Jesus tells Luisa Piccarreta :
My daughter, everything you saw [Chastisements] will serve to purify and prepare the human family. The turmoils will serve to reorder, and the destructions to build more beautiful things. If a collapsing building is not torn down, a new and more beautiful one cannot be formed upon those very ruins. I will stir everything for the fulfillment of my Divine Will. … when We decree, all is done; in Us, it is enough to decree in order to accomplish what We want. This is why what seems difficult to you will all be made easy by Our Power. (April 30th, 1928)
None of the Chastisements are arbitrary; they are readying the world for the Coming of the Kingdom!
The Chastisements are far more difficult for Jesus than for anyone else; for in Chastising – or allowing Chastisements – He is Chastising His own Mystical Body. He can only tolerate this because He sees what is to come on earth after the Chastisements. Jesus tells Luisa:
And if there was not in Us the Certainty that Our Will would Reign in the creature, in order to form Our Life in her, Our Love would Burn Creation completely, and would reduce it to nothing; and if it supports and tolerates so much, it is because We see the times to come, Our Purpose Realized. (May 30, 1932)
In a word: the Chastisements are not primarily punitive; they are preparatory and, indeed, salvific.
Why are they salvific? Because most souls will indeed turn to God in times trial. God loves His children so much that He will try everything else before resorting to Chastisements – but, ultimately, even the worst temporal Chastisement is infinitely better than eternal damnation. Within a passage already quoted earlier, Jesus also tells Luisa:
“My daughter, courage, everything will serve for the Triumph of My Will. If I strike, it is because I want to heal. My Love is so much, that when I cannot conquer by way of Love and of Graces, I seek to conquer by way of terror and fright. The human weakness is so much that many times he does not care about My Graces, he is deaf to My Voice, he laughs at My Love. But it is enough to touch his skin, to remove the things necessary to natural life, that it abases his haughtiness. He feels so humiliated that he makes himself a rag, and I do what I want with him. Especially if they do not have a perfidious and obstinate will, one chastisement is enough-to see himself at the brink of the grave-that he returns to Me into My arms.” (June 6, 1935)
God is love. Therefore, God’s Chastisements – whether willed directly or only permissively – are also acts of love. Let us not forget that, and let us now proceed to consider more details.
[Before giving more specifics, however, I should briefly note that Luisa’s revelations are not intended to be a detailed road map for all the events coming upon the earth. There are many important things soon coming upon this earth that, to my knowledge, are not spoken of in Luisa’s writings (for example, the Warning, the Three Days of Darkness, the Antichrist); hence, the importance to continue listening to all the authentic calls of Heaven, and not to expect to have everything laid out clearly in Luisa’s revelations alone.]
One aspect of the Chastisements is the natural rebellion of the elements themselves.
…created things feel honored when they serve a creature who is animated by that same Will which forms their very life. On the other hand, my Will takes the attitude of sorrow in those same created things when It has to serve one who does not fulfill my Will. This is why it happens that many times created things place themselves against man, they strike him, they chastise him—because they become superior to man, as they keep intact within themselves that Divine Will by which they were animated from the very beginning of their creation, while man has descended down below, for he does not keep the Will of his Creator within himself. (August 15, 1925)
This might sound strange to some, but bear in mind that this is not any sort of personification of mere matter; Jesus never says to Luisa that anything within nature is itself Divine (there is nothing Pantheistic in Luisa’s revelations) or that any part of the material world is some sort literal Incarnation of the Divine Nature. But He does repeatedly tell Luisa that all creation serves as a veil of His Will. But since, in all physical creation, only man has reason; consequently only man can rebel against the Divine Will. When man does so – and mankind has done so more today than at any point in history – the elements themselves, in a certain sense, become “superior” to man, inasmuch as they have not rebelled against the Divine Will; thus, “finding themselves” above man, whom they exist for the sake of serving, they become “inclined” to chastise man. This is mystical language indeed, but not to be written off, either. Jesus also tells Luisa:
This is the reason why my Divine Will is as though on the lookout from within the elements, to see whether they are disposed to receive the good of Its continuous operating; and in seeing Itself rejected, tired, It arms the elements against them. Therefore, unforeseen chastisements and new phenomena are about to happen; the earth, with its almost continuous tremor, warns man to come to his senses, otherwise he will sink under his own steps because it can no longer sustain him. The evils that are about to happen are grave… (November 24, 1930)
Admittedly, we cannot pretend that we can fully understand what the Chastisements will entail at this moment, before having experienced them. For there will be “new phenomena.” Plenty of the phenomena, however, are well within our capacity to at least be informed of; therefore, it is to a few examples of these that we now turn our attention:
It seems that one can no longer live in these sad times; yet, it seems that this is only the beginning… If I do not find my satisfactions—ah, it is over for the world! The scourges will pour down in torrents. Ah, my daughter! Ah, my daughter! (December 9, 1916)
It seemed that many thousands of people would drop dead—some from revolutions, some from earthquakes, some in the fire, some in the water. It seemed to me that these chastisements were the precursors of nearing wars. (May 6, 1906)
Almost all nations live relying on debts; if they do not make debts, they cannot live. And in spite of this they celebrate, they spare themselves nothing, and are making plans of wars, incurring enormous expenses. Do you yourself not see the great blindness and madness into which they have fallen? And you, little child, would want My Justice not to strike them, and to be lavish with temporal goods. So, you would want them to become more blind and more insane. (May 26, 1927)
This is precisely the great scourge that is preparing for the ugly vertiginous race of creatures. Nature itself is tired of so many evils, and would want to take revenge for the rights of its Creator. All natural things would want to place themselves against man; the sea, the fire, the wind, the earth, are about to go out of their boundaries to harm and strike the generations, in order to decimate them. (March 22, 1924)
But the chastisements also are necessary; this will serve to prepare the ground so that the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat may form in the midst of the human family. So, many lives, which will be an obstacle to the triumph of my Kingdom, will disappear from the face of the earth…(September 12, 1926)
My daughter, I am not concerned about the cities, the great things of the earth—I am concerned about souls. The cities, the churches and other things, after they have been destroyed, can be rebuilt. Didn’t I destroy everything in the Deluge? And wasn’t everything redone again? But if souls are lost, it is forever—there is no one who can give them back to Me. (November 20, 1917)
With the Kingdom of my Will everything will be renewed in Creation; things will return to their original state. This is why many scourges are necessary, and will take place—so that Divine Justice may place Itself in balance with all of my attributes, in such a way that, by balancing Itself, It may leave the Kingdom of my Will in Its peace and happiness. Therefore, do not be surprised if such a great good, which I am preparing and which I want to give, is preceded by many scourges. (August 30, 1928)
Some may be tempted to denounce the above prophecies as “harsh.” Scripture itself responds to this slander through the prophet Ezekiel: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?” (Ezekiel 18:29)
So many reject God. The contrast between what He is offering to man and how man responds is so obscene as to devastate the hardest heart. It is a more lamentable scene than one in which an unfaithful wife of a good husband, after leaving him and violating his love in every conceivable way, is herself sought out by him and offered complete reconciliation at no “cost” whatsoever, only to then throw the offer back in his face with a torrent of new insults. This is precisely what man, today, is doing to God.
We must recall that the Father of the Prodigal Son did not go out and find the latter and force him out of his debauchery. Although he is the image of love, this father nevertheless allowed the son’s debauchery to produce its inevitable natural consequences of utter misery, knowing that this misery would bring the son to his senses.
Because of this response of man to God’s initiative—in which He would have so much preferred to conquer us by love—there is simply no other way than to let the Chastisements run their course. The Chastisements, indeed, are guaranteed to do the job. They are not how God wanted it to happen, but they will work.
