Art, like philosophy, begins with wonder at what is, and no material thing exists without form. The great Catholic philosopher Étienne Gilson says that “the word ‘form’ designates the essential nature of a thing or, still more precisely, that nature itself considered as determining the thing in its species and, by the same token, in its figure and in its shape.” Form determines the essence or nature of a thing; and at the same time it is through its form that a thing receives existence, because existence is always that of some actually existing thing, and a thing is what it is by virtue of its form. So form causes a thing to be, to be what it is, and to be beautiful (formosus, “full of form”) for beauty is the splendor of being. Saint Thomas Aquinas calls the splendor of the fullness of form claritas or radiance.
At the core of every thing is the dazzling mystery of its being, the dynamism that keeps it in existence. Existence is an act. The word exist is a verb. Art reveals the splendor, the superabundance of being, the mysterious gushing forth of the act of existing. An artist takes what is called secondary matter, matter that exists in nature and already has some form, e.g., paint, clay, stone, or some other material, and infuses pictorial or sculptural form to create a being that has existence as a work of art. The artist must so inform matter, must so dispose the masses, lines, shapes and tones, that the resulting work of art is in act.
How can a static object such as a painted canvas be in act? It happens by virtue of rhythms – rhythmic relations of lines, of shapes, of volumes, or of tones. These rhythms generate a perception of movement.
Look at Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s Fruit, Jug and a Glass (c. 1727) in the National Gallery of Art in Washington (shown below). The cork at the lower left, surmounted by the white reflection in the water glass, anchors the composition. The right edge of the white reflection makes a sharp diagonal, pulling upward to the right where its forceful movement slows and expands to become the red-orange light on the jug. The opposite, shaded side of the jug presents a firm vertical edge, the bottom of which is nudged by the cool gray of the background just before it swells out and gives birth to the shaded, background peach and the foreground plums. The rounded rhythms of the plums give rise to another diagonal movement up and to the right, expanding through the rainbow from green to blue to purple to red, orange and finally yellow, with a crescendo of light in the burgeoning peaches.
Chardin’s painting is expansive. The splendor of being radiates from the painting as a whole and from the coordinated actions of each of its parts. He gets inside everything in his painting, to make every object exist from the inside out. He feels the creative energy in nature that holds things in being from within, the pulse of existence. The process by which he creates his work is a participation in the triumphant thrust, continually renewed, by which each and every being in nature achieves existence.
Nothing in the painting looks as if it were imposed from outside; every object exists spontaneously, freely, having its vital principle within. Each form is ceaselessly renewed from within by virtue of the rhythm of its contours, the pressure of its tone against those contours, and the precise registering of tonal relations inside and outside the form.
In the very structure of a masterpiece like Chardin’s we see an analogue to the mystery of the divine conservation of nature as described by Thomas Aquinas. Nothing exists unless God acts within it, as the wellspring of being, at every moment. There is no such thing as inertia of being, in nature or in art. Penetrating this mystery, Chardin’s art gives birth to forms whose presence is ceaselessly renewed by a continuous pulse.
Painting and sculpture converge with metaphysics, the philosophy of being, to reveal the spiritual depth of the activity of nature. Every being and every activity in nature, and the being and activity of nature as a whole, spring from the one activity of God. The being and action of each part of nature is truly its own and truly distinct from the action of God, though inseparable from it and impossible without it; just as the life and activity of each cell in an organism is distinct and to some degree spontaneous, though inseparable from the life of the whole organism and impossible without it.
An organism is a unity by virtue of its substantial form or soul. In actualizing the body’s potentiality for life, this vital principle gives life to the whole and to each of its parts. A true work of art manifests this organic unity of nature, and is itself an organic unity. The inner life that an artist gives to stone, paint or clay, the soul of the work, informs at once both the whole and each of the details.
Form, being good, is diffusive of itself, and in expanding itself it does not expend itself; in sharing its goodness it loses none of it. It can multiply itself without losing its unity. This truth underlies the sense of infinity that we feel in the presence of a painting in which one spirit unites a myriad of precisely individuated details.
In this way, form also reveals its kinship with love; for love (divine, creative love) does not divide itself up among its objects, but falls fully upon each; not in the same manner upon each, but upon each one according to its nature and potentiality. A work of art so formed breathes a fragrance of eternity, as divine love is eternal.
Nine Day Novena
August 30 to September 8
Praying for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will one with Luisa Piccarreta
The little daughter of the Divine Will
From August 30 to September 8 – Birthday of Our Lady
The day Luisa received the Gift of Living in the Divine Will
(recite after each days prayer)
In the name of Jesus
In the Unity and Power of the Holy Spirit,
under the Mantle of Mary
with all the Angels and Saints
through the Intercession of The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
please take my humble prayer and make it Your Command,
that all be accomplished and completed
in Your Most Holy Divine Will.
Day 1 – Tuesday August 30, 2016
V1 Now, during these exits that the Lord would make me do, sometimes He would renew the Promise of the Marriage, which I already mentioned. Who can tell the ardent yearnings that the Lord infused in me for this Mystical Marriage to take place? (…)
“The longed for day finally arrived, after not a little suffering. I remember that it was almost one year that I had been continuously in bed – it was the day of the Purity of Mary Most Holy. On the night before that day, my lover Jesus made Himself seen all festive. He drew near me, took my heart in His hands, and He looked at it over and over again; He dusted it, and then He gave it back to me. Then He took a Garment of Immense Beauty, whose background seemed to be a Surface of Gold streaked with Various Colors, and He Clothed me with that Garment. Then He took Two Gems, as if they were earrings, and He bejeweled my ears. Then He adorned my neck and my arms, and surrounded my forehead with a Crown of Immense Value, all enriched with precious stones and gems, all Refulgent with Light; and it seemed to me that those Lights were as many voices which resounded among themselves, speaking in clear notes of the Beauty, the Power, the Fortitude, and of all the other virtues of my Spouse Jesus. Who can tell what I comprehended, and in what sea of consolation my soul was swimming? It is impossible to say it.
