THE WAY OF SANCTIFICATION
(Extracts from the Book of Heaven by Luisa Piccarreta)
Compiled by Ann Ellison
April 10, 2020
Dear Family and Friends,
First, I wish you all a very beneficial Good Friday in the Divine Will! I have gather a few things to think about on this most sorrowful day. And yet it is a day in which we should be full of gratitude to our most Loving, Merciful and Crucified Jesus and to the very Sorrowful Heart of our Heavenly Mother!
Today I began the Consecration to the Merciful Love of Jesus. It is little St. Therese’ Consecration, and I feel I can learn a lot on how to live in the Divine Will through her ‘little way.’ It is 33 days, but very easy and short. It will end with a consecration on May 13th. I have copied and pasted Day One at the bottom of this newsletter for anyone who would like to join me. I will be sending it out daily. For those who do not wish to join me, please just delete it from your emails. I will send it out individually and not as a ‘Way of Sanctification,’ so it will be easy for you to just delete.
Today, we, Kathy and I, have lots of prayers and mediations we wish to do, so I am closing now! Be sure and spend the day loving and making reparations to Our Wonderful Lord, doing rounds, and repairing sinful acts for the salvation of all souls! This is one of our obligations.
God bless each of you and yours with an abundant of graces during this unforgettable Easter Season!
November 18, 1913
When the human will and the Divine Will are opposed, one forms the cross of the other.
I was thinking about my wretched condition, and how even the cross has been taken away from me. In my interior, Jesus told me: “My daughter, when two wills oppose each other, one forms the cross of the other. That is the way it is between Me and my creatures: when their wills are opposed to Mine, I form their cross and they form Mine. I am the long bar of the cross, while they form the short bar, and when these two bars cross each other, they form the cross. Now, when the will of the soul unites with Mine, the bars are no longer crossed, but united. That is why the cross is no longer a cross. Do you understand this? Remember that I sanctified the Cross; it was not the cross that sanctified Me. The Cross does not sanctify; rather, resignation to my Will sanctifies the Cross. That is why even the Cross is a blessing so long as it is linked to my Will. Moreover, the Cross sanctifies and crucifies part of a person, but my Will spares nothing. It sanctifies everything, crucifying thoughts, desires, affections, heart, will—everything. The light of my Will shows the soul the necessity for this complete crucifixion and sanctification, in such a way that she herself incites Me to complete the crafting of my Will within her. That is why the Cross and the other virtues are content so long as they get something in return—and if they can pierce a creature with three nails, they celebrate triumphantly. But my Will does not know how to leave a task unfinished. It is not content to crucify a creature with just three nails. Instead, I use as many nails as there are acts of my Will prepared for each soul to complete her crucifixion.”
May 15, 1920
The Divine Will forms the complete crucifixion in the soul.
I was crying out to my sweet Jesus and telling Him: “What has become of your promises? No more crosses! No more likeness to You! Everything has vanished—there is nothing left for me but to cry over but my painful end.” And Jesus, moving interiorly, said to me: “My daughter, my crucifixion was complete—and do you know why? Because It was done in the Eternal Will of my Father. In this Will, the Cross became long and wide enough to embrace all centuries, and to penetrate into every heart, past, present and future, so that I remained crucified in the heart of each creature. This Divine Will drove nails through my whole interior—into my desires, my affections and my heartbeats. I can say that I no longer had a life of my own, only the Life of the Eternal Will, which enclosed all creatures within Me, and which wanted Me to answer for all of them. My crucifixion would never have been complete or extensive enough to embrace all creatures, if the Eternal Volition had not been the primary Actor.
“I want the crucifixion in you to be fulfilled and extended to all. This is why I call you continuously into my Will, prodding you to bring the whole human family before the Supreme Majesty, and, in the name of all of them, to offer the acts which they do not do. Self-forgetfulness and freedom from self-centered thoughts are but nails driven in by my Will. My Will does not know how to do small or imperfect things. Arraying Itself around the soul like a crown, It wants to absorb her within Itself; and as It diffuses the soul around the whole sphere of its Eternal Volition, the Divine Will places the seal of its perfection upon her. My Will empties the interior of the soul of all that is human, and places in her all that is Divine. And to be more certain of this, It keeps on sealing all of her interior life with as many nails as there are human acts that can exist in the creature—replacing them all with an equal number of divine acts. In this way, the Divine Will forms the true crucifixion in her—not just for a time, but for her entire life.”
