How to Live In the Divine Will

 

GOD has reserved, for our times, the “gift of living in the Divine Will” that once was Adam’s birthright but was lost through original sin. Now it is being restored as the final stage of the People of God’s long journey back to the Father’s heart, to make of them a Bride “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27).

…despite Christ’s Redemption, the redeemed do not necessarily possess the rights of the Father and reign with him. Though Jesus became man to give all who receive him the power to become sons of God and became the firstborn of many brothers, whereby they may call him God their Father, the redeemed do not by Baptism fully possess the rights of the Father as Jesus and Mary did. Jesus and Mary enjoyed all the rights of a natural sonship, i.e., perfect and uninterrupted cooperation with the Divine Will… —Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, Ph.B., STB, M. Div., STL, STD, The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta, (Kindle Locations 1458-1463), Kindle Edition

It is more than simply doing the will of God, even perfectly; rather, it is possessing above all the rights and privileges to affect and rule all creation that Adam once possessed, but forfeited. 

If the Old Testament bestowed upon the soul the sonship of “slavery” to the law, and Baptism the sonship of “adoption” in Jesus Christ, with the gift of Living in the Divine Will God bestows upon the soul the sonship of “possession” that admits it to “concur in all that God does”, and to partake in the rights to all of his blessings. To the soul that freely and lovingly desires to live in the Divine Will by faithfully obeying it with a “firm and resolute act”, God bestows upon it the sonship of possession. —Ibid. (Kindle Locations 3077-3088)

Think of a pebble thrown into the middle of a pond. All of the ripples proceed from that center point to the edges of the entire pond — a result of that single act. So too, with a single word — Fiat (“let it be”) — all of creation has proceeded from that single point of eternity, rippling throughout the centuries.[1]cf. Gen 1 The ripples themselves are movements through time, but the center point is eternity since God is in eternity.

Another analogy is to think of the Divine Will as the fount of a great waterfall that breaks into millions of tributaries. Until now, all the greatest saints in the past could do is step into one of those tributaries and even remain perfectly within it according to its force, direction, and flow. But now God is restoring to man his original capacity to enter into the very Source of those tributaries — the Fount — the single point in eternity from which the Divine Will emerges. Hence, the soul who lives in the Divine Will is able to make all his acts done, as it were, in that single point, thus influencing at once all the tributaries downstream (ie. throughout all human history). Thus my thinking, breathing, moving, acting, speaking, and even sleeping in the Divine Will continues the restoration of the bond and communion of man with the Creator and creation itself. In mystical theology, this is called “bilocation” (not in the sense of St. Pio appearing in two places at once, but as follows): 

Because the eternal operation of God’s Will operated in Adam’s soul as the principle of human activity, his soul was empowered by God to transcend time and space through the grace of bilocation; his soul bilocated in all created things to establish itself as their head and to unify the acts of all creatures. —Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta, 2.1.2.1, p. 41

As the last stage of the Church’s journey, her sanctification consists in God admitting her into the very center of His Divine Will so that all her actions, thoughts, and words enter the “eternal mode” that can thereby influence, as Adam once did, all of creation, releasing it from corruption, and bringing it to perfection. 

Creation is the foundation of “all God’s saving plans,”… God envisaged the glory of the new creation in ChristGod thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 280, 307

And thus,

…creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God… in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now… (Rom 8:19-22)

“All creation,” said St. Paul, “groans and labors up till now,” awaiting Christ’s redemptive efforts to restore the proper relationship between God and his creation. But Christ’s redemptive act did not of itself restore all things, it simply made the work of redemption possible, it began our redemption. Just as all men share in the disobedience of Adam, so all men must share in the obedience of Christ to the Father’s will. Redemption will be complete only when all men share his obedience… —Servant of God Fr. Walter Ciszek, He Leadeth Me (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995), pp. 116-117

This “gift”, then, proceeds entirely from the merits of Christ Jesus who wishes to make us brothers and sisters who share in the restoration of all things (see True Sonship).  