Now, while He was Crowning my forehead, Jesus told me: “Most Sweet Spouse, I place this Crown upon you so that nothing may be missing in order to make you Worthy of being My Spouse; but then, after our Wedding is finished, I shall take it with Me to Heaven, to keep it for you at the moment of your death.” Finally, He took a Veil and covered me completely with it, from head to foot; and He left me in that way. Ah! it seemed to me that there was a Great Meaning in that Veil, because the demons, in seeing me all Covered with that Veil, were so frightened and had such fear of me, that they fled, terrified. The very Angels were around me with such Veneration, that I myself was confused and all Full of Blushing.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, please we pray that being one with Luisa; draw near us and take our hearts in Your Hands, look them over, dust them, and Adorn us as You Adorned Luisa, that we may, on behalf of All, be her true little children and Yours, Veiled in the Gift of the Divine Will, and that It be All for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
Day 2 – Wednesday August 31, 2016
V1 On the morning of the aforementioned day, Jesus made Himself seen again all Affable, Sweet and Majestic, together with His Most Holy Mother and Saint Catherine.
“Sometimes, carrying me with Him, Jesus would take me, Luisa to Paradise, and there I could listen to the Canticles of the Blessed, and I could see the Divinity, the different Choirs of Angels, the orders of the Saints, all Immersed in the Divinity of God – absorbed, identified with It. It seemed to me that there were many Lights around the Throne, which were more Brilliant than the sun; and these Lights displayed in clear notes all the Virtues and the Attributes of God. By reflecting themselves in one of these Lights, the Blessed would remain enraptured, in such a way that they could not arrive at penetrating the whole Immensity of that Light, therefore they would move to a second Light, without understanding all the depth of the first one. So, the Blessed in Heaven cannot comprehend God perfectly, because the Immensity, the Greatness, the Sanctity of God is such, that a created mind cannot comprehend an Uncreated Being. Now, it seemed to me that by reflecting themselves in these Lights, the Blessed would come to participate in the Virtues of these Lights. Therefore, in Heaven, the soul Resembles God – with this difference: that God is that Immense Sun, while the soul is a little sun. But who can say all that can be understood in that Blessed Dwelling? It is impossible to do it while the soul is in this prison of the body; while one can feel something in the mind, the lips do not find the terms to express it. It seems to me that it is like a child who begins to babble: he would like to say many upon many things, but in the end he remains without being able to say even one clear word. Therefore I stop here, without going any further. I shall just say that sometimes, while finding myself in that Blessed Fatherland, I would be strolling together with Jesus in the midst of the Choirs of Angels and the Saints; and since I was Newly-Espoused, all the Blessed would Unite Together to participate in the Joys of our Marriage. It seemed to me that they would forget their own contentments to occupy themselves with ours; and sometimes Jesus would show me to the Saints, saying to them: “See this soul – she is a Triumph of My Love; My Love has Surpassed Everything in her.”
Other times, then, He would make me stay at the place which was going to be mine, and He would say to me: “Here is your place – no one can take it away from you.” And at times I would reach the point of believing that I was no longer going to come back to earth; but in one simple instant I would find myself locked up in the wall of this body.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, we being Luisa’s true little children, Reflect ourselves in her in order to Receive the Same Effects, and may we participate in the Joys of Your Marriage as with Luisa, so that, we too may be the Triumph of Your Love. Let us, on behalf of All, receive the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen
Day 3 – Thursday September 1, 2016
V4–11.20.00 How she sees the Divinity of Jesus.
“While I am outside of myself, my Adorable Jesus continues to show me my heart inside of His – but so Transformed, that I can no longer recognize which one is mine and which one is Jesus’. He has conformed it perfectly to His Own; He has Impressed on it all the Insignia of the Passion, making me understand that, from the moment of His Conception His Heart was Conceived with these Insignia of the Passion; So Much So, that what He Suffered at the end of His Life was an Outpouring of that which His Heart had Suffered continuously. I seemed to see one just like the other. I seemed to see my Beloved Jesus occupied with preparing the place in which He was to put the heart, perfuming it and Bejeweling it with many different Flowers. And while He was doing this, He told me: “My beloved, since you Must Live from My Heart, it is appropriate for you to undertake a More Perfect Way of Living. Therefore, from you I Want:
1. Perfect Conformity to My Will, because you shall only be able to Love Me Perfectly if you Love Me with My Own Will. Even More, I tell you that by Loving Me with My Own Will, you shall arrive at Loving Me, and your neighbor, with My Same Way of Loving.
2. Profound Humility, placing yourself, in front of Me and of creatures, as the last among all.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray You to transform our hearts one with Luisa, and conform them perfectly to Your own. As her little children, Impress the Insignia of the Passion as Much as Possible, that we may undertake this More Perfect Way of Living, that is, in Your Divine Will, Loving You and our neighbor with Your Love, with Profound Humility, as the last among all. May we, on behalf of all, receive this Gift of Living in the Divine Will, that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
Day 4 – Friday September 2, 2016
V4–11.20.00 How she sees the Divinity of Jesus (Continued)
3. Purity in Everything, because any slightest fault against Purity, both in Loving and in Operating, is Reflected all in the heart, and it remains stained. Therefore I Want Purity to be like dew upon the flowers at the rising of the sun, which, its rays reflecting upon them, transmutes those little drops into as many precious pearls, such as to enchant the people. In the Same Way, if all your works, thoughts and words, heartbeats and affections, desires and inclinations, are Adorned with the Celestial Dew of Purity, you shall weave a Sweet Enchantment, not only for the human eye, but for the Whole of Heaven.
4. Obedience, which Must be connected with My Will, because if this virtue regards the superiors I have given you on earth, My Will is Obedience which regards Me directly; So Much So, that it can be said that both one and the other are virtues of Obedience – with this difference alone: one regards God, and the other regards men. However, both of them have the same value, and one cannot be without the other; therefore you Must Love both one and the other in the Same Way.”
