement. Try praying the Divine
Office – you will find that the Psalms are always on
your lips and in your mind throughout the day as a
result. Simply converse with God continually,
speaking to Him each and every moment about
anything whatsoever. Strive to frequently slip into
meditation and contemplation. These are just a few
suggestions; you must find your own ways to ensure
that you are truly in a state of continual prayer, for it
is an absolutely essential disposition to receive the
Gift of Living in the Divine Will, to grow in the Gift,
and to perform all of your acts truly in the Divine Will.
With respect to continuous prayer, we must
also ensure that we truly give thanks to God in all
things. Scripture insists upon this: “Rejoice always,
pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”135 First,
you can try to do a better job of offering up (perhaps
for the salvation of souls and the deliverance of the
holy souls in purgatory) every single suffering,
irritation, and dislike you experience throughout the
day. Do so without making any excuses or exceptions,
and with the gratitude of being given the opportunity
to exercise that one ability of ours which the angels
envy us for: our potential to suffer for Christ. God
loves a cheerful giver. Do a better job of giving thanks
to God not only for every good thing that happens to
you, but also every bad thing, in so far as it is a means
to grow and part of His permissive, perfect Will. Make
these things into such habits that they become second
nature, and each night before bed examine your
conscience and ask yourself if you have achieved them
throughout the preceding day.
Once we are praying in and through the
ordinary acts of our days, we can raise them to the
even greater dignity of being acts done in the Divine
Will. Jesus tells Luisa that He re-did each of our lives
during His thirty years of hidden life on Earth; this
“re-done” version of our life, in the Divine Will,
remains suspended in God, awaiting our entrance
into the Divine Will to claim these acts for our own by
doing all that we do truly in His Will. Fr. Iannuzzi
explains “Because Adam’s withdrawal from the Divine
135 1 Thessalonians 5:18
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Will interrupted within his humanity and that of other
humans the formation of God’s aforesaid kingdom,
Jesus assumed a humanity like that of Adam and,
within himself, enclosed a kingdom for each creature.
This kingdom was made up of all the divine acts that
all humans were to have accomplished if Adam had not
sinned. These divine acts were formed within Jesus’
humanity, whose human will took possession of the
Divine Will and vice-versa… For Jesus’ divine acts were
ordered to the divinization of human nature and to
empowering souls to accomplish the same divine acts
that he accomplished. Indeed, from the time of man’s
creation, the divine acts that God had prepared for all
souls, and that await their actualization, were already
present to the Son of God and their number
Jesus tells Luisa that when we perform these
acts we form suns that, though small in themselves,
nevertheless invest all creation with the light and heat
of their splendor; just as the sun, which appears small
in relation to the sky it inhabits, gives life to all the
I would like to suggest one more way you may
ask for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will: as a means
to the end of spreading God’s grace to others.
Consider how readily God dispenses grace to those
whom He sees will put it at the service of others.
When Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, she arose to
wait on them.137 When He “called to him his twelve
disciples and gave them authority,” 138 He did so
immediately before sending them out, and in order to
grant their ministry success. When He “breathed on
them”139 (and in so doing gave them the Holy Spirit),
it was in order to allow them to forgive sins of others.
This is the approach of the apostolate
mentioned previously, the Divine Will Missionaries
of Mercy – to take the grace received through the
Eucharist at Mass out on to the streets, by way of the
Gift of Living in the Divine Will. Before setting out,
the following prayer is said after Mass. I believe it is a
powerful means of asking God for the Gift.
Most Holy Trinity, You Who now dwell
136 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013) 3.1,
inside my body in all of Your Divinity, nothing is
beyond Your power. Therefore I come before you
and say Fiat Voluntas Tua. I rebuke my self-will,
and instead seek only Your Will. As You have
held nothing back from me, let me likewise hold
nothing back from You.
I fervently beg You to miraculously
preserve the Real Presence of Jesus in the
Eucharist within me, so that You may make of me
a living Monstrance, that my walk today may be
a true Procession through this city’s streets.
Make of me a living Host, that all who see me
truly gaze upon Your face.
Let the Transubstantiation of the Host
within me effect the Transubstantiation of my
very self, that I may receive the Gift of Living in
the Divine Will, so that Jesus may walk in my
walking, speak in my speaking, pray in my
praying, and indeed substitute His Divine and
Eternal operations for all of my acts, and through
me re-do all of the acts of Creation, past, present,
and future – in the Will of God, offering them
back to the Father with the seal of my Fiat, which
I pray may become an echo of Jesus and Mary’s
perfect Fiat.
Dear Jesus, let all of my sufferings on
this walk serve as atonement for my sins and
those of the whole world, and be perfectly united
with Yours in Your Passion. Let my hunger and
thirst be Your own as You fasted in the desert; let
any fear or anxiety that assails me be Your own in
the Garden; let my fatigue and exhaustion be
Yours in Your journeys of ministry; let whatever
heat or cold I feel be united to what You felt in
the desert and on the mountains; and let any
ridicule, reviling, persecution, or dismissal I
endure be Your own rejection by Your people.
Let all who see me that lack Faith be as
Longinus, and acknowledge You are the Son of
God. Let all who see me that lack works be as
Dismas, and receive the grace of perfect
contrition, hope, and trust. Let all who see me
that live in sin be as Magdalene, and amend their
Let all who see me that suffer from
wounds of spirit be healed of them, and in place
137 Cf. Matthew 8:15
138 Matthew 10:1
139 John 20:22
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of any darkness or despair, be filled with peace
and joy, as You preached the good news to the
poor. Let all who see the image of Your Mercy
that I wear venerate it and therefore receive the
promise You entrusted to Faustina, so they may
not perish. Let all who see the weapon of Your
Mother that I carry receive grace through her
intercession, that she may crush the head of the
serpent in their lives.
Do not restrict these graces to only those
few who see me, but let them be extended to all
who dwell in the buildings I pass, all who walk
the same streets I walk, all who meet with those
who see me, all the friends and family of these,
and continue in this manner until they reach the
furthest ends of Earth, Heaven, and Purgatory.
I call upon the intercession of all the
angels, saints, and Holy Souls in Purgatory to
present these prayers before the Throne of God.
Above all I entrust and consecrate myself entirely
to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of all Creation, and Mediatrix of all Grace.
Dear Mother, you never gave life to the
self-will, and as such you lived perfectly in the
Divine Will from the moment you were
Immaculately Conceived in the womb of St.
Anne. As I have given all to you, I trust that you
will not permit me, your loving child and willing
slave, to refuse God the least sign of love. Clothe
me in your virtues and cover me with your mantle,
so that when I stand before God, it may not be
my own feeble works and merits that I give Him,
but rather your own.
And if, Dear Lord, in Your perfect will,
You see fit to bless this work with success, do not
permit me to receive the credit, but to Your Name
give the glory. Let my own small role be
unnoticed, for You alone are good, and I am an
unworthy servant.
As I depart from this Church, do not
depart from me, Lord. Let my adoration remain
unbroken, fixated upon Your Eucharistic
Presence within me, so that even as I walk these
streets, my soul may remain as I am now –
kneeling before You in silence.
I firmly trust and believe that You can do
all of these things, for I ask in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
140 The Magnificat; Cf. Luke 1:51
Whether or not you feel called to be a Divine
Will Missionary of Mercy, you can – and should – still
strive to approach all of your endeavors with this
demeanor and this intention, and you can modify
the above prayer however you like to fit what you will
be doing after Mass.
Growing in the Gift: Purify your
The intention with which we desire and ask
for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will must
continually be purified. Do not despair if you find this
the most difficult thing, for it is supposed to be the
most difficult thing. Anyone can genuflect the body
in front of a Tabernacle; far fewer truly strive, much
less succeed, in submitting their hearts to our
Eucharistic King. God is well aware not merely of the
weakness of our flesh, but also of the concupiscence
of our spirit. Even St. Francis, toward the end of his
life, lamented that he felt that all he had done, he had
done merely for vain glory; and yet we know full well
that he is high up in Heaven now and among the
greatest saints of the Church. So a continual, heartfelt
effort at the purification of our intention is what God
asks of us, and it is what pleases Him so very much if
we make it.
Against Pride
We must, first of all, be delivered from all
pride. The Gift of Living in the Divine Will is the
greatest gift that God can give. Do you think He will
give it to the proud? Of course not. He will, rather,
“scatter the proud in their conceit.”140 If you desire that
people think of you as having the Gift, you will not
receive it. If, in having the Gift, you would think
yourself as above any other soul, you will not be given
it. It would behoove us to remain anchored in daily
reading of the lives of the saints; especially a
traditional compilation of them, such as Butler’s. In
so doing we are not only encouraged to strive after
their example, but we are reminded of our own
nothingness. These great souls, who thought nothing
of themselves, nevertheless surpassed us in virtue like
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an Olympian surpasses a toddler just learning to walk.
Praying the Litany of Humility141 daily is also a wise
step in purging ourselves of pride.
A desire for and pursuit of hiddenness is
among the most powerful means to abide in the
humility required for the Gift. This hiddenness was a
defining factor of Luisa’s own life. In like manner, you
must be very careful where you permit your thoughts
to wander. In doing good, do you daydream about
people finding out? Or better yet, finding out while
still thinking you wanted no one to find out? Cease
such thinking, and remember that your thoughts are
not your own any more than your actions are your own;
God must be sovereign over them all. Foster in your
heart a sense of holy embarrassment at the thought of
anyone admiring you, for you know how weak and
miserable you are. Perhaps only you, your confessors,
and God alone know just the extent of it.
Is growth in holiness for you really a means to
some vain end, perhaps getting this or that person to
respect you more, or rising in the ranks of your parish,
order, school, diocese, or other institution? Plot out
practical ways to ensure that other people are thanked
for your efforts. Have in mind a way of responding to
any compliment that will give the credit where it is
due; namely, to God, and to others. Ponder how to do
so in a way that you are not just making sure you get
the credit for the good deed, and for the apparent
humility in crediting God! Remember that humility is
nothing other than truth – when you see God, you will
be humbled before Him, no matter how great your
virtue becomes. It is best you prepare yourself for that
Consider as well that how you treat other
people is the measure of the extent to which pride has
been removed from your life. It has been said, rightly
so, “That your love for God is measured by your love
for the one in this world whom you love least.” A proud
person cannot love others as he must, for he does not
see Christ in them. What a waste (and worse) this
book has been if it shifts your focus away from Our
Lord’s command to love one another as He has loved
us, and towards simply asking God for a certain grace
141 See Appendix I
142 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1415
of union (even if it is the highest one). You must
therefore analyze your life carefully. Charity begins in
the home. How do those with whom you live, work,
and pray, feel about your demeanor towards them? Of
course there will always be slanders,
misunderstandings, and the like; but generally, if you
hold charity in your heart and in your deeds towards
others, they will recognize it and acknowledge it. If
you cannot recall them doing so recently, then you
likely need to reevaluate your behavior towards them.
Do you go beyond this, though, and regularly perform
works of mercy; not in the hopes of being repaid or
noticed, but out of the pure desire to serve the needy
in whom Christ dwells? Do you have a disposition of
openness to whatever needs of others Providence
might present to you throughout the day, or are you
dead set in following – no matter what – the plan you
have in your head for the next ten minutes of your life,
wherever you find yourself?
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception,
Our Lady said to St. Faustina: “I desire, My dearly
beloved daughter, that you practice the three virtues
that are dearest to Me-and most pleasing to God. The
first is humility, humility, and once again humility…”142
Although humility is neither a moral virtue, 143
supernatural virtue, gift of the Holy Spirit, nor fruit of
the Holy Spirit, it is nevertheless a shortcut – an
elevator, almost – to all of them. It is the key to
receiving grace. Of all perfections of the soul one can
pursue, humility will yield the greatest results the
most quickly. St. Faustina later refers to humility as
“the most precious of the virtues,” and proceeds to ask
God to “reduce me to nothingness in my own eyes that
I may find grace in Yours.”144
In commenting on Luisa’s writings, Fr.
Iannuzzi says the following regarding humility, and
other virtues attached to it: “Among the virtues Luisa
addresses, the following merit particular attention.
The virtue of trust enlivens faith and attracts God’s
mercy and blessings. The virtue of humility requires
confidence and exalts God the most. For without
confidence humility lacks that which renders it
meritorious. Humility, moreover, provides the soul
with the garment of profound calm and inspires it to
respect the good in others. The virtue of patience
143 Although it is considered to be annexed to the moral virtue of
144 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, 1436
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disposes the soul to fortitude, perseverance and
stability, and it strengthens all the virtues. Luisa
maintains that patience plays a preeminent role,
inasmuch as it engenders and safeguards purity.
Purity is not a naturally bestowed gift but a grace that
one must attain. The soul that operates with a pure
intention allows Jesus to operate in it with his own
virtues and aids in the conversion of other souls.”145
Therefore we can see that, in seeking the grace
of a pure intention, patience is also essential.
Against Anxiety and Agitation
Instead of a demeanor of anxiety and
agitation, we must have one of patience and peace.
Patience is evidence of trust, and its absence is
likewise evidence of a lack of the same. One who is
impatient is, in his impatience, asserting the self-will
against the Divine Will.
We should defer to the life of Luisa, for she is
the example par excellence of the form of patience we
must have, even with respect to the very thing we are
desiring: the Gift of Living in the Divine Will. Though
it may appear superficially that desire and patience
are in competition, they truly are not. We must
ardently desire the Gift, as already discussed. But how
exactly we progress in this is not up to us. It is up to
And so we must strive to exercise patience to a
heroic degree. St. Padre Pio is often quoted as saying
that the greatest and most difficult application (but
likewise the most necessary for a devout soul) of
patience is its application with respect to one’s own
growth in holiness. As you are not the cause of your
growth in holiness, you do not answer for its pace; you
only answer for your openness and your response. It is
the same with pursuing the Gift of Living in the
Divine Will.
St. Faustina wrote “I have learned that the
145 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013)
146 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1514
147 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013)
greatest power is hidden in patience. I see that
patience always leads to victory…”146
Similarly, Luisa wrote: “We must be attentive
to all of our internal movements, for good Jesus will
ask us to suffer at one moment and to pray at another.
He will put us in a certain state of soul at one moment
and in a different state later on, so that he may repeat
his own life in us. Let us suppose that Jesus places us
in a situation in which we have to exercise patience. He
receives so many offenses from souls that he feels
driven to chastise them. It is here, then, that he gives
us the occasion to practice patience, and we should
honor him by enduring everything with patience, just
as he endured it. Our patience will strip from his hands
those chastisements that other souls force into them.
After all, it is within us that he exercises his very own
divine patience. This not only applies to the virtue of
patience, but to all the other virtues as well. Loving
Jesus exercises all the virtues in the Sacrament. From
him we draw strength, meekness, patience, tolerance,
humility, obedience and all the other virtues … In a
word, everything we do must serve to nourish Jesus
and, in so doing, we must have the intention of
nourishing creatures in Jesus.”147
This patience, in which we nourish and offer
reparation to Jesus, is essential in all things both small
and large, both specific and general. Do you find that
you are frustrated with your pace of growth in the
spiritual life? That is a true martyrdom of love! For not
loving Jesus as much as you want to love Him is
indeed a martyrdom, and a greatly meritorious one so
long as you never give up striving to love Him more.148
Or are you merely tempted to annoyance at the pace
of traffic during your morning commute? Either way,
hand it all over to God and say: “Nothing but your Will
can happen, O Lord. I trust in You. Thy Will be done.”
Patience and peace go hand in hand. But in
order to have a true and deep peace, we must as our
very first step consider how we view God’s mercy; for
only trust in this mercy can bring about peace. Do you
148 Cf. Sister M. De L.C., “An Unpublished Manuscript on
Purgatory” “…love is a true martyrdom. The soul that really tries to
love Jesus finds that notwithstanding all its efforts it does not love
Him as much as it wants to, and that is for that soul a perpetual
martyrdom…” (Undergoing this type of martyrdom on Earth can
itself dispose one to forego Purgatory entirely)
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truly trust in God’s mercy, knowing that it will be
there for you no matter how great or numerous your
falls, or do you really view it as just a safety net for you
if your own human efforts prove insufficient? Know
well that God’s mercy is the only hope for any of us,
even the greatest of saints. St. Faustina was known to
genuinely respond to anyone who mentioned her as
being saintly with: “if it were not for God’s mercy, I
would perish just like any sinner.” Our attitude must
be the same, no matter how virtuous we become, and
certainly no matter how highly others view us. In
pursuing this attitude, strive to remind yourself,
whenever you meet a poor soul mired in the
dissolution and a life of mortal sin, “there but for the
grace of God go I.” Your own efforts were not the cause
of your current state, nor will they be the cause of your
preservation in grace; God is sovereign over both.
Have no fear of evil news, for the same God who now
nourishes you with everything you need will still be
there no matter what happens to you. “Therefore I tell
you, do not be anxious about your life…Consider the
lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor
spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was
not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the
grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is
thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you,
O men of little faith?”149
God wants to pour His grace into our lives; we
prevent Him by preferring anxiety to peace. Jesus also
said directly to St. Faustina, “My child, know that the
greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and
an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the
ability to practice virtue.”150
Sin, therefore, is not the greatest obstacle to
holiness. Though this may at first seem heretical or
groundbreaking, it is, in fact, neither. Consider that if
sin was the greatest obstacle to holiness, then any
serious Catholic would be utterly insane to do
anything but find a good monastery (utterly devoid of
any occasion of sin) and join it. That is indeed a great
calling, but it is truly not the genuine calling of most
of us. So heed the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “Dear
friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid
neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your
weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this
149 Matthew 6:25,30
150 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1488.
151 Benedict XVI. Homily at World Youth Day. August 20, 2011.
moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will
continue to resound throughout the world.”151
But often the cause of anxiety is servile fear,
which likewise must be purged.
Against Servile Fear
We must as well be delivered from all fear, for
perfect love casts out fear,152 and Living in the Divine
Will requires perfect love. Now I speak here of servile
fear: the fear of punishment. This is the type of fear
that must be cast out. Filial fear – Holy Fear – the
Seventh Gift of the Holy Spirit, must never be cast out;
this fear we maintain for all eternity, and this Fear of
the Lord even Jesus Himself had, as it is written of
Him: “The Fear of the Lord shall be His delight.”153 This
is the fear that is described as awe and reverence. It is
due to God absolutely and unconditionally.
Furthermore, this suggestion is not made to
those deliberately living in sin; for them, even servile
fear can have a positive effect, for it will help convince
them that it really is worth repenting, and it is the
height of foolishness to expect death-bed repentance.
They might not have death beds, and if they do, they
might at that point have lost even the desire to repent.
Holy affections must be acted on precisely when they
are received, for they cannot be counted upon to
continue or return. Do not too readily dispense
yourself from the consideration of whether you are
living in sin – especially if you are new to the devout
life; we live in an age where even pulpits rarely instruct
on just what those thoughts, words, deeds, and
omissions are that indeed comprise objective grave
contraventions of God’s law. Search online for a good,
traditional, thorough, and detailed Examination of
Conscience and consider it carefully.
But these suggestions are made to you who
love God and, if you fall (even if these falls are not rare
and not small), repent, truly intend to not fall again,
confess your sins to a priest, and receive sacramental
absolution. Now I am sure you do not love God
enough – we all have room to love Him more! But do
not bother fretting and being anxious over whether
152 Cf. 1 John 4:18
153 Isaiah 11:3
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you love Him. One of Luisa’s harshest rebukes from
Jesus occurred when – likely thinking she was being
humble – she complained to Jesus that she did not
love Him. He told her, in the strongest of terms, that
of course she did love Him. So you do love Jesus. Just
keep trying to love Him more, never being satisfied
with where you are.
Now consider an illustration. On a walk in the
park, my wife has no fear of me. She loves me and she
knows that I love her. That fact does not mean she is
thereby asserting that no pain could possibly come to
her from my hands. She knows full well that if a truck
came hurdling towards her, I would push her out of
the way with all of my might – to such a degree that it
would certainly cause her pain. But she knows that I
would only do so out of love, and if it were necessary
and for her good, therefore when we are together,
again, she has nothing but complete comfort, and an
absence of fear. This is how we must be with God, but
much more so of course. Do not act out of fear of hell,
or pain, or purgatory, or anything of the sort. Act only
out of love of God.
With respect to hell: Perhaps you are in grace
now, but you fear what might happen at the end of
your life. But do you really think God will abandon
you at the final moments of your life? That is to doubt
His goodness, which pains Him much. Trust in Him,
and trust in His promises, for He has issued you so
many salvation-ensuring promises. Remember that
hope, being a supernatural virtue, has no
corresponding vice of excess. What I mean is that it is
possible to be “too courageous,” in a sense; for you
could become reckless. You can likewise be “too
prudent” in a sense; for you could become paralyzed.
You cannot, however, be too hopeful. You cannot have
too much confidence in God. That is impossible.
Therefore, await your salvation with the joy that a
faithful bride has as she awaits the return of her
bridegroom who is on a long journey; not wondering
if this return will be joyful or miserable, but knowing
it will be the former. Now every worldly bridegroom is
imperfect, and from that imperfection proceeds at
least some lack of perfection of the trust in him that
his bride has. But you await your heavenly reunion
154 Cf. Romans 8:28
155 Cf. Sister M. De L.C., “An Unpublished Manuscript on
Purgatory” (e.g. “God never allows a soul that has been devoted to
Him during life to perish at the last moment.”)
with the perfect Bridegroom, the Lamb of God, Who
is perfectly faithful so long as God is God.
I do not mean to coax you into laxity. Quite
the contrary, I would be the first to ask you continue
to work and pray with the same degree of fervor,
ardency, and zeal as if you could indeed lose your
salvation in those final moments (for you pray on
behalf of the whole Church, and there are many who
may indeed be lost, but many of those will be saved
depending upon your prayer). Here and now, I mean
only to help rid you of that servile fear that is not
compatible with the perfectly pure love of God that
you must have.
Perhaps you fear the assaults of the devil in
your final agony. This threat, too, is nothing to fear.
All is permitted by the most holy and perfect Will of
God for your good. 154 These final assaults of the
demons are only permitted (if they are permitted at
all in your case) because the last moments of your life
are the last moments you will ever have to earn merit
for heaven, and God wants to give you as many
chances for that as possible – and nothing is more
meritorious than direct combat with the devil. That is
the sole reason this occurs, not because your salvation
might actually be lost in that strife.155 It will not be, for
it cannot be.
Perhaps then you fear Purgatory. Regarding
this, St. Therese said to one of her fellow religious,
“You are not sufficiently trusting, you fear God too
much. I assure you that this grieves Him. Do not be
afraid of going to purgatory because of its pain, but
rather long not to go there because this pleases God
who imposes this expiation so regretfully. From the
moment that you try to please Him in all things, if you
have the unshakable confidence that He will purify you
at every instant in His love and will leave in you no
trace of sin, be very sure that you will not go to
If it winds up that you will have to go to
Purgatory (and dare not resign yourself to this), then
it will be out of desire. God will not push you in there
kicking and screaming; you will dive head-first into it
156 Annales de Sainte Therese, Lisieux. Nr. 610, February, 1982
(Citation from Father Hubert van Dijk, ORC. Translated from
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when you see it because you ardently desire to receive
this purification before seeing the Lord face-to-face,
just as a bride would not think twice about showering
before her wedding, even if the temperature of the
water was not to her liking. But as Therese has said,
we can be sure even of bypassing purgatory so long as
we strive to please God in all things and have absolute
confidence in His love. Furthermore, we have that
incredible gift of the Plenary Indulgence, which we
may (and should) receive each and every day, to put
an Ecclesiastical seal upon this confidence of avoiding
Finally, perhaps there is a dark cloud hovering
over all of these words of hope because you have
stumbled upon the works of those who have gone to
great lengths to compile, with the precision of a
surgeon, just those out-of-context excerpts from the
writings of Fathers of the Church and other saints
that seem to indicate that the vast majority of people,
including Catholics, will wind up in hell. You must be
rid of this notion, for it is not true. Fr. Garrigou-
Lagrange, the foremost modern Thomist whose
learnedness and orthodoxy no one would question,
teaches a “benevolent supposition” regarding the
relative amounts of the saved and the damned from
no less authority than Scripture itself. He holds the
following: of the Angels, only one-third fell; of the
twelve Apostles, only one was lost; and even of the two
thieves sentenced to death along with Jesus, one was
Likewise, St. Faustina, the authority of whose
revelations has already been well established in
preceding pages, was given a vision of hell and
observed, “…I noticed one thing: that most of the souls
there [in hell] are those who disbelieved that there is a
hell.”158 In other words, at least simply believing in
hell’s existence is itself a good indication that you will
not be there, and there cannot be more than double
the amount of souls in hell than souls who, on earth,
did not believe in it. Later in the diary, Jesus speaks of
those about to die in states of despair and darkness –
who, by all external appearances, already have died –
157 One plenary indulgence may be received for one’s self (or offered
for a soul in Purgatory) for each Communion received within 8-20
days of Confession, along with detachment from all sin and, of
course, the indulgenced act: such as Stations of the Cross, a Rosary
prayed in Church or as a family, 30 minutes of adoration, or 30
minutes of Scripture reading.
158 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 741
nevertheless being saved by His mercy if they show so
much as “even a flicker of good will.”159 Even in Luisa’s
own revelations, Jesus has nothing but rebukes for
those who insist that His words in the Gospel that
“many are called, few are chosen”160 indicate most will
wind up in hell and only a small number will go to
heaven. He explains that people who say such things
are really just exposing their own miserliness.
I must again say that the very last thing I want
to do is coax anyone into laxity, lukewarmness, or
some sort of false sense of security that damnation is
only for unrepentant murderers, Satanists, and
atheists. Make no mistake: many, many souls are in
hell, many are falling into hell as you read this
sentence, and many more will continue to fall into it.
There is no greater tragedy imaginable, and this
tragedy is no doubt greatly exacerbated by those who
say there is no hell, or that we can “reasonably hope”
that it will remain eternally empty of humans.
