Be Faithful and
Attentive
* — Book One


Chapter 6:

Performing Your Daily Duties
in the
Divine Will


“It is necessary to work through the veil of the Humanity
of Christ to find God.  That is, to operate with Christ’s own
Humanity as if it is one with our own, to please Him…calling Him into
all that we do as if He Himself performed our actions.  So doing, the
soul is in continual contact with God, because Christ’s Humanity was like
a veil that covered the Divinity; so, operating within these veils one
finds himself with God.”


(Vol. 6: October 17, 1904)






Daily Duties


In Chapter 1 you learned that to do your acts in the Divine Will it is necessary
to have the divine attitude of doing everything for and
in Jesus.  You also learned that to live continuous Life in
the Divine Will it is necessary to maintain this divine attitude at
all times.  Since this is not an easy task, this chapter is presented
to bring you some practical help.



1.  The Prevenient and Current Acts


In order to help you live daily life in the Divine Will,
Jesus has given you the Prevenient Act to begin your day, and the Current
Act to keep you attentive throughout the day.  He explains these two
acts in the following passage:


There is both a prevenient act and a current act. 
The prevenient act is when the soul, at the break of dawn, sets its will
in Mine and decides and affirms that it wants to live and act only in my
Will.  With this act it prepares all its acts and makes them flow in
my Will.  With this predisposing consent my Sun surges and my life is
replicated in all your acts as if in one single current act.  But the
prevenient act can be eclipsed and clouded by certain human ways:  by
self-will, by self-esteem, by carelessness, by neglect, etc.  All
these things are like clouds that interfere with the sun and render its
light less vivid as it falls on the face of the earth.


The current act, on the other hand, is not subject to the
possible interference of clouds but rather clears away any clouds that may
exist.  It makes rise other suns in which my Life is replicated with
ever-more-intense light and heat, each more beautiful than the
other.  Both acts are necessary; the prevenient act assists, creates
the disposition and makes room for the current act.  The current act
preserves and enlarges the disposition of the prevenient act
(Vol. 14:
May 27, 1922).


The Prevenient Act, then, can be compared to the Morning
Offering.  For ages, Catholics have been making the Morning Offering
to express to God their desire to make every act of the day an act of love
for Him.  In a similar manner, by the Prevenient Act, the Child of
the Divine Will renews each morning his desire to make all his acts flow
in God’s Will.  And just as the effect of the Morning Offering is
easily spoiled by self-love and thoughtlessness, and thus needs to be
renewed throughout the day by many loving aspirations, so the Prevenient
Act is easily spoiled “by certain human ways,” and also needs to be
renewed throughout the day.  Therefore Jesus has given the Current
Act.


The importance of Being Faithful And Attentive to the
Current Act can be summarized in the following illustration.  In the
early morning a farmer asks his two sons to go out and work in the field;
the weather is going to turn soon and he needs to get the harvest in
quickly.  Both boys agree to go to the field and work.  The
first boy begins by working hard, but is soon distracted by field mice,
butterflies and the nearby children flying a kite.  The second boy,
knowing that, he too, like his brother, is easily distracted, ties a
string to his finger.  And, in fact, he frequently begins to be
distracted.  But as soon as he sees the string on his finger, he
remembers his purpose, and with a strong act of his will, turns away from
the distractions and becomes attentive to his duty.  Both boys spent
the whole day in the field, but it is only the second boy who, by
frequently remembering his purpose and being attentive to his duty
,
actually makes his day in the field a fruitful one.


A Method for Making the Current Act


The Prevenient Act

Having made this
act at the beginning of the day, it’s now up to you to continue making
Current Acts throughout the day.  In the following passage, Jesus
gives a beautiful method for making the Current Act:


In order for the soul to be able to forget herself,
everything she does or has to do must be done as if I wanted to do it in
her.  If she prays, she should say “It is Jesus Who wants to pray,
and I pray together with Him.”  If she works:  “It is Jesus Who
wants to work; it is Jesus Who wants to walk; Who wants to get up; Who
wants to enjoy Himself.”  And it should be like that in everything
for the rest of her life, excluding errors.  Only in this manner is
the soul able to forget herself.  For not only will she do everything
because I want it; but, because I want to do it, she will need Me

(Vol. 11: August 14, 1912).


As you see, Jesus wants you to become accustomed to the idea
that you no longer exist apart from Him.  You must become one single
thing with Him.  For this reason, in another place He says:


…from now on between you and Me, I don’t want “you” and
“I” to exist.  Therefore, it will no longer be said “you will do,” “I
will do,” but “we will do.”  Also, that “yours” and “mine” must
disappear.  Instead, we will say “ours,” of all things…
(Vol.
1: Chapter 39).


