GOD THE FATHER AND THE DIVINE WILL
It is ironic that over the last two thousand years Christians have faithfully prayed this prayer given to us by Jesus, but the majority still do not know or love God the Father as He desires.
To pray “without the sentiment of love in [our] hearts weakens the prayer, making it less worthy”. (1) And therefore less effective.
In fact for most Christians “the Father is not known; one does not pray to Him, one does not think of Him……Many Christians turn away from the Father because they see Him as a fearful judge. They prefer to turn to the humanity of Christ and many ask Jesus to protect them from the wrath of the Father!” (2) “This paralyzing fear of God is one of the great human tragedies.” (3)
God the Father was glorified when He created the universe. The first to withdraw from the Divine Will was Satan. He then succeeded in getting Adam and Eve to doubt the goodness of God their Father: “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that, because he knows that when you eat it you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad”. (Genesis 3:4)
From the moment of doing his own will instead of the Divine Will, Adam immediately lost intimacy with God as his Father, instead becoming fearful and frightened of Him. “That evening they heard the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. But the Lord God called out to the man ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ God asked. ‘Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?’ ” (Genesis 3:8-11)
In comparison Our Lady, who always remained in the Divine Will, revealed to Luisa Piccarreta: “I did nothing else than bring Myself upon the knees of my Celestial Father. I was tiny, not yet born; but the Divine Volition, whose Life I possessed gave Me free access to my Creator. For Me all the doors and the ways were fully open; nor was I frightened nor fearful of Him. The human will above all causes fright, fear, distrust and distances the poor creature from Him who loves it so much and who wants to be surrounded by his children. Thus, if the creature is frightened and fearful and does not know how to be as a child with its father to its Creator, it is a sign that the Divine Will does not reign in her and, thus, the creature experiences the tortures, the martyrdom of the human will.” (4)
“[The] whole mission [of Jesus] on earth is to make the Father known to men and so he ends his preaching on the kingdom saying ‘I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love which thou has loved me may be in them, and I in thee ‘ (Jn 17:26).” (5)
Thus Jesus tells Luisa: “My daughter, on earth I did nothing but give Myself into the mercy of the Will of the Father. Thus if I thought, I thought in the mind of the Father. If I spoke, I spoke in the mouth and with the tongue of the Father. If I worked, I worked in the hands of the Father. Even my breath breathed in Him……I was the carrier of the Father, for completely enclosed in His Will, I did nothing by Myself. My only thought was the Will of the Father.” (6)
Even as a small infant, Jesus was focused on the Father “Look at Me here, when, in My infantile state of two or three years, I withdrew from My Mamma; and down on My knees with My arms open in the form of a cross, I prayed to the Heavenly Father that He would have pity on mankind; and in My open arms I embraced all generations. My position was agonizing; so little, down on My knees with My little arms open to cry and pray.” (7)
The institution of the Eucharist was the fulfillment of Christ’s work on earth: ” ‘Holy Father, You sent Me upon the earth one day from Heaven to incarnate Myself in the womb of My Mother in order to save Our children…..Permit Me to incarnate Myself in each Host to continue their salvation and to be the Life of each of My children.’ The Father is moved at the tender and affectionate voice of the Son. He descends from Heaven. Now He is upon the altar united with the Holy Spirit to concur with the Son. Jesus pronounces the words of the Consecration with a resounding and moving voice; and, without leaving Himself, He creates Himself in that bread and wine.” (8)
As the Body of Christ, the Church continues His work on earth through the celebration of Holy Mass. Unfortunately, most Catholics participate at the Eucharist without fully comprehending that, “in the liturgy, Jesus is consistently directing us to the Father.” (9 ) The climax of every Mass occurs when, through the priest, we offer the Son back to the Father in the Doxology – “Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever.” Our acclamation of “AMEN!” is an act of Divine Will par excellence.
