The article is now entering into the nitty-gritty of the dangers of following some private revelations. I write this out of concern for souls, not for the sake of criticism. If anyone is offended, I suggest prayer and openness to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.
The Narrow Gate is the study and reverence for the long teaching of the Catholic Church, including council documents, encyclicals, and apostolic letters. Also included would be the writings of the Early Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church. However, most people can find what they need in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. As adults, we are totally responsible for learning our Faith, and cannot be reliant on priests, bishops, or seers.
Herein lies the problem. Too many people, and, I must say, mostly women, do not study or read unless they are led by others. And, the main reason why many women fall into error following fake seers is that they want to get holy either is an easy way, entering the Broad Gate, which is taking an emotional and easy path, or they want to feel good. This feel good factor involves them in cults, prayer meetings which spew heresy, and even days of retreats run by people who are steeped in error.
What can we do to avoid endangering our immortal souls by not following false seers? Simple, understand the basic teachings of the Church. ALL Catholic adults from the age of 16 must read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church and a Catholic history of the Church. That is the minimum to get through the Narrow Gate.
To show how easy it is to fall into serious errors which deny the dogmas of the Church, I have chosen on seer and with the help of some commentators, who are reliable, will show how this seer’s revelations contradict Church teaching. One cannot become stubborn and dig in one’s heels against the dogmas of the Church.
This false teaching to which I allude is that of the Divine Mercy movement begun years ago with the writings of Luisa Piccarreta. Years ago, I read the first three volumes of Luisa Piccaretta’s Divine Will private revelations. I quickly discovered several doctrinal errors in those volumes and put the books in the bin. I found out later that the Pope Emeritus while active pope declared that the books (36) volumes were not to be disseminated and that the prayer groups were to end. I also discovered that people insisted on being disobedient to this order from the Vatican and still attend conferences, meetings, and print the books. This is against the Church’s current warning. Today, I finally found an excellent critique from the point of view of real Church teaching on some of the errors of this Servant of God. I warn people against this movement for several reasons, some of which are listed in this article below. Then, I shall quote carefully the current Church’s stand on this seer. Some of you may be surprised.
The following points are from this article written in 1997 by Father Terrance Staples. For those who want the entire article, here is the link. I summarise his points.
A brief two paragraphs introduce his main ideas, which are based on Church teaching.
“The first principal error in Luisa’s writings is that they clearly violate the Catholic notion of Divine Revelation. She clearly states that what she has received is a new revelation, never before communicated to the Church, which is necessary for all the faithful to adhere to and understand if they hope to attain to the new and higher level of beatitude which God desires for all his children and has made available solely through her writings. She claims to be the founder of a totally new dispensation, a new way of holiness, a new way of being united with God which has only been lived by three people before Luisa: Adam and Eve (before the Fall) and Mary. These “revelations” cannot be true because they contradict the church’s teaching on the nature of divine revelation and the role of private revelation in the Church.
The second principal error in Luisa’s writings pertain to her notion of how the human will is related to, and cooperates with, the divine will. Luisa clearly and repeatedly teaches that when one receives this new “Sacrament” of the Divine Will the human will ceases to function as such and the Divine Will acts in the creature in such a way that the action is purely divine. This notion has been condemned by the Church when dealing with the Christological heresy of monothelitism”
These two errors are HUGE. Both of these are absolutely against the long teaching of the Catholic Church. Divine Revelation ended with the last book in the Bible. Father Staples agrees with all the great teachers of the Church on this subject. Here is his summary. Notice that he quotes Dei Verbum and the CCC. Garrigou-Lagrange also writes about private revelation and I have put the link below. Here is Fr. Staples on this subject.
• “The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord, Jesus Christ (cf. I Tim 6:14, 1 Tit. 2:13).” (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), para. 4.)
• “Everything we need for holiness and increase in faith has been handed on from the Apostles once and for all (cf. Jude 3). What was handed on by the apostles comprises everything that serves to make the People of God live their lives in holiness and increase their faith. In this way the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.” (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), para. 8.)
• “And Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.” (Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), para. 9.)
• “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.”