Scripture, Tradition, the Sensus Fidelium, 161 the
consensus of the Fathers, the consensus of the Saints,
and the apparitions of Our Lady all repudiate this lie
(and Luisa’s own revelations are no exception – Jesus
makes it clear to her that not all are saved); a lie
unfortunately promoted even by some well-known
priests today.
What I do wish to do is to help you abandon
the notion that only a scarce few will wind up in
heaven. Though it appears to be a rigorous stance, it
really only ironically breeds its own form of laxity.
Consider what the devil said to St. Faustina: “Do not
pray for sinners, but for yourself, for you will be
damned,”162 and likewise what Our Lord said to her,
previously quoted, “My child, know that the greatest
obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an
exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the
ability to practice virtue.”163 If you think that only a
scarce few will make it to heaven, then you will indeed
have exaggerated anxiety. Your pursuit of virtue will
be seriously hampered, and you will be too afraid to
pray for the world like Jesus wants you to. You will do
nothing but beg God for mercy for yourself, which
159 Ibid., Paragraph 486
160 Matthew 22:14
161 The “Sense of the Faithful.” That which the Faithful believe by
162 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1465.
163 Ibid., Paragraph 1488.
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God indeed wants us to do, but which (as we see above)
the devil wants us to do exclusively. Your servile fear
of God will result in a servile fear of sin, which will
keep you from your missions and calling – callings
which God desires of you, and which are the very
things that will be your means of sanctification.
As a final cautionary note, however, I must
warn strongly against fighting servile fear by
eliminating filial fear. This, sadly, is the approach we
see all over the modern Catholic landscape: Jesus – the
Lion of the Tribe of Judah – being reduced to a teddy
bear, a flaky buddy, a fun guy, or whatever else. Such
an approach is analogous to drinking bleach in order
to kill off a common cold virus, and its fruits are clear:
modesty is thrown out the window; flippancy,
giddiness, or silliness dominates demeanors;
reverence disappears; growth in the spiritual life is put
on the back-burner; avoiding occasions of sin is
laughed at; and every compromise is considered okay.
This is nothing but demon-inspired apery of a holy
absence of servile fear. Flee from it.
Growing in the Gift: Grow in
Knowledge of It
As already noted, I cannot give you anything
resembling a comprehensive summary of Luisa’s
revelations in this short book. That said, I will simply
share with you three particular insights contained in
her revelations that I have found inspiring and
edifying. With this, I simply hope to set you off on a
The History of the Divine Will and
the Human Will
Not until Luisa’s revelations have we ever been
able to so much as scratch the surface of knowledge
regarding Adam as God originally created him. “…in
prelapsarian Adam God the Father continuously
operated in his will and heartbeat, the Son of God in
his intellect and blood flow, and the Holy Spirit on his
164 Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. Manual for Instructing Others on the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will. 2.3.2
165 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 2.1.2
memory and breath.” 164 The Divine Will was
immediately placed within Adam’s human will, thus
from the moment of his creation, Adam gave God
perfect glory. And the very first thing that Adam did
after he was created was to say, “I love you my God, my
Father, the Author of my life.”165
Jesus tells Luisa that He made physical
creation to house man, but he made the soul of man
to house God – the Divine Will. This was so deeply
true that the Divine Will was the very principle of the
life and action of Adam. Jesus tells Luisa, “When God
created Adam, he possessed such sanctity that the
slightest one of his acts had such value that no
[sanctity of any] saint either before or after My coming
to earth can compare to his sanctity…For in My Divine
Will Adam possessed the fullness of sanctity and the
totality of all divine blessings. And do you know what
fullness means? It means to be filled to the brim, to the
point of overflowing with light, sanctity, love and all
the divine qualities, whereby he was able to fill heaven
and earth, over which he exercised dominion and
through which he extended his kingdom…. For by the
power of My Will, within which alone all such acts may
be found, Adam was able to give Me the fullness and
totality of all goods, whereas outside of My Will such
acts do not exist. Thus Adam possessed all the riches
and acts of infinite value that My Eternal Will
communicated to him before the divinity.”166
Now Adam continually consented – initially –
to the operation of God within himself, but tragically
he did not pass the test that would have confirmed
him and all his offspring perpetually in this state.
Thus in Luisa’s revelations we see that all of
human history is the story of the Divine Will and the
human will. Near the beginning of Bl. Anne Catherine
Emmerich’s own revelations, 167 we read these very
mysterious words: “I learned also at that moment
what I cannot clearly repeat; namely, that the serpent
was, as it were, the embodiment of Adam and Eve’s will,
a being by which they could do all things, could attain
all things. Here it was that Satan entered.”168 While no
attempt will be made here to fully grasp or interpret
167 It is worth noting that Emmerich was beatified by Pope St. John
Paul II
168 Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of Jesus Christ and
Biblical Revelations, Volume 1 (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and
Publishers, Inc., 1986), Page 15.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 38
precisely what that means, I include it to demonstrate
just how much agreement there is with Luisa’s
revelations, and how we see the ultimate question
always has been, and indeed now is, whose will shall
be done?
But before Adam sinned, according to
Emmerich’s revelations, the angel of the Lord seemed
to take something out of Adam. You see, Adam was
more like Christ than you might think at first: in a real
way he contained within himself all of the generations
to come. This is precisely what Jesus tells Luisa
regarding Adam, as well. And what did the angel of
the Lord take from Adam? He took the promise; the
blessing. That promise survived the flood, being
taken upon the Ark with Noah. That promise was
given to Abraham. That promise was the Covenant in
the Ark. But greatest of all, that promise became a
human being in the womb of St. Anne. The promise
is none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary; the only
creature who never did her own will; the only one
entirely immune from Adam’s sin. Adam destroyed
the Gift of Living in the Divine Will in himself, and
therefore in the entire human race, of which he was
designated head. Therefore, humanity had to
mystically begin again, in the womb of the only one
saved from Adam’s stained inheritance before it ever
so much as touched her. But much needed to
transpire first.
Jesus dispenses profound wisdom to Luisa about
Noah and Abraham. Noah’s sacrifice was so incredibly
powerful before God because of its duration; because
each day for so many years, he labored tirelessly by
Faith in obedience to God’s command. This is why he
merited so much for future generations. Jesus says
that through his difficulties, labors, and sweat in
building, he merited the very continuation of the
human generations. Jesus reminds us that we have
Noah to thank for the existence of the world today. In
this we learn to value greatly our own long labors; the
prayers we say day in and day out for conversion of
souls, the duties of life that we continue to carry out –
in the Divine Will – no matter our mood.
Jesus later speaks of Abraham’s sacrifice being so
great that, if he were to have carried it out in full
without the Angel stopping him, it would have caused
Abraham as well to immediately die with sorrow. So
opposed to his nature, so opposed to his will, he
nevertheless became the Head and Father of human
generations through it, for never has there been a
more perfect type of God the Father’s sending and
sacrificing His own beloved, only-begotten Son. As
Noah purchased the world with his sacrifice,
Abraham purchased, as it were, the Messiah with his.
Thus for four thousand years since the fall, the
chosen race – the people of God – prayed for
redemption. Jesus tells Luisa that the closer and closer
to the fullness of time it came, the more urgent and
frequent God’s letters to man, through the prophets,
became; all to dispose His people to be ready. He
wanted them to long for the gift and ask for the gift
before giving it. Finally the prayers of the righteous of
Israel reached the throne of God. They had at long last
reached a sufficient degree of merit, and the earth was
blessed with its greatest prodigy, the Immaculate
Conception. Then God Himself came down to them
in the womb of this Most Holy Virgin. Thus, the Fiat
of Redemption.
But no one can deny that God’s will still does not
reign upon Earth, and two thousand more years have
passed. Jesus tells Luisa “My daughter, when Adam
sinned God gave him the promise of the future
Redeemer. Centuries passed and the promise did not
fail, therefore human generations enjoyed the
blessings of the Redemption. Now, by My coming from
heaven to form the Kingdom of Redemption, I made
another more solemn promise before departing for
heaven: The Kingdom of My Will on earth, which is
contained in the ‘Our Father’ prayer. … So after I
formed this prayer in the presence of My heavenly
Father, certain that he would grant Me the Kingdom of
My Divine Will on earth, I taught it to My apostles so
that they might teach it to the whole world, and that
one might be the cry of all: ‘Your Will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.’ A promise more sure and solemn I
could not make […] My very prayer to the heavenly
Father, ‘May it come, may your kingdom come and
your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’ meant
that with My coming to earth the Kingdom of My Will
was not established among creatures, otherwise I
would have said, ‘My Father, may Our kingdom that I
have already established on earth be confirmed, and let
Our Will dominate and reign.’ Instead I said, ‘May it
come.’ This means that it must come and souls must
await it with the same certainty with which they
awaited the future Redeemer. For My Divine Will is
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 39
bound and committed to the words of the ‘Our Father.’
And when My Divine Will binds itself, whatever it
promises is more than certain to come to pass.
Furthermore, since everything was prepared by Me,
nothing else is needed but the manifestation of My
Kingdom, which is what I am doing.”169
Jesus also tells Luisa that He is more pleased with
the Church than He was with Israel; and furthermore,
it is so much greater than Israel, that the prayers of
this new People of God will suffice in being answered
far more quickly than the four thousand years
required leading up to His Incarnation. He moreover
assures Luisa that every two thousand years He
renews the world; two thousand after the Fall with the
Flood, two thousand after the Flood with His very
own blood, and two thousand more after that, with
the full application of that most Precious Blood to the
world in which it was shed – the Fiat of Sanctification.
He says that what is coming now in individual souls
and what is to come upon the world in the Third Fiat
is the realization of the fruits of His Divinity, whereas
what has been lived in the Church up to now is the
realization of the fruits of His humanity. It is this third
Fiat He now ardently desires to give to the world, but
He is waiting for our response. He is waiting for us to
sufficiently strive for it, pray for it, and yearn for it. He
is waiting for us to live in His Will even now, and
perform as many acts in His Will as we can, in order
to prepare the ground for its universal Reign. He is
waiting for us to sufficiently form and spread the
Kingdom of His Will upon Earth now before its true
triumph. But this true triumph, Jesus tells Luisa, will
not come without chastisements preceding it –
chastisements, Jesus says, which will amount to the
world turning upside down. These are also what we
are on the very verge of. Nevertheless preparation for
them is still best made in the same way: Living in the
Divine Will, doing all your acts in the Divine Will, and
spreading the Divine Mercy.
Insights into Demons
At one stage in life, having being attacked by
demons constantly, day in and day out, for three years
(both spiritually and physically), Luisa is among the
169 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 4.1.1
best situated to give insights into their workings. But
Jesus Himself also taught her about how to deal with
them. He said that the way to respond to them is to
laugh at them, and consider them to be the ants they
are. Jesus speaks of how utterly terrified demons are
of a courageous soul who clings to Him, so much so
that they would always flee in the presence of such a
soul, were it not for the fact that the Will of God forces
them to remain where they are for the merit of that
soul. Jesus teaches her to – at the very onset of any
temptation (which indeed is spiritual combat with
demons) – proclaim before all Heaven, earth, and the
demons themselves, that she would rather die than
offend God and consent to any temptation from the
devil. He tells her that, with this proclamation made,
the mere memory of it afterwards will remind her that
she need not scrupulously waste time worrying about
whether or not she consented to intentionally
offending God; and that she need not be disturbed,
for she would not have made that proclamation if that
were the case!
The Moment of Death
Never before have I read in any writing of a
saint or in any mystical revelation a description so
beautiful of the moment of death as is contained in
Luisa’s writings. Jesus says to Luisa that this is His
great daily catch; that moment when at long last He
can show Himself to the creature. At that moment so
many souls are saved (even though a lengthy
purgatory will be required of many of them). In it,
Jesus goes so far as to wrench, as it were, an act of
repentance and love from them, and this He achieves
successfully in all but those most obstinate souls who
choose to condemn themselves. This daily catch
occurs, Jesus says, at the very instant that separates a
soul from time and eternity, and therefore is not
dependent upon any external, earthly observation of
repentance. He speaks of finally being able to allow
His creatures to see His irresistible face, which, if they
only accept it, will inundate them with love and save
them from the perdition that they have been walking
the path of for so many years.
The only revelation I know of that comes close
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 40
to this is St. Faustina’s, which bears an enormous
similarity in this regard (as with all others!) to Luisa’s.
To St. Faustina, Jesus reveals this encounter He has
with despairing souls at the point of death: “O soul
steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost.
Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.
But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in
darkness. Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the
voice of your merciful Father. In the soul arises this
reply: “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into
greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell
and makes it unable to draw near to God. Jesus calls to
the soul a third time, but the soul remains deaf and
blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God
begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation
from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is
spurned, God will leave the soul in this self-chosen
disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the
merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special
light by means of which the soul begins to understand
God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will.
The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and,
should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of
God will accomplish the rest.”170
Jesus continues on in this manner to Luisa
for some time; speaking of how if only people knew
the excesses of His love that He pours out at the
moment of death, they would not wait until that
moment to receive it, but would love Him all their
So far we have discussed renouncing the selfwill,
enkindling our desire, asking for the Gift,
purifying our intention, and growing in knowledge.
All of these should be done along with reading and
praying the three primary works given to Luisa
outside of her diary; namely, The Rounds, The Hours,
and The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
These three works each roughly correspond to one of
the three equal divisions of her 36-volume diary.
The Rounds of the Soul in
170 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1485.
171 Romans 8:21
My favorite prayer has always been the Nicene
Creed. Some would say “that is not a prayer; it is
merely a statement of Faith.” I disagree! It is a prayer –
a statement of Faith, yes, but so much more, if
approached with the awe that is due to it. I have
always felt like I am, in spirit, standing before the
realities I affirm with my lips; gazing with wonder
upon them and relishing the fact that I know of their
validity with absolute certainty.
This, I believe, should define our approach to
the Rounds of Creation, in which we spiritually “redo”
all the acts of creation – past, present, and future
– in the Will of God. With the Gift of Living in the
Divine Will we can do this by visiting (in a true
bilocation of the soul, through our intention) all acts
that have been done or will be done, and imprinting
upon them our Fiat Voluntas Tua; that is, our “I love
you, I adore you, I glorify you, God.” In this, we subject
all creation to the Divine Will, as is our right and our
duty as members of the common priesthood of the
baptized, in this era in which God is unleashing His
greatest Gift. In this we cooperate with God in setting
“creation free from its slavery to corruption.”171
This duty perhaps sounds strange to you if you
are new to such a spirituality, but it is by no means
unique or unprecedented in Christian prayer.
Consider first the canticle of Daniel’s companions
who were thrown into the fire by Nebuchadnezzar:
“Sun and moon, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him
above all forever. Stars of heaven, bless the Lord; praise
and exalt him above all forever,”172 and so forth. This is
still in the public (official) Prayer of the Church in the
Divine Office, the recitation of which is required of all
clergy and religious. This particular canticle is
proclaimed every Sunday, and it is therefore obviously
still an extremely important prayer. For God desires
that nothing be left out. Consider the wonder of
physical creation; it is, of course, nothing compared
to the wonder of the human soul, but it is nevertheless
a reflection of God. In fact, each created thing reflects
some aspect or attribute of God, and it is our duty to
recognize this and love Him with, in, and through
that reflection. Jesus tells Luisa that, for example, the
stars manifest His Divinity and steadfastness, the sun
His majesty, the wind His sovereignty, the sea His
purity and refreshment, and the waves His
172 Daniel 3:58-59
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continuous love. Merely physical creation, however, is
without reason; it is incapable of truly blessing God
itself. It only exists for us to bless God by means of it.
Furthermore, the angels, being purely spiritual beings,
cannot assimilate physical creation as we can.
But we do not stop there. In like manner, we
spiritually go through all acts and impress our fiat
upon them. The most important acts we visit are the
acts of redemption; those that Jesus undertook while
on Earth, as He enclosed within Himself all things.
In one excerpt, Luisa describes the Rounds in
Creation as such:
“As that immense void presents itself before
my mind, I fuse myself in the Supreme Will and, as the
little child, I begin my round again and, rising up on
high, I desire to requite my God for all the love he
offered all creatures at the moment of their creation. I
want to honor him as the Creator of all things and so,
going around the stars and in each glimmer of light, I
impress my “I love you” and “glory to my Creator”; in
every atom of sunlight that descends, again I impress
my “I love you” and “glory”; throughout the entire
expanse of the heavens, …I impress my “love” and
“glory”; on the mountains’ peaks and in the depths of
the valleys, I impress my “love” and “glory”; I wander
throughout the hearts of every creature and, wanting
to enclose myself within each heart, from within them
I cry out, “I love you” and “glory to my Creator”. Then,
as if I had united every act in such a way that
everything returns love and glory to God for everything
he did in creation, I go to his throne and say to him:
“Supreme Majesty and Creator of all things, this little
child comes into your arms in the name of all creatures
to tell you that all creation gives you not only a return
of love, but also the just glory for the so many things
you created for love of us. In your Will, in this immense
empty space, everywhere I journeyed, so that all things
may glorify you, love you and bless you. And now that
I have rejoined the bonds of love between you, our
Creator, and all creatures that the human will had
broken, as well as restituted the glory that everyone
owed you, let your Will descend to earth that it may
bind and strengthen all bonds between you, our
Creator, and all creatures so that all things may return
173 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013),
to the original order you had established.”173
St. Faustina was also keenly aware of the
importance of this task of glorifying God on behalf of
all creation, even though she obviously did not see it
through the lens of Luisa’s revelations. Nevertheless,
the same God inspired both of these mystic’s writings,
and how He wishes for us to respond is thereby clear.
Consider this form of the Rounds of Creation that
Faustina herself composed after she wrote: “O my
Creator and Lord, I see on all sides the trace of Your
hand and the seal of Your mercy, which embraces all
created things. O my most compassionate Creator, I
want to give You worship on behalf of all creatures and
all inanimate creation; I call on the whole universe to
glorify Your mercy. Oh, how great is Your goodness, O
Be adored, O our Creator and Lord.
O universe, humbly glorify your God;
Thank your Creator to the best of your powers
And praise God’s incomprehensible mercy.
Come, O earth, in all your fine greenery;
Come, you too, O fathomless sea.
Let your gratitude become a loving song,
And sing the greatness of God’s mercy.
Come, beautiful, radiant sun.
Come, bright dawn which precedes it.
Join in one hymn, and let your clear voices
Sing in one accord God’s great mercy.
Come, hills and valleys, sighing woods and
Come, lovely flowers of morningtide;
Let your unique scent
Adore and glorify God’s mercy.
Come, all you lovely things of earth,
Which man does not cease to wonder at.
Come, adore God in your harmony,
Glorifying God’s inconceivable mercy.
Come, indelible beauty of all the earth,
And, with great humility, adore your Creator,
For all things are locked in His mercy,
With one mighty voice all things cry out; how
great is the mercy of God.
But above all these beauties,
A more pleasing praise to God
Is a soul innocent and filled with childlike
174 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1749
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 42
Which, through grace, is closely bound to
In a word, the purpose of the Rounds, which
should not be seen merely as a stand-alone prayer but
rather as incorporated into the very essence of the Gift
itself, is to give God perfect glory on behalf of the
whole human family; past, present, and future, and to
do so with each and every one of our acts – even our
very heartbeat and breath. How? By asking to and
intending to.
To further emphasize the thoroughly
Christian nature of such a task, please allow me to
present a somewhat lengthy quote from Pope Francis’
encyclical, Laudato Si’. I am sure, in reading it, you
will be struck by its congruence with Luisa’s
revelations on the Rounds of Creation.
The universe unfolds in God, who
fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical
meaning to be found in a leaf, in a
mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor
person’s face….
…not because the finite things of
this world are really divine, but because the
mystic experiences the intimate connection
between God and all beings… Standing
awestruck before a mountain, he or she
cannot separate this experience from God,
and perceives that the interior awe being
lived has to be entrusted to the Lord…
… Through our worship of God, we
are invited to embrace the world on a
different plane. … all the creatures of the
material universe find their true meaning
in the incarnate Word, for the Son of God
has incorporated in his person part of the
material world, planting in it a seed of
definitive transformation …
It is in the Eucharist that all that has
been created finds its greatest exaltation.
Grace, which tends to manifest itself
tangibly, found unsurpassable expression
175 Ibid. 1750
when God himself became man and gave
himself as food for his creatures. … In the
Eucharist, fullness is already achieved; it is
the living centre of the universe … The
Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it
embraces and penetrates all creation. The
world which came forth from God’s hands
returns to him in blessed and undivided
adoration: in the bread of the Eucharist,
“creation is projected towards divinization,
towards the holy wedding feast, towards
unification with the Creator himself”….
… The world was created by the
three Persons acting as a single divine
principle, but each one of them performed
this common work in accordance with his
own personal property. Consequently,
“when we contemplate with wonder the
universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we
must praise the whole Trinity.”… the Trinity
has left its mark on all creation. Saint
Bonaventure went so far as to say that
human beings, before sin, were able to see
how each creature “testifies that God is
three”. The reflection of the Trinity was
there to be recognized in nature “when that
book was open to man and our eyes had not
yet become darkened”. The Franciscan saint
teaches us that each creature bears in itself
a specifically Trinitarian structure, so real
that it could be readily contemplated if only
the human gaze were not so partial, dark
and fragile. In this way, he points out to us
the challenge of trying to read reality in a
Trinitarian key.176
Prayer in union with and on behalf of creation
has now even powerfully (and prophetically) made its
way into the Magisterium of the Church. This same
encyclical ends with “A Christian prayer in union with
creation,” and I will end this section with an excerpt
from the same:
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful
they are yours, filled with your presence and
176 Pope Francis. Laudato Si’. May 24th, 2015. Excerpts from
Paragraphs 233-238
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 43
your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our
Mother, you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s
love, and accompany creation as it groans in
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of
infinite love, teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.

O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
The Hours of the Passion
In this work, which corresponds loosely to the
middle years of Luisa’s writings, we go with Jesus and
Mary through each and every hour of the Passion of
177Pope Francis. Laudato Si’. May 24th, 2015. Paragraph 246.
Emphasis added.
Jesus Christ; from its beginning, when He was last
with His mother and departed from her after their
exchange of blessings, to His burial. In detail we
meditate upon each of the important aspects of this
act of redemption.
Even if this were not a revelation from God
and were simply made up by Luisa (and to say it is not
from God is to disagree with Pope St. Pius X!), it
would at the very least be the greatest meditation on
the Passion that I have ever come across. In it we learn
astounding things (things which, incidentally, line up
very well with what is taught in Bl. Anne Catherine
Emmerich’s revelations on the Passion). We learn
first of all that Jesus’ words in the garden, “If it be
possible, let this chalice pass….”178 were not regarding
His apprehension at the physical sufferings. No, those
words had nothing to do with that. Unspeakably
dreadful as the physical sufferings were, Jesus was
about as afraid of them as you would be afraid of
getting wet to go and rescue your drowning child from
a swimming pool. These words of His referred, rather,
to souls that, despite His love, would choose to
condemn themselves to Hell. Unfortunately the
modern apologetics approach to the reality of
damnation leaves much to be desired: “Well, God
can’t force a free will, that’s why some people go to hell,”
is the essence of it. That is true enough, in a sense. But
there is another sense in which it is not true. Man’s
free will is not greater than God’s omnipotence,
otherwise there would be no point in us praying for
the conversion of sinners. And yet, pray we do, and
pray we must. Omnipotence is capable of all things
that are not contradictions, and this was the cause of
Jesus’ prayer in the garden. He knew it was possible
for the Father to exercise such dominion that He
could simply override even the most deformed will in
order to force it into Heaven. And yet, in the ultimate
act of submission to the Divine Will and as a model
for us all, Jesus appended his petition with
“nevertheless not My Will, but Thine be done,”179 even
knowing what He was about to suffer beyond any
measure for them.
That is the extent of His love; that blood
would burst forth from His very pores in agony over
the loss of His children. It was the damnation of souls
that caused Him to sweat blood, and to undergo a His
178 Matthew 26:39
179 Ibid.
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most horrible Passion there in the garden. Any
suffering the soldiers could hope to inflict upon Him
with their devices of torture amounted to nothing
close to it. This, too, we learn from Luisa’s revelations;
that the external passion and pain was absolutely
nothing compared to the internal passion and sorrow
as He took upon Himself all the evil that had ever
been done or would ever be done. He truly desired to
empty out every drop of His blood, to offer every
square inch of His flesh for laceration, and to feel
every imaginable pain. His burning love knew no
bounds, and the more He suffered, the more
superabundant grace He won for His beloved
Because of this, we see, throughout His
passion, Jesus actually burning with desire to suffer
more and more. This desire was not like that of some
crazed masochist, but as one so unspeakably
inflamed with love that nothing, not even the greatest
sufferings imaginable and more, could stand in His
way. This love welled up as a consuming fire within
Him that caused more suffering than the Passion
itself, in its superabundance and in its need to expend
and pour out itself entirely. And whenever His soul
cried out in sorrow, it was not due to the internal or
external pain, but due to seeing souls – past, present,
and future – utterly refusing Him, hating Him, and
choosing Hell simply to spurn Him. In The Hours we
read that He saw these souls as He looked down upon
chunks of His own flesh torn off by the scourging, and
it was that sight that caused Him in anguish to cry out.
We read that at the very height of agony, at His
abandonment upon the cross, He entered into a
conversation with these souls begging them not to
choose Hell, begging them to go so far as to let Him
suffer more and more if only they would permit Him
to save them.
Nowhere else will you come across so brutal a
description of His passion as you will in Luisa’s Hours
of the Passion, and yet you will not come across a more
true and accurate one, either. Throughout these
Hours, you will say, along with Luisa, with the angels,
and with the saints, “Is such great love possible?” It is
possible. And in Jesus, it is a reality.
180 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 4.1.17
Further, I do not believe you will ever come
across a single other writing that so powerfully
demonstrates God’s love for His children as does
Luisa’s Hours of the Passion. In reading, praying, and
meditating upon these Hours, we act as victim souls,
suffer redemptively with Jesus, and foster our desire
to give over our whole lives to Jesus as victims.
