To all members of the Vocationist Family
Re: The Holy Inspirations
May God the Holy Spirit unite us ever more with the Son to the Father.
In the program prepared for the Congregation for the next six-
Let us repeat and meditate the words of Jesus at the Last Supper particularly those referring to the holy inspirations: “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master's business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father” (John 15: 12-
Love consists in giving oneself to the loved one, in obeying to the lover and in sharing with him. The Lord, who chose us to be his, continually gives himself to us in the Eucharist, in his Word, with his presence in us and with his holy inspirations. The love of a friend consists above all in opening one’s heart to the other, sharing with him our joy and sufferings, our desires and preoccupations, our dreams and our fears, our success and our failures. We may say that our love is a continuous dialogue or exchange of information. True love of friendship does not admit secrets! God who is love does all these things, even greater than these; he does so through holy inspirations!
“The secret of a constant ascensional religious formation includes fidelity, generosity, obedience, love of the holy inspirations, for one’s own sanctification as well as for the sanctification of others” (Op. vol. I, n. 922).It follows that if we want to grow qualitatively and to develop our formation in the Vocationist culture, we cannot do otherwise than to really begin with the holy inspirations.
The holy inspirations are the foundation-
The Most Holy Trinity, center and axis of our spirituality, is present and active in every holy inspiration. “The Holy Spirit, with his holy inspirations, molds us like Jesus, as sons of the Father ( Cfr. Spiritus Domini, Pasqua 1927). Fr. Justin says that the Holy Spirit is the primary author and teacher. “Regarding the Holy Spirit, Jesus says: he will teach you in all truth, he will remind you and will suggest to you all that I have told you. When the Spirit of truth will come, he will lead you to understand the truth, since he will not speak of his own accord, but only what he has heard. He will glorify me since he will take what is mine and will announce it to you. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is like an interior director, and his mission is to let each and everyone understand and taste, practice and make others practice the teachings of Jesus to the point of incarnating them in themselves, so to say; donec formetur Christus; until the Holy Spirit may form all faithful on the mold of Jesus, just as he formed him – through the incarnation in Virgin Mary (Ibid.).
What is an inspiration? The word inspiration is composed of three words: “in – spirate – action”. Etymologically, inspiration is an action that blows (breathes) within us and which comes from God. It is important to note that in dogmatic theology, the word spiration (breath) from the Latin spirare (to breathe) denotes the manner by which the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son. In ascetic theology, the same word is used to indicate the way by which the Holy Spirit operates in us and sanctifies us. Therefore, inspiration is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Here we do not intend absolutely to talk about the inspiration of the sacred Scriptures, which constitutes canonical inspiration, also called public inspiration. Here I intend to talk only of private inspirations, received by each one of us; both, anyway, are work of the Holy Spirit and proceed from the same Spirit.
Inspiration is an interior illumination, an attraction, an invitation, an impulse to do the will of God. The easiest way to understand what is an inspiration is to know that it is the opposite of temptation. While temptation comes from below and it is always an attraction, an invitation, an encouragement, an opportunity, an inclination to evil or anything which is less good, the inspiration comes always from the Holy Spirit, and is always an attraction, an invitation, an encouragement, an opportunity, an inclination, an impulse to conform oneself more and better to the divine will.
According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the divine inspirations differ from the gifts which are infused within the person, and which dispose the person to obey readily the divine impulse (cfr. S. Th. I-
The inspiration is the ultimate norm of our sanctification. Saying this, we intend to say that the inspiration is the most specific, detailed and personalized norm for our sanctification. The inspiration helps me to understand the will of God for me in my actual state of life, in the actual situations at this very moment. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Divinum Illud says that the inspirations operate in area of actual grace, and that from them depend our starting on the right path, our advancement on it and achieving eternal salvation.
Inspiration is something that is strictly personal. What Lord wants from me cannot be applied nor imposed to others as their norm of life or as God’ will for them.
The divine inspirations are part of the mysterious, life-
The late Fr. Basil Pennington in a conference to vocation directors, reminded us that the concept of God is made up of various elements; in other words, the very concept or image of God is influenced by various factors, or seen through various eye-
The inspirations suggest to us and help us to remember what we should do in order to please the Lord: “May your holy inspirations suggest and remind me to practice some act of extraordinary humility and charity, to be done in the two parts of the day” (Dev. I, p. 26).