Then He added: “Know that from now on you shall Live with My Heart, and you Must see things the Way My Heart does, that I may find My Satisfactions in you. Therefore be careful, for this is no longer your heart, but Mine.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, being one with Luisa, that like her, we too may be Pure in Everything, in Loving and Operating; that all our works, thoughts and words, heartbeats and affections, desires and inclinations be Adorned with the Celestial Dew of Purity. May we Possess, through Luisa, the virtue of Obedience, connected with Your Holy Will, in regards to the superiors You have given us because this regards You directly. May You find Your Satisfactions in us, one with Luisa, as we pray on behalf of All, to Receive the Gift of Living In the Divine Will, that It be for Your Glory and the Good of all souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen
Day 5 – Saturday September 3, 2016
V20–1.13.27 Jesus prays her to write. How His Word is happiness. How the one who Lives in the Divine Will is looked upon as one from the Celestial Fatherland. She prays Together with the whole Creation; how Jesus promises her that everything shall be Granted to her.
“To My little daughter who takes to heart So Much the Rights of My Divine Fiat, and who makes use of Its very Power in order to breach her way over My Heart, Everything shall be Granted. How not to content you, My daughter? To you Everything shall be Given; even more, We shall adjust together what regards My Will and what regards the creatures. Aren’t you happy? “Look, My daughter—from the moment My Will went out into the field in Creation, It has always been firm and unshakeable in doing Good, in spite of the many volatilities of creatures and the offenses. Triumphing of Everything, It has followed Its Course of always, always doing Good. See, in order to make the creature ascend again into the Firmness, into the Perennial Good, into the unshakeability of My Will, I want to Establish My Kingdom in their midst. See then, in what point I have placed you—in the Firmness and unshakeability of the Fiat, so as to allow you to lay this Kingdom of Mine within It. And just as My Will Triumphs of everything with Its Firmness, so shall you Triumph of everything with Its Firmness and in the unshakeability of Its Acts, and you shall Reorder the Divine Order between the two wills—the Divine Will shall be Reintegrated in Its Glory, and the human will shall place itself again in the Order Established by God.”
“My daughter, in order to Live in My Will, the soul must Ascend; and in order to Ascend in It, she must leave what does not belong to My Will. She must leave her miserable rags, her vulgar habits, her vile foods, her miseries. Everything she must leave, to make use of Royal Garments, of Divine Habits, of Precious and Nourishing Foods, of Infinite Riches—in sum, of Everything that belongs to My Will. What you have written serves you for now, it serves the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat; then it shall be the Rule for those who Must Live in It—how they Must make use of All the Operating Acts of My Will in order to maintain themselves within the boundaries of My Kingdom. Therefore, what to you does not seem to be necessary, Is Necessary for the Formation of My Supreme Kingdom.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, being one with Luisa, who takes to heart So Much the Rights of Your Divine Fiat, making use of Its very Power in order to breach her way over Your Heart, that You may say to us through her, everything shall be Granted. In us her little children, may Luisa Triumph with the firmness and unshakeability of the Divine Acts by reordering our human wills with the Divine Will. Let us Ascend by leaving all that does not belong to Your Holy Will, our miserable rags, our vulgar habits, our file foods and miseries. Let us, through Luisa, make use of Royal Garments, Divine Habits, Precious and Nourishing Foods, Infinite Riches, Everything that belongs to Your Will. May Luisa’s Writings be our Rule; may we make use of All the Operating Acts of Your Will to maintain ourselves within the boundaries of Your Kingdom, as we pray on behalf of All, to receive the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
Day 6 – Sunday September 4, 2016
V13–12.5.21 The gift of the Divine Will was given to Luisa from the time of the Renewal of Mystical Marriage before the Holy Trinity, thirty-two years before.
‘Tell me, my Life, who is my Family? What is my dowry and Yours?’ And smiling, He continued: “Your Family is the Trinity. Don’t you remember that in the first years of bed I took you to Heaven and we Celebrated Our Union before the Most Holy Trinity? It Endowed you with Such Gifts that you yourself have not yet Known; and as I speak to you about My Will, about Its Effects and Value, I Make you Discover the Gifts with which, from that time, you were Endowed. I do not speak to you about My Dowry, because what is Mine is yours. And then, after a few days, We, the Three Divine Persons, Descended from Heaven, took Possession of your heart Luisa, and Formed Our Perpetual Residence in it. We took the Reins of your intelligence, of your heart, and of all of yourself; and everything you did was an Outpouring of Our Creative Will over you, and the Confirmation that your human will was animated by an Eternal Will.
The Work is Already Done. There is nothing left but to make It Known, so that, not only you, but others also may Take Part in these Great Goods. And this I AM Doing by Calling now one minister, now another, and even ministers from places afar, to make Known to them these Great Truths. Therefore, This Thing is Mine – not yours; so, let Me Do. Even more, You Must Know that every time you Manifest one additional Value of My Will, I feel So Much Contentment that I Love you with Multiplied Love.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, being one with Luisa, let us Celebrate with You this Union in which the Most Holy Trinity, Endowed her with the Gift of Living in Your Will. Take Possession of our hearts and Form Your Perpetual Residence in us her little children. Take the Reins of our intelligence, of our hearts, of all ourselves and let Everything we do be an Outpouring and Confirmation of Your Creative Will in us, that our human wills may be animated by an Eternal Will. Help us make the Great Truths of Your Divine Will Known as You call Your priests so that All may be for Your Contentment and Love us with Your Multiplied Love. We pray this on behalf of All that It be for Your Glory and the Good of all souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
Day 7 – Monday September 5, 2016
V20–11.6.26 Jesus promises to bring Luisa to Heaven when He has completed His Manifestation. The New Apostles of the Fiat. How the one who Lives in It Centralizes the heavens, the sun and everything within herself.
