Army of Heaven
...For nothing will be impossible for God.
The biblical phrase is known and loved and embraced by Christian faithful. But, has it been appropriated into every human difficulty, least of all, as in our case, attaining heroic chastity?
Our Creator ‘has everything’, has all power, dwells in absolute ability. Meanwhile, does the creature yield to the divine mercy: “… I don’t have to do the impossible, because that is God’s feat…”
The way to Heaven travels a three-staged arc (purgative, illuminative, unitive), and surely it makes sense that if the creature could become one with his Creator, He would have to be free (at last) from mortal sin. Free from acting out in sin, free from attachment to sin, free from desire to sin. Free from the shear disobedience of sin!
How many have reasoned their freedom to ultimately be an uncommon ‘trick’ of worthiness, or an act of personal agency, or a white-knuckled “aha! I figured it out!” But for the flesh to obey the Spirit’s higher command, which would make it angelic, is not a human act.
In preparation, we will always have to ask the addicts question: Do I want to stop creating, inside, the false need?
We are anxious about this death of human flesh. If I die, what will be left? Will there be any there, there? How does a sexual creature destroy itself in a holy act of self-immolation, incapable of sinning in certain ways, while remaining a creature, still alive in the same flesh?
By itself, it can’t. It is not in the order of creature powers, to accomplish what is a miracle, where hard concrete material reality (animal behavior) is ordered by obedience to an invisible whisp of intention (conscience, will). Isn’t our littleness why the good God stooped down with graces into human affairs?
Jesus teaches Luisa Piccarreta in the Book of Heaven, that she cannot love Him with anything perfect because she is mere creature, who can do nothing supremely. He wants her to love Him not with her finite, imperfect, inferior creature love but with His excellent sublime Creator Love. It is a teacher-assigned act of divine appropriation. The act of living in the divine will, is in the (third or) unitive phase of the pilgrim arc to Heaven, and its solution applied to our dilemma, is both simple and spectacular.
The hour of “Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” is dawning, the Kingdom is physically coming! The Church has not yet fully seen it, but we are beginning to live it. It was ushered in by her who Jesus found as “the smallest person on earth”, Luisa of Corato (1865-1947), the little daughter of the Divine Will. She was the first, but others soon followed: St Faustina Kowalska, Blessed Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (“Conchita”), Blessed Dina Belanger, St Elizabeth of the Trinity. Luisa will emerge a giant of staggering and utterly humble sanctity. How did she do it?
She made her humanity disappear. Not instantly like a light switch, but steadily, consuming decades in process. Sound familiar? …like, a dream of perfect recovery?
What accomplished it? She came to pray and do everything only with what belongs to Jesus: Divine power, divine wisdom and divine charity inside the human will. At once: appropriating, surrendering to, exchanging, a human will for a divine will. She chose to make herself disappear and God filled the vacuum with all of His capability, all of His power, all of Himself!
Have we reached the total exhaustion of our frail and impossible human no to that habitual sin? Have we reached the hope of Christ’s ineffable and invincible yes… a ‘victory impossible’? Can we appropriate His sanctified yes of overcoming, into our weak yet faithful creature heart? Have we asked Him? Jesus, I give you my will, please give me Yours.
Our program stresses, with all recovery groups everywhere, that the human no which can manhandle the mind and monkey the flesh so as to stop chemical desires and compulsive passions dead, is never going to show up.
Who’s effective no will finally appear? We must obey as Mother directs: I pray to always say no to sin, I pray to love to say “no!, no!, no!” to my body. In accord with our asking in faith, it is Christ’s No that here is speaking within us. That Holy No will work. That Divine No can overcome a broken human will and an addiction-poisoned conscience.
As the yes of a married couple to each other is also Christ’s yes, Christ loving in both of them, so do we as recoverees, bond to Christ, appropri-ate from Him a resolute no to lust, no to what is not of God.
We would like to keep doing what appears to relieve a reflex for unnatural pleasure, but we are not looking at the Divine Law, which is binding and has consequences when infringed. We need deep help.
Jesus says to Luisa: "Obedience releases and chains; and since it is chain, it binds the Divine Volition with the human, and makes them one, in such a way that the soul does not act with the power of her will, but with the power of the Divine Will. Besides, it is not you who will obey, but I will obey in you."
Obedience to Heaven refuses sin and wills rectitude. Christ comes to live in me with His authority and power. But deep in our sin-wounded heart, we must pray continuously for conversion. To disappear.
Original sin is the “original association between the spirit and the fault”. Our ultimate freedom from that entrenched fault seems a gigantic test of endurance. For we are taught that the flesh will always come with its burden of sin. If lust plus pride equals the central error of flesh, do they necessitate a complete deliverance from the original fault, in order to conquer them? On earth as it is in Heaven! We dare then to pray:
Lord Jesus Christ come and replace the wound of corruption in the root of my heart with your perfect no to sin, which compels the flesh to obey the Spirit. Come Jesus and allow us to become satiated by God alone, and no longer by the narcotic god of lust. Come Jesus, increase Your love in us to such depth that the stain of original sin must recede, and cancel a mortally misconfigured heart. Come Jesus and do in us, what creature cannot do in ourselves. Refusing to give up until You bless us, we beg with faith in Your Most High, Holy Name. Amen.