But in the Hours of the Passion we do far more
than simply recall; we enter, rather, into each moment
through the same bilocation of soul that occurs in the
Rounds. We fuse each of our members with Jesus’,
kissing Him as we strive to endure His passion with
Him, thus offering Him consolation and assuming
the role of quasi-co-redemptrix along with Our Lady,
the true Co-Redemptrix.
Regarding these Hours, Jesus told Luisa:
“To repeat in the soul My Passion in act, is
different from one who only thinks of My pains and
pities them. The former is an act of My own life [in the
Divine Will that the soul accomplishes], which takes
My place and repeats My pains, whence I feel requited
for the effects and the value of a divine life. [The latter,]
in thinking of My pains and in offering Me pity,
permits Me to experience only the soul’s company. But
do you know in whom I may repeat the pains of My
Passion in act? In the soul who possesses My Will as
the center of its life. My Will alone is one act without
succession of acts. This single act is as though fixed to
one point which never moves, and this point is eternity
[…] Now, the soul who lives in My Will possesses this
single act, and there is no wonder that it takes part in
the pains of My Passion as if they were in act.”180
We also read “These hours are the most
precious of all because they are the reenactment of
what I did in the course of My mortal life, and what I
continue to do in the Most Blessed Sacrament. When I
hear these Hours of My Passion, I hear My own voice
and My own prayers. In the soul I behold My Will, that
is, My Will desiring the good of all and making
reparation for all, whence I feel drawn to dwell in this
soul to be able to do within it what the soul itself does.
Oh, with what love I desire that at least one soul in
each town meditate upon these Hours of My Passion!
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 45
I would hear My own voice in each town, and My
justice, greatly indignant in these times, would be
placated in part.”181
Jesus gave enormous promises to Luisa with
these Hours, promises that extend to whoever recites
them. He promised that through them, the saint
would become holier still, the tempted would find
victory, the ill would find strength, and that, for each
word read, the salvation of a soul would be granted.
He said that an entire city could be spared
chastisements if only one soul in it would continually
pray these Hours – and this can be equally satisfied by
a group of people together taking on a continual
recitation of all 24 Hours of the Passion. This is
known as “living clocks.”182 Luisa also affirms that the
same angels that ministered to Jesus in the garden
assist the soul who now meditates upon these Hours.
The Blessed Virgin Mary in the
Kingdom of the Divine Will
In this work, our Blessed Mother takes us on
her lap and teaches us lessons on how to truly live
continuously in the Divine Will. This is the real design
for the Gift; not that it be a passing thing, but that it
define the entire life of the creature without the
exception of a single moment. As The Hours of the
Passion contain an entire 24 hour period, these
lessons comprise one each day over the course of a
month – namely, the month of May. Each day contains
three lessons: one for morning, one for noon, and one
for evening. Mary tells Luisa that her guidance in this
book serves to train souls to continuously remain
anchored in the Divine Will, as opposed to entering
and leaving the Gift (as Luisa herself did in the
beginning, and as most will do as they grow in the
Gift). As previously mentioned, St. Louis de Montfort
taught that Mary is the quickest, surest, and easiest
way to Jesus. It is the same way with the Gift of Living
in the Divine Will.
Also in this work, Mary promises strength for
the weak, victory for the tempted, a hand to raise up
those who have fallen into sin, comfort for the
afflicted, a path to hope for the dejected, and, in sum,
the bread of the Divine Will for those who are
famished. She promises her company, and even
promises to commit to bringing us happiness with her
maternal presence.
So many sublime truths are given in this work
in such exquisite beauty, that only the prayerful
reading of them directly will suffice. Unfortunately
there are few excerpts from this in Fr. Iannuzzi’s
dissertation, so I cannot go into much more detail
here other than to briefly whet your appetite for these
most sublime teachings!
Our Lady here teaches that all of hell
trembles at the mere utterance of the name of Jesus,
and that we should reverently call upon this Most
Holy Name when we find our human will weak and
inconstant, and in so doing the Divine Will shall reign
again in us.
She speaks of the immensity of grace – indeed,
the totality of it – pouring out from the three Persons
of the Holy Trinity, inundating her entire being,
instantaneously at the very moment of her
conception. Immediately she swore never to do her
own will, and she tells Luisa how this promise makes
all other sacrifices in history nothing but a shadow
compared to it. She speaks of the Trinity immediately
taking perfect delight in her.
Above all, she promises to form the life of her
Son in those who trust her and follower her in
abandoning the self-will and living in the Divine Will.
Her instructions are simple, short, and
straightforward. Let them be your sure guide to
quickly receiving the Grace of Graces.
181 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013),
182 For more information, see
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 46
Before ending this chapter dedicated to
receiving the Gift of Living in the Divine Will and
growing in it, I wish to give once more the most
important reminder: remaining continuously
anchored in the Gift and growing in it requires
precisely the same growth in virtue and holiness that
is spoken of everywhere in good Catholic writings. So
please do not neglect any of it. Do not go replacing
your Catholic bookshelf with a thousand books on the
Divine Will; you will still very much need all of the
books you already have! In fact, you will still be
needing to dedicate the vast majority of your time to
those “basics.” Consider how much more time and
effort is put into making a host – growing and
harvesting wheat, milling, baking, etc. – than is put
into consecrating it. That is a fitting analogy to
demonstrate the continued importance of the
ordinary spiritual, moral, ascetic, virtuous life, even in
light of Luisa’s revelations. Permit me to especially
recommend the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori for
their unrivaled practicality and potency in this regard.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 47
Chapter III) A Brief Overview
of the Life of Luisa
Please note that I will not be citing individual
biographical facts contained in this chapter; rather, I
simply refer you to the overview of Luisa’s life
contained in Fr. Iannuzzi’s Dissertation, as well as the
Book “Luisa Piccarreta” by Fr. Bernardino Giuseppe
Bucci, who is the last living priest who personally
knew Luisa. I recommend you to those works for
more details.
On April 23rd, 1865, which that year was the
Second Sunday of Easter (a day we now know as
Divine Mercy Sunday), Luisa was born into the world.
The wonders that God chose to work in her life as
confirmation of His message to the world through her
began from this very day. Despite being born breech –
a very dangerous medical condition – Luisa caused her
mother no pain whatsoever during the delivery. Later,
on that very same day, her father took her to the
parish priest to have her baptized.
Luisa’s desire for hiddenness was manifest at
the earliest age; as a toddler her favorite spot was a
hollow in a great tree, in which she would spend hours
alone in prayer. When guests arrived at her house, she
could not be found; for she passed all such times
hiding behind a bed in prayer.
As was the case with countless saints, antics
such as these concerned people around her, but when
you learn of her interior life, these external habits
make perfect sense. As a mere child, she suffered from
terrible demonic nightmares. Instead of succumbing
to the horror of them, these experiences were in fact
what caused her to flee with such fervor to Jesus. This
utter dependency on Christ was no doubt what
disposed her, even before she had reached the age of
reason, to be the perfect instrument in the hand of
From these details we can see why Jesus chose
Luisa, for they demonstrate His reasoning for saying,
regarding how He chose Luisa, “I went around the
183 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 1.1.
earth over and over again, and beheld all souls one by
one to find the lowliest of all.”183
At twelve years of age, Luisa began to hear Jesus
speaking to her interiorly. These locutions came to
her in the most precious moments of her life: the
moments after receiving Holy Communion. He would
instruct her, correct her, and guide her. After a year of
this occurring, there was a life-changing experience
for Luisa which invited her to become a victim soul:
she received a vision of Jesus below her balcony,
carrying His cross, amidst great persecutions of a
throng surrounding Him. He then stopped, looked up
at her, and said “Soul, help me!” It was not long after
this that her mystical life progressed exponentially;
she was soon incapable of keeping down ordinary
food, and began her lifelong Eucharistic fast. Jesus
was “…training her to live exclusively on the Divine
Will, which, along with the Eucharist, would
constitute her daily bread.” 184 Adding to this utter
dependence upon God, another mystical
phenomenon came to define her days: she was totally
rigid each morning, incapable of being moved even
by several strong people. It was not until a priest came
to bless her that she was capable of moving.
For the next 64 years, this was her life. It was
perhaps the simplest life the world has ever seen, and
the most dependent upon God. Neither her bodily
nourishment nor even her ability to move her very
own limbs came from any source but God, through
the hands of a Catholic priest.
In these same years, the basis for her religious
education and formation was the Catechism of the
Council of Trent, and at age 18, she became a Third
Order Dominican, taking the name Sister Magdalene.
The next year her Archbishop, Giuseppe Dottula,
formally appointed Fr. Michael De Benedictis as her
confessor, and she was visited daily by him. Thus
began another defining factor of all of her remaining
days: complete, total, unquestioning obedience to the
Church through her priest directors (of which she had
many), all of whom were appointed formally by her
Bishops, with each director utterly convinced of the
validity of her mystical phenomena.
184 Ibid, 1.5.
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At this point it is worth mentioning what was
never a part of her life until its final few days: illness.
Her only illness was the pneumonia that took her life
at the very end. This of course is nothing short of an
enormous miracle, as anyone who is accustomed to
the care of bed-ridden patients is well aware.
In the year 1898, she received a new confessor, Fr.
Gennaro Di Genarro, and he served in this capacity
for the next 24 years. However a mere one year into
this ministry, he commanded Luisa, under holy
obedience, to write down her revelations. So great was
her humility that this was an enormous penance for
her, but her obedience was always perfect, and so she
After Fr. Gennaro came Fr. De Benedictis, and
after that, St. Hannibal Maria di Francia was
appointed to be Luisa’s censor librorum, a role he held
until his death in 1927. More than a decade earlier,
however, deeply convinced of the necessity of Luisa’s
revelations, he had been publishing the Hours of the
Passion. He gave volumes 1-19 of Luisa’s diary his Nihil
Obstat and afterwards the Archbishop, Joseph Leo,
gave them his imprimatur.
Fr. Benedict Calvi was Luisa’s next, and final,
confessor. He became a most zealous advocate and
promoter of Luisa’s writings, and he documented an
overview of her daily life as follows:
“Toward six o’clock in the morning the confessor
was beside her small bed. Luisa was found all curled up,
crouched over so tightly that when the sister or person
of the house — in obedience to the confessor or the
Bishop — had to sit her up in bed in her usual position,
they could not move her on account of her weight. It
seemed as if she were a huge piece of lead. …Only when
the confessor, or on certain occasions any priest,
imparted to her his blessing by making the sign of the
Cross with his thumb on the back of her hand, Luisa’s
body regained its senses and she began to
move. …Throughout the 64 years of being nailed [this
figurative terminology likens Luisa’s bed to the cross
of Christ] to her small bed, Luisa never suffered any
bedsores. Immediately afterwards, there followed the
reading of that which Luisa had written during the
185 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 1.8.
night concerning the sublime truths on the Divine Will,
which was read only by her confessor beside her small
bed. There was yet another extraordinary event. What
was her food? Everything she had eaten, after a few
hours, came back up completely intact. All of these
events I observed, scrupulously controlled and
subjected to careful examination by many doctors and
professors of dogmatic, moral, ascetic and mystical
theology …[Each morning] After having awakened
Luisa in the name of holy obedience, the confessor or
another priest celebrated Holy Mass in her little room
before her bed. Therefore, having received Holy
Communion, she would remain there as though in a
trance, in ecstasy and in intimate conversation with
the Lord for two to three hours, but without her body
becoming petrified or experiencing the absolute loss of
its senses. However, many times throughout the day
she would be
with the Lord
in a manner
that engaged
her senses, and
on occasion
the people that
were in her
would notice
Luisa would work at sewing for the Church with
her days, and altar cloths were what she mostly made.
As noted above, though she truly fasted her entire life
after becoming “nailed” to her bed, she was
nevertheless commanded under obedience, from the
Archbishop, to attempt to eat each day. This she
would always do each afternoon, but a few minutes
later after a small hiccup, all that she consumed would
come up, perfectly intact. She would then work on her
sewing until ten thirty at night, and at some point in
the middle of the night (usually between midnight
and 1am) she would enter into an ecstatic state like a
petrified statue (even if the pillows behind her were
not correctly in place), and thus her mystical
experiences, as documented in her diary, ensued.
Such were all of her days. Intermixed with them
were apparitions, locutions, introspection, bilocation,
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 49
invisible stigmata, and countless other miracles, but
little or nothing externally and visibly extraordinary.
Especially noteworthy among Luisa’s writings was the
message given to her by Jesus on December 28th, 1908.
He interiorly showed her an earthquake, and a mere
five hours later the infamous Messina Earthquake
struck, which killed 100,000 people. It was the most
destructive and powerful earthquake in the history of
Europe.186 Jesus indicated to Luisa that this was just
the beginning of the chastisements, and far greater
ones are to come.
On August 31st, 1938, three of her works were
placed on the Index of Prohibited Books. At this point
in her life she was staying at a convent with the Sisters
of Divine Zeal. She loved staying there, and had been
there for ten years at that point. A mere month after
her works were placed on the index, the superiors
asked her to leave. Two months after that, she finished
her last writing, as she was no longer bound under
obedience to write upon its completion. One year
later, World War II began.
Nine years later, on March 4th, 1947, she breathed
her last, and throngs of thousands lined the streets to
pay homage to “the saint of Corato.”
“My daughter, it is My absolute Divine Will that
these writings on My Divine Will be made known.
Despite the many incidents that may occur, My Will
shall overcome them all. Although it may take years
and years, My absolute Will knows how to dispose
everything to accomplish its objective. The time in
which these writings will be made known is relative to
and dependent on the disposition of souls who wish to
receive so great a good, as well as on the effort of those
who must apply themselves in being its trumpetbearers
by offering up the sacrifice of heralding in the
new era of peace, the new sun that will dispel the
clouds of all evils.” – Jesus to Luisa.187
Forty seven years after that, her cause for
beatification and canonization officially opened.
186 This Day in History. Dec 28. General Interest. Information can be
found on the History Channel.
187 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013), 1.11.6.
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Chapter IV) Answers to
Before delving into answering specific
objections, I must first make it abundantly clear that
anyone who opens up Luisa’s writings with a merely
critical eye, having the sole intention of finding juicy
details at which to scream “heresy!” will have no
shortage of opportunities to do so. Certain internet
blogs and forums are replete with those who have
taken such a task upon themselves. No effort here will
be made to address superficial, Pharisee-like
objections. The only remedy to that malady is to
unclench the fist and pray for humility.
The following objections, however, could
easily be made in all genuineness by a Catholic who
honestly is just seeking the truth, and doing his duty
by testing and discerning an alleged private revelation
before believing.
Important Catholic Content
Missing from Luisa’s Writings?
Objection: Why doesn’t Luisa talk more about the
Rosary? About Eucharistic Adoration? About
Consecration to Mary? About the need to do works of
mercy for our neighbor, etc.?
Answer: One thing is very clear: Luisa’s revelations
are not sufficient, and they are not comprehensive.
They are missing important things, even essential
things. The Almighty decreed this so that it is clear to
us that they are intended to fit within a structure that
is itself complete; that is to say, within the spirituality
of the Roman Catholic Church. This way, no one can
justify trying to start a new “Luisan” religion or
denomination. It is the heretics who constantly vie for
an apparent sense of totality in their works; for
drawing souls away from the One, Holy, Catholic, and
Apostolic Church is precisely their aim. Those who
pursue evil ends (whether by malice of will or their
own deception) often reveal the cloven hoof when
they seek this completion and autonomy.
Consider, therefore, how important it is to not
draw any conclusions from merely what is either
apparently or actually lacking in Luisa’s writings. For
example, there was quite some time in my own
reading of her writings that I had not once (to my
knowledge) come across an instance of Luisa
mentioning the Rosary. However, when I finally did
come across it (and this is still one of the only
mentions of the Rosary I know of in Luisa’s writings),
it was in a letter in which she strongly admonished the
recipient to never neglect praying it. How easily that
one single letter could have not existed! Imagine, if it
had not, what folly would have been committed by a
devotee of Luisa’s revelations who, upon realizing he
never read about the Rosary in her writings, decided
that this prayer must not be important. Due to the
existence of that single letter, we now know that such
a devotee would not only be committing a grave error,
but would even be contradicting the very wish of
Luisa herself.
Luisa wrote her many pages of revelations
because she was commanded to write by her spiritual
directors. They instructed her to write down what she
received from Jesus; they did not say to her “Luisa,
write down a comprehensive overview of how a
Catholic ought to behave in light of these revelations
that Jesus is giving you.” If that was what her directors
said to her, and if that was her mission, then we would
have every right to criticize her writings for what they
lack. But Luisa had nothing but deference to the
Catholic Church – and all of its traditions included –
in all things. Her writings presuppose devout
Catholicism in every way, shape, and form that it
ordinarily takes.
Thy Will be Done on Earth as It
Is in Heaven
Objection: If the universal reign on earth of the Gift
of Living in the Divine Will is what Jesus referred to
by saying “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,”
then why didn’t He make it clearer? Surely if He
intended so great a prophecy, He would have issued it
in a similar fashion as, for example, that in which He
issued the eschatological prophecies regarding
famines, earthquakes, and the like in the Synoptic
Gospels. He could have at least said, “Thy Will be Lived
on Earth as it is in Heaven” instead!
Answer: It is certainly true that Our Lord could have
been clearer regarding the coming fulfillment of the
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 51
third petition in the prayer He taught us, but this lack
of clarity was His intent for the time, for He said, “I
have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot
bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will
guide you into all the truth…” 188 This Scriptural
ambiguity was also His intent with other great private
revelations; for example, devotion to His Sacred Heart
or the Immaculate Heart of His mother. Both of these
do indeed have Scriptural basis, but only very tiny
glimpses that no one would be able to realize the full
actualization of without a new private revelation from
Heaven. We know the Apostle John rested his head on
Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper; we know blood and
water flowed forth from it when pierced by a lance.
But no one could from those verses conclude anything
like what St. Margaret Mary Alacoque gave us in her
Sacred Heart revelations. Likewise, we know that at
the Presentation of Jesus in the temple and after the
prophecy was given by Simeon, Mary “kept all these
things in her heart.”189 We do not thereby learn that,
“in the end, [her] Immaculate Heart will triumph,”190
even though that revelation at Fatima is truly an
explication of the former Public Revelation in
Scripture, just as Luisa’s revelations are an explication
of the Scriptural basis for them.
Now the reason why He did not pray “Thy Will
be lived on earth as it is in Heaven” is clear. Had He
said it in this manner, it would have been utterly
inapplicable to the following 2,000 years of Church
history to come. That would have deprived millennia
of Christians the joy of knowing that they are
fulfilling this petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Since
Living in the Divine Will certainly rightly falls under
the category of doing God’s will (but the converse
does not necessarily hold – doing God’s Will does not
always amount to Living in the Divine Will), the
wording of the Our Father is more generally
applicable. Furthermore, “doing God’s will” is a far
more intuitive concept than “living in God’s will,” as
the latter requires explanation.
Nevertheless, the latter portion of this
petition (on earth as it is in heaven) is indeed a
reference to living in the Divine Will, and for 2,000
years it has served as a reminder that what we are
188 John 16:12-13
189 Luke 2:19
190 Apparition to the children at Fatima, July 13th, 1917.
191 Meaning “from the work performed” Defined at Trent to indicate
that the sacraments are true instrumental causes of grace; that by the
praying for simply has not yet come to pass. Jesus tells
Luisa that it is impossible for God’s will to be done on
earth as it is in heaven – that is, in the same manner
the blessed in heaven do God’s will – without the Gift
of Living in the Divine Will.
On the “Greatness” of a Soul
Living in the Divine Will
Objection: It is simply not credible to assert that
mere desire and a state of grace can be sufficient to
enable the reception of a Gift greater even than
Spiritual Marriage, which was enjoyed by the most
venerated canonized mystics of the Church. I am no
St. Francis or St. Teresa of Avila and I know it, whether
or not I receive “the Gift of Living in the Divine Will.”
Answer: First of all, there is one very important sense
in which this objection is completely valid: you are
correct – you are no St. Francis! You will not work the
wonders that he worked, you will not fast like he
fasted, you will not form a thriving religious order as
he did, you will not inspire countless biographies, and
you will not have a Pope named after you. But that
does not mean you cannot receive a greater gift than
St. Francis received.
A distinction must be made between the
greatness of the gift and the greatness of the recipient.
We likewise rightly do not say that a baptized baby, or
a school girl returning from her First Communion, is
greater than King David or Moses. But it would be a
heresy to say that they did not receive a greater gift,
and therefore whatever greater sanctity corresponds
to it and is bestowed “ex opere operato.”191
Likewise, when we speak of Living in the
Divine Will as the “greatest” sanctity, we cannot fully
settle the matter of what that means in a cut and dry
fashion without the important distinctions. By the
very limitations of our current state as wayfarers,192
when we refer to someone’s sanctity we refer only to
the external evidence of it (or at least we can at best
strive to refer to its internal reality by way of inference
from the external evidence), for God alone sees the
mere fact of them being validly administered, they do indeed confer
the grace intended.
192 That is, as opposed to “comprehensors,” or in other words, the
blessed in heaven.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 52
heart of man.193 Now the Gift of Living in the Divine
Will entirely flees the senses; there is nothing
external about it. So there is no reason for us, even if
Luisa’s revelations are fully approved, to assert that –-
due to the Gift – this or that saint who lived after
Luisa’s time is holier than this or that saint who lived
before Luisa’s time. When we attribute holiness to
someone, we do so by way of that external evidence
which neither indicates nor depends upon the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will. So there is no need to alter
our terminology of comparable holiness (not that
comparing holiness is a particularly prudent thing to
do, anyway!). If St. Francis had lived today, I am sure
he would indeed be Living in the Divine Will, but that
does not mean that his biography would look any
different. So it is utterly confused and invalid to – in
the least – look down upon saints of the Church who
lived before this age of the Divine Will. They were no
less virtuous, no less sacrificing, no less in love with
God, and no less mystically insightful. It is simply that
an entirely invisible grace – the Gift of Living in the
Divine Will – was not bestowed upon them on top of
these things.
There is another sense, however, in which we
must indeed assert that one who receives the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will is greater than all the saints
who came before. If we are not willing to claim this
(with the right distinctions, in the right context, and
in the right sense) then there is no point in following
Luisa’s revelations at all.
Consider first what the writings of the saints
teach us about the relative ease and rapidity with
which one can attain the greatest degrees of sanctity.
For example, St. John of the Cross taught: “Yet I reply
to all these persons [those who refuse to believe that
the habit of charity of a certain soul in this life has
become as perfect as in the next] that the Father of
lights [Jas. 1:17], who is not closefisted but diffuses
himself abundantly as the sun does its rays, without
being a respecter of persons [Acts 10:34], wherever
there is room – always showing himself gladly along
the highways and byways – does not hesitate or
consider it of little import to find his delights with the
193 Cf. 1 Samuel 16:7
194 John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love. 1.15(2-3).
195 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia, Christian and Religious Perfection
children of the earth at a common table in the world
[Prv. 8:31]. It should not be held as incredible in a soul
now examined, purged, and tried in the fire of
tribulations, trials, and many kinds of temptations,
and found faithful in love, that the promise of the Son
of God be fulfilled, the promise that the Most Blessed
Trinity will come and dwell in anyone who loves him
[Jn. 14:23]. The Blessed Trinity inhabits the soul by
divinely illumining its intellect with the wisdom of the
Son, delighting its will in the Holy Spirit, and
absorbing it powerfully and mightily in the
unfathomed embrace of the Father’s sweetness.”194
All St. John has here is well-grounded rebukes
for those who choose to doubt the unfathomably great
levels of sanctity quickly achievable by an ordinary
soul who has been victorious over tribulations, trials,
and temptations (and what devout Catholic today
hasn’t?). He goes so far as to utterly insist that not only
can habitual charity – that is, sanctifying grace 195 –
become in a soul as perfect in this life as in the next,
but he also insists that this can be attained with ease
because God “is not closefisted but diffuses himself
Similarly, St. Faustina taught: “…how very easy
it is to become holy; all that is needed is a bit of good
will. If Jesus sees this little bit of good will in the soul,
He hurries to give himself to the soul, and nothing can
stop Him, neither shortcomings nor falls-absolutely
nothing. Jesus is anxious to help that soul, and if it is
faithful to this grace from God, it can very soon attain
the highest holiness possible for a creature here on
earth. God is very generous and does not deny His
grace to anyone. Indeed He gives more than what we
ask of Him.”196
“Very soon” and “highest possible”- these
phrases should give us great pause. How easy it would
have been for St. Faustina to leave them out!
Relaying the same teaching, St. Therese of
Lisieux wrote, “How can a soul so imperfect as mine
aspire to the plenitude of Love? …Alas! I am but a poor
little unfledged bird. I am not an eagle, I have but the
eagle’s eyes and heart! Yet, notwithstanding my
exceeding littleness, I dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun
196 St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in my Soul, paragraph
291. Emphasis Added.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 53
of Love, and I burn to dart upwards unto Him! I would
fly, I would imitate the eagles; but all that I can do is
to lift up my little wings-it is beyond my feeble power
to soar. … With daring self-abandonment there will I
remain until death, my gaze fixed upon that Divine
Sun. Nothing shall affright me…“197
In demonstrating that the heights of
perfection can be reached not only through precisely
the same long and arduous journey that the great
saints we read about took, but can also be achieved in
a much easier and quicker way, Therese teaches the
“You know it has ever been my desire to
become a Saint, but I have always felt, in comparing
myself with the Saints, that I am as far removed from
them as the grain of sand, which the passer-by
tramples underfoot, is remote from the mountain
whose summit is lost in the clouds. Instead of being
discouraged, I concluded that God would not inspire
desires which could not be realised, and that I may
aspire to sanctity in spite of my littleness. For me to
become great is impossible. I must bear with myself
and my many imperfections; but I will seek out a
means of getting to Heaven by a little way-very short
and very straight, a little way that is wholly new. We
live in an age of inventions; nowadays the rich need not
trouble to climb the stairs, they have lifts instead. Well,
I mean to try and find a lift by which I may be raised
unto God, for I am too tiny to climb the steep stairway
of perfection. I have sought to find in Holy Scripture
some suggestion as to what this lift might be which I
so much desired, and I read these words uttered by the
Eternal Wisdom Itself: “Whosoever is a little one, let
him come to Me.” Then I drew near to God, feeling sure
that I had discovered what I sought; but wishing to
know further what He would do to the little one, I
continued my search and this is what I found: “You
shall be carried at the breasts and upon the knees; as
one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you.”