(…) “My daughter, Courage, let Me finish to Manifest to you All that is Necessary, regarding the Kingdom of My Will, so that nothing may be missing in order to Form It in the midst of the human family. Then, after I have Completed Everything, I shall quickly Bring you into our Fatherland. Do you think you shall see the Full Triumph of the Kingdom of the Eternal Fiat before coming to Heaven? Its Full Triumph you shall see from Heaven. It shall happen to you as it happened to Me with the Kingdom of Redemption. I did everything that was needed; I formed the Foundation, I Gave the laws and the counsels which were needed; I Instituted the Sacraments, I left the Gospel as the Rule of their life, I suffered unheard-of pains unto death, but while being on earth, I saw little or almost nothing of the Fruits and of the carrying out of Redemption. After I did everything, having nothing left to do, I entrusted everything to the Apostles, that they might be the criers of the Kingdom of Redemption, so that the fruits of the works I did for the Kingdom of Redemption might come out.
The same shall happen for the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat. We shall do It together, My daughter. Your pains, your long sacrifices, your incessant prayers that My Kingdom may come soon, and My Manifestations about It – I shall Unite Everything Together with Me and shall form the Foundations. Once I have Completed Everything, I shall Entrust My Kingdom to My priests, so that, like second Apostles of the Kingdom My Will, they may be the Criers of It.
Do you think that the coming of Father Di Francia, who shows So Much Interest and who has taken to heart the publication of what regards My Will, came by chance? No, no – I Myself Disposed it. It is a Providential Act of the Supreme Will that wants him as First Apostle of the Divine Fiat and Proclaimer of It. And since he happens to be the founder of an order, it is easier for him to approach Bishops, Priests and people, also within his own institute, in order to Proclaim the Kingdom of My Will. This is why I Assist him So Much and I give him Special Light, because in order to understand My Will it takes Great Graces – not little lights; it takes a Sun to comprehend a Divine, Holy and Eternal Will, as well as Great Disposition on the part of the one to whom this Office is Entrusted. And then, I Myself Disposed also the daily coming of the priest, in order to find soon the First Apostles of the Fiat of My Kingdom, that they might Proclaim that which regards My Eternal Will. Therefore, let Me finish first, so that after I have completed it, I may Entrust it to the New Apostles of My Will; and you shall be able to come to Heaven, to see from up there the Fruits of the Longed for Kingdom of the Eternal Fiat.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, as promised, You Manifested all that is Necessary regarding the Kingdom of Your Will and brought Luisa into Your Fatherland. Being one with Luisa in our pains, long sacrifices, incessant prayers, that Your Kingdom may Come Soon. Entrust Your Kingdom to Your priests who are the Criers of It. In a Providential Act of the Supreme Will You Wanted St. Annibale Di Francia as First Apostle of the Divine Fiat and Proclaimer of It; we pray, one with Luisa and through St. Annibale, for Great Graces, a Sun to comprehend the Divine, Holy and Eternal Will as well as great Disposition for Your priests whom You have Entrusted the Office of First Apostles of the Fiat of Your Kingdom. May they Proclaim All that regards Your Eternal Will. Let your priests being one with Luisa, the New Apostles of Your Holy Will, the Fruits of the Longed for Kingdom, as we pray this on behalf of All that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
Day 8 – Tuesday September 6, 2016
V27–11.14.29 How the Rights of Creation are just and Holy. Example of the sun, and how the one who Lives in the Divine Will is the True Sun.
I am always in my dear Inheritance of the Divine Fiat. The deeper I remain in It, the More I feel like Loving It; the More I Move within It, the More It Unveils Itself—the More It Makes Itself Known, and says to me: “Live Always in your Precious Inheritance, that was Given to you with So Much Love. It is yours—It shall always be yours, Inseparable from you; nor shall I ever permit that My little daughter not feel the heartbeat of My Light, the breath of My balsamic Air, the Life of My Divine Will.”
(…)“Now, My daughter, the one who Lives in My Divine Will Possesses the Rights of her creation, and therefore, More than sun, she Lives in the Unity of her Creator; she is the Reproducer of the Effects of the Divine Unity. In this Unity she Gathers Everything, Embraces Everyone, Warms Everyone, and with the Breath of the Divine Unity she Produces in the hearts of creatures All the Effects that are present in the Kingdom of Grace. But while, More than sun, she Plays in Touching Everything, with her Touches she Gives Sanctity, Virtue, Love, Sweetness, that are Divine; she would Want to Enclose Everyone in the Unity of her Creator.
“But while she Wants to Give Everything, Jealous, she preserves for herself the Rights of her creation—that is, the Will of her Creator as her First Act and the Origin of her creation; and she says to All: ‘I cannot descend from within the Divine Fiat, nor do I Want to lose even one drop of It—I would lose my Rights, that I do not want to do. Rather, come up, all of you, and one shall be the Will of All; in this way we shall Live Common Life. But for as long as you remain at the low level of the human will, like sun, I shall Give you the Effects of the Divine Will; however, Its Life shall be Always Mine, praying and waiting for all of you in the Will of our Creator.’
“The one who Lives in My Will is the True Sun that is such that apparently one sees nothing but Light and feels nothing but heat, but how many goods are there not inside that light and heat? How many effects? The life and the goods of the earth are enclosed inside that light and heat. In the same way, with the one who Lives in My Divine Fiat, apparently one sees a creature, but Inside there is a Divine Will that sustains Everything—Heaven and earth, and does not want to keep inactive she who Possesses such a Great Good.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, being one with Your little daughter Luisa and feel the heartbeat of Your Light, the breath of Your balsamic Air, the Life of Your Divine Will. Luisa is the one who Possesses the Rights of her creation, and, More than sun, she Lives in the Unity of her Creator as Reproducer of the Effects of the Divine Unity. May her little children, rise up in the Divine Will so that Your Will shall be the Will of All. May All Live the Common Life in the Will of our Creator, one with Luisa, True Sun, the one who Sustains Everything – Heaven and earth. We pray this on behalf of All that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven Amen.
Day 9 – Wednesday September 7, 2016
V1 Jesus made me understand that He wanted to Renew the Marriage – not on earth, as the First Time, but in Heaven, in the Presence of the whole Celestial Court, and that I should remain Prepared for a Grace So Great.