Now at this time in history, God the Father, Himself, has expressed His desire to reclaim His rights as Father of His children. “This is the time of grace, foreseen and awaited for all eternity!…..I am telling you all this now so that you realize that through this Work of Love, I have come to give you powerful help to free you from the tyrannical slavery which imprisons your souls and prevents you from tasting true freedom from which true happiness is derived…..Raise yourselves to this true dignity of children of God and learn to respect your greatness and I shall be more than every your most loveable and merciful FATHER.” (10)
The Father will be truly glorified when the Divine Will is done on earth as it in Heaven. “These are the times of the great return…..These are the times of the great mercy. The Father thrills with ardor and wills to pour out upon this poor humanity the torrents of his infinite love. The Father wants to mold with his hands a new creation where his divine imprint will be more visible, welcomed and received and his fatherhood exalted and glorified by all. The breath of this new creation will be the breathing of the love of the Father who will be glorified by all….And Jesus will reign………Jesus, who has taught you the prayer to invoke the coming of the reign of God upon earth, will at last see fulfilled this prayer of his, because He will restore his reign.” (11)
It is widely recognized that Saint John Paul was “the spark [from Poland] that will prepare the world” for the return of Jesus. (12)
He believed that the Great Jubilee Year 2000 would be a turning point – a “crossing of the threshold” for the Church and a sign of hope for the Third Millennium. By proclaiming the Year of God the Father in 1999, he sought to encourage Christians to understand that “Christian life is like a great pilgrimage to the house of the Father”.(13) The solemn opening of “The Holy Door” at the beginning of the Great Jubilee represented the words of Jesus: “I am the door” (Jn 10:7). This was in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Jesus. “The Jubilee, centered on the person of Christ, thus becomes a great act of praise to the Father”.(14) And the special Jubilee indulgence throughout the Jubilee Year was an important element disclosing the fullness of the Father’s mercy.
Saint Pope John Paul also understood that intimately connected with the coming of God’s Kingdom was Christ’s petition to the Father “that they may all be one.” “This is the great task which the Catholic Church must accomplish.”(15) As such it was central to the Jubilee. “‘Ecumenical’ prayer discloses this fundamental dimension of brotherhood in Christ, who died to gather together the children of God who were scattered, so that in becoming ‘sons and daughters in the Son’ (Eph 1:5) we might show forth more fully the mysterious reality of God’s fatherhood.” (16)
Saint Pope John Paul II was deeply aware that the divisions existing between Christians are contrary to Christ’s prayer at the Last Supper and that this has a world-wide effect . “In a certain sense the future of the world is at stake. The future of the Kingdom of God in the world is at stake.”(17)
The Divine Will of the Father is the Unity of all His children. “The Father’s great plan is for the gathering of the human race into one family united in love……..Everything must be subjected to the supreme power of the Father, so that He may penetrate and definitively transform humanity and the universe. That is the ultimate destiny of the world, the triumph of the Father’s love.”…(18)
In a singular way God the Father chose Mother Eugenia Ravasio for the mission to work and pray for this unity. One day she opened the Gospel randomly at John Chapter 17 – the Priestly Prayer of Jesus. ” ‘I read it more carefully than at other times and when I came to the part, ‘Holy FATHER, may we all become ONE’, I stopped. It seemed that everything was contained in those words: why Jesus became man and the purpose of His coming. Impulsively, I found myself responding: “Yes FATHER.” It was now clear what the FATHER wanted from me.” She then offered her life together with Jesus for this great ideal: “that all children in Jesus may be united with the FATHER, and that with Jesus, they may be the Glory of the FATHER.”(19)
In a sign that that Unity is central to the reign of the Divine Will on Earth, the Diocese of Trani was chosen as the birthplace of Luisa. It was here in 1054 that the first great schism took place in Christianity – between the Roman and Orthodox Churches with mutual excommunications. “God destined the site of the schism to become the birthplace of Luisa and the Divine Will that will unite the traditions of eastern and western Church in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”( 20)
“The life and writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta exemplify these elements [of Eastern Christian spirituality], enrich the spiritual traditions of East and West, and illuminate the path to unity.” (21)