Never have I been consoled by words more tender and
sweet. Thine Arms, then, O Jesus, are the lift which
must raise me up even unto Heaven. To get there I need
not grow; on the contrary, I must remain little…”198
197 St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul (, New York: An
Image Book, Doubleday, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell
Publishing Group, Inc. 1989), Ch. XI.
A religious sister once wrote in order to
Therese to tell her that her “little way” was truly a
“great way,” and that although Therese says she is just
a fledgling little bird with a broken wing who cannot
hope to rise up to the heights of the eagles (the great
saints), she is in reality just another eagle soaring in
the heavens. This view is likely shared by many
Catholics when they are introduced to the Little Way
of St. Therese – Catholics who say to themselves; “ah!
Interesting thing for a canonized saint who never
committed a mortal sin to say! And a cloistered nun,
no less! This couldn’t possibly be less applicable to me.”
Therese rebuked this sister. It was no doubt arranged
by God so that Therese could answer this same
concern for us all. She said to this sister it was not so
– that she truly did not have the greatness of the saints
she spoke of. Therese insisted that it was confidence
and blind confidence alone in God, and nothing else.
No greatness of the eagle, not even of a subtle type.
As you can see, it is not the saints themselves
who exhibit such hesitancy and refusal to believe that
the highest levels of holiness are readily within reach
of anyone. It is we – ordinary Christians – those who
should be the most thankful for this accessibility, who
paradoxically are the hesitant ones in this regard! Let
us be utterly rid of that hesitancy, for it stems from a
skewed, Pelagian perspective of grace. Furthermore,
it stems from a cheap humility, for true humility
disposes you to look up to some virtue in each and
every person you meet here and now, even the most
difficult of souls. Cheap humility is satisfied with
relegating this acknowledgment of superiority to
dead saints.
Nevertheless, do not expect a mere state of
grace and desire for the Gift to long suffice. That
temporary state is only the invitation; becoming
stable in the Gift and growing deeper into it requires
the same pursuit of virtue that all the saints engaged
in. The present availability of the Gift does not exempt
us from seeking heroic virtue any more than advanced
weaponry exempts a modern soldier from the basics
of boot camp. Recall that the words of Our Lord “To
whom much is given, much is expected”199 remain true.
Our task is to respond to love with love; and if indeed
198 St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul (New York: An Image
Book, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1989),
Chapter IX.
199 Luke 12:48
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Luisa’s revelations are to be believed, then how much
more so now must we love God?
A final note is in order on this objection to
reiterate just what Living in the Divine Will does not
do to the soul. For although the loftiness of the claims
in Luisa’s writings may at first glance seem without
bound, there are of course very important limitations.
The creature remains a creature; and whatever glories
it participates in by way of Living in the Divine Will
are purely by unmerited grace, not by nature.
Furthermore, Stephen Patton explains “Any
involvement that the creature, in the divine will, might
be said to have in the eternal, universal act of creation
and redemption is entirely derivative, non-essential
and participatory. Everything claimed in Luisa’s diary
about the value of the creature’s acts in the divine will,
regardless of how enormous, can nevertheless be
understood within the parameters of these
Living in the Divine Will and the
Objection: It is heretical to assert that the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will is greater than the Eucharist.
God cannot give a greater gift than the Eucharist, and
nothing can be called greater than that.
Answer: Which is greater: a truckload of bricks, or
five miles?
That question makes precisely as much sense
as the question of whether the Eucharist or the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will is greater. The Eucharist is a
substance, the Gift of Living in the Divine Will is an
accident (for it is a grace, and grace is an accident).201
This is not to say we cannot in any way compare the
two, but from the onset we must understand that we
are not making a literal comparison of greatness of
one thing to the other in the same sense (as if, for
200 Stephen Patton. A Guide to the Book of Heaven. Page 48.
201 This is meant in the scholastic philosophical sense of the word —
a category of being whose nature is not to exist in itself, but in
202 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1453
203 Cf. 1 Corinthians 11:29
204 Unfortunately some today speak of Christ’s presence in the
Eucharist as “sacramental” but not “physical.” Although it is true
example, we were comparing the heights of two
Regarding the substance of the Eucharist, it is
absolutely beyond question that nothing can be
greater, for in this the Eucharist is, quite simply, God.
For this reason it is often said of the Eucharist,
rightfully so, that “God cannot give a greater gift.” Of
course He can’t! He cannot give more than Himself.
To this end, St. John Vianney would often beautifully
proclaim, “There is no reality greater than the
There are, however, two ways in which
something may legitimately said to be greater than
the Eucharist. The first way is on the part of the
subjective effect on the recipient. For example, if one
is in a state of mortal sin and is not perfectly contrite
(but is indeed imperfectly contrite), 202 then the
Sacrament of Reconciliation would be far greater for
him than the Eucharist. The latter would only
increase his condemnation, 203 whereas the former
would restore him to sanctifying grace. Therefore in
this respect it should be clear that, as there are no
doubt many souls in hell, who while on Earth received
the Eucharist, there can be greater things to desire for
oneself than the reception of the Eucharist (for
another example, confirmation in grace).
The second way a thing may be greater than
the Eucharist is if, though similar in substance, its
accidents correspond more fittingly to the substance
than they do in the case of the Eucharist. The
Eucharist is the sole example in the universe of a
disconnect between the substance of a thing and its
accidents. This disconnect enables Christ’s true,
substantial, physical 204 presence to remain with us
always 205 without destroying us, thanks to the
lowliness of the accidents. However, it is inherently
imperfect for accidents to be so poorly conformed to
the substance that underlies them, and this is why the
Eucharist will cease to exist upon the consummation
of the world – because of its imperfection. If the
that Christ is not in the Eucharist by way of quantitative extension in
space, He nevertheless is indeed physically present in the Eucharist;
for He is substantially present, and the substantial presence of a thing
that has physicality necessarily implies that same physicality present
at least qualitatively.
205 Cf. Matthew 28:20
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Eucharist, in its current form, was as great as possible,
then the Second Coming of Christ would essentially
be an evil, for it would directly cause the cessation of
the greatest good. Such an assertion of course would
be absurd, for we pray daily that Jesus may come soon.
Eternity is something we eagerly await with
unbounded joy, and not something we dread because
the Eucharist will not exist there!
In this sense, Christ’s final coming in glory
will be greater than the Eucharist; not because there
is any truly substantial difference, but because the
accidents of the former will be more properly
conformed to the substance; indeed, there will be no
more disconnect. Likewise, the Incarnation of the
Word is substantially identical to the Eucharist. At
the Annunciation, Mary’s womb was changed from an
empty vessel to a tabernacle for the eternal, infinite,
almighty God. At the consecration, the priest’s hands
go from holding a piece of bread, to holding the
eternal, infinite, almighty God. But we rightly say that
the Incarnation was greater still than the consecration
we witnessed at Mass this morning. We say this for
many reasons. First, the Incarnation was preceded by
the greatest act of Faith in history: the Fiat of the
Blessed Virgin. Secondly, in the Incarnation, the
Second Person of the Holy Trinity assumed accidents
more pleasing to Him than the accidents of bread and
Scripture also teaches us that, upon being
found by His parents after being lost for three days,
Jesus continued to grow “in wisdom and stature, and
in favor with God and man.”206 In a word, He became
greater. And yet it goes without saying that He
remained the same Person – the Word of God – from
His conception onward. But it is far more fitting for
the substance of God to be actualized in a full-grown
man than in a baby, for childhood is a state of
imperfection whose end is full maturity and
In a comparable way, Jesus reveals to Luisa
that He deems it more fitting to actualize His real life
in the soul of a human creature than in the dead
accidents of bread and wine. This revelation does not
mean that the human being is literally
transubstantiated in the precise same manner the
Eucharist is! The creature remains a creature. The
206 Luke 2:52
substance of the human being is not replaced with the
substance of God, as is the case in the Eucharist.
Hence no human other than Jesus – even if by a special
revelation of God the man or woman was known to
have the Gift of Living in the Divine Will – can ever be
worshipped. We worship God alone, which is why we
worship Jesus in the Eucharist; for there is no other
substance in the Eucharist along with Him, 207
therefore it is not an idolatrous object of worship.
Nevertheless, it is not illicit to consider in one
respect the Gift of Living in the Divine Will greater
than the Eucharist, so long as we are careful to issue
these distinctions when we dare speak such words
around those not already aware of the distinctions.
Bearing all this in mind, we may read Jesus’ words to
Luisa with confidence:
“My daughter, you too can form hosts and
consecrate them. Do you know what the garment is
that veils Me in the Most Blessed Sacrament? It is the
accidents of the bread with which the host is formed.
The life, which dwells in this Host, is My Body, Blood [,
soul] and divinity. … The unconsecrated host is
material and purely human. You too have a material
body and a human will. This body and this will of yours
— if you keep them pure, upright and far from any
shadow of sin — are the accidents, the veils that allow
Me to consecrate Myself and live hidden within you.
But this is not enough, lest it be like an unconsecrated
host: My life is needed. My life is composed of sanctity,
love, wisdom, power and all else, but the operation is
entirely My Will. That is why, after you have prepared
the host, you must make your will die within it; you
must trample it asunder so that it may no longer reemerge.
Then you must let My Will permeate your
entire being…Only in these living hosts do I find
compensation for the loneliness, the hunger and all
else that I suffer in tabernacles…I knew that many
graces were needed since I was to operate the greatest
miracle that exists in the world, namely, continuously
living in My Will […] This miracle surpasses even that
of the Eucharist. Of themselves the accidents of the
unconsecrated host possess no reason, will or desire
that might otherwise oppose My sacramental life. So,
the host contributes nothing, as the work of
consecration is entirely Mine. If I so will it, I
accomplish it. On the other hand, to accomplish the
miracle of living in My Will, I have to bend the soul’s
207 As there is in a created person Living in the Divine Will
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 56
reason, its human will, desire and love that are entirely
free. And how much effort this takes! Indeed, there are
many souls who receive Communion and take part in
the miracle of the Eucharist while sacrificing little.
Now, it requires more sacrifice to realize the miracle of
My Will living in souls, and yet very few there are who
dispose themselves to receive it.”208
If you are still unconvinced, bear in mind that
this notion is not at all without precedent. Rejecting
the Divine Will revelations based on this objection
would entail the rejection of many other revelations
and teachings of saints as well. For example, as was
mentioned in an earlier chapter, St. Faustina, after
long referring to the Eucharist as a “living host,” one
day asked Jesus to make her very self into the same, to
which He responded, “You are a living Host, pleasing
to the Heavenly Father.” Also mentioned previously
was Venerable Conchita, to whom Jesus revealed “…to
possess [Jesus] and to be possessed by [Jesus] as in one
and the same substance…” 209 In referring to being
“one and the same substance,” Jesus says to Conchita
precisely what Jesus is saying to Luisa in the quote
above. (Many other examples like this exist, and I
again refer you to Fr. Iannuzzi’s Splendor of Creation
for more information.)
Original Holiness vs. Christian
Objection: If the purpose of the Gift of Living in the
Divine Will is merely to return our souls to the same
state as Adam’s before the fall, then this entails a
rejection of the superior dignity of Christian holiness,
and it would have simply been better if Adam never
sinned in the first place. But God would not have
permitted the fall if He were not to bring a greater
good out of it, and in the Exultet of the Easter Liturgy,
we pray “O happy fault that merited such and so great
a Redeemer!” Furthermore, the Catechism teaches
that the new creation in Christ exceeds Adam’s state.
Therefore any reference to a return to Adam’s state is
absurd, since ours as Christians is better in every way.
208 Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in
the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” Doctoral diss. (The Pontifical
Gregorian University of Rome, Rome, 2013),
209 Fr. Marie-Michel Philipon, O.P. CONCHITA: A Mother’s Spiritual
Diary. Pages 57-58.
Answer: We must settle from the onset that not only
is it not absurd to refer to a return to Adam’s state, but
even the Church herself uses such terminology in the
prayer of the Mass, “…it is right to celebrate the
wonders of your providence, by which you call human
nature back to its original holiness…”210 Therefore, it
is clear that there is at least some aspect of Adam’s
holiness that even Christians must seek. We can be
sure of this duty, as the prayer does not say “you have
placed human nature back into [or above] its original
holiness.” Rather, it refers to a call – in other words,
something we must try to respond to even as
Christians with sanctifying grace. From this premise
we can conclude that all of us, even those who have
Christian holiness, must still strive for something that
Adam had before the fall. Since no one strives for what
is below, it is manifest that at least some aspect of
Adam’s holiness was superior to Christian holiness.211
We also must submit unconditionally to the
teachings in the Catechism, for I will again insist that
in dealing with any apparent contradiction between
Luisa’s writings and the Catechism, it is the
Catechism that must be favored absolutely. In it, we
read that “…the first man was not only created good,
but was also established in friendship with his Creator
and in harmony with himself and with the creation
around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by
the glory of the new creation in Christ.”212 It is not
immediately clear from that excerpt whether the
Church intends to teach that the new creation in
Christ, in and of itself, is a superior state to Adam’s
before the fall, or if the glory of the new creation in
Christ would at some point contain a greater glory
than Adam’s. In other words, we cannot be certain
whether the Catechism is saying that Christian
Baptism itself makes one holier than Adam, or merely
disposes one to receive a greater holiness. Either
interpretation, however, is compatible with Luisa’s
revelations, for even in the former interpretation we
can simply look to whatever aspects of Adam’s
holiness was superior to ours.
To that end, let us examine what is already
taught by the Church or agreed upon by theologians
about Adam’s state (also called “original holiness,”
210 Roman Missal. Preface of Holy Virgins.
211 It is obvious that Adam was superior in the senses of lacking
concupiscence, having infused knowledge, etc., but that is not what I
here refer to.
212 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 375.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 57
“original innocence,” “original justice,” or “integral
Adam was created to be a true King over all the
world. In addressing the question of whether Adam
had mastership over all creatures, Aquinas says that
“Man in a certain sense contains all things; and so
according as he is master of what is within himself, in
the same way he can have mastership over other
things.”214 Therefore, be well assured that the notion
that Adam had a very special priestly and kingly
calling is not some strange, Gnostic premise to a newage
spirituality! Especially in Luisa’s Rounds of
Creation, we read about (and participate in) Adam’s
office as priest of creation whose job it is to interiorly
assume all things and glorify God in, with, and
through them.
We must also not fall victim to believing that,
since we now have the Public Revelation of Jesus
Christ, our knowledge of God is superior to what
Adam had before the Fall. Although this idea may at
first glance sound pious and incarnational, it is not
true. Again I will defer to the Angelic Doctor, who said,
“Nevertheless he [Adam] knew God with a more
perfect knowledge than we do now. Thus in a sense his
knowledge was midway between our knowledge in the
present state, and the knowledge we shall have in
heaven…”215 And, again, “the first man was established
by God in such a manner as to have knowledge of all
those things for which man has a natural
aptitude. …moreover… the first man was endowed with
such a knowledge of […] supernatural truths as was
necessary for the direction of human life in that state.
But those things which cannot be known by merely
human effort, and which are not necessary for the
direction of human life, were not known by the first
man; such as the thoughts of men, future contingent
events, and some individual facts, as for instance the
number of pebbles in a stream; and the like.”216
It must be admitted that Aquinas held that
the Incarnation of Christ was a contingent event,
hence in his view Adam would not have known of it,
but this idea is by no means Church Teaching. In
Luisa’s writings we learn that Jesus would indeed have
213 John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them, A Theology of
the Body (Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media, 2006), Address of
September 19, 1979.
214 St. Thomas Aquinas, Sum I Q96, A2 Corpus.
215 Ibid., Q94, A1 Corpus.
become incarnate even had Adam never sinned;217 not
in order to be a suffering savior, but to be a glorious
King to receive the sovereignty from Adam. This
particular question vindicates the opinion of Bl. Duns
Scotus, who insisted that indeed Christ’s Incarnation
was not contingent. This is not to accuse the Felix
Culpa218 of the Liturgical prayer at Easter of error! The
Exultet prayer is far older than Scotus, and he would
never contradict it. However, the fault of Adam was in
fact – historically – the reason why Christ did come
(even though He would have come regardless),
therefore it remains correct to say that this fault of
Adam did indeed “earn for us so great a Savior.”
Hence there is no contradiction between this opinion
of Duns Scotus (and Luisa’s revelations), and this
particular prayer of the Mass.
Suarez, that great 16th century Jesuit compiler
and harmonizer of Aquinas and Scotus, also taught
that Adam indeed had a belief in the Trinity and in
the future Incarnation of the Word of God. There is
no use in arguing against this position by saying
“Nonsense. For with that knowledge, Adam would not
have sinned.” You have that knowledge: has it
prevented you from sinning? “No,” you may reply, “as
I have concupiscence, and Adam did not.” But that
too fails to satisfy, for it is highly unlikely that your
sins are all explicable by mere weakness! Only the
Beatific Vision (which indeed Adam did not have) is
an absolute safeguard against the possibility of sin.
Sins of pure pride or curiosity do not stem merely
from concupiscence. It is utterly invalid – and un-
Catholic – to assert that all of today’s sins are the mere
result of concupiscence and nothing else.
Adam’s knowledge could rightly be
considered immense; perfect, in a real way. But we
must also consider the degree of his merit. On this
question, Aquinas teaches, “We conclude therefore
that in the state of innocence man’s works were more
meritorious than after sin was committed, if we
consider the degree of merit on the part of grace, which
would have been more copious as meeting with no
obstacle in human nature: and in like manner, if we
consider the absolute degree of the work done; because,
216 Ibid., A3 Corpus
217 Hence it is not “contingent,” or dependent upon some other
precursor; i.e., The Fall.
218 “Happy Fault”
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 58
as man would have had greater virtue, he would have
performed greater works. But if we consider the
proportionate degree, a greater reason for merit exists
after sin, on account of man’s weakness; because a
small deed is more beyond the capacity of one who
works with difficulty than a great deed is beyond one
who performs it easily.” Aquinas is saying that Adam
merited more in absolute terms (as a rich man can
give more money than a poor man), but after sin man
can merit more in proportional terms (as the poor
widow in the Gospel, in giving two pennies, gave more
than the Pharisees). 219 This beautifully succinct
teaching of the Angelic Doctor suffices almost
entirely in settling the question of Original Holiness
versus Christian Holiness. Yes, Adam had a greater
degree of holiness and merit than even a Christian
saint could possibly attain. And yet, there is another
sense in which a Christian saint has a greater degree
of holiness than Adam could possibly attain.
This distinction provides the answer to the
dilemma presented by the consideration that merely
returning to a former unfallen state after a fall is not
sufficient for God to even permit a fall in the first
place. For we know that three conditions are
necessary in order for God to so much as permit an
evil: first, a good must come from that evil that could
not possibly come without that evil; second, the good
that comes must be different than good lost; third, the
good that comes must be greater than the good lost.
Only given these three conditions can the existence of
any evil possibly be consistent with two great
dogmatic truths regarding God; namely, His
omnipotence, and His goodness. God created Adam
with the highest category of holiness. God permitted
Adam to fall because He foresaw a coming age in
which Adam’s highest category of holiness could be
combined with Christian grace through the merits of
the Incarnation and Passion of His Son. In that
coming age, treasures could be built up in heaven that
could not possibly have been without the fall –
treasures that will make the blood, sweat, and tears of
their attainment seem like nothing. These treasures
embellish our celestial home, that which we are
“called to by nature but cannot achieve by nature,”
whereas were Adam to have never fallen, although we
would never have lost the terrestrial paradise and the
219 Luke 21:3
220 John A. Hardon, S.J., God the Author of Nature and the
Supernatural. Thesis VIII. Part III.
perfect state of our souls, the celestial paradise would
not have received the same benefits and we would be
eternally devoid of the glorious crowns that we now
have the ability to merit if we so choose.
Although the theological concerns contained
in this objection have already been adequately
addressed, it is still worth considering another
important teaching on Adam: that given by the
Fathers. After pointing out that it is already defined
doctrine (implicitly at the Council of Trent) that
Adam possessed sanctifying grace, Fr. John Hardon
sums up the attitude of the Fathers on Adam’s state of
holiness as follows:
“…the Fathers explicitly teach that the first
man possessed sanctifying grace, which they called
“deification” and which Adam lost by the fall. …some
of the Greek Fathers, like Basil and Cyril of Alexandria,
believed that the supernatural sanctification of Adam
is indicated in Genesis 2:7. They took spiraculum vitae
to mean the grace of the Holy Spirit as a supernatural
vital principle. Others, notably Ireneus, Gregory of
Nyssa and Augustine, held that imago Dei referred to
Adam’s nature, while similitudo Dei described him as
being in the state of sanctifying grace. Apart from their
interpretation of the texts, the Fathers’ common belief
that Adam received both natural and supernatural life
is a witness to Christian tradition.”220 On this same
topic, Cardinal Schonborn – the editor of the new
official Catechism of the Catholic Church – recently
taught “Deification is located in the reestablishing of
fallen man in his innate dignity.”221
Therefore we can see that there is no lack of
foundation in Sacred Tradition for the lofty exaltation
of Adam’s prelapsarian holiness. But this great
exaltation of Adam did not end with the Fathers.
Finally, we know that no evil can be attributed
to God, and yet the proper definition of evil is “the
absence of a due perfection.” So the next question is:
“what perfection is due in man, in his very nature?”
For whatever perfection is due man in his nature must
have been in Adam upon his creation, lest we
attribute an evil to God, which would be abhorrent.
221 Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. From Death to Life: The Christian
Journey. 1995. Page 50
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 59
Hence we arrive at the debate regarding the natural
end of man. After a lengthy treatment of the various
positions on this question, the New Catholic
Encyclopedia states, “The present disagreement
among Catholic thinkers concerning the natural end
of man indicates that there is not yet a completely
satisfactory resolution of this problem…”222 Suffice it
to say that there is a range of permissible opinions on
this question within Catholic orthodoxy, but it is
likely St. Augustine who will have the last word (as he
ought) in his most famous words: “Thou hast made us
for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in
Thee.” And if it is true that, in the fullest and most
literal sense of the word, God made human nature for
Himself, then the answer to “what is the natural end
of man?” is this: none other than Living in the Divine
Will.223 Therefore, Adam must have been made with
the Gift of Living in the Divine Will (even if it does
not follow that he must have been made with the
Beatific Vision).
A New Revelation?
Objection: Luisa herself states that she has received
a “new revelation,” and that can only be diabolical. We
have one, public revelation, and it is closed and
Answer: Luisa’s writings do indeed contain a new
“revelation.” So did those of St. Faustina, St. Margaret
Mary Alacoque, St. Bernadette, and St. Catherine
Laboure, to name a few. However, none of them
offered a new public revelation, and neither does
Luisa have a new public revelation.
Ironically the very paragraph of the Catechism
that issuers of this objection cite is likewise the
answer to their objection. Great precision must be
used with our language. The Catechism states,
“Throughout the ages, there have been so-called
“private” revelations … They do not belong, however, to
the deposit of faith… Guided by the Magisterium of the
Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and
222 New Catholic Encyclopedia. Second Edition. 2003. Man, Natural
End Of. Toward a Solution.
223 In “Humani Generis,” Pius XII implicitly condemns the notion
(cf. Paragraph 26) that God cannot create intellectual beings without
this entailing a calling to the supernatural order, saying such a notion
“destroys the gratuity of the supernatural order.” Therefore we must
take care not to imply some categorical impossibility for an
welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an
authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.”224
Carefully reading this passage from the Catechism
shows us that the Magisterium itself refers to these
“private” revelations quite simply as revelations. The
only thing we must be sure to avoid is any claimed new
public revelation; meaning, any claim to modify the
Deposit of Faith.225
It is also important to understand that,
contrary to what sadly seems to have become a
common notion today among Catholics, the
preceding paragraph of the Catechism does not say
that public revelation is “closed, ended, and fully
understood.” Rather, the Catechism simply states that
public revelation is “complete” and that no “new”
public revelation is to be expected. When at once this
is understood, it is easy to see that there is another
sense in which public revelation is still unfolding – not
in the sense that there will be any new public
revelation, but certainly in the sense that it remains to
be fully explicated, applied, and lived. To this end,
God deemed it necessary to send us mystics like St.
Francis, St. Dominic, Margaret Mary Alacoque, St.
Catherine Labouré, St. Faustina, and yes, most
definitely, the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.
The job of the Magisterium of the Church is
not to convey to the faithful precisely what is coming
upon the world and the Church. How easy it is to fall
into the trap of yelling “heresy!” at any surprise.
Against this, Pope Francis teaches that God is “…the
God of surprises. And God, many times, also had
surprises in store for his people…this is why Jesus
scolds the members of that generation, for being
closed, for being incapable of recognizing the signs of
the times, for not being open to the God of surprises,
for not being on a journey toward the Lord’s
triumphant finale, to the point that when he explains
it, they think it is blasphemy.”226 Luisa’s revelations do
indeed fit beautifully on the foundation of sacred
Tradition, a fact that will be covered in the answer to
a forthcoming objection. But they are not without
their surprises for the Church, either. And how many
intellectual being lacking a natural call to the Beatific Vision. Rather,
we must be careful only to argue that such a call is more in line with
God’s goodness, which in fact acknowledges the very aspect of God
that Pius sought to emphasize in this paragraph.
224 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 67.
225 Ibid., paragraph 66.
226 Pope Francis. Homily on October 13, 2014.
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there are who fall into the perennial trap of the
Pharisee, thinking in fact that they have the
remainder of Church history quite well figured out,
and that they are perfectly disposed to reject at a
whim whatever comes along that contradicts this
master plan of theirs. Dr. Peter Kreeft summed it up
well when he said something to the effect of “a
subjectivist is one who says that knowledge cannot
attain to the truth, a Pharisee is one who says that his
knowledge is identical to the truth, and a Christian is
one who knows Truth but stands in awe that the Truth
is greater than his knowledge of it.”
“Only” Private Revelation?