Pope John Paul II during the prayer of the Angelus on March 25, 1990 said: He who decides to follow Christ “must be used to be docile and faithful to the holy inspirations without any reservation”. Fidelity to the divine inspirations means a docile acceptance of the action of the Holy Spirit, in whatever form it may operate in the soul; it is a sincere commitment to accomplish such an action and to eliminate any obstacle that may impede it.
Inspiration in Fr. Justin
In the writings of Fr. Justin, inspirations are ever present. The fidelity, generosity and obedience of love to the holy inspirations were the continuous preoccupation of his life. Many of his ideas regarding inspirations are becoming known to us through the publication of his writings. How much more can we find in his writings if all the 55 block notes, diaries and notebooks, his personal book of the soul, will be published since they all contain the transcription of the holy inspirations he received and their execution?
Quoting from the book of Fr. Anella Chiamato per Chiamare, it says: “The cult of the divine inspirations was for him his daily preoccupation. He cultivated it and responded to them with promptness. It is a well known fact that all his life was a continuous listening and responding to the promptings of the Lord. “The divine inspirations – note taken on July 6, 1927 at the hermitage of the cloister monks of the Camaldoli in Naples – will be also for you (especially for you) all the light, the strength, the method, the works, the goal and the means as it is for others; as it is in a very special way for the entire Congregation”.
The inspiration that sprouts in one instant may extend itself in all its effects for the entire earthly existence, and even for all eternity.
“Every law, counsel, inspiration, divine example is beneficial throughout our entire life, first during our earthly existence and then for all eternity; first comes the gift of the sanctifying and beatifying grace and then the gift of glory; this heavenly glory is already contained in the grace, which is the essence of terrestrial paradise” (Op. vol. VI, p. 439).
Therefore, every inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whatever be its object, and regardless of it provenience from one or the other of the seven gifts (Oh! seven shining suns of my supernatural heaven) will be welcome by me with adoration, and entrusted to the Virgin Mary with confidence, so that she may bring it to its highest efficiency in my soul. Through Mary, I receive every grace; she is the mediatrix of every communication of grace, and the cooperator of every correspondence to the grace. Thus, through Mary and the Spirit, the souls and the works will be formed according to Jesus; Jesus lives in a continuous grouth in age, wisdom, knowledge and grace before God and men in the soul, that submits itself humbly to the Spirit and to Mary (Op. vol. V, p. 219, n. 10).
“I trust in you totally, and I entrust myself to you, God, Holy Spirit, ever present and working in me! Grant that I may acknowledge, receive and follow all your divine inspirations, through which you continue to lead me to live the divine life, always more always better” (Dev. II, p. 1681). In this prayer we see that the inspiration is the stable means utilized by the Spirit to bring us to live, to accompany, to sustain and encourage us to live the divine life within us.
According to Fr. Justin, the inspiration is the first principle of our action and the way by which God works in us. In inspiring, God may act directly or may even use other persons; God is always present and working in us, and so likewise is the case with the inspiration! If one is not open and attentive to the promptings of the Spirit, he falls naturally to the promptings of the enemy.
“Either I correspond to the inspiration, lifting and applying myself to a higher form or level of goodness, elevating myself to you, or I holt and come down to a lesser good, falling into the grips of Satan” (Op. vol. V, p. 297).
Our ultimate goal, the particularity of the Vocationist spirituality, consists in desiring, tending, reaching and enjoying the divine union in the relationship of soul-
“You intend, desire and always hint to the divine union, and to this you attract, guide and accompany with every law, commandment and precept, counsel and inspiration; and you expect it from those who understand and correspond to you as to the feast of our nuptial banquet (Op. vol. V, p. 367).
The inspiration may be in a form of a command or of a counsel, divine delight or divine desire, but it is always the revelation and the expression of the will and love of God for me. Therefore, “Before the will of God, there is no questioning whether it is a command or a counsel, a delight or a desire, whether it comes as a threat or a promise, but the desire to please the loving Lord and God of love enable us to face even death in order to please him as much as possible, act by act (Op. vol. IV, n. 363). Therefore, following the inspirations is not an option but an obligation for all those who want to please the Lord.
According to the Aristotelian philosophy, God is the first object of a free human will; according to Fr. Justin, the knowledge and the execution of the inspiration are the principal objects of the second exercise of liberty.