“One morning – it was the eve of the Nativity of Mary Most Holy – my always benign Jesus Himself came to dispose me… on that morning, in order to dispose my heart More, Jesus spoke about the annihilation of myself… While my soul was Exciting itself with Ardent Yearnings for Receiving the Grace that Jesus Himself Wanted to Give me, Jesus came back and Transported me outside of myself, up to Paradise. And there, in the Presence of the Most Holy Trinity and of All the Celestial Court, He Renewed the Marriage. Jesus put out the Ring Adorned with Three Precious Stones, white, red and green, and He gave it to the Father, who Blessed it and gave it back to the Son again. The Holy Spirit took my right hand and Jesus placed the Ring on my ring finger. Then I was admitted to the Kiss of All the Three Divine Persons, and Each of Them Blessed me. Who can tell my confusion when I found myself before the Most Holy Trinity? I shall just say that as soon as I found myself in Their Presence, I fell flat to the ground, and I would have remained there if it wasn’t for Jesus, who encouraged me to go into Their Presence, So Much was the Light, the Sanctity of God. I am only saying this; the other things I shall leave out, because I remember them confusedly. After this, I remember that a few days passed and I received Communion. I lost consciousness, and I saw, Present before me, the Most Holy Trinity whom I had seen in Heaven. I immediately prostrated myself at Their Presence, I Adored Them, I Confessed my nothingness. I remember that I felt so plunged within myself that I did not dare to utter a single word, when a Voice came from Their Midst and said: “Do not fear, pluck up Courage, We have come to Confirm you as Our own, and to Take Possession of your heart.” While this Voice was saying this, I saw that the Most Holy Trinity Descended into my heart and took Possession of it – and there, They Formed Their Dwelling. Who can tell the Change that occurred in me? I felt Divinized; it was no longer I who lived, but They were Living in me. It seemed to me that my body was like a Residence, and that the Living God was Residing in it, because I could Feel, Sensibly, Their Real Presence in my interior. I could hear Their Voice Clearly, coming from within my interior and Resounding at the ears of my body. It happened precisely as when there are people speaking inside a room, and their voices can be heard, Clearly and Distinctly, also outside.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ, being one with Luisa we Excit ourselves with Ardent Yearnings and Receive the Grace that You Yourself Want to Give us; may we Receive the Gift of Living In the Divine Will, as Luisa did in the Renewal of the Marriage in the Presence of the Three Divine Persons. Your Light, Your Sanctity is So Much, that if not for being one with our little mama Luisa and encouraged by You Jesus, we could never Raise ourselves from the ground to Receive such a Grace. Therefore, one with Luisa, we prostrate before You, Triune God; we confess our nothingness, and pray You to confirm us as Your Own; Take Possession of our hearts, Descend into them, Form Your Dwelling and Live in us, the little children of the little mama Luisa and Yours’. Let us Feel Sensibly Your Real Presence, let us Hear Your Voice Clearly, as we pray this on behalf of All that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, as we pray for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
Thursday, – September 8, 2016
BIRTHDAY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The day Luisa received the Gift of Living in the Divine Will
V18-12.25.25 The Dispositions are Needed in order to Possess the Gift of the Divine Will. Similes of It. The Living in Supreme Volition is the Greatest Thing, it is to Live Divine Life, and the soul Operates in the Unity of the Eternal Light.
‘So, the Living in the Will of God is to Possess the Will of God, and this is a Gift. Therefore, if the Goodness of God does not condescend to Give It, what can the poor creature do?’ At that moment, my lovable Jesus moved in my interior, as though Clasping me all to Himself, and told me: “My daughter, it is True that the Living in My Will is a Gift, and It is to Possess the Greatest Gift; but this Gift – which contains Infinite Value, which is Currency that Arises at Each Instant, which is Light that Never goes out, which is sun that Never sets, which Puts the soul in her Place, Established by God in the Divine Order, and therefore she takes her Place of Honor and of Sovereignty in the Creation – is Given but to the one who is Disposed, to the one who shall not waste it, to the one who shall Esteem It So Much and Love It More than his own life; Even More, he Must be Ready to Sacrifice his own life so that this Gift of My Will may have Supremacy Over Everything, and be held as more than life itself – even more, his life be nothing compared to It. Therefore, First I Want to see that the soul Really Wants to do My Will and Never her own, that she is Ready to Make Any Sacrifice in order to do Mine, and that in Everything she does, she Always Asks Me for the Gift of My Will, even just as a loan. Then, when I see that she does Nothing without the loan of My Will, I Give it as Gift, because by Asking for It Over and Over Again, she has Formed the Void within her soul, in which to Place this Celestial Gift; and by becoming used to living with the loan of this divine food, she has lost the taste for her own will, her palate has been Ennobled and shall no longer adapt itself to the vile foods of her own self. Therefore, in Seeing herself in Possession of that Gift which she Longed for, Yearned for, and Loved So Much, she shall Live of the Life of that Gift, she shall Love It, and shall Give It the Esteem It Deserves. (…) Therefore, Knowledge of It is like the Herald of the Gift of My Will which I Want to Give to the creature. Knowledge Prepares the Way; Knowledge is like the Contract I Want to Make of the Gift I Want to Give; and the More Knowledge I Send to the soul, the more she is spurred on to desire the gift and to solicit the Divine Writer to place the final signature – that the Gift is hers and she Possesses It. So, the Sign that in these times I Want to Give this Gift of My Will is the Knowledge of It. Therefore, be Attentive not to let Anything Escape you of what I Manifest to you about My Will, if you Want Me to Place the Final Signature on the Gift which I Yearn to Give to creatures.”
Prayer – O Lord, Jesus Christ being one with Luisa, and Want to receive the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, the Greatest Gift. Being one with Luisa, may You find us Disposed, not wasting this Gift, but Esteeming It and Loving It more than our own life. One with Luisa we are ready to sacrifice our lives so that this Gift of Your Will may have Supremacy over Everything, and be held more than our human life itself. Give us, the little children of little mama Luisa, the Grace we Need to do nothing without the Loan of Your Divine Will, that we may Receive the Gift of the Divine Will. We Long for It, we Yearn for Its, we Love this Gift of the Most Holy Divine Will. We pray to not let anything escape us of what You have Manifested to Luisa in the Book of Heaven. We Implore You, one with Luisa, to place the Final Signature on this Gift which You, Lord, Yearn to Give us, as we pray on behalf of All that It be for Your Glory and the Good of All souls, past, present and future, praying for Your Kingdom to Come on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen.