Objection: This is just another Private Revelation;
the Catholic Faith is enough. I don’t need this private
revelation, and I don’t feel particularly drawn to it
Answer: Although it is true that throughout this book
I use the term “private revelation,” I do so with no
small bit of regret. I use the term due to its
commonness, not wanting to invent a new lexicon for
this book. But truly there is no such thing as “private”
revelation, in so far as by “private” is meant “only
directed at a few” or “only intended to be heard and
heeded by those who find themselves drawn to it.” We
know from Scripture, rather, that “he who prophesies
edifies the church,” 227 and that the extraordinary
charisms of the Holy Spirit, of which prophecy is one,
exist not for one’s own sanctification, but for the
sanctification of the Church. The Catechism teaches,
“Whether extraordinary or simple and humble,
charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or
indirectly benefit the Church … Charisms are to be
accepted with gratitude by the person who receives
them and by all members of the Church as well.
They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic
vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of
Christ…”228 Take note that the Catechism does not say
that charisms are to be accepted by “those members
of the Church who find them agreeable,” but rather
“by all members of the Church.”
The Catechism itself also seems to find the
terminology unfortunate, entitling its section on the
227 1 Corinthians 14
228 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 799-800.
topic “On so-called ‘private’ revelation,” putting the
word private in quotes as if to imply that such a word
really should not be said of a revelation from God,
even if it is not one that is itself an element of the
Deposit of Faith. Rather, as mentioned in the last
objection’s answer, these really are quite simply
revelations, so long as they are not confused with the
Deposit of Faith – comprised of Scripture and
Tradition, and authoritatively interpreted by the
Magisterium. This Deposit of Faith is the absolute
norm for judging all other revelations, Luisa’s
included, and it alone demands and may receive the
assent of Supernatural Catholic Faith. It alone
deserves to be held in absolute certitude as opposed
to held in human belief.
My hesitation with the term “private
revelation” is that there is a risk of giving the
impression that the response to it is entirely a matter
of personal preference. This indeed has become a
common notion among some Catholics today – that
private revelation is a “whatever floats your boat”
matter. Their argument is essentially as follows: “since
Private Revelation is never a matter of Catholic Faith,
there can never be any moral obligation to heed it. It’s
entirely a matter of preference and you should respond
however you feel like.” It seems that this is the attitude
promulgated especially by a few well known lay
apologists, but this contention ignores the simple fact
that reacting to anything “however you feel like” is a
recipe for disaster in this fallen world. Of course we
never put Divine Faith in any Private Revelation, no
matter how profound, approved, or seemingly certain.
That does not mean we can never have any obligation
in the matter! You and God both know what
invitations He has extended to your heart, and on
Judgment Day your eternal glory will be meted out by
how you responded to Divine Invitations, and not just
by whether you have Faith in the Deposit of Faith.
That latter assertion would essentially be the
Protestant “Salvation by Faith Alone” heresy. This
heresy holds that the only question in salvation is
whether one believed what one was required to
believe with Supernatural Faith. Catholic dogma, of
course, is very different. Consider what the Catechism
says: “In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow
faithfully what he knows to be just and right.”229 It
does not say “only in those matters that the Catholic
229 Ibid. 1778.
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Church teaches are true must man follow faithfully
what he knows to be just and right.” Furthermore,
Vatican II teaches “He is not saved, however, who,
though part of the body of the Church, does not
persevere in charity.”230 I repeat: it is an utterly invalid
argument to wager that one is always and everywhere
free to hold to whatever opinion he so desires so long
as it does not involve the contradiction of the Catholic
On the contrary, the glorious history of the
Catholic Church tells a radically different story from
the “whatever floats your boat on private revelation”
approach. A story in which whether Catholics
respond faithfully to genuine “private revelations”
determines the course of history – especially
concerning the requests at Fatima to the children, the
message to St. Faustina, the requests of Jesus for the
Sacred Heart devotion, the requests of Our Lady of
Guadalupe through St. Juan Diego, and the list goes
on. Would God have taken no offense if the tens of
thousands who witnessed the miracle at Fatima
turned their backs on that “nonsense?” Would St.
Faustina’s spiritual director have committed no sin if
he ignored or opposed the promulgation of the Divine
Mercy message instead of helping it? Would Bishop
Zumaragga have been safe in the will of God by
ignoring St. Juan Diego coming to him with the
request of Our Lady of Guadalupe to have a church
built? Did not King Louis XIV’s failure to respond to
the Sacred Heart requests of Jesus through St.
Margaret Mary result in disaster for France?
Considering these events and so many more
like them, we can find a renewed appreciation for the
advice regarding Marian apparitions of Pope Urban
VIII who allegedly said that in “… cases which concern
private revelations, it is better to believe than not to
believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will
be happy that you have believed, because our Holy
Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven
false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true,
because you believed it to be true.”231
230 Lumen Gentium paragraph 14.
231 Though a difficult quote to verify, I use it here due to the
circumstantial possibility that it referred to the revelations of Mary of
Agreda, which was a very contentious issue during his Papacy.
However, great weight should not be given to this quote, as it is
proving a very difficult one to verify.
The apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho is
especially noteworthy, as that is now an approved
apparition of Mary. 232 But why did she come? She
came to warn the people of an impending disaster and
how to avert it. Twelve years later, the Rwandan
Genocide occurred, in which one million innocent
people were slaughtered by their own neighbors. It all
could have been avoided if only we had listened to
Our Lady’s plea in that private revelation. Before you
respond “Ah, but that is an approved apparition,” bear
in mind that the approval only came after the
genocide took place. Never forget that “The Marian
dimension of the Church precedes the Petrine,” 233
(although the two must never be seen as opposed).
Similar stories and timelines exist for many nowapproved
apparitions. Even a cursory examination of
the historical facts yields the unavoidable conclusion:
Our Lady comes because we need to listen, not
because she just wants to be another blog competing
for our attention, which we may feel free to ignore.
Many will cite Therese of Lisieux or John of
the Cross in their avoidance of private revelation; but
they only use quotes of these great Doctors that apply
to one desiring one’s own apparent revelations from
God. And how true it is that revelations are certainly
not something to be desired! For blessed is the one
who believes without seeing. 234 We should give
enormous thanks to God that we have been given the
gift of Faith despite not being among those chosen to
have great visions and revelations, and we should
neither desire nor ask for this situation to change.
However, this pious and true advice has no bearing on
how we should react to the alleged private revelations
of others, especially those whose revelations have
received Ecclesiastical approbations and whose
causes for beatification are going well!
Now, I do not wish to go to the opposite
extreme in my attempts to rid you of a knee-jerk,
lukewarm reaction to private revelation. For perhaps
even worse would be to cause in you some sense of
guilt and anxiety for not reading or following Luisa’s
revelations if you simply do not feel ready, or do not
feel at peace with such a pursuit. If you discern a spirit
232 This approval was declared by Bishop Augustin Misago on June
29, 2001.
233 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 773, Cf. John Paul
II “Mulieris Dignitatem,” paragraph 27.
234 Cf. John 20:29
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of disturbance in pursuing Luisa’s writings, then by
all means, cease! We must indeed test the spirits, and
“hold fast what is good,”235 and there is a subjective
aspect to that. Take consolation in the Catechism and
in Scripture – in that glorious, infallible, and sufficient
Deposit of Faith. All I intend to do here is rid you of
these notions that dispel urgency and anesthetize the
workings of Holy Spirit. I do not wish to lay a heavy
burden upon your shoulders. That burden would not
be Christ’s, for His is easy and light. 236 Do not be
worried; your salvation does not depend upon Luisa’s
In conclusion, let us consider curiosity.
Curiosity can certainly be a bad thing, especially in so
far as it is opposed to custody of the eyes, discernment
of spirits, contentment with what God has given you,
and the like. But there is at least one sense in which
we can indeed refer to holy curiosity. On this, I leave
you with the words of a Christmas homily of Pope
Benedict XVI:
“The shepherds made haste. Holy curiosity
and holy joy impelled them. In our case, it is probably
not very often that we make haste for the things of God.
God does not feature among the things that require
haste. The things of God can wait, we think and we say.
And yet he is the most important thing, ultimately the
one truly important thing. Why should we not also be
moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know
what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him
to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy
joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to
Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to
meet us.”237
These words should primarily be taken with
respect to their admonishment to have that joy and
holy curiosity in where we know we have Jesus: in the
Eucharist, in the Gospel, and in the Church. But it can
also be applied – prudently – to when the Spirit seeks
to bless the Church with revelations.
An Organic or an Artificial
235 1 Thessalonians 5:21
236 Matthew 11:30
Objection: Even if nothing downright opposed to
Church teaching is contained in Luisa’s revelations,
they should still be shunned due to how much
disagreement there is in them with the writings of
Doctors of the Church and other such lofty
authorities on orthodox Catholic theology.
Answer: If Luisa’s revelations do comprise an
artificial degree of development of Catholic thought
(in such a way that they do not fit comfortably and
beautifully on the tradition handed onto us by two
thousand years of saints), then they should indeed be
shunned. For any development of doctrine to be valid,
it must have stability on the foundation that precedes
it. But it need not be without a single difference.
Perhaps this distinction is best considered by way of
an illustration.
God is seeking to build a beautiful Cathedral
by Sacred Tradition’s growth throughout history, not
a box-shaped skyscraper. Each age in the Church on
earth can count many members in two camps; on the
one hand, those who disregard the foundation and
strive to build a wing jutting out at a ridiculous angle.
This new construction will fall in a short amount of
time and cause the destruction of many souls. This is
what occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican
Council when so many priests and laity, interpreting
the Council in an erroneous manner, rejected that
Hermeneutic of Continuity so beautifully defended
by Pope Benedict XVI, in favor of one of discontinuity.
Modernism invaded as orders, parishes, seminaries,
and Catholic schools emptied like never before seen
in the history of the Church. This indeed is the
greatest danger.
But in the other camp are those who insist that
each successive level be identical to the one on which
it rests. In so doing they declare themselves the
architects instead of the laborers. But it is essential
that we constantly strive to ensure that we are
permitting the Holy Spirit to be the architect of
history – Church history especially. Any architect who
hired a builder to construct a Cathedral that was his
life’s masterpiece and found one day that only a
warehouse was being built would fire this builder at
once and demand an account. Such a builder has
buried his talent in the ground, and as such has
237 Benedict XVI. Homily at Christmas Vigil Mass. December 24th,
2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana).
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proved himself a worthless servant, worthy of only
being cast into the outer darkness.238
No single cut-and-dry theological answer will
suffice to settle whether Luisa’s revelations comprise
(as her detractors levy) an unstable wing, or if they
amount to a magnificent solid gold steeple to finish
off the Cathedral. But I am convinced that any learned
Catholic who reads Luisa’s writings, so long as this is
done without the clenched fist mentioned in the
beginning of this chapter, will be struck with how
harmoniously they integrate with and build upon the
great writings of the Church; especially those of the
Fathers, Doctors, and Popes.
Remember that God reserves infallibility for
His Church. He does not grant it to individual
theologians. There is nothing pious or “safe” about a
rigid insistence upon each and every opinion of this
or that Doctor of the Church, not even upon those of
the greatest (Thomas Aquinas). Some Thomists seem
to forget one of the most important teachings in the
entire Summa, namely “we ought to pay as much
attention to the undemonstrated sayings and opinions
of persons who surpass us in experience, age and
prudence, as to their demonstrations,” with which he
quotes Aristotle.239 Thomas himself would never have
wanted those in the scholastic school that he inspired
to be so rigidly insistent upon each of his opinions.
Consider what moral of the story the
historical facts convey regarding Aquinas. Indeed,
that he gave us a truly perennial philosophy and
theology, and we reject it at our own peril. But
likewise it teaches against the opposite extreme. In
the 14th century, Pope John XXII said Aquinas’
teaching “could only be miraculous.” Pope St. Pius V
declared him a Doctor of the Church in the 16th
century, saying his works are “the most certain rule of
Christian doctrine.” In that same century, the term
“dunce” was coined, a take on the name of Bl. Duns
Scotus; an insult whose flourishing no doubt had at
least in part to thank the fact that Bl. Scotus disagreed
so clearly with Aquinas on Mary’s conception, with
the former insisting it was utterly Immaculate. But no
doubt many thought to themselves, “How could the
greatest Doctor of the Church, so exalted and insisted
upon by the Roman Pontiffs, be wrong? I will advocate
for his opinion on all things; it is more reliable.” The
238 Cf. Matthew 25:25-30
rest is history. Consider how foolish those Catholics
who insisted upon a rigid adherence to each and every
tenet of Aquinas’ must have felt when, in 1854, Pius IX
proclaimed infallibly that indeed Mary was
Immaculately Conceived, free from all sin from the
very moment of her conception. Worse still, consider
how many graces they missed out on by not
acknowledging Our Lady as the Immaculate
Conception. They of course were not guilty of formal
heresy (the Church had not yet extraordinarily
defined the teaching), but that does not mean they
lost nothing due to it. Let us be sure to not, in like
fashion, miss out on the graces contained in Luisa’s
(Note: for a deep analysis of this particular
objection, I recommend the aforementioned book, A
Guide to the Book of Heaven, by Stephen Patton.)
On the Fundamental Possibility
Itself of this Gift
Objection: I grant it is categorically possible that any
creature be given the same type of holiness that the
Blessed Virgin Mary has, for she too is a creature. But
it remains simply impossible for any creature, even
Mary, to have the type of union with God spoken of in
Luisa’s revelations, and the degree to which Luisa’s
revelations exalt Mary simply cannot be true.
Answer: While some objections focus on whether
there can be anything higher than spiritual marriage,
this particular objection contains what is really the
more fundamental question to be answered. Even St.
John of the Cross admits there is something higher
than spiritual marriage, and his theology only needs
to be modified slightly in order to permit on earth
what he says only occurs in heaven; namely, the
“perfect state of glory.” Likewise, and as mentioned
previously, God is certainly (at least categorically and
hypothetically) capable of working the same type of
holiness in anyone as He has already worked in the
Blessed Virgin.
So it is ironic that, while some detractors of
Luisa’s revelations hinge their criticisms on Luisa
being exalted too greatly in comparison to Our Lady,
perhaps even more numerous detractors will simply
239 St. Thomas Aquinas, Sum I-II. 95. 2.
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take issue with how much Luisa’s revelations exalt
Our Lady! And truly this exaltation is enormous. Jesus
tells Luisa that Mary dominates Him, and that the
least of her breaths and motions contained – and
contain – enchanting marvels. He tells Luisa that,
upon Mary’s Assumption, the glories within her were
so great that they filled heaven itself and therefore
burst forth to fill all of creation as well, and that her
beauty is so utterly unreachable and conquering that
even the angels are speechless and cannot find words
to describe what they observe in Mary.
This question hinges upon the proper
interpretation of the Angel Gabriel’s words to Mary,
“full of grace.” The canonization of Luisa and the full
approval of her writings presupposes the
continuation of authentic Marian theology which will
need to leave behind an additional opinion of
Aquinas asserts that this “fullness of grace” is
actually proper to (meaning “only held by”) Christ. He
compares the words of the Angelic salutation to the
words Scripture uses to describe St. Stephen, who is
likewise said to be “full of grace…”241 In the Summa,
Aquinas writes, “The Blessed Virgin is said to be full of
grace, not on the part of grace itself-since she had not
grace in its greatest possible excellence…”242
This particular opinion of Aquinas must be set
aside not only to heed Luisa’s revelations, but also to
heed the great bulk of development in good Marian
theology; especially as taught by St. Louis de Montfort,
St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Maximilian Kolbe. Now
Thomas’ philosophy and theology remain the best
and surest norm for arriving at truths of Faith, but we
should not be afraid to set aside just a few opinions of
his thousands! Remember as well that Luisa, being a
Third Order Dominican, no doubt naturally had a
great deference to and respect for Aquinas.
Above all, this opinion of Aquinas appears to
be contradicted by Pope Pius IX, in the very same
Apostolic Constitution in which he defined the
Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, for in that the
Pope teaches:
240 That is, in addition to his opinion that Mary was not conceived
241 Acts 6:8
242 St. Thomas Aquinas, Sum III, Q7, A10.
“When…by order of God himself, [Mary was]
proclaimed full of grace by the Angel Gabriel when he
announced her most sublime dignity of Mother of God,
they [the Fathers of the Church] thought that this
singular and solemn salutation, never heard before,
showed that the Mother of God is the seat of all divine
graces …To them Mary is an almost infinite
treasury…Hence, it is the clear and unanimous
opinion of the Fathers that the most glorious
Virgin…was resplendent with such an abundance of
heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace …that she
approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a
created being…”
Bear in mind that by saying “it is the clear and
unanimous opinion of the Fathers…” he is not merely
presenting an “opinion” to Catholics that they may
likewise hold if they feel so compelled. Rather, that
which is unanimously held by the Fathers of the
Church is, by that very fact, a dogma of the Faith. For
the Word of God is not merely Scripture, but
Scripture and Tradition; and what is unanimously
held by the Fathers cannot be anything other than
Sacred Tradition. The First Vatican Council taught
that “It is not permissible for anyone to interpret Holy
Scripture in a sense contrary to… the unanimous
consent of the fathers.” 243 The Council of Trent
teaches the same thing. 244 Interpretation of Holy
Scripture here does not refer to the limited scope that
that phrase might imply in common speech today;
rather it applies to the entirety of Faith. Consider that
Aquinas did not primarily consider himself a
“theologian,” but rather a “commenter on the sacred
Therefore, we should regard these words of
Pius IX as infallible; if not explicitly by their wording,
then at least implicitly due to what they represent.
And with these words, he strongly supports Mary as
having the fullness of grace not merely on the part of
the subject, as Aquinas asserts, but rather on the part
of the object as well. For if, as he says, “she approaches
as near to God himself as is possible…,” then the
“fullness” is attributed to the grace itself; for
otherwise there would be nothing to prevent another
243 Decrees of the First Vatican Council. Chapter 2.9
244 Council of Trent. Decree Concerning the Edition, and the Use, of
the Sacred Books
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creature from at some point in the future approaching
closer to God than she, in which case he would have
said merely that Mary did approach nearer to God
than any other creature had approached. Furthermore,
if Mary is, as he says, “the seat of all divine graces…an
almost infinite treasury…,” then there is no grace that
is not within her. The fact that she did not do this or
that good work on earth, or receive this or that
sacrament,245 does not any more diminish the fullness
of grace in her than it does in her Son.246
A beautiful summary of the glories of Mary is
given by Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner (quoting Aquinas,
Thomas Cajetan, Conrad of Saxony, and Pius XII’s
encyclical “Ad Caeli Reginam”, respectively ), saying
that Mary, “…in virtue of Her divine Maternity, enjoys
a ‘certain infinite dignity,’ that ‘touches the limits of
divinity,’ [and] that ‘God can make a greater world, but
could not make a mother more perfect than the
Mother of God,’ [and] that ‘the dignity of the Mother
of God is most singular, sublime, and quasi-divine.”247
One could still attempt to argue that Mary did
not have the fullness of grace due to such a thing
being impossible, just as it is impossible to have the
“biggest number.” But Aquinas answers this objection
well in his very next Article of the Summa, for he says
that the grace in Christ is in fact not infinite (but we
know that he earlier argues rightly that Christ did
indeed have the fullness of grace). This is due to the
simple fact that grace, being an accident, inheres in
the soul. But the Soul of Christ is not eternal; it was
created at the Annunciation, and whatever is created
cannot be infinite. As usual, however, the proper
distinctions allow the situation to be phrased either
way, for one can indeed validly say that the grace in
Christ (and therefore also in Mary, or in one who has
the Gift of Living in the Divine Will) is infinite in so
far as that refers to “{having] whatsoever can pertain
to the nature of grace.”
There are many more distinctions,
qualifications, and specifications that could be made
regarding fullness of grace and modes of infinitude,
which would be well beyond the scope of this work.
Suffice it to say that Mary indeed did, in a certain
sense (beyond the sense in which Aquinas granted)
245 E.g. Holy Orders
246 E.g. Matrimony
247 Mary at the Foot of the Cross, VII. Page 200
have the fullness of grace on the part of grace itself,
and in a way had infinite grace, which is likewise
something that can be attributed to a soul who lives
in the Divine Will, albeit with additional important
qualifications that would not apply to Mary or the
Soul of Christ.
The fate of Luisa’s writings in the Church no
doubt is largely bound up with the fate of Mary’s
cause in the Church. The Fifth Marian Dogma awaits
proclamation; let us pray it may come soon. As if by
way of a parting gift, Pope Benedict XVI – despite
never (to my knowledge) having used the term before
– in some of his final words to us as our Holy Father,
left us with a reference to Mary as “the Mediatrix of
All Grace.” This is clearly the desire of the Holy Spirit.
Let it be so!
Millenarianism, Chiliasm,
Legacy of Joachim of Fiore?
Objection: Luisa’s revelations posit a time of peace
awaiting mankind on earth where the Divine Will
shall reign universally and temporally. But this is
modified-millenarianism (or Chiliasm), which is
condemned by the Church, even in the Catechism
where it says, “The Antichrist’s deception already
begins to take shape in the world every time the claim
is made to realize within history that messianic hope
which can only be realized beyond history through the
eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected
even modified forms of this falsification of the
kingdom to come under the name of
Answer: The Church does indeed condemn Chiliasm,
both in millenarianism and modified millenarianism,
and therefore a Catholic must have nothing to do with
these beliefs, even if he thought he saw them in
Luisa’s writings. But in truth, her revelations do not
posit anything close to what is condemned as even
modified-millenarianism. She does not insist upon a
literal interpretation of the thousand years of
Revelation 20, and she definitely does not teach of a
coming age when we are dispensed from the Deposit
of Faith as authoritatively taught by the Magisterium
of the Church249 or from the Sacramental life of the
248 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 676
249 Quite the contrary, she insisted that her works be utterly
dismissed if anything be found in them opposed to Catholic teaching.
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Church. She does not teach that only the spiritual life
of a monastic is worthy (which was actually Joachim’s
most novel and dangerous doctrine, as he insisted
that this coming third age meant everyone had to
essentially be a perfect Franciscan monk), 250 or
anything of the sort.
Unfortunately, however, some Catholic
writers today have become so wary of the heresy of
Millenarianism (which is understandable due to how
much it flourishes in many non-Catholic Christian
and quasi-Christian circles), that in their overzealousness,
they take it upon themselves to define
the sense in which the Church intends the word
“modified” as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic
Church in paragraph 676, and they go far beyond the
sense in which the Church intends it. For example,
the following excerpt contains another Magisterial
reference to modified-millenarianism:
“In recent times on several occasions this
Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office has
been asked what must be thought of the system of
mitigated Millenarianism, which teaches, for example,
that Christ the Lord before the final judgment,
whether or not preceded by the resurrection of the
many just, will come visibly to rule over this world. The
answer is: The system of mitigated Millenarianism
cannot be taught safely.”251
This decree of the Holy Office should
immediately give pause to one who would interpret
the Catechism’s word “modified” to mean that any
sort of glorious time to come is impossible! For here,
(though the word “mitigated” is used, clearly the same
intent is applicable) even “mitigated” Millenarianism
still refers to the notion that a time will come when
Christ will come to visibly rule over this world.
The Magisterium has also implied what is
meant to be condemned by “modified
Millenarianism” in a document published by the
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith more recently.
This document states that there is a “… rebirth of the
tendency to establish an innerworldly eschatology.
250 His followers viewed any deviation whatsoever from the life St.
Francis lead as a “surrender to the forces of the carnal institutional
Church of a passing age” Cf. New Catholic Encyclopedia
“Franciscans, First Order” p.901
251 Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, A Translation
of the Enchiridion Symbolorum (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co.,
This tendency is well known in the history of theology,
and beginning with the Middle Ages it constituted
what came to be called “the spiritual heritage of
Joachim de Fiore. This tendency is found in some
theologians of liberation, who so insist on the
importance of establishing the kingdom of God as
something within our own history on earth that the
salvation which transcends history seems to become
of rather secondary interest.”252
As you can see, this particular condemnation
by the CDF is directed primarily at Liberation
Theology. I will not speak much of that here, as no
one accuses Luisa’s revelations of this particular
heresy; her writings are about as other-worldly as
possible and do not in the least confuse the coming
Reign of Peace with some sort of man-made system of
political justice. Even the Reign of Peace is not much
spoken of in Luisa’s writings – though it is certainly
admitted and prophesied – for Luisa is far too busy
concerning herself with the things of heaven, and
thereby urging her readers to do likewise.
However, we should further discuss the
teaching of Joachim of Fiore (or Flora) in order to
recognize that Luisa’s writings are far from this heresy
as well. He erroneously taught that the days of the Old
Testament were simply the days of the Father, the
time since the Incarnation were the days of the Son,
and that we now approach the days of the Holy Spirit
in which we await a new Public Revelation (just as the
ancient Jews, having received a valid covenant from
God, nevertheless awaited a better one), as well as a
new Deposit of Faith, and an end of the age of the
Catholic Church. The bulk of his followers were
known as the “Spiritual Franciscans,” whom St.
Bonaventure wrote against. Such beliefs amount not
to Newman’s Development of Doctrine, but rather
amount to Evolution of Dogmas. This, however, as the
name should hopefully make clear, is downright
heretical, and was described as such by Pope St. Pius
X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis.
Luisa’s revelations are certainly nothing like
the Millenarianism or the legacy of Joachim of Fiore
1957), “Millenarianism (Chiliasm) by the Decree of the Holy Office,
July 21, 1944. Page 625.
252 Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. “Some Current Questions
in Eschatology.” 1992. Paragraph 2
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 67
condemned by the Church. In her writings, Jesus goes
so far as to say that Heaven itself is veiled within the
Catholic Church, of which the Pope is head. Jesus
speaks to Luisa not of a time where this Church is laid
aside, but where this Church, whose head is the
Roman Pontiff, will acquire her full vigor. Luisa’s own
life was the example par excellence of obedience and
submission to the institutional Catholic Church, and
Jesus makes it clear that the life of Luisa is to be the
model of those who come after her wishing to receive
the Gift of Living in the Divine Will.