“O fidelity, docility and generosity of obedience of love to the divine inspirations of my supreme Lord…communication of the absolute good, manifestation of his will which is essentially regnant, I embrace you, and I want to make you known and embraced as an unique activity and the perfect instruction of human freedom!
“You, O divine inspirations, are the principal object in the second exercise of the formation of human freedom, as it is the loving attention to the divine presence in us and even outside us, in every creature and in every law, which leads all beings, in their innermost being and in their mutual relations. (Op. vol. IV, nn. 500-
“This loving attention is certainly reawakened, attracted and nurtured by the abundance of the divine inspirations which are indeed marvelous and delightful, like seven worlds of light in various radiating colors within the soul, seven virtues which are confronting themselves and putting themselves one after another together with the grace of nature and its faculties which dispose the soul to receive and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, like a divine instinct, superior to faith and reason itself” (Op, vol. IV, n. 504).
Temporary and lasting inspirations
The Holy Spirit may suggest things for a person to do throughout his entire life or for a certain period of time, or for certain occasion. Our very vocation to consecrated life and to priesthood is itself an inspiration. Talking about private prayer, Fr. Justin mentions the inspiration of the moment (Dev. Ord., p. 16, n. 2). It implies that God is talking to us every moment, and we should tune in.
In praying for final perseverance, we pray also for the perseverance and stability “in docility, fidelity and generosity to all your inspirations” (Dev. II, p. 1146).
Fr. Justin tends to consider the inspirations which come in every moment, as stable norms of life for himself and for the congregation. In his personal diaries, we can see a constant progress even in the intensity of the inspirations. On September 23, 1932, he writes that his second priority as first superior of the S.D.V., is to “write the good inspirations which come to me from heaven for the use of the present and future religious”. During holy week (the holy week -
After the publication of the Ascension, when Fr. Mario de Rosa suggested some corrections of its contents, Fr. Justin immediately stated: “I would not make any change, since it was all inspired by the Holy Spirit” (Op. vol. I, p.15).
On July 23, 1937, Fr. Justin wrote in his spiritual diary: “I have published, under the title, Ascension, a collection of good inspirations received during my forty years of life, since the age of reason, for the good of the Congregation. It seems to me that in their totality and in their substance they have been received as intimate words, almost all of them especially during the celebration of the Mass; chapter by chapter, verse by verse, in the normative part. In the exhortations, there is more human element, it seems to me”.
Before every true inspiration, all sort of reasoning, interest or obligation fall down, be it because of our personal devotion for the divine inspiration, be it because to every good inspiration received corresponds a series of grace, or rather a state of grace and blessings. In order to help us in understanding the preciousness and the necessity of accepting and seconding every inspiration, he invites us to consider what would have happened to St. Joseph, if he had not accepted the inspiration to take Mary as his wife, and he concludes:
“Every other reasoning does not make sense before an inspiration. This is the real test of our fidelity to the inspirations. My understanding, my common sense tell me that in that occasion I could do things differently, and yet I must renounce, sacrifice my own views and my own feelings, because a good inspiration tells me and wants something else.
What would have happened to St. Joseph, happens to me. To turn down a new series of graces, a new series of benefits, maybe a new world, or a new order of goodness. This internal tragedy happens too often! How should we behave in the practicality of our life? We are talking of a soul that is between two fires, so to speak; on one side there is a superior principle of goodness that says: do this. On the other side there are all human, natural, ordinary reasons that want to do the opposite” (Op. vol V p. 51). It may be useful to pay attention to the fact that our very vocation to the priesthood and to consecrated life is an extraordinary, permanent inspiration, according to Fr. Justin. The above hypothesized case of St. Joseph, is the case of the person who does not follow or betrays his own vocation.
Preparation for the inspirations
Good or bad thoughts, temptations and inspirations ordinarily are the direct or indirect result of what enters into us through our senses, especially through the eyes (readings and pictures) and the ears. We can and must prepare the material for the good thoughts, holy desires and divine inspirations. This is achieved through prayer, spiritual reading, meditation, listening to the Word of God and good conversations( Cfr. 1R, art. 230).
St. Francis of Sales sustains that the inspirations are interior enlightenments, impulses, invitations, or warnings produced by God in the soul. They may come either directly or through readings, meditations, sermons etc… and they always tend to enlighten, stir, inflame, comfort and attract the soul to God in order to facilitate the practice of virtues and obtain final salvation (Cfr. Filotea 2, 14).