To put this advice into practice, you may find it helpful to
“put on Jesus” as actors “put on” the character they must portray. 
First, imagine Jesus in your place, using your mind, your heart and
your members to do that which is to be done.  How would He
think?  How would He feel?  How would He act?  Allow Him to
act through you.  Second, strive “to act with the gentleness,
kindness and love [etc.] of Jesus.”
  By this second point, you
will, as Blessed Dina says, make your “small contribution to the work
at hand.”

Finally, always keep in mind the following counsel of Luisa:


All that occurs within us that is not sinful, we ought to
consider a divine operation.  Should we consider it otherwise, we
then deprive the Father of his glory, cause the divine life to flee from
us and lose sanctity.  All that we experience within ourselves: 
inspirations, mortifications, graces, are none other than the operations
of love.  But do we accept them in such a way as willed by God? 
Do we afford Jesus the liberty to operate; or rather considering
everything from a merely human standard or as something of little
importance, do we reject the divine operation and constrain Jesus to
interrupt the work He had begun?  Do we abandon ourselves in his arms
as one who is dead, so as to receive all those blows which the Lord
disposes for our sanctification?
(Companion to the Hours of the
Passion
— 9 p.m.)



2.  Overcoming Obstacles


As said above, maintaining the divine attitude is not
an easy task.  Moreover, it becomes particularly difficult when you
must converse much with others, or be involved in fast-paced or
mind-engrossing work.  For this reason, you must become like the boy
who tied the string around his finger and frequently remember your
purpose
.  It will be necessary to form the habit of periodically
making a pause in your activity and renewing your intention of doing
everything for and in Jesus — in short, making the Current
Act.  This pause can be made every quarter hour, or when you come to
a natural periodic pause in your work.  It can be done simply, in a
brief moment, and even without words when necessary.


Work that you naturally love can be still more difficult to
do for and in Jesus.  More difficult to do for
Jesus because when one enjoys the work one does, one tends to do it for
the personal satisfaction or pleasure one derives from it.  More
difficult to do in Jesus because this enjoyment often causes one to
work with a passion, and to become absorbed in it, making it difficult to
leave one’s “own thoughts, style and tastes.”  Therefore, in
work you love to do, it is all the more necessary to make these pauses in
order to mortify your desire to delight in this personal
satisfaction.  In this way, even though you may still experience
pleasure in your work (which is perfectly fine), these pauses will keep
you from becoming absorbed in this pleasure and will continually purify
your intention.


Little by little, the more you come to understand and try to
put into practice this attentiveness to the divine attitude, the
more sensitive your conscience will become.  It will begin to bother
you for seemingly little things for which it was never bothered
before.  When this happens, it will be telling you that you’ve lost
the divine attitude, have stopped working in a divine way, and that
you have returned to working in your own will.  Jesus explains:


Since I, benevolent Father, am always on guard of the
human heart; seeing it slip away from Me (that is, working and loving in a
human way), I place thorns in its way, displeasures, bitternesses, which
by stinging and causing bitterness to that human work and love, make the
soul realize that her way is not divine.  She enters into herself and
behaves differently because the stings are the sentinels of the human
heart and are administered to it to see who or what moves it — God or the
creature.


On the other hand, when the soul leaves everything, and
works and loves all things divinely, she enjoys my peace.  Instead of
having sentinels and eyes looking for ways to sting, she has the sentinel
of peace which distances her from all that could disturb her, and has eyes
of love that drive away, put to flight, and burn, those who want to
agitate her
(Vol. 10: February 10, 1912).


Do not grow impatient with yourself.  It takes time to
form this habit, and Jesus understands this.  What He wants is your
constant effort, for as Luisa says “Fickleness escapes from the
steadiness of the Divine behavior. Strive then
always to Be Faithful And Attentive.



3.  Short Prayers for Daily Activities


Acquiring the habit of offering short prayers for routine
activities can also be helpful in your effort to do everything for
and in Jesus.  By offering a certain prayer for every act of
your daily routine, your attention will be brought back to Him Who wants
to do all these simple acts in you.  Examples:


When making your bed in the morningLord, as I put my bed in order in your Will, I call all souls
to put their day in order in You by making their Morning Offering.  I
call the Children of the Divine Will to do so, by making their Prevenient
Act.  I also beseech You for true order in the world through the
coming of your Kingdom.