• “Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such ‘revelations.'” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 67.)
Sadly, Luisa contradicts the Church’s teaching on Revelation by claiming her visions and ideas are part of Divine Revelation. Herein, she falls into grave error. Father outlines her errors by giving examples. These are painful in their errors. I leave them in a reddish colour to distinguish them from truth. Father makes a comment after each saying.
•Jesus to Luisa: “Having sent forth from the bosom of my Creative Power the first two FIATs, I wish to emit the third FIAT, since I cannot contain my Love any longer. This will complete the work that poured forth from Me. Otherwise, the work of Creation as well as Redemption would remain incomplete. ” (Piccarreta, Luisa. When the Divine Will Reigns in Souls, Book of Heaven: A selection of Passages. [Hereafter referenced as BH] The Luisa Piccarreta Center for the Divine Will. Jacksonville, FL. 1995. P. 119.)Comment: According to Luisa, the first two fiats were the creation and the flat of Mary. This third flat, made by Luisa, completes the work of creation and redemption. Here Luisa is claiming that via her ‘private revelation’ God is revealing to the entire Church the full meaning of creation and redemption. Furthermore, she is claiming that without her the redemption would remain incomplete! According to Church teaching (cf. Above), Christ’s definitive revelation which He entrusted to the Apostles cannot be added to or surpassed.
• Jesus to Luisa: “Now, daughter, you also [i.e. along with Mary] are unique in my Mind; and you will be unique in history. There will not be — either before or after you — any other creature for whom I will obligate through necessity the assistance of my Ministers…. How much attention is required from you and them. You, in receiving from Me, as a second mother, The Great Gift Of My Will and to know all Its qualities, and my ministers in receiving It from you To Fulfill In My Church The ‘Fiat Voluntas Tua’ in Heaven as It is on earth.” (p. 12, BH).Comment: Luisa is saying that the ministers of the Church must receive from her the message of the Divine Will in order to fulfill God’s plan. One cannot be obligated through necessity to follow a private revelation.
• Luisa claims supremacy over all the Church. Jesus to Luisa: “Since my Mother was entrusted to Me and, being a Priest to Her, I entrusted to Her as a sanctuary all the laws, precepts and doctrines that the Church needed to possess. And, faithful as She was and zealous for even one of my words so they would not be lost, She deposited them in my faithful disciple, John. And for that reason my Mother has supremacy over all the Church. In the same way I have done this with you. Being necessary to serve the Fiat Voluntas Tua to all the Church, I have entrusted you to one of my ministers so that you might deposit in him everything I reveal to you about my Will: The Goods that it contains and how the creature should enter into it and how the paternal kindness wants to open another era of grace, putting the goods he possesses in heaven in common with the creature and restoring to man his lost happiness.” (p. 14 BH).Comment: Luisa is claiming to have received a new “deposit” of faith which parallels the revelation given to the Apostles.
•Luisa: new way of union, new way of praying; Our Lord to Luisa, “…it is certain that I have called you first over other souls. Because to no other souls, however much I have loved them, have I shown How to live in my Will, The effects, the marvels, the riches that the creature receives who acts in my supreme will. Search the lives of the Saints as much as you wish or in books of doctrine and you will not find the wonders of My Will working in the creature and the creature acting in my will. The most you will find will be resignation, abandonment, the union of wills, but the divine will working in the creature and the creature in my will, you will not find this in anyone. This signifies that the time had not arrived in which my kindness would call the creature to live in such a sublime state. Moreover, even the way I ask you to pray is not found in any other...” (p. xix, BH).Comment: Notice here that Luisa does not claim that her teachings are in any way connected with the Tradition received. They are coming from outside what has been handed on. There is a genuine development of doctrine within the Church which is described in Dei Verbum, especially paragraph 8. This document says, “The Tradition that comes from the apostles makes progress in the Church, with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on.” Every legitimate development in the Church must be organically connected to the Tradition: it builds upon and deepens what is already present. Classically, legitimate development can be compared to the growth of a plant, e.g. Jesus compares the Kingdom to the growth of a mustard seed. Over the years it gradually expands and yet remains the same plant. The First Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, c. 4, sets forth the proper understanding of “the true progress of knowledge, both natural and revealed: “For, the doctrine of faith which God revealed has not been handed down as a philosophic invention to the human mind to be perfected, but has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding [can. 31.] “Therefore…let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense and the same understanding.” (DS 1800).