Having proven in the negative that Luisa’s
writings contain nothing opposed to Catholic faith
with respect to their prophecies of what is to come, it
would nevertheless be fitting for us to consider what
the Magisterium and the Fathers of the Church
themselves also have to say.
The Fathers of the Church held that the Seven
Days of Creation were analogous to the seven
millennia of human history to come. Just as with the
days of the week, the last is reserved for rest, so the
last millennia of life on earth would be one of “rest.”253
In speaking against the Reign of Peace, some dispute
that the Fathers held that the Days of Creation were
indeed analogous to the ages of time to come, but
none other than Pope Benedict XVI taught this,
saying, “The Fathers of the Church considered the six
or seven days of the Creation narrative as a prophecy
of the history of the world, of humanity. For them, the
seven days represented seven periods of history, later
also interpreted as seven millennia. With Christ we
should have entered the last, that is, the sixth period of
history that was to be followed by the great sabbath of
God. “254 Later in the same address, Benedict had this
to say to those who insist that history is doomed to
simply become worse and worse as time goes on, until
the Second Coming of Christ: “Today too there are
views that see the entire history of the Church in the
second millennium as a gradual decline. Some see this
decline as having already begun immediately after the
New Testament. [On the contrary,] In fact, “Opera
Christi non deficiunt, sed proficiunt”: Christ’s works
do not go backwards but forwards…”
253 In this, “last” refers to the Sabbath of the Old Testament:
Saturday. Hence Sunday, “the Eighth Day,” is allegorical for the
eternal new first day – heaven.
As St. Augustine is the one Father most often
cited in an attempt to discredit a Reign of Peace, one
quote in-particular of his is especially helpful:
“…as if it were a fit thing that the saints should
thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period
[of a ‘thousand years’], a holy leisure after the labors
of six thousand years since man was created… [and]
there should follow on the completion of six thousand
years, as of six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in
the succeeding thousand years… And this opinion
would not be objectionable, if it were believed that the
joys of the saints, in that Sabbath, shall be spiritual,
and consequent on the presence of God.”255
As we can see, Augustine’s only concern with
the Millenarianists of his day were their carnal and
literalistic views of that time to come. It is impossible
to use Augustine to argue against a Reign of Peace (as
the critics of such an idea do) if he himself has
explicitly admitted there is nothing objectionable
with such a view!
Furthermore, what follows is the very last
paragraph in Augustine’s famous treatment of
eschatology, in which he says, “And at or in
connection with that judgment the following events
shall come to pass, as we have learned: Elias the
Tishbite shall come; the Jews shall believe; Antichrist
shall persecute; Christ shall judge; the dead shall rise;
the good and the wicked shall be separated; the world
shall be burned and renewed. All these things, we
believe, shall come to pass; but how, or in what order,
human understanding cannot perfectly teach us, but
only the experience of the events themselves.”256 This
quote further clarifies that Augustine obviously had
no intent to categorically condemn the notion of a
Reign of Peace upon the Earth before the end of time.
Understanding that St. Augustine’s teachings
are certainly no impediment to the anticipation of a
Glorious Reign of Peace, we should now consider the
teachings of other Fathers on this topic. As the quotes
explain themselves, I will simply list a few of them
here for you. Remember that the point is not to
advocate for this or that precise eschatological
opinion of any one Father, but just to prove that the
254 Benedict XVI. General Audience. March 10, 2010
255 St. Augustine, City of God, Book 20, Ch. 7.
256 St. Augustine, City of God, Book 20, Chapter 30.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 68
Fathers in general were certainly supportive of the
notion of a Glorious Reign of Peace before the end of
time. I am certainly not insisting upon the literal and
complete validity of any one of these prognostications.
St. Justin Martyr: “I and every other orthodox
Christian feel certain that there will be a
resurrection of the flesh 257 followed by a
thousand years in a rebuilt, embellished, and
enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced
by the Prophets Ezekiel, Isaias and others… A
man among us named John, one of Christ’s
Apostles, received and foretold that the
followers of Christ would dwell in Jerusalem for
a thousand years,258 and that afterwards the
universal and, in short, everlasting
resurrection and judgment would take place.”
Tertullian: “But we do confess that a kingdom is
promised to us upon the earth, although before
heaven, only in another state of existence;
inasmuch as it will be after the resurrection for
a thousand years in the divinely-built city of
St. Irenaeus: “The predicted blessing, therefore,
belongs unquestionably to the times of the
kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule
upon their rising from the dead; when also the
creation, having been renovated and set free,
shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of
food, from the dew of heaven, and from the
fertility of the earth: as the elders who saw John,
the disciple of the Lord, related that they had
heard from him how the Lord used to teach in
regard to these times…and that all animals
feeding [only] on the productions of the earth,
should [in those days] become peaceful and
harmonious among each other, and be in
perfect subjection to man.”261
Although there are many more writings of the
Fathers on this topic, my purpose here is only to give
you an introduction. But we should also consider
Papal Statements regarding what is to come, for many
of them have taught clearly that we should indeed
hope for a coming Reign of Peace. Far more, they have
257 Not a literal reference to the actual Eternal Resurrection
(considering the indefinite article that precedes it) that Justin refers
to in the following chapter
258 Justin understands this to be symbolic
gone so far to issue, as it were, authoritative
conditional prophecies. In reading these following
quotes you will see that they insist that these times of
Peace not only may come, but will indeed come, if only
we do God’s will. And in all of these quotes it is
abundantly clear that a temporal peace is referred to;
a time to come before the end of history in which
God’s blessings will pour out in the same abundance
as He promised in Scripture.
Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum: ”It will at length be
possible that our many wounds be healed and
all justice spring forth again with the hope of
restored authority; that the splendors of
peace be renewed, and swords and arms drop
from the hand when all men shall
acknowledge the empire of Christ and
willingly obey His word, and ‘Every tongue
shall confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in
the glory of God the Father’”
Pius XI, Ubi Arcani Dei Consiloi: “’And other
sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them
also I must bring.’ He cannot but rejoice in
the wonderful prophecy which filled even the
Sacred Heart of Jesus with joy. ‘And they shall
hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and
one shepherd.’ May God, and We join with
you and with all the faithful in this prayer,
shortly bring to fulfillment His prophecy by
transforming this consoling vision of the
future into a present reality.”
Pius XI, Quas Primas: ”When once men
recognize, both in private and in public life,
that Christ is King, society will at last receive
the great blessings of real liberty, wellordered
discipline, peace and harmony… The
result will be a stable peace and tranquility,
for there will be no longer any cause of
discontent… harmony, too, will result; for
with the spread and the universal extent of
the kingdom of Christ men will become more
and more conscious of the link that binds
them together, and thus many conflicts will
be either prevented entirely or at least their
bitterness will be diminished…Oh, what
happiness would be Ours if all men,
259 Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho. Chapter 80.
260 Tertullian. Against Marcion, Book 3. Chapter 25.
261 Irenaeus. Against Heresies, Book V. Chapter 33, Paragraph 3
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 69
individuals, families, and nations, would but
let themselves be governed by Christ! ‘Then at
length,’ to use the words addressed by our
predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years
ago to the bishops of the Universal Church,
‘then at length will many evils be cured; then
will the law regain its former authority; peace
with all its blessings be restored. Men will
sheathe their swords and lay down their arms
when all freely acknowledge and obey the
authority of Christ, and every tongue
confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the
glory of God the Father.’”
St. Pius X, E Supremi: “Then, at last, it will be
clear to all that the Church, such as it was
instituted by Christ, must enjoy full and
entire liberty and independence from all
foreign dominion; and We, in demanding
that same liberty, are defending not only the
sacred rights of religion, but are also
consulting the common weal and the safety
of nations. For it continues to be true that
‘piety is useful for all things’ – when this is
strong and flourishing ‘the people will’ truly
‘sit in the fullness of peace.’”
St. John Paul II, “The tears of this century have
prepared the ground for a new springtime of
the human spirit.” 262
Noteworthy as well is the fact that St. Faustina
herself prophesied that the Divine Mercy would
triumph. Permit me to remind you that, in Chapter II
of this book, the absolute trustworthiness of her
revelations was firmly established. She said, “Today I
saw the glory of God which flows from the [Divine
Mercy] image. … In spite of Satan’s anger, The Divine
Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be
worshiped by all souls.”263 Earlier she wrote that she
prayed for the “triumph of the Church,”264 and that
she desired that this triumph be “hastened,”265 which
she would not have written if she did not believe such
a triumph was desired by God.
262 John Paul II. General Audience. January 24, 2001
263 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, paragraph 1789
264 Cf. Ibid.,240
265 Cf. Ibid.,1581
266 Cf. John 5:28-29
Finally, let us consider the theology of
fittingness regarding what is to come upon the Earth.
This section is purely speculative; God alone knows
what is truly fitting, but that should not stop us from
pondering it.
If, as the critics of a Reign of Peace suggest,
history will simply follow a course of becoming more
and more depraved until at long last, at the very
depths of sin and error with only a few faithful left,
Christ comes to judge the world, then what becomes
of those who are to be saved by Divine Mercy in those
last moments? It would be abhorrent to assume that,
under such a scenario, Our Lord would simply – on
the contrary – permit the vast, vast majority of
humanity to descend into hell. But it would likewise
be an affront to justice for all of the inhabitants of
such a world – culpably mired in obstinate,
blasphemous evil as they will be – to simply ascend to
Heaven immediately with no ability to be purified in
Purgatory. And yet this would be the only possibility,
for it is a Dogma of the Faith that Purgatory ceases to
exist266 upon the General Resurrection and the Last
This dilemma is best resolved by a Reign of
Peace, whereby the just flourish upon earth, before
the end of time. In this Era, those evildoers who
nevertheless died repentant in the last moment
amidst the great chastisements will have time for
purification before the Beatific Vision. And likewise,
those upon earth, living in a universal reign of the
Divine Will, will not be in such a state as to necessarily
require Purgatory after their deaths. While some
medieval conceptions of Purgatory’s time may have
been literalistic, we must also not err in the opposite
direction and say such foolish things as “in Purgatory
there is no such thing as any form of time.” Time
passes differently there, but some type of time is still
required for its existence and for the accomplishment
of its effects.267 Yet there will come a true and literal
time – a certain number (known only by God) of hours
from now – when Purgatory will be no more; namely,
the Last Judgment.
267 Time, being the measure of the reduction of potency to act,
clearly is necessary in some sense in Purgatory, where the perfect
purity of the soul is only in potency, and the purging fires reduce it to
act. This is certainly not to say that it is impossible for God to satisfy
the purgation in an instant of earthly time; it is merely to say that it is
more fitting if that need not be the case.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 70
On the Loftiness of Luisa’s Own
Objection: These alleged revelations exalt Luisa
herself far too much, going so far as to call her a
“second virgin,” saying that she is necessary to fulfill
God’s plan for the world from all eternity, and saying
that her private revelation is the necessary
precondition to the establishment of God’s Third Fiat
(that of Sanctification, which follows the first two:
Creation and Redemption.)
Answer: Who is greater, the priest who consecrates
the host, or the Deacon who – at a certain Liturgy –
distributes it as an extraordinary minister of Holy
Communion? Obviously it is the priest; the dignity of
his office is beyond compare with the dignity of the
Deacon’s, for the latter does not share in the order of
priesthood and does not act in persona Christi, as the
priest does. Furthermore, the greatness of uttering
the words of institution with efficacy is radically
above the simply picking up of a host, saying, “The
Body of Christ,” and placing it on the communicant’s
tongue. Nevertheless, in this case it is the Deacon who
is really the proximate instrumental cause of God’s
ultimate design with respect to the Eucharist: that He
be received by His creatures in it. This is the same way
we should view Luisa and the Blessed Virgin Mary;
with the Blessed Virgin as analogous to the priest, and
Luisa analogous to the Deacon.
It is with this analogous understanding that
we should approach all claims that might seem to
impute some sort of higher greatness to Luisa and her
revelations than to Jesus and His ministry through the
Sacraments, and to Mary in her role as Queen,
Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, and Advocate. As already
discussed in earlier chapters (and as Jesus also makes
abundantly clear in His revelations to Luisa), Luisa is
not comparable to Mary in any sort of fundamental
way. First of all, even the greatest of all graces, the Gift
of Living in the Divine Will, is still just that: a grace.
Mary is sovereign Queen of all Creation, the sole
Mother of God, and yes, the Mediatrix of All Grace,
and therefore also the Mediatrix of the Gift of Living
in the Divine Will itself. Luisa, on the other hand, is
the one through whom we know of this Gift, a
knowledge which disposes us to receive it (although
268 Matthew 22:37
admittedly that certainly fails to fully express Luisa’s
mission!). Such a dynamic is similar to those
missionaries who proclaim the Gospel, thereby
serving as the instrumental efficient cause of
salvation to flow through Christ’s sacrifice for those
who hear and believe. Jesus says to Luisa that no one
can come close, in both love and sacrifice, to Himself
and His Mother. No one, He repeats. The Gift of
Living in the Divine Will does not change that in the
slightest, not even for Luisa herself.
Voluntarism: Intellect vs. Will
Objection: Thomas Aquinas teaches that, of the
powers of the soul, the intellect is superior and
deserves primacy. In Luisa’s revelations, this is
completely inverted and the will receives the primacy.
Answer: First and foremost, we must settle the fact
that the human soul is utterly simple; meaning, it is
not composed of parts. Whatever the soul does, it
does as the soul. The body, on the other hand (though
truly one with the soul), can be considered to only do
something in or with one of its parts; for example, the
eye sees, the stomach does not. Therefore, of the
powers of the soul, it is very difficult to say, “does the
intellect do this, or does the will?” Such questions are
not wrong to ask, and I am not implying that we
cannot or should not ponder them. I simply wish to
begin this discussion with a recognition that, at the
end of the day, the important thing is that we
recognize the soul is one, and it must be entirely given
to God, for the great and first commandment is this:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind…”268
And along with love of neighbor, all the law and
prophets depend upon it.
Now, it is certainly the case that Luisa’s
revelations emphasize the primacy of will among the
powers of the soul, in contradiction to the opinion of
Thomas. Let us therefore begin by considering several
comparisons of the greatness of certain dichotomies.
In and of themselves, none of these comparisons yield
any sort of demonstrative or even good argument for
the primacy of the will. However, taken together, they
do present a case for it, and should sufficiently
assuage any fears you may have that following Luisa’s
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 71
revelations somehow amounts to succumbing to one
of the heretical tenants of voluntarism. In what
follows, the first item presented is what corresponds
to the will, and the second item presented is what
corresponds to the intellect. The correspondences in
some of these cases may be rough, and furthermore I
certainly do not intend to imply that there is the least
bit of tension or competition between the things
Sacred Heart Devotion vs. Sacred Head Devotion
 These are two extremely important
devotions for our time; I myself am quite
fond of a particular prayer of an alleged
recent private revelation which says, in
part, “May the Precious Blood that pours
out from the Sacred Head of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Temple of Divine Wisdom,
Tabernacle of Divine Knowledge and
Sunshine of heaven and earth, cover us
now and forever. Amen.” Nevertheless,
who can deny that it is really the Sacred
Heart devotion that Heaven has
mandated for our times as being
Charity vs. Faith
 Scripture settles this matter: “And now there
remain faith, hope, and charity, these
three: but the greatest of these is
charity.” 269 Furthermore, of the three
supernatural virtues, only Charity
remains in heaven. (For you cannot have
Faith in what you see, nor can you Hope
for what you already have.)
Piercing with the Lance vs. Crowning with
 Of these two great acts of the Passion, both
are essential to be regularly meditated
upon. But which has Heaven asked us to
give more focus to? Jesus said to St.
Faustina: “When you say this prayer, with
a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of
some sinner, I will give him the grace of
conversion. This is the prayer: ‘O Blood
and Water, which gushed forth from the
Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I
trust in You.’”270 Additionally He said to
269 1 Corinthians 13:13
270 St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, paragraph 186-187
271 Ibid.,299.
Faustina, regarding the pale and red rays
of the Divine Mercy image, “These two
rays issued forth from the very depths of
My tender mercy when My agonized Heart
was opened by a lance on the Cross. These
rays shield souls from the wrath of My
Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in
their shelter…”271
God is Love vs. God is Truth
 God absolutely is Love and Truth. But which
requires particular focus? The former.
The Catechism mentions both, but it
mentions God as Love at least five times,
and God as Truth only once. ”’God is Love’
and love is his first gift, containing all
Saints of Charity vs. Saints of Intellect
 The Church is blessed with great saints,
some of whom could (roughly) be
categorized into these two groups, both
of which are indispensable. But which is
greatest? We must conclude the former.
Great as the saints of the intellect are (e.g.
Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Bellarmine),
they simply have not been proven the
instruments of as much grace as the great
saints of the heart have been (e.g. Francis
of Assisi, Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of
Calcutta, and the many approved Marian
Jesus as Son of God vs. Jesus as Word of God
 Jesus Himself (not to mention the Creed)
prefers the former title.
This primacy of the will, especially with
respect to a focal point of Luisa’s writings (namely,
the human means by which the Fall of Man occurred
and how this Fall will be reversed), is taught well by
Cardinal Schonborn in the same work previously
quoted: “Deification is located in the reestablishing
of fallen man in his innate dignity. If it is clear that
the fall was caused by a perversion of the human will,
then it follows that the reestablishment must affect
above all the act of human willing.”273
Furthermore, no less authority than Pope
Benedict XVI himself, though stopping short of
272 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 733.
273 Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. From Death to Life: The Christian
Journey. 1995. Page 50
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 72
Magisterially teaching that we must hold the primacy
of will, nevertheless implicitly endorsed this view in
an Apostolic Letter on Duns Scotus. He wrote, “The
primacy of the will sheds light on the fact that God is
charity before all else. This charity, this love, Duns
Scotus kept present when he sought to lead theology
back to a single expression, that is to practical
theology. According to his thought, since God ‘is
formally love and formally charity,’ with the greatest
generosity he radiates his goodness and love beyond
himself.’ And in reality, it is for love that God ‘chose us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and blameless before him. He
predestined us in love to be his adoptive sons through
Jesus Christ’ (cf. Eph 1:4-5).”274 Benedict ended this
letter by invoking the heavenly intercession of Bl.
Now, the word “voluntarism” can mean many
different things, but we most definitely need not hold
(nor should we!) the erroneous notion that what is
good is only good because God wills it, aside from any
other sort of consideration of human nature itself.
Even if some theologians held this (e.g. William of
Ockham), it should be thoroughly repudiated by
Catholics. The natural law – though confirmed by
Divine Law and Revelation so that it may be held with
certainty – can simply be correctly thought of as the
result of right reason being applied to human nature.
Supposing that natural law can be known only by
revelation alone – and no other source – is essentially
a tenet of the heresy of Fideism. Pope St. John Paul II
taught well against both Fideism and Rationalism in
his Encyclical Fides et Ratio, but clear, Magisterial
condemnations of Fideism go back at least to the First
Vatican Council (1870). Fideism is not the same as
Voluntarism, but there is indeed an overlap.
All we must accept in order to hold fast to
Luisa’s revelations is that the will is the superior
power of the soul. This is taught by Bl. Duns Scotus,
St. Augustine, and Franciscan theology in general; it
is by no means an “unsafe” opinion for a Catholic to
hold. A thorough treatment of the matter is beyond
the scope of this work, but I will present a brief
excerpt of Scotus’ teaching on the matter at the end
of this section.
274 Pope Benedict XVI. Apostolic Letter for the 7th Centenary of the
Death of Blessed John Duns Scotus. October 28th, 2008
Bl. Duns Scotus’ entire spirituality focused
upon love; for him, the primacy of will was essential
for the primacy of love. He was considered the
“ecstatic doctor” because, despite being such a
prolific theologian of compilation (like Aquinas), he
seemed to have a mystical life more like a Joseph of
Cupertino! Fr. Stefano, a biographer of Scotus, writes
the following:
“St. Teresa [Avila], in fact, recounts that one
day her confessor gave her a book for meditation, by
Friar Minor Fr. Francis Ossuna. It was entitled ‘The
Third Spiritual Alphabet,’ and it explained the life of
prayer and meditation strictly according to the views
of Blessed Scotus. And St. Teresa states: ‘I so esteemed
that treatise that I decided to follow the way outlined
there with the greatest diligence of which I was
capable… So disposed, I entered that spiritual way with
this book as teacher.’”275
Central to the question of primacy of will or
primacy of intellect is the consideration of which does
the commanding of an act. In response to Aquinas’
assertion that commanding is essentially an act of
reason that merely presupposes some act of the will,
Scotus argues it is essentially the will, as follows:
“…when the will intends and effectually wills
the end, it orders the intellect to seek out and find
means of getting to the attainment of that end and
keeps the intellect employed in investigating these
means until, by a practical syllogism, the deduction is
reached that these are to be chosen and those passed
over, as Augustine says (De Trinit. c.3, The will unites
the parent to the offspring); moreover, the will gives
commands to itself…. no matter what dictate of reason
is in place, the will freely chooses. Therefore the will
alone commands itself and the intellect; so it belongs
to the will alone to command the intellect and not the
reverse, since, even when the ultimate sentence of
practical deduction is in place, the will is able, by its
dominating power over itself, to ignore that dictate
and embrace worse counsels, or at least to suspend
itself and refrain from any action. – Lastly, the intellect
or intellectual virtue says that a thing is true or not
true, whether in matters to be thought or in matters to
be done: but the commanding will, or the will to
275 Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, Blessed John Duns Scotus: Marian
Doctor, p. 51
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 73
command, says that the act which has been
commanded as needing to be immediately done is to
be carried into execution; therefore the act of
commanding does not belong to reason dictating that
this ought to be done but to the appetitive power
ordering that what was intended be done.”276
Monothelitism and the
Operation of the Human and
Divine Will
*Please note that a primary objective of Fr.
Iannuzzi’s Doctoral Dissertation is to present a
precise and thorough theological analysis of this very
concern. Even a summary of this presentation,
however, would go beyond the scope of this book. For
now, just know that Luisa’s revelations do not teach
that the Gift of Living in the Divine Will implies that
the free human will undergoes a literal annihilation, or
ceases to operate; rather, know that both the human
will and the Divine Will of God operate distinctly, but
nevertheless perfectly of one accord, with the latter
constituting the very life and principle of the former
and indeed sublimating it. Those with a theological
interest in this objection/concern would be well
advised to read the Dissertation. See Appendix II for
more information.*
Why now?
Objection: Why wouldn’t God have revealed this
secret in ages past to saints who so far exceeded Luisa
in so many ways, such as St. Francis or St. Teresa of
Avila? Today the Church is so sinful, so lax, and so
devoid of great saints; of all possible times in Church
History, why would God choose now to give such a gift?
Answer: Quite simply because, where sin abounds,
grace abounds all the more,277 and Jesus saves “the
best wine for last.”278
276 Scotus. Oxon. 3 d.36; 4 d.14 q.2, d.49 q.4 (Citation Cf.
277 Cf. Romans 5:20
278 Cf. John 2:10
279 Cf. Genesis 4:10
280 This, again, makes no attempt to ascertain culpability, which God
alone knows. Nevertheless the sins themselves are objectively evil,
But does sin really abound today? The world,
and the Church, have been in dire straits before; is
today any different?
Make no mistake about it: the evil of the day
is absolutely unprecedented. Is it any surprise, then,
that God is now giving unprecedented grace to
combat it? Over the past 100 years, billions of children
have been murdered through abortion. The entire
Earth is literally saturated with this blood of
innocents that cries out to God for vengeance.279 Take
a walk down any busy city street today and you will
scarcely pass by a single person whose life is not
utterly mired in objective, grave, intrinsic evil;
whether it be in the form of fornication, artificial
contraception, auto-eroticism, drug abuse, sodomy,
intentional serious hatred and unforgiveness
(especially of parents), viewing pornography, physical
abuse, adultery, drunken debauchery, actual or defacto
atheism, occultism, or whatever else. What I
have listed here are merely a few grave contraventions
of the natural law; meaning the law that is inscribed
in each person’s heart and which no one has an excuse
for disobeying. In other words, the vast, vast majority
of God’s children in this world are walking the path to
eternal damnation.280 And on this same walk down a
typical city street, you will be inundated by a
thousand advertisements, announcements,
monuments to man, and idols of all sorts – but you
will likely not stumble upon so much as a single mere
acknowledgement of the fact that the Creator of all
things became man 2,000 years ago and called us to
follow Him, and that nothing has any meaning
outside of Him.
And the gravest evils are not merely practiced
by virtually everyone (that is, virtually everyone
practices at least one of them, which is tantamount to
practicing all of them281), but they are culturally and
institutionally endorsed, promoted, and insisted
All this occurs while a minority enjoys
historically unheard of luxuries of all kinds, but
and are obviously committed by the vast majority of people. This is
furthermore not to assert that the “vast, vast majority” of people
today will wind up in hell – it is simply an honest assessment of their
current state.
281 Cf. James 2:10
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hundreds of millions of children die from starvation
or lack of basic medicine.
And now governments (and peoples, directly,
through referendums) are even trying to re-define the
most fundamental institution that exists – marriage –
so that it incorporates and blesses perversion and
disorder. If that is not a fulfillment of Our Lord’s
words here, then what is? “When therefore you shall
see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he
that readeth let him understand. Then they that are in
Judea, let them flee to the mountains: And he that is
on the housetop, 282 let him not come down to take
anything out of his house…”283
Never before have we seen anything remotely
similar to this, except perhaps before the Flood, but
even that pales in comparison to the evil of today.
But if looking out the window and seeing the
spiritual devastation with your own eyes is not
enough, consider what the Magisterium says. “We
were terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of
human society today. For who can fail to see that
society is at the present time, more than in any past
age, suffering from a terrible and deeprooted malady
which, developing every day and eating into its inmost
being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand,
Venerable Brethren, what this disease is – apostasy
from God…”284 Pope St. Pius X wrote that in 1903, in an
Encyclical (an authoritative formal act of the
Magisterium). Have things gotten better since then?
Obviously they have gotten far, far worse. Sin is now
on the verge of exhausting itself.
And therefore God is acting like never before.
