FROM a reader in response to my writing on The Coming New and Divine Holiness:
Jesus Christ is the greatest Gift of all, and the good news is He is with us right now in all His fullness and power through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is now within the hearts of those who have been born again… now is the day of salvation. Right now, we, the redeemed are the sons of God and will be made manifest at the appointed time… we don’t need to wait on any so called secrets of some alleged apparition to be fulfilled or Luisa Piccarreta’s understanding of Living in the Divine Will in order for us to be made perfect…
If you have read The Coming New and Divine Holiness, perhaps you are wondering the same things too? Is God really doing something new? Does He have a greater glory awaiting the Church? Is this in Scripture? Is it a novel addition to the work of Redemption, or is it simply its completion? Here, it is good to call to mind the constant teaching of the Church that one could rightly say the martyrs shed their blood for in fighting against heresies:
It is not [so-called “private” revelations’] role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history… Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment. —Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), n. 67
If, as St. John Paul II said, God is preparing a “new and divine holiness” for the Church, cf. The Coming New and Divine Holiness it would be in the sense that “new” means a further unfolding of what God has already spoken in His definitive Word uttered at the dawn of Creation and made flesh in the Incarnation. That is, when man razed the Garden of Eden to the ground by his sin, God planted in the soil of our folly the seed of our Redemption. When He made His covenants with man, it was as though the “flower” of Redemption poked its head from the ground. Then when Jesus became man and suffered, died, and rose again, the bud of salvation was formed and began opening on Easter morn.
That flower continues to unfold as new petals are revealed (see The Unfolding Splendor of Truth). Now, no new petals can be added; but as this flower of Revelation unfolds, it releases new scents (graces), new heights of growth (wisdom), and new beauty (holiness).
And so we have arrived at a moment where God wishes this flower to be fully unfolded in time, revealing new depths of His love and plan for mankind…
See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19)
THE NEW OLD
I have explained, as best I can (like a child trying to form his first words), what this “new and divine holiness” is that God is preparing, and has already begun in souls. So here, I want to examine my reader’s criticism in the light of the Scriptures and Tradition to see if this new “Gift” is in fact already there in “bud” form or if it is a kind of neo-gnosticm attempting to graft a new petal onto the deposit of faith. for a more in depth and theological examination of Luisa Piccarreta’s writings, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi has weaved a masterful dissertation that shows how the “Living in the Divine Will” is part of Sacred Tradition. See www.ltdw.org
In truth, this “Gift” was present in more than a bud, but in full flower from the very beginning. In his marvellous new book on the revelations to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta regarding this “Gift of Living in the Divine Will” see The Crown and Completion of All Sanctities, Daniel O’Connor points out that Adam, Eve, Mary, and Jesus were all living in the Divine Will, as opposed to merely copying the Divine Will. As Jesus taught Luisa, “to live in My will is to reign while to do My Will is to submit to My orders… To live in My will is to live as a son. To do My Will is to live as a servant.” from Luisa’s diaries, Vol. XVII, September 18th, 1924; Saints in the Divine Will by Fr. Sergio Pellegrini, with the approval of the Archbishop of Trani, Giovan Battista Pichierri, p. 41-42
…these four alone… were created 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. 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… is precisely that same state of sanctity as these four possessed. —Daniel O’Connor, The Crown and Completion of All Sanctities, p. 8; from ecclesiastically approved texts.
Put another way, Adam and Eve were God’s intention before the fall; Jesus was the remedy after the fall; and Mary became the new prototype:
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life. —CCC, n. 488
And not only the life of Jesus, but that of His body, the Church. Mary became the New Eve, (which means “mother of all the living” Genesis 3:20 ), to whom Jesus said:
Woman, behold, your son. (John 19:26)
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. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body. —CCC, n. 973
The work of Mary then, in co-operation with the Holy Trinity, is to birth and bring to maturity the Mystical Body of Christ such that it participates again in the “same state of sanctity” which she possesses. This is essentially the “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart”: that the Body is brought to “live in the Divine Will” as Jesus the Head is. St. Paul describes this unfolding plan…
…until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ… [to bring] about the body’s growth and [build] itself up in love. (Eph 4:13-15)
And Jesus revealed that to remain in His love is to live in His will. John 15:7, 10 So we see another parallel to the “flower”: that of a body growing from infancy into “mature manhood.” St. Paul states it yet another way:
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory… (2 Cor 3:18)
The early Church reflected one glory; the centuries after another glory; the centuries after that yet more glory; and the final stage of the Church is destined to reflect His image and glory such that her will is in complete union with Christ’s. “Full maturity” is the reign of the Divine Will in the Church.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10)
THE KINGDOM WITHIN
As my reader points out, the Kingdom of God is already within the hearts of the baptized. And this is true; but the Catechism teaches that this reign is not yet fully realized.
The kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into him, until its full eschatological manifestation. —CCC, n. 865
And part of the reason it is not fully realized is that there is a tension between the human will and the Divine Will that exists even now, a tension between “my” kingdom and Christ’s Kingdom.
Only a pure soul can boldly say: “Thy kingdom come.” One who has heard Paul say, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies,” and has purified himself in action, thought and word will say to God: “Thy kingdom come!”—CCC, n. 2819
Jesus said to Luisa:
In Creation, My ideal was to form the Kingdom of My Will in My creature’s soul. My primary purpose was to make each man the image of the Divine Trinity by virtue of the fulfilment of My Will in him. But by man’s withdrawl from My Will, I lost My Kingdom in him, and for 6000 long years I have had to battle. —from Luisa’s diaries, Vol. XIV, November 6th, 1922; Saints in the Divine Will by Fr. Sergio Pellegrini, with the approval of the Archbishop of Trani, Giovan Battista Pichierri, p. 35
Now, as you know, I have written extensively on the coming “era of peace” as foretold by the Old Testament prophets, expounded upon by the Early Church Fathers, and developed within Tradition by theologians such as Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi. eg. How the Era Was Lost But what, dear brothers and sisters, is going to be the source of this peace? Will it not be the restoration of the Divine Will reigning in the heart of the Church as it did in Adam and Eve when, before the fall, creation was not groaning beneath the sore of death, conflict, and rebellion, but was at rest?
Peace is not merely the absence of war… Peace is “the tranquillity of order.” Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity. —CCC, n. 2304
Yes, this is precisely what Our Lady Queen of Peace has come to do with the Holy Spirit: to birth the life of Jesus Christ completely in the Church, so that the Kingdom of the Divine Will and the interior life of the Church are one, as they already are in Mary.
…the Spirit of Pentecost will flood the earth with his power and a great miracle will gain the attention of all humanity. This will be the effect of grace of the Flame of Love… which is Jesus Christ himself… something like this has not happened since the Word became flesh.
Satan’s blindness means the universal triumph of My divine Heart, the liberation of souls, and the opening of the way to salvation to its fullest extent. —Jesus to Elizabeth Kindelmann, The Flame of Love, p. 61, 38, 61; 233; from Elizabeth Kindelmann’s diary; 1962; Imprimatur Archbishop Charles Chaput
THE “REST” OF THE STORY
Why did Jesus say “for 6000 years” He has had to battle? Recall the words of St. Peter in addressing the question of why the return of the Lord seemed to be delayed:
…do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. (2 Peter 3:8)
The Early Church Fathers applied this Scripture to the history of mankind since the creation of Adam and Eve. They taught that, as God labored to make creation in six days and then rested on the seventh, so too the labor’s of men in participating in God’s creation would last 6000 years (ie. “six days”), and on the “seventh” day, man would rest.
Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God. (Heb 4:9)
But rest from what? From the tension between his will and God’s:
And whoever enters into God’s rest, rests from his own works as God did from his. (Heb 4:10)
This “rest” is further enhanced by the fact that Satan will be chained during that “seventh” day, and the “lawless one” destroyed:
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed… they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for [the] thousand years. (Rev 20:1-7)
So, we must not think of this as “new” as in a new doctrine, for this was taught by the Church Fathers from the beginning that a “temporal kingdom” would come, spiritual in nature, symbolized by the number a “thousand”:
…when His Son will come and destroy the time of the lawless one and judge the godless, and change the sun and the moon and the stars—then He shall indeed rest on the seventh day… after giving rest to all things, I will make the beginning of the eighth day, that is, the beginning of another world. —Letter of Barnabas (70-79 A.D.), written by a second century Apostolic Father
…as if it were a fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period, 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… —St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.; Church Doctor), De Civitate Dei, Bk. XX, Ch. 7, Catholic University of America Press
As Jesus says to Luisa Piccarreta:
This is the meaning of Fiat Voluntas tua: “Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven” —that man return into My Divine Will. Only then will She become calm — when She sees her child happy, living in his own home, enjoying the fullness of his blessings. —from Luisa’s diaries, Vol. XXV, March 22nd, 1929; Saints in the Divine Will by Fr. Sergio Pellegrini, with the approval of the Archbishop of Trani, Giovan Battista Pichierri, p. 28; nb. “She” is a personified way of referring to the “Divine Will”. This same literary form is used in Scripture where “Wisdom” is referred to as a “she”; cf. Prov 4:6
Church Father Tertullian taught this 1900 years earlier. He speaks at the recovery of that state of sanctity that was lost in the Garden of Eden:
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 Jerusalem… We say that this city has been provided by God for receiving the saints on their resurrection, and refreshing them with the abundance of all really spiritual blessings, as a recompense for those which we have either despised or lost… —Tertullian (155–240 A.D.), Nicene Church Father; Adversus Marcion, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Henrickson Publishers, 1995, Vol. 3, pp. 342-343)
One of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the “City of God.” Likewise, the Church will bear this title more fully when she enters the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. For the City of God is where His Divine Will reigns.