 

The Means to Live in the Divine Will

Jesus asked Luisa to name her writings “The Book of Heaven”, including the subtitle: “The call of the soul to the order, place and purpose for which God created it.”  Far from reserving this call or Gift for a select few, God wishes to bestow it upon all. Alas, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”[2]Matthew 22:14 But I believe with all my heart that you, the readers of The Now Word who have said “yes” (ie. fiat!) to being part of Our Lady’s Little Rabbleare being extended this Gift right now. You don’t have to understand everything written above or below; you don’t have to fully grasp all the concepts laid out in the 36 volumes of Luisa’s writings. All that is necessary for receiving this Gift and beginning to live in the Divine Will was summarized by Jesus in the Gospels:

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven… Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. (Matthew 18:30, John 14:23)

 

I. Desire

The first step, then, is to simply desire this Gift. To say, “My Lord, I know you suffered, died and rose again in order to resurrect in us all that was lost in Eden. I give you my “yes”, then: “May it be done to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38). 

While I was thinking about the Holy Divine Will, my sweet Jesus said to me: “My daughter, to enter into My Will… the creature does nothing other than remove the pebble of her will… This is because the pebble of her will impedes My Will from flowing in her… But if the soul removes the pebble of her will, in that same instant she flows in Me, and I in her. She discovers all of My goods at her disposition: light, strength, help and all that she desires… It is enough that she desires it, and everything is done!” —Jesus to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, Volume 12, February 16th, 1921

For years, books on the Divine Will were landing on my desk. I knew intuitively that they were important… but it wasn’t until I was alone one day that, out of the blue, I sensed Our Lady say, “It’s time.” And with that, I picked up the writings of Our Lady in the Kingdom of the Divine Will and began to drink. For several months thereafter, whenever I began to read these sublime revelations, I was moved to tears. I cannot explain why, except, that it was time. Maybe it is time for you to dive into this Gift, too. You will know because the knocking on your heart will be clear and unmistakable.[3]Rev 3:20 All you need to begin to receive it is to desire it. 

 

II. Knowledge

To grow in this Gift, and for it to grow in you, it is important to immerse oneself in Jesus’ teachings on the Divine Will.

Every time I speak to you about my Will and you acquire new understanding and knowledge, your act in my Will receives more value and you acquire more immense riches. It happens as to a man who possesses a gem, and knows that this gem is worth a penny: he is rich one penny. Now, it happens that he shows his gem to a skilled expert, who tells him that his gem has a value of five thousand liras. That man no longer possesses one penny, but he is rich five thousand liras. Now, after some time he has the opportunity to show his gem to another expert, even more experienced, who assures him that his gem contains the value of one hundred thousand liras, and is ready to buy it if he wants to sell. Now that man is rich one hundred thousand liras. According to his knowledge of the value of his gem, he becomes richer, and feels greater love and appreciation for the gem… Now, the same happens with my Will, as well as with virtues. According to how the soul understands their value and acquires knowledge of them, she comes to acquire new values and new riches in her acts. Therefore, the more you know my Will, the more your act will acquire value. Oh, if you knew what seas of graces I open between you and Me every time I speak to you about the effects of my Will, you would die of joy and would make feast, as if you had acquired new reigns to dominate! Volume 13, August 25th, 1921

For my part, I read maybe 2-3 messages each day from the volumes of Luisa. On the recommendation of a friend, I began with Volume Eleven. But if you are new to the spiritual life, you can start with Volume One, reading a little bit at a time. You can find the writings online hereAlso, the entire set is available in one printed book hereYour questions about Luisa, her writings, and the Church’s approval of them can be read here: On Luisa and Her Writings.

 

III. Virtue

How can one live in this Gift if one continues to live in his own will? This is to say that one can begin his or her day in the Divine Will — in the “eternal mode” of being with God — and quickly fall out of that single point through dissipation, inattentiveness, and of course, sin. It is necessary that we grow in virtue. The Gift of Living in the Divine Will does not do away with the patrimony of spirituality developed, lived, and passed on to us by the Saints, but presumes it. This Gift is leading the Bride of Christ toward perfection, and hence, we have to strive for it. 