St. Augustine was born in 354 at Tagasta near Algiers. His mother, St. Monica, taught him early to pray. Although he had received with delight her holy teaching, he went headlong into the gravest disorders. Carthage not offering him a theatre worthy of his genius, he went to Rome and obtained the post of master of rhetoric at Milan. “My iniquities,” he confesses, “were like a snowball growing in size as it rolls.” His desolate mother prayed to God incessantly with tears, still following the steps of her son. St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, received him kindly and enlightened him in Divine knowledge. One day, inspired by Heaven, he opened the Espistles of St. Paul and read; “Wallow not in debauchery and impurity; but chothe yourselves in Our Lord Jesus Christ.” His irresolution immediately ceased and at 33 years of age, on Easter Eve, 387, he was baptized.
Seven months after this great happiness, St. Monica died asking her son to “remember her at the Altar of God”. Augustine, becoming a Priest, offered the Holy Sacrifice for her. “Lord,” he often said, “have mercy on my mother; she was good, she pardoned easily, pardon her also her sins.”
Made Bishop of Hippo, at the age of 41, he began from that moment to live Canonically, that is to say, in common with his Clerks. This Community gave Bishops and Priests to many Churches, and thus the Institute of St. Augustine spread little by little in Africa and more specially in Gaul. The Rule of St. Augustine, which makes him one of the four Great Founders of Religious Orders, is drawn from the 211th epistle which he wrote for nuns, and which later on was adapted for men.
Owing to the sublimity of his knowledge and the ardor of his vow, this Saint is also one of the great Doctors of the West.
He died in 430 A.D, after an Episcopate of 36 years, reciting the Penitential Psalms.
4/4/02 – Vol. 4
Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta: At the end I said to Him (Our Lord Jesus Christ): ‘Lord, I repent of the offenses given by me and by all creatures of the earth, and I repent and I am sorry for the sole reason that we have offended You, Highest Good, who deserve love, while we have dared to give You offenses.’
|THE BLACK MADONNA OF POLAND
OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA AND JASNA GORA
|Bryan J Walsh
The Black Madonna is a painting of the Madonna and Christ Child which legend states was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. St. Luke is believed to have used a tabletop from a table built by the carpenter Jesus. It was while Luke was painting Mary that she told him about the events in the life of Jesus that he eventually used in his gospel.
This same legend states that that when St. Helen went to Jerusalem to search for the true cross in 326 AD, she happened upon this portrait of Our Lady. She gave it to her son, Constantine, who had a shrine built to house it. In a critical battle with the Saracens, the portrait was displayed from the walls of Constantinople and the Saracens were subsequently routed. The portrait was credited with saving the city. The painting was eventually owned by Charlemagne who subsequently presented the painting to Prince Leo of Ruthenia (northwest Hungary). It remained at the royal palace in Ruthenia until an invasion occurred in the eleventh century. The king prayed to Our Lady to aid his small army and as a result of this prayer a darkness overcame the enemy troops who, in their confusion, began attacking one another. Ruthenia was saved as a result of this intervention by Our Lady. In the fourteenth century, it was transferred to the Mount of Light (Jasna Gora) in Poland in response to a request made in a dream of Prince Ladislaus of Opola.
The legendary history becomes better documented with the painting’s ownership by Prince Ladislaus. In 1382 invading Tartars attacked the Prince’s fortress at Belz. In this attack one of the Tartar arrows hit the painting and lodged in the throat of the Madonna. The Prince, fearing that he and the famous painting might fall to the Tartars, fled in the night finally stopping in the town of Czestochowa, where the painting was installed in a small church. The Prince subsequently had a Pauline monastery and church built to ensure the painting’s safety. In 1430, the Hussites overran the monastery and attempted to take the portrait. One of the looters twice struck the painting with his sword but before he could strike another blow he fell to the floor writhing in agony and died. Both the sword cuts and the arrow wound are still visible in the painting.
Later, in 1655, Poland was almost entirely overrun by the forces of Sweden’s King Charles X. Only the area around the monastery remained unconquered. Somehow, the monks of the monastery successfully defended the portrait against a forty day siege and eventually all of Poland was able to drive out the invaders.
After this remarkable turn of events, the Lady of Czestochowa became the symbol of Polish national unity and was crowned Queen of Poland. The King of Poland placed the country under the protection of the Blessed Mother. A more recent legend surrounding the painting involves the Russian invasion of Poland in 1920. Legend holds that the Russian army was massing on the banks of the Vistula river, threatening Warsaw, when an image of the Virgin was seen in the clouds over the city. The troops withdrew on seeing the image.
There have been reports for centuries of miraculous events such as spontaneous healings occurring to those who made a pilgrimage to the portrait. It gets its name “Black Madonna” from the soot residue that discolors the painting. The soot is the result of centuries of votive lights and candles burning in front of the painting. With the fall of communism in Poland, pilgrimages to the Black Madonna have increased dramatically.
Monday, August 22, 2016, in the Parish of Mater Gratiae, Oasis of Nazareth in Corato the last farewell was given to don John Olin Brown.
His funeral rite was presided by His Excellency Archbishop Giovan Battista Pichierri, with the presence of Mons. Savino Giannotti, Vicar General of the Archdiocese and part of the diocesan clergy.
John Olin Brown was ordained a priest in Trani on November19, 1994. It was the deacon Vincenzo Dileccedi who traced his memory, by reading some of don John’s autobiographical thoughts
He was born in 1952 in a small town near Dallas, Texas. He graduated in philosophy in 1974. He came from a family that was rooted in the Evangelical Church. He had a brother and an aunt who were Pastors of the Methodist Church. His family was considered sufficiently religious. In his country there was not even a Catholic Church, and he never supposed he could to convert to Catholicism.