When dressingWhile
dressing in your Will I call all souls to discard the gloomy garment of
sin, and to dress themselves in the beautiful and bright garment of your
grace, or still better, in the “Royal Vestments”
(Vol. 16: Jan. 14, 1924) of your Holy Divine
Will.


When brushing your teethWhile brushing my teeth in your Will I call all sinners to
repentance so that we may brush away their sins.  I call chosen souls
to greater faithfulness so that we may brush away everything in them that
could displease You in the least.  Thus let us prepare the world for
the coming of your Kingdom.


When writingLord, as we
write, let us write names in the Book of Life and in the Kingdom of your
Will on earth.  As we make this ink flow, let us make your Blood flow
over the souls in Purgatory to purify them.


When taking a walkLord as
we walk, let us walk in your Will above all the acts of all creatures, and
cover them with the mantle of your Will.  By this means let us make
them perfect and complete in the eyes of the Supreme Majesty.


Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you with similar prayers for
your other routine, daily activities.



4.  Working in Favor of All Creatures


Be aware, dear soul, that by learning to act and live in
this “divine way” (as Jesus calls it) you will be working in favor of
all creatures
.  That is, God will receive the perfect glory that
would be his, if all creatures — past, present and future — were doing
what you are doing in his Will.  Thus, in return, God will pour out
his grace on everyone universally; and the creatures will benefit from
this grace according to their dispositions.  Jesus explains
this in the following passage:


…I want you closely united with Me.  But do not
believe that you should do this only when you pray or when you
suffer.  No, but rather always and forever.  If you move, if you
breathe, if you work, if you eat, if you sleep — all this you must do as
if you were doing it in my Humanity, as if all of your work came out of
Me.


In this manner nothing can be yours.  Rather, all must
be in you only as a shell, and opening this shell of your work there has
to be found the fruit of the Divine Work.  You must do everything
like this — and in favor of all creatures — as if my Humanity were in the
midst of all creatures.  Hence, by doing everything with this
intention of receiving life from Me, even the most indifferent and small
actions acquire the merits of my Humanity.


Being man and God, I contained all in Myself.  That is
to say, in my breath I contained all the breaths of everyone.  In my
movement, I contained everyone’s movements.  In my thought, the
thoughts of all.  Consequently, all were reformed and sanctified by
Me.


Now you, working entirely with the intention and the
attitude of receiving your work from Me, will come to embrace and contain
all creatures in yourself.  Further, even though the others give Me
nothing, I will receive everything from you
(Vol. 7: November 28,
1906).



5.  A Final Encouragement


To encourage you to put the lessons of this chapter into
practice, listen to Jesus as He speaks of the great wonders you will
accomplish when you are attentive and your acts are flowing in the Divine
Will:


It is really I; it is my fingers that work in
yours.  My daughter, when I was on earth didn’t I humble Myself
working with wood, hammering nails, helping my foster father, Joseph, in
his carpentry labors?  And while I was doing that, with those same
hands and fingers, I was creating souls, while calling others to another
life.  I was divinizing all human actions; I was sanctifying them,
giving divine merit to each.  Through the movements of my fingers, I
was calling all the movements of your fingers as well as all other
creatures’.  And if I saw them laboring for Me, because they wanted
Me to perform these acts in them, I would continue my life of Nazareth in
them.  And due to them I felt, as it were, refreshed in the
sacrifices and humiliations of my hidden Life, while I offered them the
merit of my own Life.


…the hidden Life which I practiced at Nazareth is neither
known nor valued by men.  With the exception of my Passion, however,
there was no greater good I could have accomplished.  By lowering
Myself to perform all these little acts that men perform in their daily
lives such as eating, sleeping, drinking, working, lighting the fire,
sweeping — acts that everyone does — I placed in these souls a divine
money of an infinite value.  For if it was my Passion that redeemed
them, it was my hidden Life that courted their every human action, even
the most indifferent, with divine merit and infinite value.


And while you are working — working because I want to work —
look how my fingers are in yours.  And, at the same moment I work in
you, to how many do my hands bring to the light of this world?  How
many do I call and how many others do I sanctify, correct, chastise,
etc.?  You, then, are also here with Me to create, to call, to
correct, and more.  And since you are not working alone, neither am I
in all my works.  Could I have given you a greater honor?
(Vol.
11: August 14, 1912).

†…†…†

Be faithful and attentive as if everything depended on
you.
Be completely abandoned and at peace as if everything depended on
God.