I was telling my daughter Katie about The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Luisa Piccarreta who was known as The Little Daughter of the Divine Will.
Luisa (1865-1947) was a mystic and victim soul (confined to her bed) who lived only on the Eucharist and the Divine Will for 64 years. She was confided with the greatest Mission on Earth since Jesus and Our Blessed Mother which is to herald the Kingdom of the Divine Will on Earth, a New Era in which man will live the life of Divine Holiness, as originally planned by God. Luisa’s cause for Beatification was opened by Rome in 1994. (This from the back cover.)
St. Padre Pio once said, “The world will be filled with Luisa...The third millennium will see her light.”
These writings remind me a lot of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, who was commissioned by Jesus to spread the good news of God’s Mercy of which the Divine Mercy image so well illustrates, which was also commissioned by Our Lord to Sister Faustina.
In the Passion writings of Luisa Piccarreta, each hour of Our Lord’s Passion is descriptively recorded as conversation and imagery between Luisa and the Lord Himself. The pilgrimage that I committed to designates a community of believers each to start with one specific hour of the Passion on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday. I signed up for the 3 AM hour, since often I’m awake at that time anyway.
In the days following, the penitent reads prayerfully, the next hour, then the next, following consecutively until Good Friday. The intention is to unite oneself with Christ during these hours, as though she were witnessing the Passion in real time, 2000+ years ago. Also, because Our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion are an eternal sacrifice, meaning they transcend time and space and Were, Are and Ever Shall Be; the prayerful is to meditate upon these Mysteries and offer them now for her own conversion and for the conversion of others, here and now.
Now if I lived a monastic life, I suppose I could follow each reading at each hour it is designated, but that is not necessary. For instance, the 4 AM hour following Ash Wednesday, I read and prayed that reading at about 6:30 AM. That’s when I awoke on that Thursday.
I was telling Katie about how Luisa lived on only the Eucharist for 64 years. “What?!” she said. “I couldn’t do that.”
I said, “Very few souls are called to that kind of life, Katie. Each is given a measure of faith. The Lord doesn’t require that level of mortification for most souls. We only know of a select few who've experienced the painful grace of the stigmata, for example. Very few are mystics. But we can learn from them. We share in the Mystical Body of Christ as Christians.”
Jesus may not be requiring that I be a mystic, but He is requiring.
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I am not in the mystic league. And I’m okay with that.
Humility, sister. Humility.
I have to start where God has placed me, right here, right now.
I will, one day, meet my Maker and give an account of whom He’s placed in my charge.
This book is rich with spiritual insight of the Passion of Christ, but I can only share a few points in this article.
What I am struck with in the Passion of Christ, beginning with the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, is the foreboding burden that manifests itself in that Jesus sweated blood. It was as if the total misery of the Passion was contained in that one event. My daughter Danika and I have commiserated that the Agony in the Garden seems to be the worst. It is when our Dear Jesus was abandoned by his friends. It was when He was betrayed by a friend. And He knew it was coming! That’s the thing. At the Last Supper, He allowed it. The wheat and the chaff, growing up together, giving His back to be beaten for our healing, and for our salvation. Using every moment, every glance, every beat of His Sacred Heart, towards us, to show us LOVE.
Luisa describes: But, O sweet Jesus, my Good, what a touching scene I see! You first meet the perfidious Judas, who, drawing near You and throwing his arms around your neck, greets You and kisses You. And You, Most passionate Love, do not disdain to kiss those infernal lips; You embrace him and press him to your Heart, wanting to snatch him from hell, and giving him signs of new love. My Jesus, how is it possible not to love You? The tenderness of your Love is such that should snatch every heart to love You; yet, they do not love You! And You, O my Jesus, in bearing this kiss of Judas, repair for the betrayals, the pretenses, the deceptions under the aspect of friendship and sanctity, especially of priests. Your kiss, then, shows that, not to one sinner, provided that he comes humiliated to You, would You refuse your forgiveness.
The other thought I had was that not only did the Lord carry the cross, but in falling three times, He atoned for all the times we fall. Not only did He carry the cross, but uphill!!! I crank the treadmill up to 7.0 incline, and jog these mountains here in my little corner of NC, and let me tell you . . . I can only imagine Jesus’ suffering. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the ancient mystic monk, asked the Lord what His greatest unrecorded suffering was, and this is what Jesus said, “I had on my Shoulder, while I bore My Cross, on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men.” This I read from the “Prayer to Shoulder Wound of Christ,” Original Pieta Prayer Book, ©2006.
In following the Passion which begins at 5 pm and lasts until 3 pm the next day, Jesus was awake for all of this! He was up all night!
The verse I think of is Psalm 121:4:
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
I can’t leave out His Holy Mother. I have heard that when Mary was at the foot of the cross with John, and Jesus said to her, “Woman, behold your son,” and turning to John, “Son, behold your mother,” and from that hour, John took her into his home, that some interpret that literally, as ‘from that very moment’, Mary was taken away, spared from the rest of the gruesome crucifixion. I pose the questions, “If you were Jesus’s mother, would you leave? If your son was dying in any capacity, would you leave?”
So I can’t forget her. Luisa Piccarreta doesn’t either.
Here Luisa communicates with Our Most Sorrowful Mother during the 11 PM hour:
Place yourself near them, O Mother, make up for all that they lack. Even more, make Yourself seen. On your face shines the beauty of Jesus; your manners are all similar to His; and so, in seeing You, they will certainly be able to know Jesus.
The following infers our present reliance upon pleading the blood of Jesus over every soul and every thought, word, and action:
And now, O Mother, let us take this Blood and let us give it to all: to the afflicted, that they may receive comfort, to the poor, that they may suffer resigned to their poverty; to those who are tempted; that they may obtain victory; to the disbelieving, that the virtue of Faith may triumph in them; to the blasphemers; that they may turn blasphemies into benedictions; to the priests; that they may understand their mission and be worthy ministers of Jesus. With this blood, touch their lips; that they may say no words that are not of glory to God; touch their feet that they may let them fly to go in search of souls to lead to Jesus. Let us give this Blood to leaders of the peoples, that they may be united among them and feel meekness and love for all their subjects.
Oh my! Preach it Sister!
Luisa finally includes herself:
“My Mother, give this blood also to me; You know how much I need It. With your own maternal hands, retouch me completely with this Blood; and while retouching me, purify my stains, heal my wounds, enrich my poverty; let this Blood circulate in my veins and give me again all the life of Jesus. May it descend into my heart, and transform it into His very Heart.”
She goes on . . .
And I go on . . .
Learning from the mystics, I worship Christ and venerate His Most Holy Mother.
I am rooted in a league of my own; but not of my own making.
But of my Jesus.
Copyright 2017 Susan Anderson
About the Author
Susan Anderson is a wife and mother of six. Becoming Catholic at age 33, she is an avid fan of Mary and keeps her sanity through rosary prayer. She helps Rob, her husband, at Cactus Game Design, provider of Bible based games and toys. Her book, Paul’s Prayers, is about her oldest autistic son, which will be published March 6, 2018. To pre-order: http://goodbooks.com/titles/13642-9781680993479-pauls-prayers Her website: www.SusanAndersonwrites.com