“I believe, adore and want to receive all the time your testimony through every law, command, counsel, inspiration, as well as through the voice of the superiors, good books, good friends, edifying examples, and through the voice of the Guardian Angel and the inner voice of my conscience” (Op. vol. 5, p. 290).
Recording of the inspirations
So many things pass through our mind! Some of them remain for a short period of time and then are forgotten, others stay for a longer period of time and a few stay with us as engraved forever.
Only in Fr. Justin, I have found that the writing down of the divine inspiration is considered and act of mental prayer. “The recording in our spiritual diary of the good inspirations and graces of the day in view of spiritual direction” is part of our seventh devotional exercise of the day (Dev. Ord. p. 19, n. 9).
The spiritual director ordered Fr. Justin to write down in his spiritual diary “the enlightenments received during the meditation”. Fr Justin obeyed and he used these recordings to better cooperate with God’s grace. On September 22, 1931 he wrote: write down every day the good inspirations as many times and when you become aware of them. Read them in the evening as object of the meditation for the next day… and meditate on them as themes dictated to you by God himself. Consider everything, and especially the inspirations, as themes to be developed. Let this be a form, and not the least one, of human cooperation to divine grace (Chamato per Chiamare, p. 383-
The writing down of the divine inspirations is not something of the past! Today, more than ever before, there seems to be a greater interest in autobiographies, memoirs and personal diaries. Fr. Justin has done it, and he asks us to do the same, so that we too may benefit from it as he did.
Inspirations and spiritual direction
The most refined lenses through which we can focus on the image and will of God for us is spiritual direction. For the Vocationists spiritual directions consists usually and mainly in submitting the inspirations to the approval of the spiritual director. When Fr. Justin talks about “approved inspirations, or inspirations approved by the Church” he refers exactly to the inspirations, which have been submitted and approved by the spiritual director.
It is not easy to know with certainty the nature of some inspirations, and that is why : “Usually we must turn to someone who might be able to tell us with competency even if not always with authority, ‘do not be afraid’. When we follow the directives of someone else – always a minister of God – we will never regret.
The soul does not always understand very clearly what is good and what should be done! If the soul could understand it, there would be no need of any spiritual direction. The Lord does not give us the fullness of clarity in order to give us the opportunity to acquire the merit of obedience to his authority and to his will sufficiently, even if not evidently manifested to us. This is the true anxiety of a soul: not the temptations and tribulations, but the inability to always have a spiritual director available” (Op. Vol. VI. P. 52).
For the common good I transcribe here the entire chapter 23 of our Regole e Costituzioni, volume 1, about spiritual direction. I deem it very important for the direction itself and for the direction of holy inspiration.:
As an exercise of perfection of prudence, humility and obedience, every consecrated person should practice spiritual direction with diligence and regularity. Usually it is enough once a month; but for beginners it should be done twice per month.
The spiritual direction must not necessarily be done with the confessor, but with the priest from whom one expects a greater spiritual profit, as long as he is from the same Congregation. Everyone should consider as the first directon the daily exhortation.
For spiritual direction we are free to ask the directors, during their term of office, the masters of novitiate, even if they are no longer serving as such, and to the so called “Padri Nostri (Former superior general). Only in very exceptional cases, the major superior may allow to a confrere to have a spiritual director outside the Congregation.
No exaggeration should be allowed in spiritual direction, neither for oneself nor for others, as to substitute the direction to one’s own personality and conscience. The main characteristics of spiritual direction should be: simplicity and brevity.
The letters of spiritual direction should always pass through the hands of the superior, who in case of serious doubts, may read and even block them.
At the end of the day everyone should prepare the matter for spiritual direction, by writing in a spiritual diary the main inspirations received during the day and how they have been accepted.
Our spiritual direction will always encourage a true devotion to the holy inspirations, keeping in mind all the norm of discernment of the spirits.
After the inspirations, another main object of spiritual direction must be our personal relationship of love with God, and our life of prayer, especially mental prayer. Then our relationship of love with the souls of our neighbor and all our private and public ministerial activity, as far as its intentions and implementation.
On the days of retreat one should present the spiritual program of prayer, penance and humiliation, for its updating and approval. Everyone should also examine himself on the signs of spiritual fervor, progress, lukewarmness and decay (Cfr. Op. Vol I. art. 7 and 8).
