Our Lady of the Visitation
Our Lady of the Visitation is the example par excellence of the ministry of the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy.
For this reason it is highly recommended to, in addition to the DWMoM prayer, also pray the Magnificat after receiving Communion and before disembarking into the world.
For immediately after receiving the Real Presence of Jesus into her very body at the Annunciation, Mary went out “in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth.
We know from the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta that she did not do so merely to spend some time with family, or to tend only to physical needs! Rather, she primarily did so in order to bring the Real Presence of Jesus to others, just as is the entire purpose of DWMoM.
The Blessed Virgin Mary relates to Luisa:
No sooner did I become the mother of Jesus and your mother, than my seas of love redoubled and, unable to contain them all, I felt the [ardent] desire to [pour them out in souls and] expand them, and become for souls the first bearer of Jesus, even at the cost of great sacrifices… And what were these sacrifices? For one who truly loves, sacrifices and sorrows become refreshments and consolations, as they are the outpourings of the love one possesses. …
I left Nazareth accompanied by Saint Joseph, facing a long journey of crossing mountains to go visit Elisabeth in Judea who, in her advanced age, had miraculously become a mother. I went to see her, not simply to pay her a visit, but because my Heart was set ablaze with the desire to bring Jesus to her. The fullness of grace, love and light which I felt in me, compelled me to bring Jesus to her and to multiply to a hundredfold the life of my Son in souls…
I felt ardent yearnings to give my dear Jesus to everyone, so that all might possess him and love him. The rightful claims I had to motherhood, bequeathed to me by the Fiat, enriched me with such power that the same Fiat [operating in me] multiplied Jesus for as many times as there are souls who desire to receive him. This was the greatest miracle given me to perform: To have Jesus always available in order to give him to whomever should desire him. And I was so happy [to do this]! How I yearn that you too, my child, in approaching and visiting others, would always be the bearer of Jesus, capable of making him known and yearning to make him loved [by others].
My child, I was set ablaze with the ardent desire to unleash the flames of love that consumed me and reveal my secret to Elisabeth, who also longed for the coming of the Messiah. For a secret is a need of the heart which is irresistibly revealed to those capable of understanding.Now who could adequately describe the great blessing my visit imparted to Elisabeth, to John [in her womb] and to their household? Everyone was sanctified, filled with gladness, experienced unusual joys and comprehended things unheard of….
Dearest child, the Divine Will does great and unheard-of things wherever it reigns. If I worked many prodigies it was because the Divine Will occupied its royal place in my soul. And if you let the Divine Will reign in your soul, you too will become the bearer of Jesus to other souls – you too will feel the irresistible desire to give him to everyone!
This, indeed, is the right and natural response to receiving the Eucharist: bringing the Eucharistic graces out into the world. Thus it serves as our motivation for the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy Apostolate.
St. Anthony Mary Claret
This saint also serves as a patron to our apostolate, for he was given an extraordinary grace: that of bringing the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with him (in his heart), continually: not a mere spiritual or mystical presence, and not for a mere 15 minutes after receiving Communion, but every moment of every day. This is why images of him portray a glow emanating from his heart. This grace we too ask for, and while leaving the fulfillment of this request entirely up to Our Lord, we know that He can grant it if He so wishes. But it is not only the fact of this great gift given to St. Anthony that inspires us to regard him as our patron, it is also his motivation for asking for the gift: due to his enormous missionary zeal and his full understanding that, without extraordinary graces, he would not be up to the task.
Please see the following excerpt from the writings of Dr. Noble Mannarath on St. Anthony
The last two years of Anthony Claret, unquestionably, was a complete fusion of ‘Martha and Mary’, of action and contemplation, the high point of intense spiritual life and mystical union. 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. He was a ‘mystic in action’ and at the same time, an ‘active humanist in pure contemplation’. It is really hard to find such a harmonious fusion of action and contemplation in the many saints and holy persons of the Church.
The inspiration for our mission comes primarily from Scripture, the Divine Mercy Diary of St. Faustina, the preaching of Pope Francis, and the revelations to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.* What follows is a general summary, and then a more in-depth look at these same sources:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. –Matthew 28:19-20
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses –Acts 1:8
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” –Mark 16:15
But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” –Acts 3:6
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. –Luke 4:18
…they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them –Acts 5:15
Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor bag, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. –Luke 9:3
And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and their nets were breaking… –Luke 5:4-7
II) The Divine Mercy Diary
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. –Conversation between St. Faustina and Jesus, Paragraph 1826
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. — Jesus to St. Faustina, Paragraphs 47-48
But child, you are not yet in your homeland; so go, fortified by My grace, and fight for My kingdom in human souls; fight as a king’s child would; and remember that the days of your exile will pass quickly, and with them the possibility of earning merit for heaven. I expect from you, My child, a great number of souls who will glorify My mercy for all eternity. My child, that you may answer My call worthily, receive Me daily in Holy Communion. It will give you strength… –Jesus to St. Faustina, Paragraph 1489
My daughter, if I demand through you that people revere My mercy, you should be the first to distinguish yourself by this confidence in My mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it…. I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. –Jesus to St. Faustina, Paragraph 742
III) The Preaching of Pope Francis
