The Priest, Minister Of Divine Mercy
The priest, minister of divine mercy – An aid for confessors and spiritual directors
“It is necessary to return to the confessional as a place in which to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but also as a place in which “to dwell” more often, so that the faithful may fi nd compassion, advice and comfort, feel that they are loved and understood by God and experience the presence of Divine Mercy beside the Real Presence in the Eucharist”.1
With these words, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI addressed confessors during the recent Year for Priests, indicating to each one present the importance and therefore the apostolic urgency of rediscovering the Sacrament of Reconciliation, both from their viewpoint of penitents as well as that of ministers.
Along with the daily celebration of the Eucharist, the availability of the priest to hear sacramental confessions, to welcome penitents, and to accompany them spiritually when they so request, is the real measure of a priest’s pastoral charity. By their availability, priests give joyful witness and in a certain sense take upon themselves their true identity, redefi ned in the Sacrament of Holy Orders and not reducible to a mere functionality.
The priest is a minister, which is to say that he is at the same time both a servant and a prudent dispenser of Divine Mercy. To him is entrusted the serious responsibility “to forgive or to retain sins” (cf. John 20: 23). Through him, and through the power of the Spirit who is the Lord and Giver of Life, the faithful are able to experience today in the Church the joy of the Prodigal Son, who after a life of sin returned to his father’s house in the manner of a servant but was welcomed with the dignity of a son.
BOOK OF HEAVEN
From the writings of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta
January 4, 1925
How all of Heaven goes to meet the soul who fuses herself in the Divine Will. How all want to place their acts in her, and the noble martyrdom of the soul is formed.
Having completed my whole day, I was thinking to myself: ‘What else is left for me to do?’ And in my interior, I heard: “You, Luisa, have to do the most important thing – your last act of fusing yourself in the Divine Will.”
So, according to my usual way, I started to fuse all my poor being in the Supreme Will; and as I was doing so, it seemed to me that the Heavens were opening, and I went to meet the whole Celestial Court, and all of Heaven came toward me. And my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter Luisa,fusing yourself in my Will is the most solemn act, the greatest one, the most important of all your life. To fuse yourself in my Will is to enter the sphere of Eternity, embrace It, kiss It, and receive the deposit of the goods which the Eternal Will contains. Even more, as the soul fuses herself in the Supreme Volition, all go to meet her, in order to communicate to her all the goods and the glory they have. The Angels, the Saints, the very Divinity – they all communicate, knowing that they communicate in that same Will in Which everything is safe. Even more, in receiving these goods, the soul multiplies them through her acts in the Divine Will, and gives back double glory and honor to the whole of Heaven. Therefore, by fusing yourself in my Will, you put Heaven and earth in motion. It is a new feast for the whole Heaven.
And since to fuse oneself in my Will is to love and to give, for each one and for all, without excluding anyone – in my Goodness, so as not to be won over in love by the creature, I place in her – in my Will – the goods of all, and all the possible goods I contain within Me. Nor can there be a lack of space in which to place all the goods, because my Will is immense, and is capable of receiving everything. If you knew what you do and what happens when you fuse yourself in my Will, you would eagerly yearn to do it continuously.
Afterwards, I was thinking about whether I had to write what is written above, or not. I didn’t see it as necessary, or as an important thing; more so, since obedience had given me no order to do it. And my sweet Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter Luisa , how can it not be important to make it known that fusing oneself in my Will is to live in It? The soul who fuses herself in my Will receives, as though in deposit, all my divine and eternal goods. The very Saints compete with each other in order to deposit their merits in the soul fused in my Will, because they feel in her the Glory, the Power of my Will, and feel glorified in a divine manner by the littleness of the creature.
Listen, my daughter Luisa: to live in my Will surpasses even martyrdom in merit. Martyrdom kills the body, but living in my Will implies that the creature kills her own will with a divine hand, and It gives her the nobility of a divine martyrdom. And every time the soul decides to live in my Will, my Volition prepares the blow in order to kill the human will, and forms the noble martyrdom of the soul. But in order to reach this happy state, the human will and the Divine Will must be tied together: one has to give the place to the Other, and the human will must be content with remaining extinguished under the power of the Divine Will. Therefore, every time you dispose yourself to live in my Volition, you dispose yourself to undergo the martyrdom of your will.
Do you see, then, what it means to fuse oneself in my Will? It is to be the continuous martyr of my Supreme Will. And you think it’s trivial, or not important?”