Isn’t this approach a bit naive? Just walking around praying and expecting that to achieve something?
Isn’t a Eucharistic Procession good and holy on its own right? That is, even if it does not entail an onslaught of immediate, visible fruits; a large distribution of food to the poor; a sermon preached on a street corner to a large audience; a collection of signatures for some good holy petition, or whatever else?
So it is, we pray and trust, with our walks and other excursions into the world as Living Hosts.
Jesus wants to be close to His creatures; for indeed each and every person was created by Him. But only Catholics (and Orthodox) have the unfathomable privilege of access to his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. Catholics have no right to keep Him locked up in the Church!
Therefore bringing Him out onto the literal, physical streets — giving Him proximity to His creatures — is the first order of business. There is no use doing anything until we have done that.
Our job — our calling — is to do that. We are trusting Him to do everything else.
Won’t this steal people away from other apostolates like feeding the hungry, visiting nursing homes, doing prison ministry, etc.?
We pray it will not!
Many Catholics already attend Mass daily and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily (and if they do not already, they should!). This DWMoM apostolate asks little extra from these people: after Mass, say a prayer that only takes a couple minutes, then go on a walk — wearing a simple pin — as you pray your daily Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary. You do not need to be ready to do all out street preaching to be an exemplary DWMoM Street Walker! If all you are comfortable doing for now is walking and praying — even if you aren’t yet up for saying “God Bless you” to people; that’s okay. Remember, Jesus is doing the work here, not you. Even if all you did was walk through the peripheries and pray, not talking with a single person on the way, then you can still lay your head on your pillow at night knowing that you used that day that God gave you to Proclaim the Divine Mercy.
Therefore we hope that anyone who desires to become a DWMoM — to whatever extent — will also remain doing whatever apostolates he is currently involved in.
I’m not sure about this “Living Hosts” and “Living in the Divine Will” thing. Is it really safe and orthodox for a Catholic to ask for the “Transconsecration of his very self” so that his walking may be a “true [Eucharistic] procession”?
It is absolutely safe, orthodox, and above all — urgently desired by Our Lord!
As already noted, the Gift of Living in the Divine Will finds its fullest explication in the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. A free Ebook introducing her revelations can be found here. But, lest you be concerned that this whole notion rises and falls on the legitimacy of one individual mystic, please know that the same essential Gift is spoken of in a number of other 20th century Church mystics.
Above all, St. Faustina. Consider a few excerpts from her Diary (emphasis added)– this Diary contains private revelations that are as approved as possible:
- Host pleasing to My Father, know, My daughter, that the entire Holy Trinity finds Its special delight in you, because you live exclusively by the will of God. No sacrifice can compare with this. — paragraph 955
- When I had received Jesus in Holy Communion, my heart cried out with all its might, “Jesus, transform me into another host! I want to be a living host for You. You are a great and all-powerful Lord; You can grant me this favor.” And the Lord answered me,”You are a
living host, pleasing to the Heavenly Father.” — paragraph 1826
- “…the soul receiving this unprecedented grace of union with God … is “divinized.” God allows the soul to know how much He loves it, and the soul sees that better and holier souls than itself have not received this grace.” — Paragraph 771
- St. Faustina acknowledges here that it is an unprecedented grace; meaning, reserved for our age. She also acknowledges that this grace is not a product of our own virtue, as if we were better than the saints of former days — rather it is the sole result of the gratuitousness of God.
- “My beloved child, delight of My Heart, your words are dearer and more pleasing to me than the angelic chorus. … For the sake of your love, I withhold the just chastisements, which mankind has deserved. … The smallest act of virtue has unlimited value in My eyes because of your great love for Me. In a soul that lives on My love alone, I reign as in heaven.” — Paragraph 1489
Although many books could be filled with encounters of modern mystics detailing this great new gift of Sanctity for the Church, we will look at one more for now.
On the Feast of the Annunciation in 1906 (which was seventeen years after Luisa Piccarreta was given the Gift of Living in the Divine Will), the following encounter occurred between Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (who is often referred to simply as “Venerable Conchita”):
([Jesus] said to me: ‘Here I am, I want to incarnate Myself mystically in your heart. …
[I responded] “Would it be, my Jesus, spiritual marriage?”
“Much more than that. Marriage is a form of more external union; [but this, rather, is] the grace of incarnating Me, of living and growing in your soul, never to leave it, to possess you and to be possessed by you as in one and the same substance … in a compenetration which cannot be comprehended: it is the grace of graces … 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…What fidelity I demand of you! For you [now] keep ever in your soul my real and effective presence. …This kind of union is most profound, most intimate and, if your soul remains faithful, it will be an eternal union.