There are most instances of her errors concerning Revelation in the long article linked above.
For me, the most serious error is the denial of Christ’s human and divine will, which are equal in the Incarnated Son of God. This error denies the results of long years of the Church in councils defining clearly the doctrine of “Dyothelitism or dythelitism (from Greek δυοθελητισμός “doctrine of two wills”) is a particular Christological doctrine that teaches the existence of two wills (divine and human) in the person of Jesus Christ. Specifically, dyothelitism correlates the distinctiveness of two wills with the existence of two specific natures (divine and human) in the person of Jesus Christ (dyophysitism).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 475, states: “Similarly, at the Sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human. They are not opposed to each other, but co-operate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation. Christ’s human will ‘does not resist or oppose but rather submits to his divine and almighty will.'”
This position is in opposition to the Monothelitism position in the Christological debates. The debate concerning the Monothelite churches and the Catholic Church came to a conclusion at the Third Council of Constantinople in 681. The Council declared that in line with the declarations of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which declared two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ, there are equally two “wills” or “modes of operation” in the one person of Jesus Christ as well.
Dyothelitism was championed by Maximus the Confessor against monothelitism, the doctrine of one will.” This is from the excellent article on the subject obviously written by a Catholic on a site now out of commission.
What Luisa is giving in her visions is the heresy of Monothelitism. I sincerely hope she did not know she was a heretic, but this is serious. We cannot follow her error. Here is Fr. Staples again: The following paragraphs are taken from the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681). This council condemned the Monothelites who proposed that in Christ there was in effect only one will, the divine will, and that Christ’s human will was totally absorbed into the divine.
COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE III 680-681 (DS 556-59)
Ecumenical VI (against the Monothelites)
Definition of the Two Wills of Christ
Besides both in Synodical letters which were written by blessed Cyril against the impious Nestorius and to the oriental bishops, following also the five holy ecumenical councils and the holy and trusted Fathers, and defining harmoniously with them it confesses that our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, one of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and giving forth the origin of life, perfect in Godhead and the same perfect in humanity, truly God and truly man, Himself of a rational soul and body; it confesses the same consubstantial with the Father according to Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to humanity, through all things like to us except in sin [Heb. 4:15], before ages, indeed, begotten of the Father according to Godhead, in the last days, however, the same for us and for our salvation of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary properly and truly the mother of God according to humanity, one and the same Christ, the only begotten Lord God in two natures recognized unfusedly, unchangeably, inseparably, indivisibly, never the difference of these natures destroyed on account of union, but rather the property of each nature saved and in one person and in one substance concurring, not into two persons portioned or divided but one and the same only begotten Son of God the Word. our Lord Jesus Christ, just as formerly the prophets taught us about Him, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us [Conc. Chal., see n. 148].
And so we proclaim two natural wills in Him, and two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, unfusedly according to the doctrine of the holy Father, and two natural wills not contrary, God forbid, according as impious heretics have asserted, but the human will following and not resisting or hesitating, but rather even submitting to His divine and omnipotent will. For, it is necessary that the will of the flesh act, but that it be subject to the divine will according to the most wise Athanasius. For, as His flesh is called and is the flesh of the Word of God, so also the natural will of His flesh is called and is the proper will of the Word of God as He Himself says: “Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of my Father who sent me), [cf. John 6:3 8], calling the will of the flesh His own. For the body became His own. For as His most holy and immaculate animated flesh deified has not been destroyed but in its own status and plan remained, so also His human will deified has not been destroyed, but on the contrary it has been saved according to the theologian Gregory who says: “For to wish of that one an entire deification, which is understood in the Savior, is not contrary to God.