August 25, 1926
Jesus: “Now, where this Will of Mine reigns, It does not know how to do disjointed acts. Its nature is one single act, multiple in Its effects; but in act, It is always one. That is why It calls the soul who lets herself be mastered by It into the unity of Its single act, so that she finds all the blessings, all the effects that a single act of a God can hold. So, concentrate on being united to that Single Act of the Eternal One, if you want to find all of Creation and Redemption in act. In that one Act, in Redemption, you will find the long series of My steps and sufferings—the continuation of My crucifixion—you will find everything. My Will does not lose anything; and you, in It, will become identified in My acts; and you will receive the fruit of My whole life.
“If that were not the case, there would be no great difference between My activity and that of My Saints. On the other hand, because My action is a single Act, the difference between Me and them exceeds the difference between the sun and a small flame, between the great sea and a droplet of water, between the vastness of the heavens and a tiny hole. Only the might of My one Act has the power to give itself to everyone and to embrace everything. And while it gives, it loses nothing.”
January 30, 1927
Jesus: “One who must achieve some good work, who must establish a kingdom, must do one thing—suffer, prepare what is needed, and prevail upon God to help one achieve it. Those who are to receive that good thing must act differently. They must receive it, appreciate it, and be grateful to the one who has struggled and suffered—and who, after winning, gives them his conquests to make them happy. That is why the Kingdom of My Will among men will bring forth the echo of Heaven’s happiness—because only one Will shall reign and rule in Heaven and among men. And just as My Humanity was formed from the most pure blood of the crucified Heart of the Sovereign Queen—and Redemption was formed out of My continuous crucifixion until on Calvary I placed the seal of the cross on the kingdom of the redeemed ones—in the same way, the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat will come forth from a crucified heart, as My Will, crucifying yours, will bring forth Its Kingdom, and bestow happiness upon the children of Its Kingdom. This is why—from the time I called you to the victim state—I always spoke to you about crucifixion. And you thought this was the crucifixion of hands and feet—and I let you embark upon this crucifixion. But it was not this one—it would not have been enough to bring forth My Kingdom. The complete and continuous crucifixion of My Will in your whole being was required. And this was precisely what I intended to speak to you about—that your will would undergo the continuous crucifixion of Mine, so as to bring forth the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat.”
January 22, 1936
Those who live in the Divine Will form a stage for the Creator’s works and repeat the moving scene of Redemption upon that stage.
I was making the rounds of the acts of the Divine Will, trying to envelop the heavens, the sun, and all of Creation with my little love. Then I would make my round of the acts of Redemption, and sweet Jesus would complete his acts in me and repeat the more moving scenes to reward my little love. I was surprised, and my beloved Jesus, all love and tenderness, said to me:
“My good daughter, child of My Will, you should know that My love for you is so great that to find relief I want to repeat My works, but in whom can I do it? In whom can I find space to complete them and feel loved? It is in those who live in My Will. Just as the soul makes her rounds in My works that she may know them, love them and call them into her, so the works reproduce themselves in her and she creates the theater of Our deeds.
“Oh, the moving scenes! Now heaven unfurls, now the sun rises in all its majesty, now the sea whispers and, shaping its waves, wants to flood the Creator with its love; now My Will forms the loveliest blooming meadow and has each flower repeat this refrain: ‘I love You, I glorify You, I adore You: may Your Fiat come to reign on this earth.’ It calls all beings to repeat their refrain: ‘I love You, I love You.’
“My daughter, Our love is not satisfied unless it gives all of itself and repeats Our works in those who live in Our Will. But there is more, listen to Me. When she makes the rounds of Creation, the soul repeats My works and I take great pleasure and delight in witnessing the most splendid scenes of Creation in the soul; but when she makes her rounds in the acts of Redemption to make them hers, I repeat My life. And so I repeat My conception and My birth for which the Angels repeat, ‘Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will.’ And if man’s ingratitude makes Me weep, I weep within the soul, because I know that My tears will be repaid and bedewed with her, ‘I love You’s.’ And so I repeat My life, My steps, My lessons. When man’s sins it renew My sorrows, crucifixion, and death, I never suffer them outside of this soul. Rather, I go within her to suffer My sorrows, My cross, and My death, because she will not desert Me but share in My sorrows—she will be crucified with Me and will give Me her life in exchange for My death.