THE GIFT IN THE GOSPELS
Aside from what I’ve mentioned above, Our Lord did allude to this coming “new and divine holiness” on several occasions. But why, one might ask, was He simply not direct?
I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. (John 16:12-13)
Perhaps it would have been too difficult for the early Church to learn that 2000 more years of salvation history were yet to play out. Indeed, can we not see the wisdom of the Scriptures written in such a way that every generation has believed that their own could see the return of Christ? And hence, every generation has had to “watch and pray”, and in so doing, the Spirit has led them into greater and greater unfoldings of truth. After all, the “Apocalypse” of St. John, as it’s called, means “the unveiling.” Some things are meant to be veiled, as Jesus said above, until the Church is ready to receive the fullness of His Revelation.
In that regard, the reader above essentially dismisses prophetic revelations as really not all that necessary. But one has to ask if anything God says is unnecessary? And what if God wishes to keep His plan veiled beneath “secrets”?
Go, Daniel… because the words are to be kept secret and sealed until the end time. (Dan 12:9)
For the Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come. He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets. (Sir 42:18-19)
The manner in which God wants to reveal His secrets is really His business. So it is no surprise too that Jesus speaks in veiled language and parables so that the mysteries of Redemption will be fully disclosed at their proper time. So when speaking of a future time of a greater degree of sanctity in the Church, can we not perhaps see this in the parable of the sower?
…some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. (Mark 4:8)
Or in the parable of the talents?
For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. (Matt 25:14)
And couldn’t the parable of the prodigal son be an allegory for the long journey home of humanity, from the fall in the Garden of Eden where the modality of Living in the Divine Will was squandered and lost… to the restoration of that divine birth right towards the end of time?
Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found. (Luke 15:22-24)
‘My child has come back; he is clothed with his royal robes; he wears his kingly crown; and he Lives his Life with Me. I have given him back the rights that I gave him when I created him. And, so, the disorder in Creation has come to an end – because man has come back into My Divine Will.’ —Jesus to Luisa, from Luisa’s diaries, Vol. XXV, March 22nd, 1929; Saints in the Divine Will by Fr. Sergio Pellegrini, with the approval of the Archbishop of Trani, Giovan Battista Pichierri, p. 28
For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready. She was allowed to wear a bright, clean linen garment. (Rev 19:7-8)
Indeed, said St. Paul, the divine plan is that Christ…
…might present to himself the Church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:27)
And this will only be possible if the Body of Christ is living with and in the same Will as the Head.
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… —Jesus to Venerable Conchita, Ronda Chervin, Walk With Me Jesus; cited in The Crown and Completion of All Sanctities, p. 12
…may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us… (John 17:21
So, in answer to my reader, yes of course we are the sons and daughters of God right now. And Jesus promises:
The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. (Rev 21:7)
Surely an infinite God has an infinite number of gifts to give His children. Since the “Gift of Living in the Divine Will” is both consonant with Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and is the “Crown and Completion of All Sanctities”, let us get on with the business of desiring and asking the Lord for it, who gives generously to those who ask.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened…. how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him… He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. (Matt 7:7-11; John 3:34)
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens… (Eph 3:8-10)
First published March 26th, 2015.
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Spend 5 minutes a day with Mark, meditating upon the daily Now Word in the Mass readings
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|cf. The Coming New and Divine Holiness
|for a more in depth and theological examination of Luisa Piccarreta’s writings, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi has weaved a masterful dissertation that shows how the “Living in the Divine Will” is part of Sacred Tradition. See www.ltdw.org
|see The Crown and Completion of All Sanctities
|from Luisa’s diaries, Vol. XVII, September 18th, 1924; Saints in the Divine Will by Fr. Sergio Pellegrini, with the approval of the Archbishop of Trani, Giovan Battista Pichierri, p. 41-42
|John 15:7, 10
|eg. How the Era Was Lost
|cf. How the Era was Lost