Nevertheless, be fully convinced that an
attitude of asking “but why wouldn’t God do it this
other way?” in response to what God, in His perfect
plan and wisdom, has deemed fitting, is a sure way of
making grace run off of you like water off of a rock.
282 To “flee to the mountains” is to go to the place of prayer, and to
“remain on the rooftop” likewise refers to remaining in a state of
fervent prayer, for both of these were understood in Jesus’ day to be
places of supplication to God. In a following verse, Jesus says
“Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
Unfortunately some Bibles wrongly translate “eagles” as “vultures.”
Why didn’t God reveal the Sacred Heart or Divine
Mercy devotions earlier, perhaps to St. Mary
Magdalene? Why weren’t the Desert Fathers blessed
with the Holy Rosary and its corresponding promises?
Why was daily Communion not broadly permitted
before the 20th century? God has predetermined His
timeline, and it is not ours to question. It is only ours
to ask, when an alleged revelation or development
comes along, “is this from God?”
*Please note that many more questions
(and not just objections) along with thorough
theological answers, can be found on Fr.
Iannuzzi’s website,
html. Above all, remember that all of
Luisa’s writings have been thoroughly analyzed,
multiple times, by Vatican-appointed
theologians, and they have formally stated that
no error has been found.*
But “eagles” is a reference to the contemplatives, and by saying
“body” He is actually referring to His own Body in the Eucharist.
Hence our calling today to be true contemplatives with Him in the
283 Matthew 24:15-17
284 E Supremi October 4th, 1903. Paragraph 3. Emphasis Added.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 75
Chapter V) Advice to Current
and Prospective Devotees
Forgive the ridiculousness of my inclusion of
this chapter! A chapter in which I, a mere novice
(having only studied this for four years) and a layman,
propose to advise those who are as above I in this Gift
as a college professor is above a kindergartener. But if
you have decided there is anything good in the pages
preceding this, and if no good tree produces bad fruit,
then please do not neglect the pages that follow. I will
begin with several pieces of cautionary advice.
Be an Ordinary Catholic
Consider what a blessing it is to be able to go
anywhere and, by and large, the same Rosary is prayed,
the same Mass is said, the same grace before meals is
prayed, the same Divine Office is recited, and so on.
Everywhere you go, serious, devout Catholics are
zealous for the same things: the Mass, adoration,
works of mercy, confession, the Rosary, Scripture, the
pro-life cause, and other similar things.
Do not this unity that by insisting that, wherever
you go and whomever you find yourself amongst, your
prayers and discussions center on Luisa’s writings, or
that they only use terminology saturated with Divine
Will spirituality.
Do not become an eccentric, disagreeable, and
difficult-to-interact-with subgroup within
Catholicism. We have far too many of them already,
and while just about all of them have their good
points, they only hurt the Church overall. They make
unity difficult. Hurting the Church is identical to
hurting Jesus, and how can this possibly advance the
cause of the Divine Will?
Be Zealous, not Fanatical
If fanaticism is a real danger even for the
Deposit of Faith (and it certainly is),285 consider how
much more carefully we must avoid it with respect to
285 This is not in the least to argue we must moderate our love of the
Faith. I am only referring to the need to specifically moderate zeal in
certain aspects of the Faith’s promotion. In medio stat virtus.
Luisa’s private revelations. With the way some Divine
Will promoters comport themselves, I can only thank
God that their types were not around in 90 A.D.; for
they would have outlawed the word “father”286 except
referring to God, they would have required signed and
witnessed statements of hatred against parents
before ordination, 287 and maiming would be a
prerequisite for absolution!288
Perhaps some modern-day Pharisees spew
much venom over minor details in Luisa’s writings
that are easily seen to be – when simply read with the
right lens and without a chip on the shoulder – not in
the least contrary to sound Sacred Doctrine. But do
not go to the opposite extreme by adopting ridiculous
habits and behaviors based on little quotes here and
there in Luisa’s writings (e.g. Saying “JML” instead of
“JMJ;” or believing we must not use the word “I,”
becoming a de-facto Providentialist or Quietest
heretic; or even failing to remain more grounded in
Scripture than in Luisa’s writings. Unfortunately this
list goes on and on).
Anti-Divine Will websites are replete with
testimonies from those scared away from Luisa’s
revelations by bad devotees. You must consider that
excessive zeal is not only self-defeating, but,
specifically with respect to this devotion, is also the
utmost example of lacking even the conformity and
resignation to the Divine Will that is the
indispensable disposition for receiving the. If Luisa
herself utterly insisted upon her writings and all the
revelations contained therein being absolutely
submissive to the Magisterium – to the extent that she
wanted anything in them to be modified as needed to
ensure this submissiveness – then how much more so
should you, a mere devotee, ensure that you are not
overzealous about its specifics?
So do not be a zealot, and do not be a fanatic.
Do not fashion yourself Luisa’s hero, and in so doing
abrasively insist upon constant attention being drawn
and credence being given to those most difficult
individual excerpts from Luisa’s writings. Can you
imagine what would have come of the Divine Mercy
devotion if its promoters, in the days before its
286 Cf. Matthew 23:9
287 Cf. Luke 14:26
288 Cf. Mark 9:43
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approval, focused on certain parts of the Diary? If
they focused upon the more difficult-to-handle
sayings? For example:
Jesus’ desiring to rest (in the host) in Faustina’s
hands; as if reception of Communion on the
hand were being encouraged, which it was
Jesus’ words to Faustina: “for your sake, I will
bless the Earth,”290 as if to imply Faustina was
the new Savior, which of course she was not.
Jesus telling Faustina, “I am uniting myself with
you so intimately as with no other creature,”291
as if to make Faustina exceed the Blessed
Virgin Mary, which He did not intend to imply
in the least.
Jesus telling Faustina, “do not fear God’s
judgment, for you will not be judged,”292 as if
to imply Faustina would be dispensed from
undergoing the particular judgment after her
death and the general judgment at the end of
time (opposing Catholic teaching), which,
again, Jesus did not intend to imply.
That list could be much longer, but the moral
of the story is clear: the Divine Mercy devotion never
would have been able to reach its present glory – a
glory, please God, also destined for the Divine Will
message – if its early promoters had insisted upon
focusing on the most potentially abrasive parts of
Faustina’s Diary. All private revelations have abrasive
parts that require much explanation; Luisa’s is no
So do not focus only on how Luisa’s
revelations are completely different from the
revelations given to other mystics, but focus as well on
the similarity, which is enormous. Stop focusing only
on the new prayers Luisa gives, and start focusing as
well on how Divine Will spirituality can also work well
as the intention of and approach to one’s current
prayer regimen. A serious Catholic should never be
told that he must completely supplant his spiritual
life with a new approach. Instead, all growth should
be organic and proceed from interior desire, not
external imposition.
289 Cf. St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 160.
290 Ibid., 431.
291 Ibid., 707.
In a word: do not become obsessed and do not
insist upon obsession to those whom you introduce
this devotion to.
Now I am like any serious adherent of Luisa’s;
I believe this is the ultimate private revelation, never
to be surpassed, believing that it describes what truly
is the greatest Gift God can give to man, and what His
final plan is. That does not mean we are to go about
replacing Sacred Tradition with what is contained in
Luisa’s writings! That would be confused at best, and
diabolical at worst. Unfortunately, I see precisely this
happening with some Divine Will devotees. They
maintain appearances of keeping with tradition, they
never contradict a doctrine, they continue going to
Mass, etc. But really they think that is all just a show,
and all that really matters is the prayers in Luisa’s
writings. They insist upon all, or the bulk of, one’s
reading being just what Luisa wrote. They insist upon
an unhealthy degree of devotion to Luisa. They phrase
each and every spiritual thing they talk about in
Divine Will terminology, as mentioned previously.
They insist that every book on one’s shelf should
pertain to the Divine Will. It is insanity! Now, this
description only applies to a tiny minority of the
overall body of Divine Will devotees, but it is such a
very dangerous trap that we must exercise great
caution to avoid it and help others to avoid it as well.
If perhaps you are among those who have
become inordinately centered on Luisa’s writings in
an unhealthily exclusive way, consider the following:
not even did the New Testament – the public
revelation of Jesus Christ in which God said all He has
to say293- do to the Old Testament what overzealous
Divine Will devotees want to do with our Sacred
Tradition. For the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an
infinitely greater and more powerful prayer than all of
the prayers of the Old Covenant. And yet it is precisely
these “inferior” prayers that still comprise the bulk of
the prayer life of a priest, deacon, or religious – the
“inferior” prayers of the Psalms of the Divine Office.
More abstractly, consider the infinite
superiority of the Supernatural Virtues to the Moral
292 Ibid, 374.
293 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 65
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Virtues. Faith, Hope, and Charity are completely
above prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
Does our knowledge of that fact dispense us from
focusing time and attention on those latter four
virtues? Of course not. Likewise, no Divine Will
devotee should find his spiritual life bereft of those
things that have become inarguably essential aspects
of the spiritual life of a Catholic in light of Tradition:
a focus on the Mass, Scripture, Confession, Fasting, as
well as the Rosary and other devotions that God has
gradually formed in His Church.
Similarly, do not constantly focus on the
differences between the saints potentially in the
Divine Will and the saints before Luisa. Is this what
we do with the New Testament saints versus the Old
Testament saints? No. In fact, there are many ways in
which the saints of the Old Testament were greater.
Were any saints of the New Testament found so
righteous as to avert the Black Death, or the Hell-On-
Earth that was the first half of the 20th century, as
Noah was so incredibly righteous that it is only thanks
to him that God chose not to destroy the world? Were
any New Testament saints great enough to be the
foster Father of the Incarnate Word, as was St.
Joseph? 294 Were any New Testament saints great
enough to compose prayers that even now comprise
the largest chunk of the spiritual life of all the clergy
and religious in the entire world, as did King David?
Did any New Testament saints truly converse with
God face-to-face, in the same degree as Moses? The
answer to all of these questions is “no.”
In sum, do not go about with a spiritual chip
on your shoulder. Do not go pushing the buttons that
good Catholics have for a reason; God Himself put
those buttons there so that Catholics can discern the
activity of cults, heresies, schisms, and the like.
Do not Compare Luisa to Jesus
I do not mean “avoid claiming that Luisa is a
person of the Trinity,” for not even the most
overzealous of Divine Will promoters would succumb
to so blatant a heresy.
294 St. Joseph is the “most dignified” saint after the Blessed Virgin
Mary, cf. Quamquam Pluries, paragraph 3, Pope Leo XIII. This is
Church teaching, and the Gift of Living in the Divine Will does not
What I do mean is this: do not say things like
“well Jesus’ enemies said this or that thing about His
revelations, so it makes perfect sense that people
would say this or that thing about Luisa’s revelations.”
Jesus’ revelations are the Deposit of Faith. Luisa’s are
not. You will be confronted with Catholics who are
hesitant to approach Luisa’s writings, or who, even
after being told about their tenants, simply refuse to
have anything to do with them. Do not take a “shake
the dust off your feet” attitude to their response, for it
is not a response tantamount to refusing Jesus, as the
rejection of the Apostles’ message was. It is
furthermore useless to say things like “well, when
Jesus came, things changed also, and the Pharisees
were wrong in opposing these things, so people must
be wrong today in being opposed to the changes that
come with Luisa’s revelations.” Jesus had every right
to change things, as He came with the new and
everlasting covenant in order to bring to fulfillment
the old and imperfect covenant. Now that we have
that everlasting covenant, there can never again be a
comparable scenario to that of Jesus’ mission on earth
two thousand years ago.
To argue against this fundamental
incomparability by saying, “But Luisa’s revelations say
we are on the verge of the Third, and Greatest, Fiat of
God!” is to misunderstand in what sense the term
“greatest” is meant in that context. (And I must here
again say that whenever there is confusion or
apparent contradiction between Church Teaching
and Luisa’s writings, you must always favor Church
Teaching. I am not saying there are any actual
substantial contradictions: I am simply saying that
our inadequate minds’ understanding of the two will
inevitably result in occasions when intellectual
honesty – which can never be set aside – demands we
favor one or the other. It is in such scenarios as these
that we must always, without exception, favor Church
teaching.) So, “greatest,” in its attribution to the Third
Fiat, means finally achieving the ultimate goal for
which the foundation was laid – a tree finally
producing its fruit. It is not “greatest” in the sense of
a new and better foundation being built, or a new
species of tree being planted or grafted.
change it. Though obviously he is in the New Testament, he
nevertheless died before the birth of Catholicism; before he could
ever even receive the Eucharist.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 78
Let me offer an example of a similar concept.
Consider a Catholic who, though in a state of Grace,
only receives the Eucharist as a duty to be fulfilled and
thinks little about it, taking no effort to appropriate
the grace from the Eucharist, and not really changing
his life based upon it. Finally, one day God gives him
the grace to realize the full magnitude of what he has
been doing for all these years and understand it as
having been a mere routine. This man’s whole life
changes. He abandons all of his sins and even all of his
imperfections, he submits himself entirely to God,
and God goes so far as to impart upon him the
Spiritual Marriage described by St. John of the Cross.
Along with this, everything else in his life starts
working out; relationships are healed, addictions
disappear, and joy permeates his days. You could
certainly in one sense say that these later workings of
God in this man’s life were greater than the workings
of the Eucharist in his life during all those previous
years. But in another sense, it would be utterly wrong
to say that what God did for him was greater in those
later years than what God did for him by giving
Himself in the Eucharist; for God gave this man His
whole Self in the Eucharist. Furthermore, the seeds of
all that took place later were indeed there earlier,
though not fully applied – not fully lived. But still,
God desired to reign over that man’s whole life, and
He did not, even though that man received the
Eucharist. Likewise God now desires to reign over this
whole world, and when He raises His right hand to
achieve this victory by way of the Third Fiat, what is
accomplished will be, in a certain real sense, even
greater than what was accomplished at the Fiat of
If you find yourself incapable of carefully
explaining such distinctions, then you should simply
avoid any statements comparing the greatness of this
Third Fiat to the greatness of Redemption, especially
when speaking with people to whom you introduce
Luisa’s writings.
Do Not Assume You Have the
Remember that the Gift of Living in the
Divine Will is a grace, and grace is imperceptible. The
Gift entirely flees the senses. Not only that, but the
Gift cannot be given to one who is not in a state of
grace. The Church already teaches that, aside from a
special revelation from God, you cannot even know
with certainty that you are in a state of grace!
Obviously, uncertainty regarding a necessary
precondition for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will
yields uncertainty regarding the Gift itself. If one were
to ask you if you have the Gift, let your response echo
that of St. Joan of Arc’s when she was asked whether
she was in a state of grace. She said, “If I am not in one,
pray that God may put me in one. If I am in one, pray
that God may preserve me in it.”
The worst damage to the cause of Luisa has
been done by followers of hers who strut about with
the invented confidence that everything they do is
infallible and Divine, because, after all, “they
continuously participate in God’s one eternal act!”
This of course is a perversion of Luisa’s revelations,
but it does not always stop those who see it (just like
those who see bad Christians) from sealing
themselves off from the grace therein. Knowledge of
Luisa’s writings is both a great privilege and a great
responsibility; remember that you become a
representative of this Third Fiat when you learn about
Now that the cautionary advice has been
taken care of, allow me to end this chapter on a
happier note!
Integrate Divine Will Spirituality
into Your Current Spiritual
Do not let this great knowledge merely sit in
your intellect and bear no fruit! It is quite possible, if
not downright probable, that precisely this will be
what happens if you do not, this day, take concrete
measures to live in the Divine Will. In earlier chapters,
I discussed how to live in the Divine Will in general;
now allow me to conclude by suggesting a few
practical and concrete baby steps you could commit –
this very moment – to taking:
 Strive vigorously to ensure your first act of
the will each day is made captive for Christ;
that is to say, an act in the Divine Will. Do
not lament the buzzing of the alarm, and do
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 79
not immediately engage your mind in the
worries the day will bring. Rather, say – out
loud or mentally – words to this effect: “Good
morning Jesus and Mary; I love you. Thank
you for this new day. Setting my will in Yours,
O Lord, I affirm I wish only to Live and Act in
the Divine Will.”
 Before each ordinary prayer of your day
(whether it be the Rosary, the Divine Mercy
Chaplet, the Divine Office, the Holy Mass,
Lectio Divinia, or whatever else) at least let
your intention be known to God that you
desire to pray in the Divine Will. For
example, your Rosary could begin with “In
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit. Amen. In the Divine Will, I
pray: I believe in God…”
 In the minutes after you receive Holy
Communion, beseech Jesus in the Eucharist
within you to make the Transubstantiation of
the Host you consumed effect the
Transubstantiation of your very self.
Meditate upon the substance in your
stomach – the Real Presence of Jesus –
transforming you into Himself, with the
accidents of bread and wine, which dissolve,
being taken over by your own acts made in
the Divine Will.
 As many times as you can remember
throughout the day, in whatever you find
yourself doing, simply ask Jesus to do it in,
with, and through you, so as to accomplish in
you what He accomplished in the 30 years of
His hidden life in Nazareth. Ask yourself
“would Jesus do what I am doing, in the
manner I am doing it?” If not – change what
you are doing! Perhaps at this moment you
can simply choose one specific activity you
frequently do: whether changing diapers,
hammering in nails, scanning items at a cash
register, doing the dishes, or whatever else,
and commit to do it from now on in the
Divine Will. This can be done by saying or
thinking, before said activity, “Jesus wishes to
do ____, therefore we will do ____ together,”
and proceeding with deliberateness and a
295 And hopefully this will serve as a beginning to doing each and
every one of your acts in the Divine Will, so that all that you do,
even unconsciously, might give God infinite glory. “O Most Holy
Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats,
spirit of prayer, recollection, and
consciousness of God’s presence.295 The
more acts you do in the Divine Will, the
deeper into it you enter and the more you
restore creation.
 Wear or carry a crucifix – ideally a blessed
and exorcised St. Benedict’s crucifix – to help
you remain continually conscious of and
uniting yourself to the Passion of Jesus,
remembering especially Jesus’ words in The
Hours of the Passion.
 When you behold the beauty of creation
(whether out your window, in a park, at a
cemetery, on a walk outside, in the night sky,
or even just remotely in media), strive not
merely to appreciate it, but to (through your
intention) bi-locate your soul within it and
impress your Fiat – your I love you, I adore
you, I glorify you, God – upon it and offer it
back to the Father from Whom it came.
 Read through the prayers in Appendix I of
this book on a regular basis.
 Finally, just take note not to neglect the
devotions God has asked of us through other
private revelations. The Rosary, The Brown
Scapular, the First Saturdays (and most
importantly the at least monthly confession
this implies) and Fridays Devotion, the
Divine Mercy Chaplet, weekly fasting, the
Miraculous Medal, daily prayerful Scripture
reading, etc., all remain vital for our present
Foster and Follow a Holy Hunger
for More Knowledge of the
Divine Will
Jesus gives to Luisa great promises for each
new truth one learns regarding His Divine Will;
promises so great that all of heaven rejoices upon the
entrance of a soul into it due to each and every piece
of knowledge on this great Gift which that soul brings
to paradise with it. Luisa’s writings are absolutely
as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many
thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.” – St. Faustina’s
Diary, paragraph 163.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 80
chock full of these teachings – all of the over 8,000
Luisa’s writings may be licitly read by anyone
who has them, and may be licitly given to anyone
associated with a prayer group devoted to her
spirituality. Find (or start, under the direction of a
priest) such a group, and dive into these readings! You
need not submit to some rigorous process of
documentation, promise-making, and initiation; you
can simply make the connection. Archbishop
Pichierri wishes for Luisa’s writings to spread in an
organic way under the auspices of the Catholic
Church, and from one devout Catholic to the next,
instead of haphazardly blasted out by email to each
person in the world, who will then interpret them and
apply them however he wishes! It is very important for
Luisa’s writings to spread in a human and personal
way at least for now, before the critical edition is
completed, as all currently circulated English
translations of Luisa’s writings contain errors.
Remember that what you have read here is
nothing but a very unworthy work written by a very
unworthy author. It is a desperately inadequate
overview of Luisa’s writings; hence my insistence that
I only here present an introduction to the Gift of
Living in the Divine Will, although really I am not
sure I can say I have even succeeded in that. So please
continue this good work you have begun of learning
more and more of these most sublime truths of His
Divine Will! Dive into her writings, seek out true
experts, seek out Divine Will prayer groups,
conferences etc.
Spread This Knowledge
Now that you know these most sublime
mysteries of the Divine Will, it is imperative that you
not keep them to yourself!
It goes without saying that one should not cast
pearls before swine. If you know that a certain person
always struts about with a theological chip on his
shoulder, ready to denounce any private revelation
that has the slightest abrasion with any of his own
opinions and preferences, then do not bother. It is
also utterly imperative to never present Luisa’s
spirituality to a non-Catholic (or lapsed, or lukewarm
Catholic) as some sort of alternative to Catholicism.
But there is no reason not to share Luisa’s spirituality
with any practicing Catholic who has an openness to
mysticism and private revelation. Even if someone
you know is not a practicing Catholic, or perhaps not
even a Christian, but you nevertheless sense a strong
openness in him and spirit of true seeking, you could
carefully share Luisa’s spirituality with him, in such a
way that he realizes it goes along with and
presupposes being a devoutly practicing Catholic.
To Luisa, Jesus likens those who now spread
knowledge of this Third Fiat to His very own apostles.
There are indeed ways in which our duty now is even
more exciting and privileged; for what they longed for,
we are now truly on the cusp of attaining. At what
time that is attained, and who shares in its attainment,
is dependent upon our response.
What sacrifice, then, is too great to spread this
Kingdom of His on earth? What vanity, now clung to,
is not worth casting aside for the sake of the Reign of
His Will? What risk, now feared, is not worth taking
to be able to participate in the very initiation of the
Third Fiat of the Eternal One? Patriarchs, Prophets,
Martyrs, Fathers, Doctors, and yes, even the Angels,
envy you for the invitation that God now extends
freely to you. Take it.
Go, fortified by My grace, and fight for
My kingdom in human souls; fight as a
king’s child would; and remember that
the days of your exile will pass quickly,
and with them the possibility of earning
merit for heaven. I expect from you, My
child, a great number of souls who will
glorify My mercy for all eternity. My
child, that you may answer My call
worthily, receive Me daily in Holy
Communion. It will give you strength…
-Jesus to St. Faustina
(Divine Mercy in my Soul, Paragraph 1489)
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What if I’m wrong?
What if these revelations to Luisa are nothing
but the fantastical, decades-long imaginings of a
pious, old Italian woman?
Well first of all, please know that I admit that
is a hypothetical possibility. I am convinced of the
validity of Luisa’s revelations, as I hope you are too
now that you have read about them. But this
conviction remains on a human level – I am not
pretending to have supernatural Faith in them. That
would be idolatrous, for as I have already pointed out,
only the Deposit of Faith (that public revelation
which was made complete at the death of the Apostle
John) can legitimately be the object of Supernatural
Faith. Now, I am no Church Historian, but I do know
a few things about the topic and I certainly have a hard
time thinking of a single event in Church History that
would amount to such a deception; that is, a Servant
of God – admired by saints and popes, whose writings
enjoy many Ecclesiastical approbations, who lived a
life of the greatest degree of virtue, whose legacy has
not been marred despite decades passing since death,
and whose days were inundated with miracles –
turning out to be a fraud, lunatic, or demon-inspired
false mystic.
But I do indeed still wish to answer the
question posed above: “What if, after all, I am wrong?”
Well, I’d be disappointed, but in all honesty, it
wouldn’t even ruin my day. I can still lay my head on
my pillow at night with absolute certainty in the
Deposit of Faith. I can still recite the Nicene Creed
and find indescribable joy in the knowledge that it
will only be proven false when someone can draw a
triangular circle… a Creed which contains Sacred
Mysteries of such an incredible magnitude that I will
never come close to comprehending them, blessings
beyond any possible human description that God
Himself freely bestows upon me.
Would, however, I at least regret this time and
effort I have given over to Luisa’s writings? The answer
is no, I would not even regret that! I am sure there are
many things I will regret on Judgment Day:
lukewarmness, sins of omission, missed
opportunities for grace and mercy, and many more
things. But I do not think that studying, praying, and
promoting Luisa’s writings will be one of them, even
if these writings somehow turn out to not be truly
from heaven. Whether or not they are from heaven,
they have inflamed my love for the Eucharist, they
have given me a greater appreciation of Jesus’ Passion
than anything else, they have reminded me of my
duty (and ability!) to pursue and reach the highest
levels of holiness, they have explicated the writings of
St. Faustina, they have reminded me to strive to do all
that I do as a prayer (thereby empowering my
devotion to Therese’ “Little Way” and Opus Dei’s
spirituality), they have provided me with countless
pages of objectively edifying material, and the list
goes on.
But allow me to end this book by asking you
one simple question:
How often, in salvation history and the
history of the Church, has doubting the greatness of
what God can and will do proven the opinion that is
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Appendix I) Prayers
*Unless otherwise noted, the prayers
contained in this appendix were not written by
me, nor are their copyrights owned by me. I have
simply compiled them from miscellaneous
sources that are free and public online, which I
credit along with each.*
Divine Will Consecration
Prayer (This particular prayer, though
written by Luisa, was written at the direct
request at St. Hannibal and is not specifically
contained in the writings that the Moratorium
applies to. Furthermore, it is taken from Fr.
Iannuzzi’s website,
O Adorable and Divine Will, here I am, before
the immensity of your light. May your eternal
goodness open to me the doors of the Divine Will, so
that I may enter and form my entire life in You, Divine
Will. Therefore, O Adorable Will, prostrate before
your light I, the least of all, join the little group of the
first children of your Supreme Fiat. Prostrate in my
nothingness, I beseech and implore your endless light
to invest me and eclipse all that which opposes You.
In this way, I may only look to You, desire only your
knowledge and live only in You, Divine Will. You shall
be my life, the center of my intelligence, the
enrapturer of my heart and the captivator of my entire
In my heart the human will shall no longer
have a life of its own, for I will banish it forever and
entreat the Divine Will to form in me the new Eden
of peace, happiness and love. With the Divine Will I
shall always be happy; I shall possess a unique
strength and holiness that sanctifies all things and
conducts all things to God.