One should candidly open his conscience to the spiritual director, especially on all those matters dealing with pride, and ambition, sensuality and laziness, the dominating passions and respective temptations and occasions.
Everyone should always be encouraged to abound in the exercise of the Word of God, both by hearing and reading, in order to prepare the matter for the inspiration.
Everyone should implore the grace of the discernment of the spirits, and of docility, generosity and fidelity to the various inspirations and to the spiritual direction.
Every inspiration about an external or internal act, out of the ordinary, which is not common and not permitted or counseled by these regulations, must be examined with the spiritual director.
The superiors and the spiritual directors must respect and second the private initiatives of the individual, whenever theycarry the marks of inspiration.
No one can ever appeal to the authority of the spiritual director, against any ordinary act of authority of the legitimate superiors. /1R, Chap. 23, art. 223 – 231).
The inspiration become a safe norm of life for me only when it has been approved by the spiritual director. This explains why Fr. Justin keeps repeating in various forms: “Pay loving attention to the holy inspirations, so that none will be unfruitful” (Dev. I. p. 731). Again: “Intimate attention and religious correspondence to the approved inspirations” (Ibid. p. 462).
Criteria for the discernment of the inspirations
Not every attraction or impulse toward something good is an inspiration. At times the devil places in our mind a desire or an attraction to something that is a lesser, relative or partial good, in order to distract us from a greater, absolute or total good. There is need of discernment not to be deceived or deviated by false inspirations.
There are some conditions to a true and positive collaboration to the inspirations and to their discernment. They concern the dispositions of the intellect and of the will. Intellectual conditions are: humility to prevent obstacles to the light of the revealing Spirit; vigilance to perceive God’s presence and listen to his voice;
Consciousness in discerning the action of God from that of the devil.
Conditions of the will are: docility in accepting the impulses of grace communicated to the soul; constancy not to interrupt God’s action. Every divine inspiration is a new and deeper possession of God in the soul.
Moral conditions are: purity of affections, since God does not give himself to those who are slaves of unruly passions, of attachment to creatures and to earthly goods; interior recollection, sustained by prayer, by the spirit of true devotion and by the presence of God (Cfr. Dizionario enciclopedico dispiritualità).
Fr. Justin dedicates chapter 74 of Ascension to the discernment, implementation, and to the approval of the inspirations from the religious superior and spiritual director:
“When inspirations remind and compel us to fulfill our duties and to fulfill them with perfection (even heroic perfection, but internal perfection only) we must follow them without hesitation.
When inspirations remind us and compel us toward internal and external, generous but ordinary, virtuous acts, which do not preclude any other obligation, they must be followed without hesitation.
When they instill external, uncommon and extraordinary virtuous acts. We must accept them, but we must postpone their execution until after we have received spiritual direction about them.
When they instill acts that are even slightly imperfect in any virtue for example, if they were obstructive, offensive or in any way not in accord with any of our duties, even just a duty of convenience, we must not follow them.
When they instill acts that in any way could inconvenience or displease anybody, or when in any way they could feed our pride and sensuality, we must not follow them
When they cause confusion of the mind, discouragement of the will, sluggishness in action, bitterness and anger toward our neighbor, indifference and
doubt about God, we must denounce them to the director.
When habitually they would drive us to the external rather than the internal, to quantity rather than quality, to rashness rather than prudence, and in our interior world to multiplicity rather than unity; and with the superiors, to concealment rather than to openness; and with God, to fear rather than to love, they must be denounced to the spiritual director (Op. vol. I. art. 625 – 631).
To discern the divine inspirations from those deriving from the world, the devil and the flesh, we often need the guidance on an expert and wise director. In order not to fall in the traps of the seducer and in its dangerous confusion, we need a lot of caution and intelligent prudence. For the less complicated cases, we can follow these criteria for the discernment of true from false inspirations: the effects that leave in the soul; the object to which they aim, the action that they suggest, the principle from which they come and the end where they want to arrive. The inspirations that come from the evil spirit do not correspond to the conditions and requirements of the state of life, they lead the soul to a seemingly spiritual satisfaction, but then they cause restlessness and confusion, and give a sense of pride. The inspirations that come from God give peace and serenity and lead the soul to the perfection proper to one’s own specific vocation.
