Maine Conference; (Talk given by Maureen)
Jesus is inviting each of us here today on a journey. It is unlike any journey we have ever made. It is the mystical journey into the Chambers of the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Unlike a trip we would make in the world, we are told not to bring with us any luggage. In fact Jesus tells us specifically to leave something behind–our own will. The journey into the Chambers of the United Hearts is a journey that leads us deeper and deeper into the Divine Will of the Eternal Father. The destination of this journey is the establishment of the Kingdom of the Divine Will within our own hearts.
We will not take a car, plane or train to make this journey. The vehicle that moves us deeper into the Chambers of the United Hearts is our trustful surrender–that is, trustful surrender of our will.
The Chambers of the United Hearts are really a study of how to give up our will and move deeper and deeper into the Divine Will.
It is a journey into personal holiness, and ultimately our sanctification. We are going to look at the process of making this journey and also what obstacles keep us from progressing upon the path.
The bridge between God’s Will and man’s free will is love and mercy. It is only through God’s Divine Love and Divine Mercy that we are offered the opportunity to begin this journey. In a similar way, the soul must love God at least a little to begin the journey; otherwise his free will carries him in a different direction. The soul must also have mercy on God–realizing that God’s plan for him is perhaps not what his free will wanted, but that God’s plan is best and worth choosing.
Sometimes you see a sign by the road before you cross a bridge–“Watch for ice on bridge.” The “ice” on this spiritual bridge is lack of humility. Flaws in our humility are always what cause us to slip and fall off the path of righteousness that leads into the Chambers of the United Hearts. Throughout the journey, then, from the First Chamber to the last, we must pray for humility.
It is necessary as we begin this journey that we begin to distinguish between God’s Will and our own free will. God told us what His Will was when He gave us the Ten Commandments. Jesus encapsulated the Ten Commandments into the two great Commandments of Love: Love God above all else and your neighbor as yourself. This is what Our Lord and Our Lady refer to as Holy Love. Holy Love is the Immaculate Heart of Mary–Holy Love is the First Chamber of the United Hearts. Holy Love is God’s Will for us. It is, then, God’s Will that we surrender to Holy Love in every present moment.
We are told at Fatima that the peace of the world is entrusted to Mary’s Heart. World peace, then, depends on our surrender to Holy Love.
What could hold us back on this journey? What obstacles or detours does our own will create? Whenever we put ourselves ahead of God and neighbor we are guilty of inordinate self-love.
As we enter the First Chamber of the United Hearts–the Immaculate Heart of Mary–we are purged of our greatest faults through the Flame of Our Lady’s Heart. This is a painful process, for it is in this Flame of Holy Love we are shown what thoughts, words and actions stand in the way of our spiritual progress. This self-knowledge is a grace.
Gradually, we begin to see that love of God deepens our trust in Him. The more we trust Him, the deeper our surrender. The deeper our surrender, the more we are at peace.
So, in the First Chamber we not only try to overcome our faults and greatest iniquities, we try to get to know Jesus better so that we can love Him more, and thus deepen our trust and surrender to Him.
We can know Jesus better by avoiding the world, by avoiding occasions of sin, by reading Scripture. If we’re Catholic, we should lead a sacramental life. We should be generous in corporal works of mercy and spiritual works of mercy.
We should work on perfecting the Holy Love in our hearts just like a golfer works on his golf swing.
The First Chamber of the United Hearts is Holy Love. All the subsequent Chambers are Divine Love which is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As we surrender more and more to Holy Love in the present moment, we move into the Second Chamber which opens our conscience as to how we use the present moment. Keep in mind that God wants our trustful surrender in the present moment.
As love of Jesus begins to consume our hearts, we are then ready to trust Him as never before. We know He wants the best for us–our salvation. We begin to have a *Holy Indifference as to what takes place in every present moment and in every situation. We let God be the problem-solver, for we know He brings good from every situation.
(Read Romans Ch. 8 vs. 28)
“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”
We give up what we think is best for us or what we think should be the outcome of any situation. We let God take over. That is surrender.
We sometimes see on cars–bumper stickers that read: “I brake for garage sales.” We often need to put on the brakes in our spiritual lives to re-assess
if we are doing God’s Will.
*Holy Indifference – Do not want something different from what God offers in the present moment.
Sometimes when traveling, we see a sign that says “Beware of falling rock.” These falling rocks in our spiritual life are temptations that pull us off the path and away from Holy Love in the present moment. These all stem from flaws in humility which leads to disordered self-love.
Perhaps we’re worried about our reputation or our appearance more than is necessary. Maybe we love our own opinion and refuse to give it up. Maybe our pastimes lead us away from Holy Love.
Everything that we do should come from a heart full of Holy Love. This is the effect of prayer in the present moment. Even one ‘Hail Mary’ from the heart is priceless.