But we glorify two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, unfusedly, inseparably ‘in our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, our true God, that is, the divine operation and the human operation, according to Leo the divine preacher who very clearly asserts: “For each form does what is proper to itself with the mutual participation of the other, that is, the Word doing what is of the Word and the flesh accomplishing what is of the flesh” [see n. 144]. For at no time shall we grant one natural operation to God and to the creature, so that neither what was created, we raise into divine essence, nor what is especially of divine nature, we cast down to a place begetting creatures. For of one and the same we recognize the miracles and the sufferings according to the one and the other of these natures from which He is and in which He has to be as the admirable Cyril says. Therefore we, maintaining completely an unconfused and undivided (opinion), In a brief statement set forth all: that we, believing that He is one of the Holy Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ our true God, and after the incarnation assert that His two natures radiate in His one substance, in which His miracles and His sufferings through all His ordained life, not through phantasy but truly He has shown, on account of the natural difference which is recognized in the same single substance, while with the mutual participation of the other, each nature indivisibly and without confusion willed and performed its own works; according to this plan we confess two natural wills and operations concurring mutually in Him for the salvation of the human race.
These things, therefore, having been determined by us with all caution and diligence, we declare that no one is permitted to introduce, or to describe, or to compare, or to study, or otherwise to teach another faith. But whoever presumes to compare or to introduce or to teach or to pass on another creed to those wishing to turn from the belief of the Gentiles or of the Jews or from any heresy whatsoever to the acknowledgment of truth, or who (presumes) to introduce a novel doctrine or an invention of discourse to the subversion of those things which now have been determined by us, (we declare) these, whether they are bishops or clerics, to be excommunicated, bishops indeed from the bishopric, but priests from the priesthood; but if they are monks or laymen, to be anathematized.
Here are some of Luisa’s errors, which are against this dogma with some comments by Father Staples again:
• Jesus says to Luisa: “Ah, I repeat and I confirm to you that my Will is Sacrament and surpasses all the sacraments together in a way that is much more admirable, since it needs no one’s intervention nor anything material. The Sacrament of my Will is formed between my Will and the will of a soul. When both wills melt into each other they form the Sacrament. My will is Life, and the soul who is disposed to receive Life is holy and receives Holiness, is strong and receives Fortitude, and likewise everything else.” (p. 106, BH).Comment: In this text, Jesus is explaining what happens when one receives this gift of the Divine will. This statement describing the nature of the union between the human and the divine will cannot be said even of Christ Himself To say His human will was melted into, or was fused with, his divine will, is heretical: “we proclaim two natural wills in Him, and two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, unfusedly.”
• “When a soul acts in my Will her humanity is, as it were, suspended. Then the Divine Life of my Love takes its place and acts; and, as it acts in a creature, my love finds itself unburdened of its desire for expression.” (p. 86, BH).Comment: All the human actions of Christ proceed from his human nature in submission to the divine will. You cannot say that when Jesus acted on earth His divine will suspended, or took the place of, his human will and proceeded to act in the creature. The two wills in Christ are “inconvertible.”
• “…to live in My Will is to reign in It and with It, while to do My Will is to be at My orders. …To live in My Will is to live with a single Will — God’s Will — a Will all Holy, all Pure, all Peace. And since one Will alone reigns, there are no conflicts; all is peace.” (Citation taken from a pamphlet: The Kingdom of the Divine will: An Introduction to the Fulfillment of the Lord’s Prayer. The Luisa Piccarreta Center for the Divine Will. p. 22.)Comment: Here Luisa clearly differentiates between acting in submission to God’s will, and her new way of acting which entails God’s will itself reigning and acting in the person. The Church teaches that the human will acts in submission to the divine: “…the human will following and not resisting or hesitating, but rather even submitting to His divine and omnipotent will. For, it is necessary that the will of the flesh act, but that it be subject to the divine will according to the most wise Athanasius.”
• Jesus to Luisa: “Thus the soul, until she is buried in my Will and dies completely in It, by disintegrating her volition in Mine, cannot come forth again to a new Divine Life with the resurgence of all the virtues of Christ which contain the true Sanctity.” (p. 28, BH).