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, “the young man being embraced by the Father is no longer just one repentant sinner, but the whole of humanity returning to God. The broken body of the prodigal becomes the broken body of humanity……it becomes the summary of the history of our salvation.” (22)
The feast in the parable of the prodigal son can be seen as an analogy of the great rejoicing of the Father with the prophetic fulfillment of the “Our Father” in the Era of the Divine Will. This is prefigured by a feast specifically desired by God the Father in our times – The Feast of God our Father. He revealed to Mother Eugenia: “I desire to be known, loved and honored through a special devotion….I desire only this: that one day may be consecrated to honoring Me in a particular way, under the title of Father of all mankind….the first Sunday in August [or the 7th of August].” (23)
The father in the parable desires the feast and is impatient for it to take place. His exuberant joy is obvious: “The word ‘Quick’ with which the father exhorts his servants to bring his son the robe, ring, and sandals, expresses much more than a human impatience. It reveals the divine eagerness to inaugurate the new Kingdom that has been prepared from the beginning of time.” (24)
Likewise the Father rejoices when a soul who lives in the Divine Will unites with Him in His works. Luisa writes: “To live in the Divine Volition means to live inseparably, to do nothing by oneself, because, before the Divine Volition, the soul feels incapable of anything….Thus, she does all that the Father does. If the Father thinks, she makes hers the thoughts of the Father and does not have any other thoughts than those of the Father…….She does not live outside but inside of the Father so that she is the reflection and perfect likeness of the Father.” (25)
In this manner “[she] finds the little epoch of innocent Adam and she together with him, gives Me his innocent embraces, his chaste kisses, his love as child, and I oh, how happy I feel that I see My Paternity recognized, loved and honored, oh, how beautiful it is to see Myself Father and as such to feel Myself loved by My children, and I reciprocate (with) My kisses, My paternal embraces and I give them as right of (her) property, the infinite joy of My Paternity. What won’t I give to My children after I have been loved and recognized as Father.” (26)
Jesus declared to his disciples: “My food is to do the Will of Him who sent me and to complete His Work”. (John 4:34) And God the Father declares: “In truth My children, the Church, this society which I entrusted My Son to establish, will complete His Work by honoring the One who is its Author: your FATHER and Creator” [through the institution of a feast].(27)
“Feasts are a living catechesis and today there is an urgent need for a living catechesis on the Father…”(28) Souls who truly know God as their Father are more likely to ask Him earnestly for His Kingdom to come “as it is in Heaven”, rather than fear a loss of freedom through Its establishment on earth.
In turn the philosophical lie of Deism would be overthrown – a 17th century attack on God as Father which sought to turn Him into a cold, distant creator. It is a mindset that remains today: “The majority of the unfaithful, the impious and those of various separatist groups, remain in their wickedness and unbelief because they believe that I am asking the impossible of them; they think they have to submit to My commands like slaves to a tyrannical master who remains enveloped in his power and pride which keeps him distant from his subjects, forcing them to pay him respect and devotion. No, no, My children!” (29)
The Reign of the Divine Will on earth will be the end of the great rebellion – the rebellion of Adam and all his descendants.
” ‘Then the end will come, when He’ll deliver the kingdom to his God and Father (1 Cor 15:24) …..the Church must deepen her awareness of having come forth from the Father and of advancing toward Him. The liturgical feast of God the Father would express this awareness with greater clarity…..The liturgical cycle enables Christians to relive the unfolding of the mystery of salvation in its various stages and in its most important events. The Father is at the origin and at the conclusion of the mystery. The entire work of sanctification results from his paternal love and tends to produce, as its ultimate fruit, the return of humankind to him. His paternal role which is absolutely primordial and decisive, deserves to be recognized and venerated by a special feast.”(30)
The Reign of the Divine Will on earth will continue to build within individual souls but will be complete only when the Father is universally known, loved and honored by all His children – perhaps through a special Feast.