He received a very rigid moral education from his father. Since he was a child, he felt a special attraction to the Lord, however his vocation, developed over time. After being admitted to the university, he began to feel more strongly the vocational problem and he tried to focus on the philosophical study thinking that in the future he could become involved in the Methodist Church. Meanwhile, he postponed his choice and went back to the “ranch” to work with his father as a cowboy.
After his father’s death he felt free to go back to that “fixed idea” of a God that was tormenting him. During a vacation in Minnesota he met a Jesuit priest who fascinated him with his speech on the Catholic Church, he remained with him for a long period of time, after which he converted to Catholicism. Since he was attracted by the monastic life he lived for a year at a Trappist monastery in Iowa. At that time he learned about the writings of Luisa Piccarreta well known in America, Canada and Mexico, and they were as a completion of his conversion.
Therefore, he come to Italy, he arrived in Corato to visit the Association of Luisa, where he was welcomed by President Sister Assunta Marigliano and the Ordinary of the place, Mons.. Giuseppe Carata who suggested him to finish his theological studies he had begun in Rome. The writings of Luisa, full of high spirituality, managed to give him an existential response that he was unable to find either in philosophy or in several Catholic spiritual currents. His stay in Corato coincided with the period in which the association got, thanks to His Excellency Archbishop Mons. Carmelo Cassati the “non obstare” from the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints to open the process of the Cause for the Beatification of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta..
At Corato, he was amazed at the lack of knowledge by people about the figure of Luisa that instead was well known abroad and, at the same time, he was impressed by the generosity and affection of the people of Corato. He considered himself fortunate to have been formed in the priesthood in the spirituality of Luisa, because what the Servant of God did in her life, embraced and embraces the spirituality of all priests : sanctify themselves for the Kingdom of God. This was also the yearning that Don John always had.
After the proclamation of the Word of God, His Excellency Mons. Pichierri further described the figure of father John: after an absence of about twenty years, he returned to our diocese, where he had become a priest and in which he had exercised the first steps of his ministry, celebrating his first solemn Mass right in the sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie, on November20 1994 ( the day when the diocesan inquiry on the servant of God Luisa Piccarreta opened)
The archbishop recalled that during a talk he had this year with Don John on his return, he felt in his heart Don John’s great desire not to “fly” over and to stay forever in the land of Luisa Piccarreta, the little creature, the littlest among all people of Corato, towards whom he felt a deep gratitude. Due to a severe lung infection he was hospitalized at first in the hospital of Corato and then in Trani, in intensive care, where he died.
He became a priest in Trani, and he died in Trani on August 20.
The Archbishop pointed out that for our Diocese, welcoming the mortal remains of father John is to be considered a special grace because it allows us to accomplish one of the corporal works of mercy: to bury the dead.
The archbishop also reiterated that the Diocese undertook to establish contacts with his native land, speaking with some of his relatives who immediately expressed their wish to have him there, but given the bureaucratic hurdles and Don John’s desire to stay in the land of Luisa, it was decided to bury him in the cemetery of Corato.
The Archbishop stated: “For me, Father John is a beautiful testimony on the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, we must therefore be able to preserve the memory of this priest non only as priests, but also as people.”
Don John was no longer the handsome giant of the early days, now he appeared meek as a lamb, always able to say thanks to all those people who approached him to help him.
His conversion is the fruit of the love of God, a God that John had found in the Catholic Church, he served as a priest the Church and announced the Kingdom. Then, the Archbishop exhorted the brothers priests to serve with joy the people that Christ has entrusted to them to walk together towards the eternal Kingdom, that Kingdom where the first creature who was assumed into Heaven has become the Queen of Heaven and earth with our King Jesus Christ.
Don Jon felt this intensely, since he had begun to follow the little daughter of the Divine Will.
Let’s pray that he will be received by the Father and could be considered a small son of the Divine Will.
Jesus says ”the children of the Kingdom of the Divine Will will be those that will render Her the honors of Queen and transforming themselves into suns they will form for Her the most beautiful crown” , may also Don John offer his life turned into sun as a proof of honor and glory.
It is very remarkable that his funeral was celebrated on the day in which the liturgical calendar of the Church commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked under the title of Queen.
As each soul enters into Heaven through Mary and by virtue of her motherhood and her pain, we hope that the Blessed Virgin welcomed him and handed over to her Son.
After the Mass, in an atmosphere of sadness and feelings shared by all, the coffin, which was carried on the shoulders by some brothers priests was placed in the hearse.
don Marco Cannavò
LUISA PICCARRETA Official Website:
From the Gospel according to John (Jn 19.33 to 34)
“But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out”.
It’s around three in the afternoon, from moon, the sky has turned into darkness. Now it is finished. Jesus’ bones are out of joint, it is possible to count them one by one. His heart is like wax; it is melted within His breast. He is poured out like water. His strength is dried up like a potsherd. His tongue sticks to his jaws, and He ,with a soft voice, which is sufficient so that the soldiers can hear Him, whispers: “I thirst!”.
Those men still do not understand. They put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to His mouth. That bad wine, which is like lifeless blood, is the only thing that a man can offer Him. The sour wine is the symbol of our life that is consumed by sin and ripped by the primordial wound. It is like wine that has lost its color, taste and aroma. Jesus also drinks that sour wine. He takes everything that a man gives Him.
On July 4 1910, Jesus explained to Luisa that in a special way He wanted to suffer the agony in the Garden, in order to help all of the dying to die well and the agony on the Cross was for help at the last moment, at the very last breath.
They are both agonies, but one is different from the other: the agony in the Garden, full of sadness, of fears, of anxieties, of frights; the agony on the Cross, full of peace, of imperturbable calm. And if Jesus cried out ‘I thirst!’, it was the insatiable thirst that all might breathe their last in His last breath; and in seeing that many would go out of His last breath, out of grief He cried out ‘Sitio!’ [‘I thirst!’], and this ‘sitio’ still continues to cry out to all and to each one like a bell at the door of each heart: ‘I thirst for you, oh soul! O please, never go out of Me, but enter into Me and breathe your last in Me!’