(Fr. Marie-Michel Philipon, O.P. CONCHITA: A Mother’s Spiritual
Diary. Pages 57-58)
When it comes to asking for the Eucharistic species to be preserved, by a special grace, within us, we look up to St. Anthony Mary Claret as our patron. He himself received this grace, and it made him into the perfect fusion of “Martha and Mary,” being both a great mystic and a great defender of the Church. Twenty seven years after his death, his heart was found to be totally incorrupt. Perhaps that is where Our Lord rested inside of him permanently. This holy Archbishop wrote (being commanded to do so by Jesus) in his autobiography:
On 26th August, 1861, at 7.00 in the evening while I was at prayer in the church of the Rosary at La Granja, the Lord granted me the great grace of conserving the sacramental species and the Blessed Sacrament present always in my breast, day and night. Therefore, I must always be very recollected and inwardly devout…
Of this saint, Dr. Noble Mannarath, CMF, writes: “God made him a living ciborium, a human tabernacle, in which the Lord of the universe reposed day after day, enabling him to fight against the evils of the society and to renew the humanity into the image of the Creator. Even after receiving such an extraordinary grace, Anthony Claret all the more pursued with greatest dedication to persevere and advance in perfection; and that too, through the ‘frequent and well-made reception of the Sacraments, celebrating and hearing Mass well.’ Indeed, Claret was a great Eucharistic mystic and Saint, who adored the Lord of the Eucharist, both in the Blessed Sacrament and within himself. He was a giant of an apostolic missionary and the grace of the conservation of the Eucharistic species served in him as the true font and support for all his universal and ecclesial apostolate.
The Eucharistic grace enabled Claret to enter into a profound mystical and transforming union with the Lord; and at the same time, it turned to become an indescribable source of energy to confront all the more vigorously the evils affecting the Church as well as the society. It gave him a firm conviction that he was accompanied by ‘a divine force’ that can make all things new and to transform the structures of evil into structures of salvation. His amalgamation with Jesus Christ was translated into an all-conquering vigour and vitality for the apostolate of the prophet-servant of the Kingdom of God. For Claret, this great grace was nothing else, but the astounding surge of apostolic power drawing him to collaborate in the growth of the whole mystical Body of Christ, the Church. Strengthened by the Eucharistic Species and energy he re-launched his apostolic mission to confront all the evils of the society, to make all things new and to save all the people for the ‘unfathomable love of God.”
This grace, we seek too; and we trust that God will grant it.
Isn’t this dangerous and imprudent?
To be a Divine Will Missionary of Mercy is not dangerous. It is of course more risky than sitting in front of the television at home, but that is not what God made us for! The vast majority of crime on the streets that DWMoMs walk is between people who already know each other (often related to drugs or gangs), and occurs during the night time hours (whereas DWMoMs only operate during the day). Furthermore, DWMoMs focus on busy streets with many pedestrians, where it is highly unlikely to be mugged.
Some risk, of course, is involved. And how sad it is that we live in a world that insists that risk is fine if it is taken for the sake of pleasure or worldly ambition, but is absolutely wrong if taken for the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls. Remember that you are not of the world. Remember how our Holy Father has implored us in his very Magisterium:
“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” (Mk 6:37). — Evangelii Gaudium
Isn’t it wrong to base this ministry off of an unapproved private revelation?
It would not be accurate to simply say that the revelations to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta are “unapproved.” Although many approvals indeed are lacking (and hopefully will soon be granted), there are also many forms of approval that her writings and her cause already enjoy. Her writings were granted many imprimaturs in the early 20th century. A Doctoral Dissertation defending and explaining them was recently unanimously approved by the faculty of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, granting it Ecclesiastical approval authorized by the Holy See. The Church has appointed theologians to carefully examine all of her writings, and they have declared the writings to be free of any contradiction with Catholic Faith and Morals. Her cause of Beatification is proceeding smoothly. (For more information, click to download the free Ebook The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity). There is no prohibition whatsoever from the Church against the Faithful following her revelations.
Aren’t you greatly limiting your impact by insisting that the DWMoM outings be immediately after Mass? What about places that aren’t near a Church, or people who need to be reached at times that are not adjacent to Mass times?
Yes, this certainly limits the radius of the apostolate — and so be it. There are many apostolates that exist with similar aims which do not bear this intrinsic limitation, and they do very good and holy work and we recommend them heartily (for example, 40 Days for Life, St. Paul Street Evangelization and the Marian Helpers). But the DWMoM goal — specifically that of the street walkers — is very targeted for a reason.
While God can grant the Gift of Living in the Divine Will and the gift of the Eucharistic Species being preserved inside of a person whenever He pleases, it is nevertheless much more likely on our part that we are receptive to these gifts immediately after Mass, when we know He physically resides within us — and before we have let the worldly concerns of our lives enter in to our souls. The time that follows Mass is the most precious of all, so we insist on that time not being wasted on worldliness, but instead being used to Live in the Divine Will and Proclaim the Divine Mercy.
God can do infinitely more through you if you are truly a Living Host — Living in His Divine Will — than He can if you are simply asking Him to bless your intrinsically human efforts.