The Unity of Christians will be central to the Reign of the Divine Will. “Christians would undoubtedly give great joy to the heart of the risen Lord if they managed to realize this project ‘ecumenically’; that is if all the churches agreed to celebrate together a Feast for the Father on the same day.”(31)
“Would such a feast not….draw souls towards a simple spirituality and a filial life with the Father through the confidence and abandonment to the Divine Will?” (32)
This total abandonment to the Father is absolutely necessary to live in the Divine Volition: “your full abandonment in the arms of our Celestial Father, no longer feeling your own life – is the image of the living in my Will.”(33 )
1. Words of Jesus to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle Sept. 18, 1999.
2. Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father – The Message of God our Father given to Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio’ , translated from Italian text: La Vita per la Gloria del Padre by Catherine Loft (Anzio: Missionarie “Unitas in Christo ad Patrem”; Distributor: Divine Mercy Publications Australia), p 72 – Bishop Alexander Caillot’s testimony of support.
3. Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming (London: Darton, Longman and Todd 1992) p.121
4.Luisa Piccarreta,’The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.’ Book of Heaven: The Call to the Creature to Return to the Order, to the Place, and to the Purpose for Which It was Created by God.’ English edition endorsed by Archbishop Carata (Jacksonville: The Center for the Divine Will 1996) p. 34,35 – Day Eight
5. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. CAP, Life in the Lordship of Christ: A Spiritual Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, trans. Frances Lonergan Villa (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1992) p. 97
6. Luisa Piccarreta ‘Book of Heaven: The Call to the Creature to Return to the Order, to the Place, and to the Purpose for Which It was Created by God.’ English edition endorsed by Archbishop Carata (Jacksonville: The Center for the Divine Will 1996) Vol. 12. August 14, 1917
7. (ibid) Vol 19 June 6, 1926
8. Luisa Piccarreta The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Jacksonville: The Center for the Divine Will 1996) 8pm
9. Statement by Father Peter Dwyer: “In the Holy Mass, Jesus is consistently directing us to the Father. The Opening Prayer (the Collect) always begins with an invocation that is addressed to the Father and we are directed in the penitential Rite to ‘ask the Father’s forgiveness [for our sins], for he is full of gentleness and compassion.’ Every Preface of the Mass, no matter what season of the year, begins by addressing the Father – ‘Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, etc’, and then acknowledges that thanks is given through Jesus.”
10. Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father’ p, 119
11. Don Stefano Gobbi ,’To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons’ (Milan: Centro Internationale del M.S.S., 1997 – 11th Oceania Edition) p. 559 July 3rd, 1987
12. Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul – the Diary of the Servant of God Sister M. Faustina Kowalska’ (Stockbridge: Marian Press 1987) p. 612; Diary Entry 1732
13. John Paul II,’The Third Millennium’ (Australian Edition – Homebush: St. Paul’s 1994)n.49; p.73
14. (ibid) p.74
15. John Paul II, ‘That They May All Be One’ (Australian Edition – Homebush: St. Paul’s 1995)n.61;
16. (ibid) n.25; p.33
17. John Paul II, ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (London: Random House 1994) p.151
18. Galot, Abba Father, We Long To See Your Face: Theological Insights into the First Person of the Trinity, trans. M. Angeline Bouchard (New York: Society of St. Paul, 1992) p. 225,226
19. Ravasio ,’ Life for the Glory of the Father’ p 39,40
20. The Pious Universal Union for the Children of the Divine Will – Newsletter No. 108 May 1st, 2011
21. Hugh Owen,Thy Kingdom Come – The Life and Mission of Luisa Piccarreta (Caryville:The Luisa Piccarreta Center for the Divine Will, 2007) Appendix i
22 Nouwen,The Return of the Prodigal Son’ p. 58
23. Ravasio, ‘ Life for the Glory of the Father’ p.97
24. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son’ p. 112
25. Piccarreta, Book of Heaven’ Vol. 12. August 14, 1917
26. (ibid) Vol. 33 February 10, 1934
27. Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father’ p.109
28. Cantalamessa, ‘Life in the Lordship of Christ’ p.116
29. Ravasio,’Life for the Glory of the Father’ p.115
30. Galot, ‘Abba Father we long to see Your Face’ p.225,226
31. Cantalamessa, ‘Life in the Lordship of Christ’ p.116
32. Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father ‘ p. 74 Bishop Alexander Caillot’s testimony
33. Piccarreta’ Book of Heaven’ Vol. 19 April 16, 1926