Another practical advise, when there is no possibility to consult immediately the spiritual director, and one cannot postpone a decision, is this: “Generally choose what is less pleasant to human nature, so at least the Lord sees our good will, and we have a clear conscience that we did not do what pleases our natural will. But in case I should be able to consult with a minister of the Lord, I should do it” (Op. vol. VI p. 52).
Cult of holy inspirations
One cannot treasure something without appreciating it. We value the inspirations because they are a gift from God, and a manifestation of his will about us, and the expression of his love for each one of us. In we appreciate the value of the inspirations we will venerate them to the point of “having an authentic cult of obedience for the approved inspirations. (Dev I, p. 48).
“In your inspirations, I adore the care and providence that you, my creator, have for all the creatures, governing and guiding them all to their destination with wisdom and infinite bounty and justice; but in a special way, in a very personal, intimate and direct way you do that for every human soul” (Op. vol. IV n. 551).
Chapter 73 of Ascension describes this devotion or cult that we have for the inspirations: Ask the divine Trinity in the Holy Spirit for the favor, the understanding and the acceptance of the inspirations.
Prepare the matter for inspirations through abundant reading and listening to the word of God.
Live with modesty, subdue every impulse of the world, the flesh and the devil.
On becoming aware of inspirations, quickly consent to them, be thankful for them, and resolve to execute them.
Entrust them, one by one, to the blessed Mother, just as seeds are entrusted to the earth.
Every night, write them down, both for spiritual direction and their execution.
Make the inspirations the object of your daily, weekly, Pentecostal (every fifty days) and yearly particular examination of conscience” (Op. vol. I. art. 624).
We believe that the blessed Mother is Mediatrix of all graces; as the graces, so the inspirations, true gifts of God, come to us through Mary. To assure a total and complete acceptance and execution of every inspiration, we receive it from her, we execute it with her, and then we entrust to her the merit of its execution.
“All graces start with the inspirations, and they grow with inspirations… we should implore them from Mary, receive them from Mary and, because of them, honor her as queen and mother of divine inspirations.
Whenever we advert a good inspirations of any gift of the Holy Spirit, we reverently accept it with our soul, and then we present and entrust it to Mary, as a very precious heavenly seed, that only in her finds its life.
Then we ask her to assist us while we correspond to that grace, in the execution of that inspiration, for the respect due to its divine author, so that Mary herself may be our main concomitant grace as she was our preparatory grace” (Op. vol. VI p. 167-
“May God deliver us from even remotely talking against the apostolic and private inspirations, and from suffocating any spark of the divine flames of the divine heart, fallen into the heart of his young minister. As we want to be the servants of the divine vocations, so we want to be the promoters of the divine inspirations, controlled by our spiritual directors and blessed by our superiors” (Op. vol. VII p. 112).
“How can anyone ever talk against the inspirations from the moment that everything that is good and beautiful, useful and alive in the holy activities, is all divine inspiration, and every saint and the whole Church is the offspring of divine inspirations?” (Ibid).
“Every divine inspiration, properly accepted, corresponded and executed is a new communication of the consecrating light and fire of the Holy Spirit in the soul; It calls for new effusions of divine light and fire, new consecrating baptism of the soul to the Blessed Trinity, in the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Every divine inspiration, properly accepted, corresponded and executed is a new communion with the sanctity of the will of the Trinity, a new progress in the ascension to the Trinity, a new touch in the formation of Jesus in the soul, and thus we become with Jesus a unique object of the divine complacence.
O fidelity and docility, o generosity and obedience of love to the divine inspirations, development of every grace of consecration, correspondence to every grace of the only authentic and total consecration, I embrace you forever as a perfect culture and perfect practice of my human freedom.
In you, o divine inspirations, I find the most intimately great and beautiful, sweet and convincing proof of the divine bounty toward me, of the divine providence for me, of the divine love for me, of the acceptance and enjoyment of my consecration from my God and my all” (Op. vol. IV nn. 544 – 547).
“With this response of the creature to the inspiration, to the attraction and to the
Vocation of divine love it has happened the happy transition of the faithful soul to a higher level and heaven of the spiritual ascension, and with it, of all its new world and heavens of the new world, and a new heaven” (Ibid. n. 1053).