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

It is a matter, first and foremost, of smashing our idols and setting out with firm resolution to live in Simple Obedience. Luisa Piccarreta’s spiritual director, St. Hannibal di Francia, wrote:

In order to form, with this new science, saints who may surpass those of the past, the new Saints must also have all the virtues, and in heroic degree, of ancient Saints — of the Confessors, of the Penitents, of the Martyrs, of the Anachorists, of the Virgins, etc. —Letters of St. Hannibal to Luisa Piccarreta, Collection of Letters Sent by St. Hannibal Di Francia to the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta (Jacksonville, Center for the Divine Will: 1997), letter n. 2.

If Jesus is calling us to receive this Gift now in these times, won’t He all the more give us the graces to be disposed to it? It was several years before Luisa finally lived continuously in the Divine Will. So do not be discouraged by your weakness and faults. With God, all things are possible. We simply need to say “yes” to Him — and how and when He brings us to perfection is His business so long as we are sincere in our desire and efforts. The Sacraments, then, become indispensable in healing and strengthing us.  

 

IV. Life

Jesus wants to live His life in us, and for us to live our lives in Him — perpetually. This is the “life” He calls us to; this is His glory and joy, and it will be our glory and joy, too. (I think the Lord is truly crazy for loving humanity like this — but hey — I’ll take it! I’ll ask again and again for His promises to be fulfilled in me, like that pesky widow in Luke 18:1-8). 

His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature… (2 Pet 1:3-4)

The heart of Luisa’s writings is that the words Jesus taught us in the Our Father would be fulfilled:

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 bound and committed to the words of the ‘Our Father.’ —Jesus to Luisa, The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta (Kindle Location 1551), Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi

The goal of Redemption is to transform our finite corporeal actions into divine acts, to bring them from the temporal into the eternal “prime motion” of the Divine Will. To put it crudely, Jesus is fixing in us what became broken in Adam. 

…a creation in which God and man, man and woman, humanity and nature are in harmony, in dialogue, in communion. This plan, upset by sin, was taken up in a more wondrous way by Christ, Who is carrying it out mysteriously but effectively in the present reality, in the expectation of bringing it to fulfillment…  —POPE JOHN PAUL II, General Audience, February 14, 2001

The Holy Trinity wants us to live suspended with them in a Single Will such that Their interior life becomes our own. “Living in My Will is the apex of sanctity, and it bestows continuous growth in Grace,” Jesus said to Luisa.[4]The Splendor of Creation: The Triumph of the Divine Will on Earth and the Era of Peace in the Writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors and Mystics, Rev. Joseph. Iannuzzi, p. 168 It is to transform even the act of breathing into a divine act of praise, adoration, and reparation. 

Sanctity in the Divine Will grows in every instant — there is nothing that can escape from growing, and that the soul cannot let flow in the infinite sea of my Will. The most indifferent things — sleep, food, work, etc. — can enter into my Will and take their place of honor as agents of my Will. If only the soul wants it so, all things, from the greatest to the smallest, can be opportunities to enter my Will…Volume 13, September 14th, 1921

Thus, it is essentially the “habit” of living continuously in the Divine Will.

The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity… with the whole human spirit.” Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2565

If one is living not just in the ripples or tributaries but from the singular point or Fount of the Divine Will, then the soul is able to participate with Jesus not only in the renewal of the world but in the life of the Blessed in Heaven. 

To Live in the Divine Will is to live eternity on earth, it is to mystically traverse the present laws of time and space, it is the human soul’s ability to simultaneously trilocate into the past, the present and the future, while influencing every act of every creature and fusing them in God’s eternal embrace! Initially most souls will often enter and exit the Divine Will until they arrive at stability in virtue. Yet it is this stability in divine virtue that will help them to participate continuously in the Divine Will, which defines Living in the Divine Will. —Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, The Splendor of Creation: The Triumph of the Divine Will on Earth and the Era of Peace in the Writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors and Mystics, St. Andrew’s Productions, p. 193

…every day in the prayer of the Our Father we ask the Lord: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10)…. we recognize that “heaven” is where the will of God is done, and that “earth” becomes “heaven”—i.e., the place of the presence of love, of goodness, of truth and of divine beauty—only if on earth the will of God is done. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, General Audience, February 1st, 2012, Vatican City

 

