Introduction – Very dearest, let us render thanks and praise to the Most Holy Trinity for the gift of Divine Life that we have received from the Father through His only-begotten Son, the Word Incarnate, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
“The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
This Holy Mass is characterized by the particular rendering of thanksgiving and of praise that as Diocesan Church united to our brother and sister provincials from the sister Churches of Italy and of abroad, we want to lift up to the Most Holy Trinity for the gift of the Servant of God “Luisa Piccarreta,” daughter of this blessed land of Corato, and daughter of the Diocesan Church of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, who in the years of her earthly life (April 23, 1865 – March 4, 1947) radiated the light of the risen Christ in her permanent state of suffering that so resounds according to the expression of St. Paul in this way: “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ is living in me. This life that I live in the flesh I live it in the faith of the Son of God, who has loved me and has given Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). And at the same time it is characterized by the supplication that we raise to the Most Holy Trinity so that the glorification of His Servant, proclaimed by the supreme authority of the Church, would render knowable and sure the particular charisma of “to live in the Will of God” according to the prayer of Jesus the Teacher: “Your Will be fulfilled on earth as It is in Heaven,” for the development of the Christian life for the glory of God and of His Kingdom.
Announcement – The Word of God: In Malachi 1:14b—2:2b,8-10, it recalled the responsibility of the leaders in the confrontations with the people of God. The ministry of the Levites in the Old Testament and the Priestly ministry in the New Testament must serve the Kingdom of God, and not use the Kingdom of God. We have heard: “If you do not listen to Me and do not take to heart to give glory to My Name,” says the Lord of hosts, “I will send curses over you and I will change your blessings into curses.” (verses 2-7). This Word of God, very dear brother Priests, admonishes us about the exercise of our ministry. As regards the service of the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God “Luisa Piccarreta,” we must ask ourselves if we are all working for the glory of God and the good of the people of God. Certainly leaks in advance, and in particular the propagation of the writings of the Servant of God, going outside of the order called for by the authority of the Church, are not good for the Cause of Luisa.
If today We declare, according to the canonical process completed at the Diocesan level, that the renown of the sanctity of Luisa is proven to us according to authentic and credible witnesses, we can not yet pronounce on the reliability of secure doctrine of the writings of Luisa in as much as we do not yet have a typical and critical edition of the same writings. Therefore prudence is required in speaking about the thinking of Luisa. At the present state, one can make Luisa known in her virtues, but it is however prudent and appropriate not to give teachings according to her writings. If we will dedicate ourselves to studying them with care and under the action of the Holy Spirit, once the typical and critical edition is published, if the results conform to the doctrine of the Church, they will be able to be published. The approval of the Congregation of the Saints is also necessary in this.
In the Gospel of Matthew 23:1-12, Jesus Christ is announced as the only Teacher: “Do not let yourself be called ‘Teachers’, because only one is your Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant; one who instead will exalt himself will be humbled, and one who will humble himself will be exalted.” (verses 10-11).
In the experience of Luisa’s faith, there are phenomenons that surpass the human capacities: prolonged suffering (about 70 years in bed), interior illustrations expressed in writing under ecclesiastical obedience—and followed by priests to whom she was transferred by the Archbishops of the time—a thinking so elevated that it surpasses the normal capacities of an illiterate creature. Luisa never considered herself a teacher at all. She is a humble Servant of the Lord, completely submitted to His Will. She wants to live only in the Will of God.
When the verdict from the Holy See reached her to return all her writings, she made this act of submission: “If the Church considers false everything that I have written, you must consider it false” (refer to Act of submission written by Luisa Piccarreta on the date October 19, 1938 and sent to Rome by means of Archbishop Giuseppe Maria Leo).
Beyond the mystic expressed in the writings—very elevated and, for certain lines, bold, and it needs to be examined and compared with the doctrine of the Church—the example of Christian life of the Servant of God remains luminous.
As the Apostle Paul had said of himself in 1 Thessalonians 2:7b—9,13: “Indeed remember, brothers, our toil and our labor: working night and day in order to not be a burden in any way, we announced to you the Gospel of God” (verses 9-11), so also Luisa can be presented to Our Diocesan Church, as I had an opportunity of describing in my speech on “The Sanctity of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta” in the report given at the 3rd International Convention the past 27th. In this context I would like to emphasize just one more aspect of the sanctity of Luisa in the light of the Beatitudes. Luisa lived the beatitude: “Blessed are the pure of heart because they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). In the ineffable joy of contemplation she already saw on earth “those things that the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor ever entered into the heart of man” (l Corinthians 2:9). She took refuge in the Lord, and the Lord granted her special gifts.
Conclusion – In what way can Luisa be an example for us? In entrusting ourselves completely to God, leaving ourselves to take completely from Jesus under the action of the Holy Spirit, and in making ourselves presence of God in the world, in the same way as Luisa did, above all in welcoming, listening to, and encouraging all those who were in need and in suffering. Luisa was, like St. Pio of Pietrelcina—one who had so much esteem and veneration of her—a living sign of the merciful love of God.
What characterized the sanctity of Luisa is “living in the Will of God”. Luisa focused her attention on the invocation: “Your Will be done on earth as It is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Let us ask ourselves: How is the Will of God done in Heaven? In perfect adherence and in harmony with the Trinitarian Love. The Saints can be called “Blessed Regions”; they are uninhabited, and possessed in a conscious way through God the Trinity.
How must we do the Will of God on earth? Jesus Christ taught Luisa to live in the Divine Will of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. All her powers of creature, intelligent and free in practice, became elevated by the Holy Spirit to the
o loving welcome of the One God
who reveals Himself in the Incarnation of the Word, Jesus Christ Our Lord, in poverty, obedience, chastity, and gift of Himself to everyone.
Every creature in all her powers of intelligence, of will, of memory, of heart, by means of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist, lives according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (refer to Romans 8:4).
The experience of Luisa is of the mystical type. And today Christianity must get back the mystical. In such regard it is my pleasure to cite two mystical authors:
o “Today, if one is not mystical, one can not even be Christian” (Karl Rahner).
o “It is not knowledge that illuminates the Mystery, it is the Mystery that illuminates knowledge” (P. Evdokimov).
The sanctity of Luisa in the light of the “Divine Volition” can give to Christians of our time a deep interior life such as to re-form a style of life immersed in materialism and in secularism, even to taking away the true joy of life, that is, the hope of Eternal Life, already enflamed in the soul who seeks God as the doe longs for the source of the waters (Psalm 42:2).
Let us rise up to the Most Holy Trinity, grateful for the sanctity of Luisa Piccarreta, supplication through her merits of faithful and industrious Servant.
† Giovan Battista Pichierri
in Closure of the Diocesan Process
Mons. Giovanni Battista Pichierri
3rd INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS
Mother Church in Corato
October 29, 2005
Thirty-First Sunday “A” –
Malachi l:43—2,8-20; Psalm 130:1; Thessalonians 2:7b—9:13; Matthew 23:1—12