Note: During Lent of 2015, Pope Francis surprised the world by announcing an Extraordinary Jubilee — that is, a Holy Year. The theme? Mercy. Now this Holy Year truly is extraordinary. The Church has been celebrating these Jubilees for 700 years, but this one is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. In the Bull of Indiction –the official document proclaiming the Holy Year — Pope Francis wrote: “I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope…. in every local Church, at the cathedral … [this] Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year.” He also said “During Lent of this Holy Year, I intend to send out Missionaries of Mercy.” — And that’s not just a reference to the priests with special powers of absolution; Pope Francis is asking all of us to become Missionaries of Mercy. Up until now, almost all of the Holy Doors have been exclusively in Rome. But this Holy Year will see the opening of a literal, physical Holy Door in every single diocese in the world. Pope Francis has even proclaimed that these Holy Doors will become, “Doors of Mercy” Pope Francis acknowledged St. Faustina by name in this Bull of Indiction, almost, it seems, crediting her for this Year of Mercy. Recall that the inspiration for DWMoM also comes from Jesus’ words to St. Faustina in her officially approved Diary: “…before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…”
“I am sure of this. It is not only Lent; we have been living in a time of mercy for the past thirty years or more, up to today. This was an intuition of Bl. John Paul II. He ‘sensed’ that this was the time of mercy… He introduced the Feast of Divine Mercy. Little by little he advanced and went forward on this… we cannot forget the great content, the great intuitions and gifts that have been left to the People of God. And Divine Mercy is one of these.” –Exhortation on Mercy to Roman Priests, 2014
“No one must say that they cannot be close to the poor because their own lifestyle demands more attention to other areas. This is an excuse commonly heard in academic, business or professional, and even ecclesial circles.” –Evangelii Gaudium Paragraph 201
“Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. … 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 “–Evangelii Gaudium Paragraph 49
“Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey. In this preaching, which is always respectful and gentle, the first step is personal dialogue, when the other person speaks and shares his or her joys, hopes and concerns for loved ones, or so many other heartfelt needs. Only afterwards is it possible to bring up God’s word, perhaps by reading a Bible verse or relating a story, but always keeping in mind the fundamental message: the personal love of God who became man, who gave himself up for us, who is living and who offers us his salvation and his friendship.” –Evangelii Gaudium Paragraphs 127-128
“Cities create a sort of permanent ambivalence because, while they offer their residents countless possibilities, they also present many people with any number of obstacles to the full development of their lives. … We cannot ignore the fact that in cities human trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse and exploitation of minors, the abandonment of the elderly and infirm, and various forms of corruption and criminal activity take place. At the same time, what could be significant places of encounter and solidarity often become places of isolation and mutual distrust. Houses and neighbourhoods are more often built to isolate and protect than to connect and integrate. The proclamation of the Gospel will be a basis for restoring the dignity of human life in these contexts, for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life upon our cities.” –Evangelii Gaudium Paragraphs 74-75
“Sometimes we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord’s wounds at arm’s length. Yet Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. He hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness.” –Evangelii Gaudium Paragraph 270
IV) Revelations to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta on the Gift of Living in the Divine Will
[Jesus] showed me a table in the middle of the Church, and all the writings about the Divine Will placed upon it. Many venerable people surrounded that table and became transformed into light and divinized; and as they walked, they communicated that light to whomever they encountered. Then Jesus added: “You will see this great good from Heaven, when the Church will receive this celestial food, which will strengthen Her and make Her rise again in Her full triumph”
–Jesus gave these words to Luisa Piccarreta on February 10th, 1924; 92 years to the day before Ash Wednesday of this upcoming Lent — the day on which Pope Francis is asking the whole world to become Missionaries of Mercy.
My daughter, the blessed in heaven give Me much glory because of the perfect union of their wills with Mine, as their life is a product of My Will. There is so much harmony between us that their breath, inhalation, movements, joys and all that which constitutes their beatitude is the effect of My Will. However, I tell you that for the soul who is still on earth and united to My Will in such a way that it never deviates from it, its life is heavenly, and I receive from this soul the same glory I receive from the blessed. Or rather, I take more pleasure and delight in this pilgrim soul because what the blessed do, they do without sacrifice and amid delights, whereas what this pilgrim soul does, it does with sacrifice and amid sufferings. And wherever there is sacrifice, I take more pleasure and I am more delighted. Since the soul who is still a pilgrim and lives in My Will forms one life with the blessed who live in My Will, the blessed themselves participate in the pleasure I receive from this pilgrim soul…I place the souls who live completely of My Will on earth in the same condition as the blessed.
Have you seen what living in My Will is? […] It is to enjoy, while remaining on earth, all the divine qualities […] it is the sanctity not yet known and that I will make known, which will set in place the last, most beautiful and brilliant ornament among all other sanctities, and that will be the crown and completion of all other sanctities.
Do you know where I find My true requital? In the soul who lives in My Will. As I descend into its heart, immediately I consume the accidents of the consecrated Host, because I know that more noble accidents, more dear to Me, are ready to imprison Me and keep Me within its heart […] I will not be alone, but with My most faithful companion. We will be two hearts beating together, united in our love with our desires as one. So, I remain in this soul, and there My life resides just as alive and real as in the Most Blessed Sacrament. But do you know what these accidents are that I find in the soul who does My Will? They are its acts accomplished in My Will which, more than accidents, lay themselves around Me and imprison Me within a noble and divine palace […] I illuminate and enliven this soul more than I do the sun. Oh, how happy I am to form My Real Life in this soul; I feel as if I were within My heavenly royal palace. Gaze at Me within your heart and see how happy I am, how I delight and experience the purest joys.
–Jesus to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta; miscellaneous excerpts from her diary.
**Please note that the Gift of Living in the Divine Will does not replace the creature’s substance with God’s substance, as occurs at the consecration of the host; it would be idolatry to worship a person Living in the Divine Will as we worship the Eucharist. Rather, the Gift of Living in the Divine Will consists in God granting to the creature a continuous participation in His own eternal operation, substance and qualities.
*For more information on Living in the Divine Will in the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, see Daniel O’Connors books: www.DSDOConnor.com