Introduction To Luisa and to Her Spiritual Doctrine
Be Faithful and Attentive:*
A Handbook for Living in the Divine Will
By Robert T. Hart.
Web-edition Copyright © A.D. 2008 Robert T. Hart — All Rights Reserved.
Biographical Sketch of Luisa Piccarreta
The Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, was born in the small town of Corato in southern Italy, on April 23, 1865, on what is now called The Feast of Divine Mercy. Her parents, who had five daughters in all, were Catholics and farm workers. As a child she was frequently tormented by attacks of the devil. On her ninth birthday, she received her first Holy Communion and was Confirmed. It was shortly after this that she began to hear Our Lord's voice in her interior, instructing her in the spiritual life.
Some time during her teenage years she saw, from the balcony of her home, a vision of Jesus carrying the Cross, surrounded by a hateful mob that cruelly tortured Him. He cried to her, "Soul, help Me!" After this experience she offered herself to Him as a Victim Soul, and her sufferings greatly increased. One of these sufferings was to fall into a state of death-like rigidity from which no doctor could release her. Finally it was discovered that a Catholic priest making the Sign of the Cross over her would bring her out of this rigid state. Though she was greatly persecuted by the priests who, for a time, left her for many days in the state of rigidity — because they believed she was putting on a show to get attention — her condition finally came to the attention of her Archbishop, Giuseppe B. Dottula, who in 1884, assigned Fr. Michele De Benedictus to be her special confessor. He came to see her daily, and she in turn opened to him the depths of her soul. She submitted herself in obedience to him, and he imposed restrictions on the sufferings she could accept as victim. It was during this time that Luisa received permission to remain constantly in bed and to abstain from eating, except for one small meal a day, which she always vomited back up. She remained a victim in bed, living solely on the Holy Eucharist and on the Divine Will for the rest of her life — some 60 years.
In 1898, Luisa was assigned a new confessor by the name of Fr. Gennaro Di Gennaro who gave her the obedience to write down everything that took place between her and Jesus. Although it was a harsh sacrifice about which she often complained, she continued to write in obedience to her various appointed confessors until 1938, when this obedience was lifted. All that she wrote during this time comprise the 36 Volume Book of Heaven (and a few other related works), all pertaining to the knowledge and practice of Living in the Divine Will.
On March 4, 1947, after a short bout with pneumonia, the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, entered into eternal life to continue doing the Divine Will in Heaven, in the heavenly manner she had learned to do It on earth. To us she has bequeathed her writings, that we too might learn the happiness of doing the Divine Will on earth as It's done in Heaven, and to bring this happiness to all on earth by making the Kingdom of God's Will reign here.
As a final note, having received a letter of Non Obstare from the Holy See, on November 20, A.D. 1994, Most Reverend Monsignor Carmelo Cassati, Archbishop of Trani (the Diocese in which Luisa lived), established a diocesan tribunal for the process of the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta. The tribunal continues its work today to further the process, that Luisa may soon be raised to the altars of the Church.
Luisa's Spiritual Doctrine of Living in the Divine Will
The spiritual doctrine of Living in the Divine Will like all methods of sanctification, is based first of all on resigning one's human will to the Divine in all things. Luisa makes this clearly understood in the Twelfth Volume of the Book of Heaven (see Aug. 14, 1917). This means seeing and accepting God's Will in all that may happen to us, pleasant or adverse and realizing that nothing at all can happen to us unless God's All-powerful Will wants it. But that is only the necessary beginning. What separates it from all other means of sanctification known to the Church up until now, is that in Living in the Divine Will, by identifying one's acts with the acts of the Man-God Jesus Christ, the soul comes to do what God does, participating in all his actions — past, present and future.
Being both God and man, all of Jesus' acts were Divine Acts done in the Divine Will. The soul, by giving up her own human will, enables herself to act "in" and "with" the human Will of Jesus, living in his Father's Will. Then, like Jesus, she participates in all the Divine Acts of God. This "giving up" of her own will, is not the annihilation of the faculty of the human will in the soul; rather, it is a voluntary "giving up," in every sense and manner, its habit of operating as an entity independent of the Divine Will. This means that once the soul has come to fully possess the Divine Will, she will not only always do what God wants, but will come to love as He loves, think as He thinks, want what He wants, and desire what He desires. And by this means, the soul gives Jesus another "humanity" in which He can live on earth with the same freedom He lived and suffered in his own Humanity while on earth. There will be no more contrasts between the human will and the Divine, as is found even in the greatest Saints, such as St. Paul, which caused him to cry out: "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:24).
With this Gift of Living in the Divine Will come new responsibilities for the soul. In all his acts, Jesus "glorified the Father," "expiated," and "implored the salvation of souls" (Companion to the Hours of the Passion, 10 p.m.). And this He did in the name of all souls — past, present and future. Identifying herself with Jesus' acts, the soul also embraces these three intentions as she acts, doing so in the name of everyone. The reason for this is to "complete" the work of Creation, for when God created man, He did so with the intention of receiving a certain quantity of glory from man. If Adam had not sinned, God would have received this glory simply through men doing their ordinary acts, for man was originally created with the Gift of the Divine Will. After the fall of man, however, having lost this Gift, man was incapable of giving God the glory He had intended to receive. Those who live in the Divine Will, by working in a Divine and trans-temporal manner like Jesus, have the duty of giving God this glory. They must make up for all the glory man should have given to God. This is especially accomplished by praying the Hours of the Passion (written by Luisa) and making "Rounds" in the Divine Will (as explained in the Introduction to Book 2 of Be Faithful and Attentive).
Although Living in the Divine Will is, in reality, as great and incredible as it sounds, at the same time, it is a hidden form of sanctity. Those living in the Divine Will, will outwardly appear no different than other souls striving to live a devout life. They, like the others, must fulfill the duties of their state, practice charity and the other virtues, frequent the Sacraments, and pray and do penance. That which is great and incredible remains hidden — as Luisa explains — passing between the soul and God alone.
Finally, it must be said, when man has made up for all the glory he owes to God, then his Kingdom will come — and his Will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Introducing: The Secret of the Divine Will
We hope that this brief introduction to Luisa Piccarreta and to her spirituality of Living in the Divine Will has intrigued you. If so and you would like to learn more, we are happy to announce that a complete introductory book on this subject by Robert T. Hart is presently awaiting ecclesiastical approval for publication.
This book, entitled The Secret of the Divine Will, explains Luisa's mystical doctrine while taking great care to show how her teaching is in complete conformity with the estabished teaching of Holy Mother Church. Then, beyond just helping the reader to understand this celestial doctrine — so dear to the Heart of Jesus — the author goes on to give clear instruction on what to do to begin putting this teaching into practice.
Once The Secret of the Divine Will has been published, we intend to offer a condensed version entitled Sicut in Cælo et in Terra (On Earth as it is in Heaven) on our free booklets page. Be looking for it there in the No. 1 position.
Our hope is that this new book and booklet will be an instrument to hasten the coming of God's Kingdom. Thus, we would greatly appreciate your prayers that permission to publish will be granted soon.
Fiat Volúntas Tua Sicut In Cælo Et In Terra!
* Be Faithful and Attentive: A Handbook for Living in the Divine Will
The excerpts of Be Faithful and Attentive offered here may be copied and printed for one's own use and for discussion groups. The right to publish this book or any of its parts remains exclusively with the author, Robert T. Hart, and the Luisa Piccarreta Center for the Divine Will. back to top