“I have come to speak to you about prayer, and in particular the prayer of the Rosary. I am your Jesus, born Incarnate. So many surrender to prayer without the sentiment of love in their hearts. This weakens the prayer, making it less worthy. Instead, bolster your prayers by recalling the love you have in your heart for Me and My Mother. This allows Me to pour the choicest graces upon you and into your life.”
“Prayer has a cumulative effect. I know ahead of time how many prayers will be offered for each petition. Therefore, you never know what just one more ‘Hail Mary’ will bring. One ‘Hail Mary’ said with a loving heart has the power to stop wars, bring nature into harmony with God’s plan, convert an unbeliever, save a vocation, deliver a soul from purgatory, and change the future forever. Think, then, of the power of a whole Rosary said with love.”
“Satan knows that the Rosary is the weapon which will bring about his defeat. This is why he is desperate to discourage its use. Every time you recite a ‘Hail Mary’ from the heart, the devil is weakened forever in some area and in some soul.”
“You must never be discouraged, then, in praying the Rosary. When your heart is most filled with distraction, understand the adversary is frightened of your prayers.”
“The Heart of My Mother is consoled by your efforts in prayer. She is most indebted to the ones who persevered in a regimen of prayer despite opposition. Make it known.”
Cyprian of Carthage
“If he who was without sin prayed, how much more ought sinners to pray!”
Augustine of Hippo
“If you want to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Th. 5:17), never cease to long for God. The continuation of your longing is the continuation of your prayer, and if you cease to long for Him, this prayer will also cease.”
On the Feast of the Holy Rosary one year, I had the following vision. Our Lady was holding a Rosary, but it was broken. The beads were falling into space and disappearing. Our Lady said, “These are the prayers you have time to say, but never say.”
Next, I saw Her holding a Rosary with only a few beads on it. Our Lady said, “These are the prayers you say amidst many distractions.”
Lastly, I saw Our Lady with a full Rosary. She said, “These are the prayers you say from the heart. With them I am able to convert souls, bring peace to hearts and to the world.”
St. Thomas Aquinas 3/8/03
“Praise be to Jesus. I have come to help you see that all the grace obtained in one Chamber of the United Hearts is carried into the next Chamber and deepened. In other words the soul enters the First Chamber and is purified of his iniquity through Holy Love. When he enters the Second Chamber–holiness in the present moment–the purification he experienced in the First Chamber abides with him and continues. As he seeks to be holy in the present moment, he is even more aware of the slightest fault or iniquity, and strives to overcome them.”
“Gradually, the soul is drawn into the Third Chamber which is perfection of the virtues.
“The virtues are deepened through an awareness of imperfections in the present moment–the First and Second Chambers. And so it goes until the Kingdom of God–the Kingdom of the Divine Will–is established within the soul itself through union with the Divine Will.”
“So you see, this spiritual journey is like building a house–a spiritual refuge–within the human heart. One block builds upon another until the Kingdom of the Divine Will is enthroned with the heart itself. Make this known.”
So, as the soul becomes aware of the power of the present moment, Jesus draws him into the Third Chamber of His Heart which is perfection in virtue.
The depth of virtue in the soul is the barometer of the depth of spirituality. The depth of Holy Love and Humility determines the depth of every other virtue. This is because Holy Love and Humility are the foundation of every virtue. They are the light that illuminates every virtue.
Augustine of Hippo
“Virtue is nothing but well-directed love.”
It is in the test that each virtue comes to perfection. The soul cannot be patient unless his patience is tested. He cannot practice humility unless he is humiliated.
As the depth of virtue increases in the soul, he begins to practice heroic virtue; that he is virtuous without regard to cost to himself. It is then he is gently drawn into the Fourth Chamber of the Lord’s Heart which is conformity to the Divine Will of the Heavenly Father.
Conformity to the Divine Will means we comply with the Will of God without complaint.
In this Chamber there are still two wills–God’s Will and our own free will which is seeking to conform to the Divine.
In everything the soul in the Fourth Chamber searches out and complies with God’s Will which is Holy Love.
Some souls comply with the Divine Will with such ardor and depth that Jesus draws them into the Fifth Chamber of His Sacred Heart which is union with the Divine Will.
In the Fifth Chamber is but one Will. The human will becomes one–united with the Divine. Few reach the depth of this union, but it remains an eternal goal.
In Heaven, all the souls that are in the Fifth Chamber, live out most perfectly the Will of God.
St. Francis de Sales
“To lose ourselves in God is simply to give up our own will to Him. When a soul can say truly, ‘Lord, I have no other Will than Thine’, it is truly lost in God and united to Him.”
A word of caution as you pursue this journey. Every present moment lends itself to certain temptations and special grace. One moment you may be strong and think yourself in the Fourth or Fifth Chamber. The next moment you may slip into sin and need to seek entrance into the First Chamber again. Each soul progresses according to the depth of his surrender of his free will to the Divine Will of God. Therefore, do not be discouraged.
Over and over, put on those brakes and re-assess if you are living in Holy Love in the present moment. Your greatest and most sincere efforts are matched by great grace.