By responding to the divine inspirations the soul ascends from one level to another, from perfection to perfection. As if paraphrasing the words of St. Paul “I live, but it is not I, it is Christ living in me” Fr. Justin sees God present in us through the divine inspirations. Thus through the execution of the inspirations we make it possible for Jesus – in us and through us – to reach many souls. “Jesus wants to be in all souls! This happens every time that a soul, accepting the apostolic inspiration of the Holy Spirit, does something to give this new life to Jesus in the souls. Oh! What a most glorious, most blessed possibility grace offers to the souls in the spheres of personal relationships with the Lord!”(Op. vol. VI p. 187).
“Only those who receive the grace, correspond to the grace and let themselves be animated, led by the Holy Spirit, will arrive at the perfect, interior resemblance with Jesus. We conclude, remaining and confirming with profound conviction, and with a great, solemn resolution of fidelity, docility, generosity and obedience of interior love to the divine inspirations. The divine perfections differ from soul to soul, from state to state, from acts to acts, but in all souls, for the sanctification of every act, for the divine imitation in every act, must prevail the inspirations that leads us to Jesus and to Jesus in the blessed sacrament, as perpetual worshippers in spirit and truth, as daily communicants in spirit and love. Amen” (Ibid. n. 216).
“I trust that you will let me know, moment by moment, through the grace of your inspirations, your divine will, and I want, as I must be all docility and fidelity in obeying you with love” (Dev. I p. 25) “Now I want to live in the full action of your grace, let it be done to me according to every inspiration of yours” (Dev. I p. 113).
It is impossible to be true Vocationists, saints and sanctifiers, ministers of sanctification, if we do not open ourselves to, if we do not listen to and obey to the Holy Spirit, author of every inspiration, link of love with the Father and the Son.
God Trinity that loves us so much, because he is love, continuously knocks at the doors of our heart, he whispers his words of love in the depth of our being, he guides, accompanies teaches us moment by moment, to enable us to direct all our efforts, all our actions to completing and perfecting in us his perfect image and likeness.
Let us constantly pray that the Lord may talk to us from within, and that he may grant us the ability to hear, understand and execute his holy inspirations with generosity and humility.
It is clear that Fr. Justin believes that we cannot be saints without this burning desire and firm determination to listen to the Lord, that is why in addition to listen to them, we should write them down to prevent forgetting them and to make of them object of our spiritual direction, study, meditation and examination of conscience.
Listening to what Fr. Justin wrote at age 22, we can see and understand that his ascension to the mountains of divine perfection and virtues is moved, sustained and made precious by the holy inspirations. “My God and my all has wanted what even those things that are mandated by law, I would do them on account of his inspirations, as if I were responding to the voice of love, rather than obeying in submission to the impositions of the absolute Lord of the universe…
My God and my all has wanted through a variety of circumstances – almost involuntarily – moment by moment, that all I had to do or omit, I would do or omit it in obedience to an inspiration of the previous moment; at times this seemed to be contrary to the common prudence, only to discover later that this impulse has come from an invisible guide, who knew the future and always directed me to a blind abandon in the hands of the Love…” (Libro dell’Anima p. 22-
Let us make ours these teachings, exhortations and directives of Fr. Justin and we will be assured of progressive ascensions, giant steps of quality and vocationistality, not only throughout 2007, but every hour and moment of our life.
Let us begin the new liturgical year with new enthusiasm and renewed fervor. Let us implore the Blessed Trinity and commit ourselves with the words of Fr. Justin. I want to be docile and faithful to you, in the interior obedience and in my dedication to all the practices of the ongoing formation: “to my spiritual diary (in which I write the divine inspirations), to the priests’ weekly meeting (to the monthly regional or delegation meetings), to the spiritual direction every fifteen days (for the direction of the holy inspirations)! Likewise to the monthly retreat and to the very frequent examinations of conscience! Likewise to the minor spiritual exercises every four months, and to the major spiritual exercises every year” (Dev. I p. 678).
United in prayer and in the fidelity, generosity and obedience of love to the holy inspirations, I greet you and bless you.
Rome, 3 December 2006.
Fr. Louis M. Caputo, S.D.V.
Of the Blessed Trinity
1. I am happy to inform you and to ask your prayers for the diaconate ordination of our confreres: Peter Ike, Anayo Obi, Wisdom Obiajunwa, Justin Emeziem, Victor Eke, Christopher Chilaka e James Chiemenen which will take place in Ibadan, Nigeria on December 9, 2006. Best wishes and blessings to the new deacons
2. From December 16 to January 6, with Fr. Ciro Sarnataro I shall visit our communities in India; where we will have the joy of participating in the priestly ordinations of our deacons:
a. D. Lawrence Edakkalathur on December 28
b. D. Anil Akkara on January 1, 2007
c. D. Sinoj Poruthur on January 3, 2007
Accompany us with your prayers and extend your greetings, best wishes and blessings to the new priests.