…since this way of living [in God’s Will] was to be of all creatures—this was the purpose of Our Creation, but to Our highest bitterness We see that almost all live at the low level of their human will…(October 30, 1932)
[Luisa observes:] Yet, the cause of [Chastisements] is only sin, and man does not want to surrender; it seems that man has placed himself against God, and God will arm the elements against man—water, fire, wind and many other things, which will cause many upon many to die. What fright, what horror! I felt I was dying in seeing all these sorrowful scenes; I would have wanted to suffer anything to placate the Lord. (April 17, 1906)
… the Supreme Fiat wants to get out. It is tired, and at any cost It wants to get out of this agony so prolonged; and if you hear of chastisements, of cities collapsed, of destructions, this is nothing other than the strong writhing of Its agony. Unable to bear it any longer, It wants to make the human family feel Its painful state and how It writhes strongly within them, without anyone who has compassion for It. And making use of violence, with Its writhing, It wants them to feel that It exists in them, but It does not want to be in agony any more—It wants freedom, dominion; It wants to carry out Its life in them. What disorder in society, my daughter, because my Will does not reign! Their souls are like houses without order—everything is upside down; the stench is so horrible—more than that of a putrefied cadaver. And my Will, with Its immensity, such that it is not given to It to withdraw even from one heartbeat of creature, agonizes in the midst of so many evils. And this happens in the general order of all… And this is why It wants to burst its banks with Its writhing, so that, if they do not want to know It and receive It by ways of Love, they may know It by way of Justice. Tired of an agony of centuries, my Will wants to get out, and therefore It prepares two ways: the triumphant way, which are Its knowledges, Its prodigies and all the good that the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat will bring; and the way of Justice, for those who do not want to know It as triumphant. It is up to the creatures to choose the way in which they want to receive It. (November 19, 1926.)
The quote immediately above is the most important to remember because it tells us clearly that the severity of the Chastisements will be proportional to the deficiency of the knowledges of the Divine Will among the people. Jesus tells Luisa that either the knowledges of the Divine Will can prepare the way, or the Chastisements can. Do you want, then, to mitigate the Chastisements? Do you want to spare this world at least some of the historically unprecedented misery that is about to deluge it? Be a New Evangelist of the Third Fiat. Respond to the calls of Heaven. Pray the Rosary. Frequent the Sacraments. Proclaim the Divine Mercy. Do Works of Mercy. Sacrifice. Consecrate yourself. Above all, live in the Divine Will, and Jesus Himself will not be able to resist your pleas for the mitigation of the Chastisements:
We even reach the extent of giving her the right to Judge together with Us, and if We see that she suffers because the sinner is under a rigorous Judgment, to soothe her pain We mitigate Our Just chastisements. She makes Us give the kiss of Forgiveness, and to make her Happy We say to her: ‘Poor daughter, you are right. You are Ours and belong also to them. You feel in you the bonds of the human family, therefore you would want that We Forgive everybody. We’ll do as much as We can to please you, unless he despises or refuses Our Forgiveness.’ This creature in Our Will is the New Esther wanting to rescue her peoples.(October 30, 1938)
So we can mitigate the Chastisements – that is, decrease their severity, scope, and duration – through our response. But they are coming nevertheless. So it remains to be considered how we can “use” them, for we must remember that nothing can happen but God’s Will. Remember what we considered here: DO NOT BE AFRAID. A soul in God’s grace should have no fear of the Chastisements, for even at their most terrible, he approaches them like a person with dirt on his body approaches a shower. Jesus tells Luisa:
Courage, my daughter—courage is of souls resolute to do good. They are imperturbable under any storm; and while they hear the roaring of the thunders and lightnings to the point of trembling, and remain under the pouring rain that pours over them, they use the water to be washed and come out more beautiful; and heedless of the storm, they are more than ever resolute and courageous in not moving from the good they have started. Discouragement is of irresolute souls, which never arrive at accomplishing a good. Courage sets the way, courage puts to flight any storm, courage is the bread of the strong, courage is the warlike one that knows how to win any battle. (April 16, 1931)
What a beautiful teaching! Without ever succumbing to any form of flippancy regarding the looming Chastisements, we can nevertheless await them with a type of holy excitement; for we can use them, as Jesus here asks us to, in order to cleanse ourselves of what we know is filthy but which we have not yet found the strength to be rid of. I share a few suggestions on how, perhaps, we can put this advice into practice when the opportunity presents itself:
- When what is impending becomes even more clear, look to what is coming with the trust which accompanies the knowledge that, despite your own misery, nothing but perfect love comes from God’s hands. If He permits you to suffer, it is because that specific suffering is the greatest blessing that He can imagine for you at that moment. In this, you will never be disappointed. You are invincible. You can say, with David, “[I] have no fear of evil news” (Psalm 112). To arrive at that point does not require a long and arduous ascent of the mountain of moral virtue. It just requires that, even in this very moment, you say with all of your heart “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
- If your loved ones die, trust that God knew it was the perfect time for them to go home to Him, and that you will see them soon enough, when your own time comes. And give thanks to God that He has given you an opportunity to be detached from creatures so as to become more attached to your Creator, in Whom you will find more joy and peace than in a perfect relationship with a million friends and family members combined.