• Jesus says to Luisa: “Although sorrow for one’s faults is good and praiseworthy, it does not destroy one’s own essence. On the other hand, abandoning oneself completely in my Will destroys one’s own essence and causes one to reacquire the Divine Essence…. And in reacquiring God, she reacquires all the benefits that God Himself possesses. It is only when the soul is completely in the Will of God that she reacquires God. And if she leaves my Will, she reacquires her own essence, together with all the evils of her corrupt nature.” (BH, p. 29).Comment: This obviously contradicts Church teaching: “For at no time shall we grant one natural operation to God and to the creature, so that neither what was created, we raise into divine essence, nor what is especially of divine nature, we cast down to a place begetting creatures.”
• Jesus to Luisa: “The only thing that should matter to you is that you dissolve your Will completely in Mine, because for him who lives in my Will, it is intimate union, not just for a quarter of an hour [reference to receiving communion] but always, always. Since my Will is in continuous Communion with the soul, not only once a day, but every hour, every moment, it is always Communion for him who lives in my Will.” (BH, p. 34).
• Jesus to Luisa: “They will no longer act on the human plane, but will penetrate into my Will; and their acts, now all divine, will be multiplied for all creatures.” (p. 94 BH).
• Jesus to Luisa: “‘My daughter, I [Jesus] recommend that you never go out of my Will, because my Will contains such power that It is a new baptism for the soul. It is, moreover, more than Baptism itself For in the sacraments my grace is received in a limited way, whereas in my Will, all the fullness of grace is received. In Baptism, Original Sin is taken away, but the passions, the weakness remain. On the other hand, in my Will, by destroying its own will, the soul destroys her passions, her weakness, and all there is that is human, and lives on the Divine virtues, strength, and all the Divine qualities.’ I [Luisa], upon hearing this, said to myself. ‘Soon He will say that his Will is more than Sacramental Communion Itself ” Then He immediately added: ‘Right! Right! Because Sacramental Communion lasts a few minutes. It is temporary. My Will, on the other hand, is perennial Communion…. That is why I want so badly for my creatures to take my Will. This is what matters most to Me, what interests Me most. And nothing else interests Me so much, not even the most holy things. Only when I obtain that the soul live on my Will do I feel triumphant, because in this is contained the greatest good there can be in Heaven and on earth.” (p. 36-37. BH).
• Jesus to Luisa: “To enter [into the Divine Will], creatures need but remove the pebble of their own will. Although it lies within my Will, their will does not participate nor enjoy Its effects. It is alien to my Will because that pebble, a soul’s own will, hinders the flow of my Will, just as the rocks on a beach keep the ocean water from flowing everywhere. But if a soul removes the rock of her own will, in that very same instant she flows in Me and I in her; and she finds all My goods at her disposal: power, light, assistance and everything she desires. That is why there are no special paths, nor doors, nor keys to my Will. A soul has but to desire it and all is done. My Will assumes all the work, gives the soul what she lacks, and makes her expand into all the limitless boundaries of my Will. With virtues it is just the opposite. How many efforts are needed, how many battles, how many long paths…” (BH, p. 123).
In conclusion it should be pointed out that often the saints will use hyperbole to express their desire to be totally at the service of God. They may speak in “mystical language.” For example, St. Paul says, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”; or someone might say, “the Lord consumed my soul” or “Lord, may my will die in you” etc…. However, Luisa is presenting a theological argument for a totally new way of acting. She is not saying “may God’s will be done in me” in the traditional sense of the expression, i.e. “May 1, by grace, faithfully obey God’s will.” On the contrary, she is saying quite literally “God’s will performs good works in me apart from any intervention or cooperation from my human will.” As was clearly shown above, this cannot be said of Jesus Himself. His human will always acted in obedience to the Divine. His Divine will did not take the place of the human; the human will was not melted into, or suspended by, the divine. Rather, Jesus’ human will acted by its own human power of operation. According to Luisa’s description of what it means to “live in the Divine will” we must conclude that Christ Himself did not live such a life…nor can we
There are some other errors which I shall refer to in the next post.
JMJ, pray for us!
God is good,