3. Fr. Francesco Pugliese has been appointed temporary Parish Administrator of our two parishes in Perledo and Gittana.
4. Our province of Brazil will celebrate its yearly retreat and general assembly from January 28 to Febbruary 3, 2007.
5. We have mailed the General Program for 2007: it is full with many dates and events. All the events of Congregations: retreat, meetings, seminars etc… are mandatory everywhere; the dates are subject to change, according to local needs..
6. Before the new year, it shall be distributed to all the Code of Ethics of the Congregation. It is a very important document, which will become part of our particular law. It must be studied by everyone individually, by each community, and by each regional group. To make sure that we would never have to use the second part, it is imperative to live coherently the first part of the document. We want to prevent any wrong doing on our part; even one scandal is too much! Let us live our commitment with holiness and a lot of prudence.
7. The General Council has approved the transferral of the Argentina Novitiate from La Plata to San Juan
a. Father Edgardo Herrera has been appointed Superior and Novice Master of our community of Marquesado in San Juan.
b. Father Menegildo Dos Santos has been appointed superior of the community of La Plata and Rector of the chapel Dulce Nombre de Maria.
8. Father Giacomo Capraro, exceptionally, has been confirmed superior of our mother house in Pianura for a third – three years – term, on account of the restorations still going on and Spirituality Center, that is still to be implemented.
9. Again, I ask all the superiors and all the pastors to establish, organise and accompany the Fr. Justin Friends. Don’t underestimate the importance and value of this group!
10. Two sets of 2007 calendars have been prepared and distributed, the desk format one and the mural one. Thanks to Fr. Calogero who has prepared them. For additional copies, please call Fr. Calogero.
11. I ask all local superiors and treasurers to make sure to prepare and send the finacial reports for the second semestre of 2006. Do not forget to list the number of holy Masses offered for the Congregation.
12. I am happy to inform you that the following Committee groups have been formed and are working to improve the quality of our vocationistality: Committee for the province, the Vocation Committee, the committee for financial affair, the Center for Vocationist studies, the liturgical committee and the technical office: All these committees and groups want to be a sign of the involvement of the grassroots in the decision making process and growth of the Congregation.
13. Maybe, for the first time in the history of the Congregation, Fr. General and all the Council Members are living under the same roof in the generalate. Alleluia!
14. Congratulations to our confreres Fr. Antonio Rafael do Nascimento and Fr. Lucius Awuzie who have completed their Masters in Spiritual Theology respectively at the Theresianum and at the UPS. Fr. Antonio has written his thesis on Spiritual Direction and Vocational Discernment. Fr. Lucius on the Teachings of St. Theresa of Avila about Spiritual Direction in priestly and religious formation. Both works are precious for all those who want to live our charism and our spirituality.
15. On November 25 and 26, the Parish of St. Philip in Grottarossa (Rome) has celebrate fifty years of Vocationist presence and service there. They had a dinner for the benefit of our missions. This example may be followed by other parishes. Thanks for the celebration and for the offering of €2,500,00 which has been designated for our new vocationary in Indonesia. Thanks also to Fr. Alfonso Limone, to Dr. Emilio Tamburrino, and Fr. Giuseppe Ferrara and many others, who prepared our third Dinner Dance in Italy on November 18. The profit was not great, but the net of friendship that we are putting together is great.
16. Our confrere, Fr. James Butts has been assigned to our new Vocationary in Indonesia, where he will be working with Fr. Rosario Taliano for the formation of our 13 aspirants.
17. On November 1, in our parish church of St. Nicholas in Palisedes Park, Brother Babu Thelappilly was ordained deacon by our bishop, Edgar da Cunha
18. Our confreres Juan Salonga and Rijo Johnson have been installed respectively in the ministry of Lector and Acolyte on Novembre 5 in our parish church of St. Michael in Newark.
20. As of January 1, 2007 until the next General Chapter, I am reducing the obligation that every Vocationist priest must celebrate two Masses every month for the Congregation to one Mass every month for the needs and obligations of the Congregation.