That is why in those who live in My Will I find the stage of My life, the moving scenes of My childhood and of My Passion. There I find speaking heavens, suns that love Me, winds that moan their love for Me—all created things want to say a sweet word to Me, to say that they love Me and show Me their gratitude—but who makes them speak? Who lends a voice to all things? It is the soul who lives in My Will. My Will so transforms that soul that she will ask for all the love and will repeat all the works, so that she may call her life the living repetition of her Creator’s works.”
For St. Thérèse, it’s all about trust. But what is trust? That’s what we’re going to ponder this week, using Sacred Scripture and its giants of trust. (By the way, I’m going to be using the words “trust” and “faith” pretty much interchangeably because in Thérèse’s teaching, they’re more or less the same.) Next week, we’re going to start learning about St. Thérèse and her spiritual doctrine, which builds on this week’s scriptural foundation.
Eve of Darkness
We begin in the beginning with Eve and the fall of humanity, the Eve who reveals the opposite of trust, the Eve who caused the time of darkness.
Now, Eve’s first mistake was that she listened to a liar — the Father of Lies. And what did he tell her? Of course, he told her a lie:
[The serpent] said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman,
“You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:1-5). 5
“You will not die.” The serpent boldly contradicts God’s Word. For God had told Adam and Eve that if they ate from the forbidden tree they would die (see Gen 2:17). So, Satan, the Father of Lies, makes God look like a liar. And he goes on to make God look jealous, selfish, and conniving: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God …” In short, Satan casts doubt on God’s goodness, making him look evil and untrustworthy.
We know the rest of the story. Eve disobeys God and leads Adam along the same path. But the key here is to notice how it all began: It began with a lie, a lie about God’s Word, a lie that cast doubt on God’s goodness and trustworthiness.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, commenting on the first sin of Adam and Eve, gets to the heart of it all: Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.
So, according to the Catechism, it’s all about trust. More precisely, it’s all about our lack of trust. To one degree or another, as sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we all have a trust problem. We tend to distrust God. In other words, just as Adam and Eve hid from God when they heard him walking in the garden after their sin, so we, too, tend to hide from God, especially when our sins weigh heavily upon us. This is one of the effects of original sin, one of its “tragic consequences.”
And so, what the Catechism says about Adam and Eve, to one degree or another, applies to us all: “They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image.”
And what has become distorted about our image of God? His goodness. We tend to doubt God’s goodness. And when we don’t fully believe that God is good, then we don’t fully trust in him — and that’s a problem. Why? Because, again, as the
Catechism teaches, all sin involves a lack of trust in God’s goodness.
To help heal our trust issues with God, on the initial day of this retreat, let’s turn our attention to one of the great apostles of mercy for our time, a kindred soul to St. Thérèse: St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Let’s “visit” this humble nun and listen to her advice, as one of her own religious sisters once did:
On the initial day of the retreat, I was visited by one of the sisters who had come to make her perpetual vows. She confided to me that she had no trust in God and became discouraged at every little thing. I answered her, “It is well that you have told me this, Sister; I will pray for you.” And I spoke a few words to her about how much distrust hurts the Lord Jesus, especially distrust on the part of a chosen soul. She told me that, beginning with her perpetual vows, she would practice trust. Now I know that even [some] souls that are chosen and well advanced in the religious life or the spiritual life do not have the courage to entrust themselves completely to God. And this is so because few souls know the unfathomable mercy of God and His great goodness.
Come, Holy Spirit, fire of mercy.
Help me better to know the great and unsurpassable goodness of God.
Book of Heaven, Volume 15, June 6, 1923
Jesus; “Why did Adam sin? It was because he shifted his gaze from the divine attraction, and as Eve showed him the fruit to let him eat of it, he looked at the fruit. Then his sight took pleasure in looking at it, and his hearing took delight in hearing Eve’s words—that if he ate the fruit he would become like God—and his palate took delight in eating it. Indeed, taste was the first act of his ruin. On the other hand, had he been displeased by seeing the fruit, annoyed and bothered by hearing Eve’s words, and disgusted by eating it, Adam would not have sinned. On the contrary, he would have performed the first heroic act of his life, by resisting and correcting Eve for what she had done, and he would have retained the everlasting crown of fidelity to the One to Whom he owed so much, and who had every right to rule over him. O how careful one must be with the different tastes that arise in the soul. If they are purely divine tastes, one must give them life; but if they are human tastes, or passions, one must put them to death; otherwise, one runs the risk of falling into the current of evil.