Sister Mildred, the mystic of the devotion to Our Lady of America, wrote that on the evening of August 5, 1957, “Our Lady spoke to me about the Divine Indwelling. It was her life and she lived it perfectly always conscious of His presence, never forgetting that all her greatness came from within, from Him who dwelt there, working, loving, and doing good through her. This is what Our Lady means when she speaks of reformation, renewal. It is this about which she is so concerned, namely sanctification from within. . . . She seemed anxious to impress me with some idea of the greatness of this gift of God to us, namely, His Divine Presence within our souls through sanctifying grace.”
This is the second of six articles on the Practice of the Divine Indwelling. They will be published each Thursday from the Feast of the Queenship of Mary to the 63rd Anniversary of Our Lady of America’s first apparition on September 26.
How does this Divine Indwelling happen? Jesus Christ, true God and true Man with the Holy Trinity is conceived (infused is more accurate) in us through our Baptism by the will of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit through the mediation of Mary our mother. Christ is “formed within us,” as St. Paul says, (Galatians 4:19) by Mary’s mediation. She who mediated Christ’s formation and Divine Indwelling in herself, also mediates His Divine Indwelling in us by God’s grace. As Jesus’ human nature was conceived in her, so our share in the divine nature is conceived in us by her mediation. Our Lady of America said, “I am the Mother of the sacred humanity.”
The Holy Trinity lives in us as a Father, Friend and Sanctifier. We are divinized by grace and share in the divine nature. As St. Paul tells us, we are adopted children, sons of God and heirs of His Kingdom. (See Romans 8:15:17).
“Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God’s gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us ‘co-heirs’ with Christ and worthy of obtaining ‘the promised inheritance of eternal life.’ ” (CCC 2009).
How does God live in us? We don’t know. It is a mystery beyond our powers of human understanding. The fact remains, however, that the Holy Trinity is present not in the ordinary way in which God is omnipresent in all things by His power, but in a special way from the moment that sanctifying grace is infused into our souls at Baptism. God transforms us inwardly, giving us a share in His own intimate divine life by His grace. Sister Mildred said that Our Lady of America “seemed anxious to impress me with some idea of the greatness of this gift of God to us, namely, His Divine Presence within our souls through sanctifying grace.”
“Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an ‘adopted son’ he can henceforth call God ‘Father,’ in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.” (CCC 1997).
This “life” that we share with God is not natural biological life but supernatural divine life. This is the “life” that Jesus referred to when He said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). It is a real participation in the divine life in Christ. “Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself.” (CCC 1999; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
“This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for He alone can reveal and give Himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.” (CCC 1998).
The sources of Divine Indwelling are the sacraments and prayer and fasting, through which we receive sanctifying grace. This makes us really the children of God because it makes us partakers of His nature. We cannot be sons of God by nature, as Jesus is, but we are really sons of God by grace and by adoption.
Divine Indwelling begins with our Baptism when we receive the seed of divine life and grace; it is nourished by the Eucharist, prayer and fasting; strengthened by Confirmation; lost by sin and regained by Penance. The life of grace that we receive in Baptism and which is nourished by the Eucharist, is the seed of eternal life. From this proceeds the infused theological and moral virtues, the greatest of which is love, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit to bring us finally to the fullness of eternal life.
Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:4). He also told us how we receive this eternal life. “Whoever believes has eternal life” and “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day [and he] remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:47, 54, 56).
So, if we believe in Him with a living faith, loving God and our neighbor, we have the seed of eternal life already begun, a seed of the divine nature that will grow into the fullness of eternal life in heaven, just as the acorn, the seed with an oak’s nature, grows into the fullness of a mighty oak tree. So too, we will grow in grace until the fullness of eternal life when we see God unveiled, as He is, face to face.
So, let us grow in grace and practice the Divine Indwelling. It is not a new teaching by Our Lady of America. The Church has always taught it and Our Lady of America is reminding us of it. The teaching has its source in Sacred Scripture and is taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You may grow in grace by reading the remaining four articles in this series that will be published each Thursday until September 26. You may read Part 1 here.
Here is what you can do to help Our Lady of America:
You can visit our website to:
- Learn how to practice the complete devotion. Read my book, Our Lady of America, Our Hope for the States. For a 20% discount, enter this code at checkout: America.
- Pray the Novena to Our Lady of America for True Change and Hope for America.
- Obtain your medal as a shield against evil.
- Venerate her image in your home for the safeguard of your family.
- Sign the Petition for the Solemn Procession and Placement of the Statue of Our Lady of America in our National Shrine.
- Host a Visitation with an image of Our Lady of America and pray An Hour of Prayer for Purity, Peace and Protection.
- Order bulk quantities of the bumper sticker below to distribute to others.
- Print, sign and mail a letter to your Bishop in the form found here.
- We must make Our Lady’s message known to many more people. Please forward this email to your friends and Like us and Share this message on Facebook with your friends and other groups.
- For more information on the story of Our Lady of America told in an interesting narrated slide show click here.
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