- If you lose your home and all of your possessions, give thanks to God that He has deemed you worthy of living that most blessed life of St. Francis’—perfect reliance upon Providence with each moment—and that He has also given you the grace to live what He asked the wealthy young man to live without, a young man who nevertheless was not given the grace to follow through, for he “went away sad.” (Matthew 19:22)
- If you are thrown into a jail cell for a crime you did not commit, or for a good deed you did indeed do, which is falsely considered, in this twisted world, to be a crime—give thanks to God that He has given you the life of a monastic—the highest vocation—, and that you can dedicate yourself entirely to prayer.
- If you are beaten or tortured, whether literally by a malicious person or simply by circumstances that are extremely painful (whether hunger, exposure, fatigue, illness, or what have you), give thanks to God that He is permitting you to suffer for Him, in Him. Such occasions, when there is no means to avoid them without sinning, amount to God Himself serving as your spiritual director, deciding that you need mortifications. And the mortifications that Providence chooses are always better than our own, and they always yield great joy and build up enormous treasures both on earth and in Heaven.
- If persecution in any form touches you, rejoice with unutterable joy because you have been deemed worthy—among the billions of Catholics who have not been—to be so dealt with. “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.”—Acts 5:41. For the only Beatitude that Our Lord deemed so great that He needed to dwell upon it and reiterate it was the last, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12).
Jesus told Luisa that it is quite easy to distinguish the reprobate from the elect: just as, on Day of Judgment, the Sign of the Son of Man (the cross) in the sky will cause terror in the former and ecstasy in the latter, so too now, the reaction to one’s crosses in life reveal one’s eternal destiny. So, In all things say, with Job, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) The good thief and the bad thief found themselves in an identical situation. One praised God in the midst of it, and one cursed Him. Choose now which you will be.
Jesus also told Luisa Piccarreta :
So, the Chastisements that have occurred are nothing other than the preludes of those that will come. How many more cities will be destroyed…? My Justice can bear no more; My will wants to Triumph, and would want to Triumph by means of Love in order to Establish Its Kingdom. But man does not want to come to meet this Love, therefore, it is necessary to use Justice. —Nov. 16th, 1926
“God will purge the earth with chastisements, and a great part of the current generation will be destroyed”, but [Jesus] also affirms that “chastisements do not approach those individuals who receive the great Gift of Living in the Divine Will”, for God “protects them and the places where they reside”. —excerpt from The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta, Rev. Joseph L. Iannuzzi, S.T.D., Ph.D
My daughter, I am not concerned about the cities, the great things of the earth—I am concerned about souls. The cities, the churches and other things, after they have been destroyed, can be rebuilt. Didn’t I destroy everything in the Deluge? And wasn’t everything redone again? But if souls are lost, it is forever—there is no one who can give them back to Me. —November 20th, 1917
Therefore, unforeseen chastisements and new phenomena are about to happen; the earth, with its almost continuous tremor, warns man to come to his senses, otherwise he will sink under his own steps because it can no longer sustain him. The evils that are about to happen are grave, otherwise I would not have suspended you often from your usual state of victim… —November 24th, 1930
…the chastisements also are necessary; this will serve to prepare the ground so that the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat may form in the midst of the human family. So, many lives, which will be an obstacle to the triumph of my Kingdom, will disappear from the face of the earth… —September 12th, 1926
With the Kingdom of my Will everything will be renewed in Creation; things will return to their original state. This is why many scourges are necessary, and will take place—so that Divine Justice may place Itself in balance with all of my attributes, in such a way that, by balancing Itself, It may leave the Kingdom of my Will in Its peace and happiness. Therefore, do not be surprised if such a great good, which I am preparing and which I want to give, is preceded by many scourges. —August 30th, 1928