I reverently prostrate myself and invoke the
help of the Most Holy Trinity: [Father, Son and Holy
Spirit]; I implore You, my God, to admit me to live in
the cloister of the Divine Will and to restore in me the
original order of creation that You established in the
first human soul You created. Heavenly Mother,
Sovereign Queen of the Divine Fiat, take me by the
hand and enclose me in the light of the Divine Will.
Tender mother, be my guide; guard me, your child,
and teach me to live in and maintain myself in the
order and boundaries of the Divine Will.
Heavenly Queen, to your Heart I entrust my
entire being, as I desire to be your little child of the
Divine Will. If you teach me how to live in the Divine
Will, I shall be attentive to your lessons. Cover me
with your blue mantle so that the infernal serpent
dare not enter into this sacred Eden to entice me and
make me fall into the maze of my human will.
Heart of my greatest good, Jesus, let me share
in the flames with which your Sacred Heart is
consumed for love of us, so that these flames may set
my heart ablaze, consume me, nourish me, and form
in me the life of the Supreme Will.
Saint Joseph, I entreat you to be my protector,
the guardian of my heart and to keep the keys of my
will in your hands. Jealously hold onto my heart and
never give it back to me, so that I may be sure never to
leave of the Will of God. Amen.
My Guardian Angel, I implore you to watch
over me, defend and assist me in all things, so that my
Eden may flourish and dispose the whole world to live
in the Divine Will. Heavenly Court, come to my
assistance; I promise you that I shall always live in the
Divine Will. Amen.
Steps to Live in the Divine
Will as Taught by Mary, Our
Mother. (
Day or Step 1: To adore your Creator in all your
acts! To know Him and to love Him. This places you
in the order of creation and you come to know Who
created you! Keep your will sacrificed in honor of your
Aid or Help: Place your will in the hands of
your Mother and ask Her to make the sacrifice of your
will to your Creator. Go before Her all day asking Her
to enclose the Divine Will in your soul so that It can
take Its prime place in your soul.
Day or Step 2: You must empty yourself of your
own will. Constituting the Divine Will as the principal
life in your soul calls attention to the Holy Trinity to
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pour Themselves out upon you. The Divine Will is life,
support, and strength of your human will.
Aid or Help: Climb upon the knees of your
Heavenly Mother, at least, three time this day, giving
your will to Her and asking Her to exchange it with
the Divine Will. Go before Her all day asking Her by
right of Her being the Sovereign Queen of the Divine
Will to command your will to decrease, so that the
Divine Will can find a place to increase in your soul.
Day or Step 3: When you decide with a firm
purpose to no longer give life to your will, all evils die,
all goods come to life and all creation will welcome the
newly arrived child into the Kingdom.
Aid or Help: Look at all of creation, unite
yourself with all that the universe contains, and recite
at least three times today the “Glory be” thanking God
for having mandated Our Lady Queen of everything!
Day or Step 4: Never refuse God anything,
even if it means sacrifices to last your whole life. The
big test – never sway in the test that God wants from
you. Your fidelity is to call Divine Designs upon you to
become the reflections of His Virtues!
Aid or Help: Climb upon the lap of your
Mother at least three times today, bringing Her all the
pains, hurts, and sorrows of your soul, asking Her to
infuse in your soul the strength, light, and grace
necessary to pass the test. Ask your Mother, all day
today, to take you in Her arms and write the “Fiat” in
your Heart!
Day or Step 5: Triumph over the test and make
a gift of your will to God. This is the most pure love
and the greatest sacrifice we can offer to God. He and
Mary will give you everything and will be at your
disposal for anything. Remember – God’s Holy Will
will be reigning in you – whatever God wants, you
Aid or Help: Place every act you do today into
your Mother’s hands praying to Her that in place of
your will, She will give the great grace of making flow
the Divine Will in each of your acts. Pray all day today
to your Heavenly Mother to take your will away and to
give you the Divine Will!
Day or Step 6: Once the Divine Will is
reigning in your soul, you take possession of all Divine
properties! You will have Divine strength, and power.
All things will be converted into sanctity, love, and
Divine beauty. All beautiful, all holy, all pure is our
Aid or Help: Pray the “Glory Be” at least three
times today in thanksgiving for establishing the
Kingdom of the Divine Will in our Mother, and for
giving Her possession of all. Go into the Heart of the
Most Holy Trinity and making Their voice yours, say
to our Mother, “All beautiful, all holy, all pure is my
Day or Step 7: God can now rest and He sees
the beauty of His creation! He has now the joy of
returning to the Original State of Justice one of His
beloved children that loved Him so much as to
sacrifice Her will for that of her Father’s. How
rewarded will this soul be in Eternity!
Pray always for perseverance, strength,
courage, and fortitude to endeavor in this greatest of
all graces!
Opening Prayer for Divine
Will Groups (From
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother and
Queen of the Divine Will, I entreat you, by the infinite
merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and by the graces
God has granted to you since your Immaculate
Conception, the grace of never going astray
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I am a poor and
unworthy sinner, and I beg of You the grace to allow
our mother Mary and Luisa to form in me the divine
acts You purchased for me and for everyone. These
acts are the most precious of all, for they carry the
Eternal Power of your Fiat and they await my “Yes,
your Will be done”. So I implore you, Jesus, Mary and
Luisa to accompany me as I now pray:
I am nothing and God is all, come Divine Will.
Come Heavenly Father to beat in my heart and move
in my Will; come beloved Son to flow in my Blood and
think in my intellect; come Holy Spirit to breathe in
my lungs and recall in my memory.
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I fuse myself in the Divine Will and place my
I love You, I adore You and I bless You God in the Fiats
of creation. With my I love You my soul bilocates in
the creations of the heavens and the earth: I love You
in the stars, in the sun, in the moon and in the skies;
I love You in the earth, in the waters and in every
living creature my Father created out of love for me,
so that I may return love for love.
I now enter into Jesus’ Most Holy Humanity
that embraces all acts. I place my I adore You Jesus in
your every breath, heartbeat, thought, word and step.
I adore You in the sermons of your public life, in the
miracles You performed, in the Sacraments You
instituted and in the most intimate fibres of your
I bless You Jesus in your every tear, blow,
wound, thorn and in each drop of Blood that
unleashed light for the life of every human. I bless You
in all your prayers, reparations, offerings, and in each
of the interior acts and sorrows You suffered up to
your last breath on the Cross. I enclose your life and
all your acts, Jesus, within my I love You, I adore You
and I bless You.
I now enter into the acts of my mother Mary
and of Luisa. I place my I thank you in Mary and
Luisa’s every thought, word and action. I thank you in
the embraced joys and sorrows in the work of
Redemption and Sanctification. Fused in your acts I
make my I thank You and I bless You God flow in the
relations of every creature to fill their acts with light
and life: To fill the acts of Adam and Eve; of the
patriarchs and prophets; of souls of the past, present
and future; of the holy souls in purgatory; of the holy
angels and saints.
I now make these acts my own, and I offer
them to You, my tender and loving Father. May they
increase the glory of your children, and may they
glorify, satisfy and honour You on their behalf.
Let us now begin our day with our divine acts
fused together. Thank You Most Holy Trinity for
enabling me to enter into union with You by means of
prayer. May your Kingdom come, and your will be
done on earth as it is in heaven.
Invocation to the Divine
Will In All Our Actions
I am nothing, God is All, Father I love you;
Come Divine Will,
 To think in my mind.
 To circulate in my blood.
 To look with my eyes.
 To listen in my ears.
 To speak in my voice.
 To breathe in my breathing.
 To beat in my heart.
 To move in my motion.
 To suffer in my suffering; and may my soul
consumed and fused with your will be the
living crucifix immolated for the Glory of the
 To pray in me, and then offer this prayer to
yourself as mine to satisfy for the prayers of
all and to give to the Father the Glory that
all creatures should give Him
 To infuse in me the Faith of Mary most Holy
in order to possess You as she possessed You
 To infuse in me the Hope of Mary most Holy
in order to desire You as she desired You.
 To infuse in me the Charity of Mary most
Holy in order to love You as she loved You.
 To adore in me. And since Your Will
multiplies acts to the infinite, thus I intend
to give You the satisfaction as if all had
assisted at Holy Mass, and give to all the
fruit of the sacrifice and impetrate salvation
for all.
O Supreme Will, come to reign upon the earth.
Invest all generations win and conquer all!
And do not delay any longer. Amen.
Litany of the Divine Will
Father, in Your Will Illuminate us
Son, in Your Will Transform us
Holy Spirit, in Your Will Sanctify us
(Response for the following is Thy Kingdom Come)
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 Divine Will, luminous beacon of the Father …
 Divine Will, redemptive beacon of the Son …
 Divine Will, sanctifying beacon of the Holy
Spirit …
 Creating FIAT, support of creation …
 Redeeming FIAT, in Jesus our salvation …
 Sanctifying FIAT, that molds us in the Sanctity
of the
 Trinity …
 Supreme FIAT, that transforms the human into
Divine …
 Conquering FIAT, that captivates the human
will …
 Divine FIAT, that reunites the Divinity with
humanity …
 Divine Will, transformer of hearts …
 Divine Will, depository of the Divine Will in
souls …
 Divine Will, invincible strength …
 Divine Will, Light of humanity …
 Most Holy Trinity, essence of sanctity …
 Divine Will, operating part in the Trinity …
 Divine Will, star that reflects the Divinity …
 FIAT Divine, order of creation …
 FIAT reigning in peaceful souls …
 FIAT redemptive with the descent of the
Word …
 FIAT triumphant in the Virgin Mary …
 FIAT speaking in all creation …
 FIAT operating in the silence of hearts …
 Divine Will, star of the Divinity …
 Divine Will, model of the Supreme Being …
 Divine Will, dispenser of the Divine
attributes …
 Divine Will, Divine echo of all creation …
 Divine Will, tabernacle of Mary Most Holy …
 Divine Will, mirror of Divine Sanctity …
 Most Holy Trinity, font of unity …
 Most Holy Trinity, perfect union of will …
Pray for us Queen of the Divine Volition so that the
Divine Will can reign on earth as [It does] in Heaven.
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be for the intentions
of the Supreme Pontiff
A Brief Way of the Cross
Supplement for the Reign of the
Kingdom of the Divine
O my Jesus, fused in your Holy Will and for
your Kingdom to come, I make my way with You on
your Via Dolorosa. Allow my company to give You rest
and comfort your most Sacred Heart from the many
agonies it suffers now and for all Eternity. I love You,
my God! I love You, my Jesus! I love You, the Savior of
my life!
First station: Jesus Is Condemned to Death. O
Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, teach me to always
be resigned to your Most Holy Will in all things in my
life and in the life of those I love and for whom I pray!
Second station: Jesus Picks Up His Cross. O
Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, for the love of You
and for the benefit of all mankind, give me strength
and perseverance to always carry my cross with the
same love and joy that You carried Yours.
Third station: Jesus Falls the First Time. O
Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, please allow me the
grace necessary to never fall out of your Most Holy
Fourth station: Jesus Meets His Mother. O
Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, may there be no
attachment dear enough to keep me from ever doing
your Most Holy Will in all things!
Fifth station: Simon the Cyrenian Helps Jesus
Carry His Cross. O Jesus, for your Kingdom to come,
please allow me the great grace of being with You in
carrying your Cross, and to help all my brothers and
sisters carry theirs, in your Most Holy Will, with
patience and joy.
Sixth station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.
O Jesus, for your Kingdom to Come, may your Most
Holy Will be indelibly stamped in my heart, mind,
and soul as your Most Beautiful Face was on
Veronica’s veil.
Seventh station: Jesus Falls a Second Time. O
Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, please preserve me
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from anything that offends You, most especially all
sins of pride and egoism.
Eighth station: Jesus Consoles the Women of
Jerusalem. O Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, may I
go with You through all the world, in your Will,
consoling all souls because of the terrifying times in
which we live.
Ninth station: Jesus Falls For the Third Time.
O Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, may I give You all
the glory and honor You are due, and console You for
all the abuses You have suffered, from all your
Consecrated souls – past, present and future.
Tenth station: Jesus Is Stripped of His
Garments. O Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, I plead
for the great grace of being stripped of anything that
may offend you in the least way!
Eleventh station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross.
O Jesus, You are nailed to the human will, which is
hard and unforgiving. Please nail me to your Most
Holy Will which is most forgiving and so full of love!
Twelfth station: Jesus Dies on the Cross. O
Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, You died on the
Cross in reparation for those who will not die to their
human wills. Please grant me the immense grace of
always dying to my will in all things!
Thirteenth station: Jesus Is Taken From the
Cross. O Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, I thank you
for the great gift of your Mother. May She take me into
Her arms with You so that I may console Her from Her
many sorrows. May She keep me there to help me to
never fall out of your Most Holy Will.
Fourteenth station: Jesus Is Placed in the
Sepulcher. O Jesus, for your Kingdom to come, allow
me the great grace to totally die to myself to live
always buried in your Most Holy Humanity and in
your Most Holy Will!
The Chaplet of the Divine
Will (Given by St. Hannibal)
The Chaplet, or Little Rosary, of the Divine
Will begins with the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory
Be, on the three small beads and continues by praying
on every “Hail Mary” bead: “Thy Will be done on earth
as It is in Heaven.” A “Glory Be” is prayed on every
“Our Father” bead, and at the end pray:
“Lord Jesus, we praise You, we love You, we
bless You, and we thank You Who are God with the
Father and the Holy Spirit in Your Holy and Eternal
Divine Will. Amen”
Mass Prayers in the Divine
(One beautiful way of thinking about living and
acting in the Divine Will, is (figuratively and
spiritually) turning your whole life into the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass. The New Translation (that is,
the third edition of the Roman Missal) feels like it is
tailor made for this; its majesty and beauty are
perfectly conducive to Divine Will spirituality.
Therefore let these prayers always be on your lips. I
recommend simply downloading the entire Roman
Missal, which can be found online (linked to in
Appendix II). Here are a few of my favorites.)
Collect for the Solemnity of Christ the King
Almighty ever-living God,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of the universe,
grant, we pray,
that the whole creation, set free from slavery,
may render your majesty service
and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Preface for the Solemnity of Christ the King
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For you anointed your Only Begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ, with the oil of gladness
as eternal Priest and King of all creation,
so that, by offering himself on the altar of the Cross
as a spotless sacrifice to bring us peace,
he might accomplish the mysteries of human
and, making all created things subject to his rule,
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he might present to the immensity of your majesty
an eternal and universal kingdom,
a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim…
Collect for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity
God our Father, who by sending into the world
the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification
made known to the human race your wondrous
grant us, we pray, that in professing the true faith,
we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory
and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Preface for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy
you are one God, one Lord:
not in the unity of a single person,
but in a Trinity of one substance.
For what you have revealed to us of your glory
we believe equally of your Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal
you might be adored in what is proper to each
their unity in substance,
and their equality in majesty.
For this is praised by Angels and Archangels,
Cherubim, too, and Seraphim,
who never cease to cry out each day,
as with one voice they acclaim:
Excerpt from Eucharistic Prayer for
Reconciliation I
Help us to work together
for the coming of your Kingdom,
until the hour when we stand before you,
Saints among the Saints in the halls of heaven,
with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
the blessed Apostles and all the Saints,
and with our deceased brothers and sisters,
whom we humbly commend to your mercy.
Then, freed at last from the wound of corruption
and made fully into a new creation,
we shall sing to you with gladness
the thanksgiving of Christ,
who lives for all eternity.
Preface I of the Blessed Virgin Mary
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
and to praise, bless, and glorify your name
in veneration
of the Blessed ever-Virgin Mary.
For by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit
she conceived your Only Begotten Son,
and without losing the glory of virginity,
brought forth into the world the eternal Light,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him the Angels praise your majesty,
Dominions adore and Powers tremble before you.
Heaven and the Virtues of heaven and the blessed
worship together with exultation.
May our voices, we pray, join with theirs
in humble praise, as we acclaim…
The Divine Will Gloria (From the
Mass. Meditations, added by Daniel O’Connor, for
use in private prayer outside of Mass)
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you, in the immense beauty of
creation (Here pause to fuse your will to the Divine
Will and impress your FIAT upon all things of creation
– from the stars of heaven to the ground below and
everything in-between, however the Holy Spirit guides
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we bless you, in the unfathomable love of
redemption (Here pause to fuse your will to the Divine
Will and impress your FIAT upon all the acts of
Redemption – from Our Lady’s Immaculate
Conception all the way to Our Lord’s Ascension into
Heaven, and everything in between, especially the
Passion, however the Holy Spirit guides you.)
we adore you, in Your remaining with us
always in the Eucharist (Here pause to fuse your will
to the Divine Will and enclose yourself within all the
consecrated hosts, tabernacles, and Holy Masses in
the world, offering them back to the Father with the
seal of your FIAT – offering reparation to Him for all
the scourging He receives up to this very day in the
Eucharist, yet also uniting yourself, in the Divine Will,
to all of the consolation in adoration He receives in it
as well.)
we glorify you, in Your great mercy, for
forming Your very own Divine Life in the soul of Luisa
so that all of Your children might also share in it (Here
pause to unite yourself with Luisa and beseech her to
intercede for you in obtaining from God the same grace
of union with Him that she herself received. Strive to
enter into the very center of the Divine Will and in
doing so, emptying yourself of all glory and handing it
all over to God, along with every last morsel of the selfwill.)
we give you thanks for your great glory, in
Your immense and incomprehensible purity as
perfect Trinity and undivided Unity (Here pause to
bask in the inaccessible light of God, which will
continue to illuminate us to greater and greater
degrees throughout all eternity, never to be exhausted.
Meditate upon the immeasurable magnitude of this
love between the Three Persons of the One Divine
Nature, and your own calling and destiny to dwell
within this very same Love for endless ages. Conscious
of your own nothingness and unworthiness of this gift
that is nevertheless promised to you, let your
thanksgiving increase without bound.)
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, have
mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive
our prayer.
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are
the Lord, you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory
of God the Father.
Prayer for the Glorification
of the Servant of God Luisa
Piccarreta ( To be
used especially in requesting Luisa’s intercession;
ideally as a novena. Be sure to report favors and
graces received to (or by
directly emailing
Oh august and Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son
and Holy Spirit, we praise and thank You for the gift
of the holiness of your faithful servant Luisa
Piccarreta. She lived, Oh Father, in Your Divine Will,
becoming, under the action of the Holy Spirit, in
conformity with Your Son, obedient even to death on
the cross, victim and host pleasing to You, thus
cooperating in the work of Redemption of mankind.
Her virtues of obedience, humility, supreme love for
Christ and the Church, lead us to ask You for the gift
of her glorification on earth, so that Your glory may
shine before all, and Your kingdom of truth, justice
and love, may spread all over the world in the
particular charisma of the Fiat Voluntas tua sicut in
Caelo et in terra.
We appeal to her merits to obtain from You,
Most Holy Trinity, the particular grace for which we
pray to You with the intention to fulfill your Divine
Will. Amen.
Three Glory be’s, Our Father
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
The Canticle of Daniel in
the Divine Will ( Canticle from
the Divine Office/Book of Daniel, Chapter 3)
All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to
him (Revelation 19:5).
I place my “I love you”, “I adore and worship
you,” I become part of each of these prayers in all I do
with my Three powers of Intellect, Memory and Will.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 89
Lord, gather together all who have prayed your
Praises in Time and multiply these in the Divine Will
for your Glory.
Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.
Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.
Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for
Ant. To you, Lord, be highest glory and praise for
ever, alleluia.
Psalm 148 in the Divine Will
( /Psalm 148)
Praise and honor, glory and power for ever to
him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb
(Revelation 5:13).
I place my “I love you”, “I adore and worship
you”, I become part of each of these prayers in all I do
with my Three powers of Intellect, Memory and Will.
Lord, gather together all who have prayed your Praises
in Time and multiply these in the Divine Will for your
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens
and the waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord.
He commanded: they were made.
He fixed them for ever,
gave a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
sea creatures and all oceans,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy winds that obey his word; all mountains and
all fruit trees and cedars, beasts, wild and tame,
reptiles and birds on the wing;
all earth’s kings and peoples,
earth’s princes and rulers,
young men and maidens,
the old men together with children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord
for he alone is exalted.
The splendor of his name
reaches beyond heaven and earth.
He exalts the strength of his people.
He is the praise of all his saints,
of the sons of Israel ,
of the people to whom he comes close.
All the suspended acts of all souls not giving Glory to
the Father, are gathered up now in Time Past, Present
and Future and given to Our Lady, Luisa and Holy
Exemplars for the Glory of the Father.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 90
Prayer of St. Francis in the
Divine Will (St. Francis’ connection to God’s
creation serves as a beautiful foreshadowing of Luisa’s
Rounds of Creation. Pope St. John Paul II pointed out
that “Saint Francis invited all of creation – animals,
plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister
Moon – to give honour and praise to the Lord.” 296
Reproduced here is simply St. Francis’ commonly
known Canticle of the Sun.)
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is
Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no
mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day through
whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the
stars, In the heavens you have made them bright,
precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and
Air, And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant
pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most
High, they will be crowned.
296 Message of his holiness Pope John Paul II for the celebration of
the world day of peace 1 January 1990. Paragraph 16
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those
who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds
doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless
my Lord and give Him thanks, And serve Him with
great humility.
Exhortation Prayer to St.
Michael (Lynne Bauer,
Saint Michael, protector of the Children of
God. Send forth your angels to defeat the work of the
Enemy. Help teach us who we are in the Divine Will
and be thankful to our Father in Heaven for such a
sublime Gift of the Divine Will. Our Lady, Victorious
Queen of the Divine Will, show us your power.
Empower us to be true Ambassadors of the Kingdom
of Heaven on earth as in Heaven. Come Lord Jesus!
We ask with true humility to be admitted into the
inner cloister of the Divine Will. We confess our
sinfulness and request your Mercy and Light to be
totally free of the kingdom of self. Fill us with your
Light and take us by the hand to your Holy Mother to
be taught. Yes, Jesus, we want the work of the hand of
the Father to restore us to the original beauty of the
Divine Will and ask you to do your work of re-creation
now. Holy Spirit of God, take this prayer of your
eternal tongue to all of Heaven.
FIAT. All honor, power, glory, power, wisdom,
strength be to the Lamb of God.
The Litany of Humility
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 91
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I
The Divine Will Reminders
(Source uncertain.)
We should regularly remind ourselves – even
as a prayer – of just what Living in the Divine Will
entails, so as to not neglect memory, one of the three
powers of the soul. By regularly reminding ourselves
of these great overarching summary truths of the
Divine Will, we help ourselves to live in it and pray in
Living in the Divine Will is:
1. Fusing our wills with the Will of God so as
to operate as one Will—that of God’s.
2. Letting Jesus live His Divine Life in us by
consciously invoking the Divine Will to enter into
each and every one of our acts.
3. Not doing any act alone, but rather letting
the Divine Will do it in us and with us
4. The Creator working in the creature.
5. Reciprocating our little “I love You, I adore
You, I praise You” to God’s “I love you” in the
Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification of man.
6. Abandoning our human ways of acting for
those of the Divine.
7. Penetrating within the Divine Will,
embracing its immensity, multiplying ourselves with
Jesus and penetrating everywhere—even in Heaven
and in all hearts, and in all times—past, present and
future—while remaining on Earth.
8. Taking the love of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and making it ours, and
then giving it back to Them as our own.
9. Forming as many Jesus’s as acts that we do
in the Divine Will.
10. Allowing God to mold us as soft wax into
whatever He wants to make of us.
11. Possessing God and all His goods and
being possessed by God—whatever is His is mine,
and whatever is mine is His.
12. Jesus living His Real Presence in us, not
only for fifteen minutes as in the Eucharist, but
13. Living the same life as the saints in
Heaven while still here on Earth, except for the veil
not being removed—enjoyment of the Beatific
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 92
Appendix II) Resources
*As of June 2015, all of these links are working. If
any link does not work upon attempting to access
it, simply enter relevant search terms for the same
into a search engine, such as*
 Official website for the cause of Luisa Piccarreta:
o Please consider donating to Luisa’s
Cause for Beatification. Donations may
be made at this website.
 Fr. Iannuzzi’s Website on the Divine Will:
o Manual for instructing others on the
Divine Will:
o Fr. Iannuzzi talk on the Divine Will

o Much of Fr. Iannuzzi’s Dissertation may
be obtained for free from Google Books:
o Also, The Splendor of Creation:
 Benedictine Daughters of the Divine Will
(religious order dedicated to Divine Will
 Fr. Robert Young OFM talks on Living in the
Divine Will from Radio Maria
 Saints in the Divine Will, by Fr. Sergio Pellegrini
(authorized and commissioned directly by
Archbishop Pichierri):
 Biography of Luisa Piccarreta written by Fr. Bucci
(authorized promoter and last living priest to
have personally known Luisa):
 Third Edition of the Roman Missal
 Divine Mercy in My Soul (the Diary of St.
 Official Biography of Luisa Piccarreta. Keep an
eye out for the upcoming English translation of
this, which was recently released in Italian.
mia-volonta-.html This release should
occur at some point during summer 2015.
†JMJ† The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity P a g e | 93
About the Author
Daniel O’Connor obtained his M.A. in Theology from Holy Apostles College
& Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He teaches high school Mathematics, Physics,
and SAT preparation. He operates his own internet blog on Catholic issues
(, and is the founder of the Divine Will Missionaries
of Mercy ( He is also a mechanical engineer by training
(receiving his B.S. from RPI), and does work on the side with his own
basement-run company, St. Joseph Mechanical Solutions, LLC. He lives in
Albany, NY with his wife, Regina, and his son, Joseph. He may be reached at
Please Note: Current Ecclesiastical guidelines (promulgated by the Archbishop
of Trani) only permit a select few priests to give public talks on Luisa’s
revelations. As long as these guidelines remain, Daniel will not be available to give talks, presentations, or retreats
on the topic of this book. He does, however, recommend further pursuing this topic by reading the works and listening
to the talks of Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi and any other priest who has been approved by the Archdiocese of Trani, and
reviewing the resources listed in Appendix II of this book.
Thy Will be Done