Seek First the Kingdom

Jesus taught Luisa to begin each day with a deliberate act to enter into the Divine Will. By the soul being placed in immediate relation to God in eternity in that single point, the soul is then placed in immediate relation with all creation — all the tributaries running through time. We can then give praise, thanks, adoration and reparation to God on behalf of all creation as though present in that moment of time (bilocation), since all of time is present to God in the eternal moment.[5]If God’s Divine Will bilocates itself in the soul’s acts and places the soul in immediate relation with him, the grace of the soul’s bilocation places the soul in immediate relation with all creation, and in such a way that it administers («bilocates») to all humans the blessings God grants it. Accordingly, the soul disposes all humans to receive the «life of the Son» of God in order that they might possess him. The soul also increases («redoubles») God’s happiness who grants to it the merit of having obtained as many «divine lives» for as many times it gives itself to God and to all humans through the grace of bilocation. This grace that was once conferred to Adam enables the soul to penetrate material and spiritual realities at will, so as to bilocate in creation God’s one eternal operation, and give God the continuous requital for all the love he had placed in it.” —The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta (Kindle Locations 2343-2359) In this way, our soul is taking the “order, place and purpose for which God created it”; we are applying the fruits of Redemption that intend to unite all things in Christ.[6]cf. Eph 1:10

When I came to earth I reunited the Divine Will with the human will. If a soul does not reject this bond, but rather surrenders itself to the mercy of my Divine Will and allows my Divine Will to precede it, accompany it, and follow it; if it allows its acts to be encompassed by my Will, then what happened to Me happens to that soul. —Piccarreta, Manuscripts, June 15, 1922

For the mysteries of Jesus are not yet completely perfected and fulfilled. They are complete, indeed, in the person of Jesus, but not in us, who are his members, nor in the Church, which is his mystical body.—St. John Eudes, treatise “On the Kingdom of Jesus”, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol IV, p 559

The following is what is called the “Prevenient Act” or “Morning Offering in the Divine Will” that Jesus recommended we begin each day with. [7]Read the introduction to this prayer on Page 65 of the Divine Will Prayer Book ; hardcover version available here As you pray it, pray from the heart. Truly love, praise, thank and adore Jesus as you pray each sentence, trusting that your desire is enough to begin living in the Divine Will and letting Jesus accomplish in you the fullness of His plan of salvation. This is something we can renew in some fashion throughout the day with the same prayer, or other versions of uniting to Jesus, in order to recollect our hearts and develop the habit of staying in the presence of God, indeed, remaining in the Divine Will. For my part, I decided that, rather than try to read 36 volumes, study hundreds of hours of commentaries, and figure it all out first, I would just pray this each day — and let the Lord teach me the rest along the way. 

 

 

The Morning Offering Prayer in the Divine Will
(The “Prevenient Act”)

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” (Fiat Voluntas Tua). 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.

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 Heart.

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. Fiat!

 

 

Related Reading

The Single Will

True Sonship

The Gift

The Resurrection of the Church

See On Luisa and Her Writings for a list of scholars and resources that go deeper into explaining these beautiful mysteries. 

A wonderful collection of the prayers, “rounds”, 24 Hours of the Passion, etc. are here: Divine Will Prayer Book

 

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1 cf. Gen 1
2 Matthew 22:14
3 Rev 3:20
4 The Splendor of Creation: The Triumph of the Divine Will on Earth and the Era of Peace in the Writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors and Mystics, Rev. Joseph. Iannuzzi, p. 168
5 If God’s Divine Will bilocates itself in the soul’s acts and places the soul in immediate relation with him, the grace of the soul’s bilocation places the soul in immediate relation with all creation, and in such a way that it administers («bilocates») to all humans the blessings God grants it. Accordingly, the soul disposes all humans to receive the «life of the Son» of God in order that they might possess him. The soul also increases («redoubles») God’s happiness who grants to it the merit of having obtained as many «divine lives» for as many times it gives itself to God and to all humans through the grace of bilocation. This grace that was once conferred to Adam enables the soul to penetrate material and spiritual realities at will, so as to bilocate in creation God’s one eternal operation, and give God the continuous requital for all the love he had placed in it.” —The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta (Kindle Locations 2343-2359)
6 cf. Eph 1:10
7 Read the introduction to this prayer on Page 65 of the Divine Will Prayer Book ; hardcover version available here
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