By Janet Klasson
“Your Will is always Holy and whatever way I will be in It, I shall be fine.”(L. Piccarreta, Book of Heaven, Volume 8, June 25, 1907)
I first read the book Abandonment to Divine Providence by Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade many years ago. It shaped my spirituality and I believe was one of the ways God used to lead me to the spirituality of the Divine Will. I picked up the book again recently and opened it to a bookmarked passage. I was amazed at how much more strongly it spoke to me now that I have spent time with Luisa. I share it here with some of my own thoughts.
May God use it to lead you deeper into His Holy Will.
(Notes: 1. Clicking on the link in the title above will take you to a free version of the book. 2. All emphasis in the text below is mine.)
God Makes Known His Will Through Creatures.
In the present moment are made manifest the name of God, and the coming of His Kingdom.
The present moment is the ambassador of God to declare His mandates. The heart listens and pronounces its “fiat.” Thus the [abandoned] soul advances by all these things and flows out from its centre to its goal.(Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence, BOOK I. CHAPTER II. SECTION X.)
This reminds me of something I once heard about Saint Mother Teresa. Someone once asked her how they could know what the will of God was. She answered, “Wait and see what happens.” Whether or not she actually said it, it is a pretty good description of the radical practice of surrender to the Will of God required by those who desire to live in the Divine Will. Fr. Celso often says, “In the Divine Will, everything is Fiat!” It would be a good exercise to meditate on the life of Mary who, not just at the Annunciation, but in EVERY moment of her existence gave her unconditional “Fiat!” to God. O Blessed Mother, pray for us!
[The abandoned soul] never stops but sails with every wind. Any and every direction leads equally to the shore of infinity.(Ibid.)
Fiat! This is it! As St. Paul tells us in Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” God is not afraid of anything, not COVID, not vaccines, not Bill Gates, not China, not the Illuminati, not even our mistakes. If we place all our trust in Him, walking with confidence and faith in God and His Church, trying to remain in a state of Grace, He will get us to “the shore of infinity” and we will scarcely know how.
Everything is a help to [the abandoned soul], and is, without exception, an instrument of sanctity. The one thing necessary can always be found for it in the present moment. It is no longer a choice between prayer and silence, seclusion and society, reading and writing, meditation and cessation of thought, flight from and seeking after spiritual consolations, abundance and dearth, feebleness and health, life and death, but it is all that each moment presents by the will of God. In this is despoilment, abnegation, renunciation of all things created, either in reality or affectively, in order to retain nothing of self, or for self, to be in all things submissive to the will of God and to please Him; making it our sole satisfaction to sustain the present moment as though there were nothing else to hope for in the world.(Ibid.)
Our world has gotten very complicated. Do we not long for this kind of heavenly simplicity? Yet it is within our reach. “Now” is the heart, the key of living in the Divine Will. It means detachment from our own plans, opinions, and desires. If I want to pray and a chatty friend calls, Fiat! If my spouse and I disagree on something and it causes a bit of strain, it may be that God wants to detach me from my opinions. Fiat!
Living the abandoned life requires great patience and trust. It’s like when there’s a baby in the house. That little blessing, who can neither speak nor look after one single need of his, is master of all around. Is God—or the baby—taking away our freedom? Not at all. Every moment presents a choice, i.e., change the baby myself or wait for my spouse to do it. As long as it is something of which God would approve and our daily duties would allow, it is permitted. For instance it is ok to ASK your spouse to change the baby, but it is not ok to grumble resentfully and do it yourself.
In the Divine Will when we call God into each moment, through our Prevenient Act and our Actual Acts throughout the day, when we make it “our sole satisfaction to sustain the present moment as though there were nothing else to hope for in the world”, each moment becomes more holy and fruitful than we can ever imagine.
If all that happens to a soul abandoned to God is all that is necessary for it, then we can understand that nothing can be wanting to it, and that it should never pity itself, for this would be a want of faith and living according to reason and the senses which are never satisfied, as they cannot perceive the sufficiency of grace possessed by the soul.(Ibid.)
This reminds me of Fr. Celso’s list of things that tell us we are not living in the Divine Will: “worry, fear, anxiety, complaints, negativity, and sin”. He says that in the Divine Will, we are “peace-full, joy-full, and happy.” That’s a good, simple list. Fiat! That and to remember that the senses are “never satisfied”. If we are never satisfied, quite simply, we are not in the Divine Will.