Jesus told Luisa in another passage of November 9, 1906, that one who meditates continuously on His Passion and feels sorrow for it and compassion for Him, pleases Him so much that He feel as though comforted for all that He suffered in the course of His Passion; and by always meditating on it, the soul arrives at preparing a continuous food. In this food there are many different spices and flavors, which form different effects. So, if in the course of His Passion they gave Him ropes and chains to tie Him, the soul releases Him and gives Him freedom.
In the Passion they despised Him, spat on Him, and dishonored Him; on the contrary one who meditates on His Passion appreciates Him, cleans Him of that spittle, and honors Him. They stripped Him and scourged Him, the soul who meditates on His passion heals Him and clothes Him. They crowned Him with thorns, mocking Him as king, embittered His mouth with bile, and crucified Him; while the soul, meditating on all His pains, crowns Him with glory and honors Him as her king, fills His mouth with sweetness, giving Him the most delicious food, which is the memory of His own works; and unnailing Him from the Cross, she makes Him rise again in her heart. And every time she does so, He gives her a new life of grace as recompense. She is His food, and He becomes her continuous food.
After receiving the sour wine, Jesus, with His few strengths, said the last words: “It is finished”. The sun has turned into darkness and the moon into blood,
All creation returns to feel lonely as before the birth of man. Darkness tries to hide from creation what man has just accomplished. It does not want creation to know that it no longer has reason to rejoice. The end of all things seems that has arrived. Jesus bends his head and gives up His spirit.
God is dead and with Him also our humanity. The earth is again without form and void, and darkness is over the abyss of nothingness created again by us. Everything has turned back as before God said: “Fiat lux!”. Man died for his sin. No bush of the field is in the land, the grass does not spring anymore. A source of blood is gushing from the heaven and is irrigating the whole ground. God is dead for love. Jesus bows His head and blows His spirit into the nostrils of that land which is mixed with His blood. For love sin is defeated and along with it death too. Man becomes again a living being!
The time of sunset is approaching. Saturday preceding the Passover is the new day that is to come . The chief priests don’t want the bodies of the criminals to be hung from the cross: these are the bodies of people cursed by God! They break the bones of the two thieves who are with Him to accelerate the course of their death. Jesus is already dead, there is no need to harm Him again.
A centurion, to make sure He is dead, prepares to strike Him with the spear. He grasps it, he pierced His side, he moves His arm to load the shot. That soldier was about to open His heart. No man has ever been able to do this.
To enter the heart of Jesus, to know His mysteries is man’s most sincere and noble desire. Jesus allows us to do this from the beginning, but since man has ceased to trust Him and wanted to reach on his own that knowledge, everything is ruined. His pride has opened within him a deep gorge of dissatisfaction. The more man has the more he is afraid of losing. The more he knows and the more he longs to dominate the world around him. He arranges his life in order to exorcise death, but the more he tries to do this and the more the thought of it haunts him.
All the sin of man is now concentrated in the blade of the spear that is going to penetrate His chest. The primordial hope to be like Him and to know His thoughts is finding its satisfaction in that spear. What does he hope to find? At one time, the result of that gesture were suffering and death. What will happen now?
Beneath the cross there is not only the centurion. There are not only the hypocritical Pharisees, the unscrupulous soldiers and the people of Israel who mocks Him. Beneath the cross there is a new people that without that spear has already learned to understand what His heart conceals. Simon of Cyrene learned it through His eyes and savored the peace that comes from carrying the cross with Jesus. Mary, His mother, understood this, day after day, walking with her Son along her earthly existence. His heart is so full of love and suffering that there is no human being who can get close to His feelings more than She does.
Beneath the cross there is also John, who trusted Jesus’ love and learned to love as Jesus loves, giving his own life for his friends. Under the cross there are all the people that Jesus loved throughout His life, and that they felt loved by Him, recognizing in His love, the love of the Father. These are different people who belong to different cultures and religions, to different ages and classes of population, they have nothing in common except His same love.
And now they are there and will remain there. They are His friends, His brothers. They are His Church. Also Peter and the other apostles of whom there is no trace will soon return. After His death also Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who are teachers of the Law and powerful men, will find the courage to follow Him. They will lay His body in a tomb and anoint it with thirty pounds of oil, as for the kings, because Jesus is king even if the world does not understand this, but His friends understand this and as for the Kings, they serve Him faithfully.
That spear cuts through the air and comes close to His chest. The centurion took the place of the first woman and the first man. The curiosity of that soldier has taken the place of human greed to give satisfaction to both. The deep wound that inhabits our being is going to be filled by what they always yearn.
The spear pierces the skin and the entire blade penetrates His chest. His heart is more and more close.
The blade sinks into His side up to touch the layers of the source of a new life. The peak of our sin comes to the bottom of His heart. Man came there where he always wanted to go. Now his desire to know good and evil is now a reality, he can really be like God. All evil caused by men comes to light. All the good is going to spring from that pierced side.
Sin broke the rock of time and space. A gush of water and blood comes out of the depths of the eternal mysteries. A new source of life has been opened in history to gush forever: it is the river of His Mercy.
The blood that He had saved as a last gift of love, pours itself on the body of the centurion and with him also on the body of every man that has been replaced by him. We are flooded by His Mercy.
So this is what hides in the heart of Jesus: an infinite love for us. So, to be like Him is to love as He loves: to the end, till the last drop of blood in our body.
Love makes us divine. But this is a love that is until the end, till the last drop of blood. After all, His enemies had already understood that. They, too, continued to live by giving their lives for love. This is the meaning of everything. This is what makes us children of God.
Man has now recovered his lost image and rediscovers himself as child of God who is loved by Him. The wound that inhabits the human heart has regained its original state: it has again become thirsty of love. The wound in the side of Jesus attracts our wound. Jesus shouts from His heart to us: “If anyone is thirsty come to me and the one who trust me drink.” We never will turn away from His heart and will drink forever at the source of His Mercy.
O Adorable Heart, pierced for us,
receive our prayers,
the expectations of the poor, the tears of the suffering,
the hopes of the peoples,
so that all mankind
may meet in Your Kingdom of Love,
Justice and Peace.
a cura di don Marco