To hallow the name of God, is according to the meaning of the holy Scripture, to recognise His sanctity in all things and to love and adore Him in them. Things, in fact, proceed from the mouth of God like words. That which God does at each moment is a divine thought expressed by a created thing, therefore all those things by which He intimates His will to us are so many names and words by which He makes known His wishes. HIS WILL IS UNITY and has but one name, unknown, and ineffable; but it is infinitely diverse in its effects, which are, as it were, so many different characters which it assumes. To hallow the Name of God is to know, to adore, and to love the ineffable Being whom this name designates. It is also to know, to adore and to love His adorable will at every moment and in all its decrees, regarding them all as so many veils, shadows and names of this holy and everlasting will.(Ibid.)
If we only pick up one word in this passage, let it be the word UNITY. The Triune God is a Community of Love, a Loving Unity. We too are called to this unending Unity, especially in the Church. Whatever the problems in the Church are, no matter how bad they get, even to the hill of Calvary, God is in the Church and so must we be. He will never leave the Church he founded. He is purifying His Bride and there is a Resurrection around the corner. We need to pray, offer penance, be abandoned, and above all put the writings of Luisa in to practice.
God has given us this Gift of Living in the Divine Will, not for ourselves, but for the good of all. Since God can work through us in every moment in everything but sin, the only thing that can forestall this Mission he gave us through Luisa, is sin. So let us remain in a state of Grace and give our Fiat to each moment.
It (God’s Will) is holy in all its works, holy in all its words, holy in all its diverse characters, holy in all the names it bears.
It was for this reason that Job blessed the name of God in his utter desolation. Instead of looking upon his condition as ruin, he called it the name of God and by blessing it he protested that the divine will under whatever name or form it might appear, even though expressed by the most terrible catastrophes, was holy. David also blessed it at all times, and in all places. It is then, by this continual recognition of the will of God as manifested and revealed in all things, that He reigns in us, that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, and that our souls obtain nourishment.(Ibid.)
To echo the words of Luisa above, “Your Will is always Holy and whatever way I will be in It, I shall be fine.” (Volume 8, June 25, 1907) Repeat this often and you will be at peace.
The whole matter of that incomparable prayer prescribed by Jesus Christ is comprised and contained in abandonment to the divine will. Many times daily it is recited vocally by the command of God and of Holy Church, but we repeat it at every moment in the centre of our hearts when we love to do, or to suffer whatever this holy will ordains. That which takes time to repeat in words, the heart pronounces at every moment, and it is in this way that simple-minded souls are called to bless God.(Ibid.)
This is the Divine Will in a nutshell. Rev. de Caussade died 114 years before Luisa was born but this inspired work (and others like it) provided a strong foundation in the Church on which God could seamlessly lay the teachings of Luisa.
Nevertheless they cannot bless Him as much as they desire, and this inability is a subject of grief to them; so true is it that by the very means that seem like privations, God bestows graces and favours on faithful souls. To enrich the soul at the expense of the senses, filling it by so much the more as they experience the more terrible emptiness, is a secret of the divine wisdom.(Ibid.)
The very word, “privations” points to Luisa. But here we see repeated the Divine Will teaching that our nothingness is the very container in which God pours his graces, and we are achingly unaware of it. Ah, but if we ache, we are not detached. We need to reach the point of not thinking about our own performance or lack thereof. Ours is just to glory in the Will of God in each moment come what may, as Fr. John O. Brown would say, “Now, and again, and again, and now, and now…”
The events of every moment bear the impress of the will of God, and of His adorable Name. How holy is this name! It is right, therefore, to bless it, to treat it as a kind of sacrament which by its own virtue sanctifies those souls which place no obstacles in its way.
Everything bearing the impress of this august Name should be held in the most profound veneration. It is a divine manna from Heaven, and imparts a constant increase of Grace. It is the reign of holiness in the soul, the bread of angels eaten on earth as well as in Heaven. We can no longer consider our moments as trifles since in them is a whole kingdom of sanctity and food for angels.(Ibid.)
A glorious teaching! Thanks be to God, whose Holy Will never changes.
“Yes, Lord, may your kingdom come in my heart to sanctify it, to nourish it, to purify it, and to render it victorious over all its enemies. Moment most precious! How insignificant in the eyes of the vulgar, but how great in those enlightened by faith. If it is great also in the eyes of my Father who is in Heaven, how can I regard it as insignificant? All that comes from His hand is essentially good and bears the impress of its origin.”(Ibid.)