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JESUS, "THE MASTER"

in the spirituality according to Fr. Alberione

Acts of the International Seminar
on "Jesus, the Master"
(Ariccia, October 14-24, 1996)

by Guido Gandolfo ssp

 

Notes

21 - The reference to the model of John the Baptist is interesting, John the Baptist, precursor of the Word of God incarnate, is referred to, as example of humility, also in no. 134 in the context of Jesus-Truth. (Text)

22 - Eventually, Fr. Alberione would refer again to this obligation: "The religious is obliged sub gravi to attend to perfection" (AD 240). (Text)

23 - The reference to the experience lived personally by St. Paul comes spontaneous: "Ma quando colui che mi scelse fin dal seno di mia madre e mi chiam˛ con la sua grazia si compiacque di rivelare in me suo Figlio perchŔ lo annunziassi in mezzo ai pagani..." (Gal 1:15f). (Text)

24 - This is a concept that Fr. Alberione never tires to go back to, either in his writing or in his preaching. A passage for everyone: "Christ shall live in man without hurting his freedom, but raising it; man shall keep his human personality, but in him the divine person of Christ shall make of man a divine being, modeled after the divine 'form,' hence 'deiforme,' in Christ: ‘Factus est Desu homo, ut homo fieret Deus" (Presentazione, in C. T. Dragone, Maestro Via VeritÓ e Vita, 1961). (Text)

25 - An example: "The Mass is light, sacrifice, grafting of the precious olive into the wild olive tree, which is sinful man" (UPS II, 25). (Text)

26 - One of the aspects on which Fr. Alberione insisted since his first writings. We read, in fact, in Appunti di teologia pastorale: "When one says 'piety', one understands 'life'. As superficial souls wrongly understand it, it is not a simple external formalism, neither, as its enemies calumniate, is it an illusion of spirits afflicted with mysticism; no. It is an entirely internal activity which is manifested to the outside with the fruitfulness in deeds" (ATP II, p. 7). (Text)

27 - It is the term Fr. Alberione used to invariably when the topic of apostolate is discussed. Often he explicitly related it with the evangelical passage of Jn 15. (Text)

28 - "True holiness, according to Jesus Christ and the authentic saints, is in the first commandment: love with all your mind, your strength and your heart. The supernatural rests on and raises from the natural; the divine discipline is this: to reason! In the first place. Man is reasonable, he knows what is good, then desires it, then wants it" (SP Oct. 1954; cf. CISP 1147). (Text)

29 - As we all know, the Gospel shall remain to be the theme of meditation principally given by the Founder. Along this line, the enlightening words as "testament" in Abundantes divitiate gratiae suae come naturally: "Give first of all the doctrine that saves. Penetrate the whole of human thought and knowledge with the Gospel" (AD 87). "Hence bear clearly in mind the thought of living and working in the Church and for the Church; of being inserted as wild olives into the vital olive, Christ-Eucharist; of thinking and being nourished by every phrase of the gospel according to the spirit of St. Paul" (AD 95). (Text)

30 - Also in the already quoted Introduction to the work of Fr. Lamera, Ges¨ Maestro, Via, VeritÓ e Vita, the Founder, among the "practical means" for the conformation with the Master, places study in the first place, and the study of Catechism: "Learn the things of the faith, ask for an increase of faith, love and serve God with all your mind. In the first place, God has created us to know him during this life... The study of God begins with the Catechism, which is the most simple and the most beautiful treatise on God: Unity, Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption, Church, Grace... Every year the most fundamental truths shall be always deepened and expanded. Catechism then has to be taken in great honor. Theology and Catechism expanded...". (Text)

31 - "The first act of homage to the Divine Master is in doing things with one’s head. In every meritorious human action body, heart, will and mind work together. Which is to say, perform work with love, dedicating intelligently in it one’s energy. The mind comes in the first place" (SP Jan. 1955; cf. CISP 1167). (Text)

32 - The insistence with which Fr. Alberione, known more as a man of great action, returns on the need of contemplation: numerous in these few numbers... is noticeable. (Text)

33 - Regarding the Pact or Secret of Success, it is useful to re-read, beside from the text of AD 158, the "Commento al Segreto di riuscita," made by Fr. Alberione before a group of Daughters of St. Paul on 26 April 1963 (Cf. Segreto di riuscita, Edizioni dell’Archivio storico generale della Famiglia Paolina, Rome 1985, 24ff.) Very enlightening pages regarding the first formulation of the Pact (years 1918-1919) can be read in Diary of Maestro Giaccardo: cf. Giuseppe T. Giaccardo, Diario. Pagine scelte, Edizioni Centro di SpiritualitÓ Paolina, Rome, 1996, 195f; 250f; 253ff. (Text)

34 - "Let us question our intentions: why should we get into this thing? Why should we go out? Why this conversation? Why do you prefer that person? Is it to please God better? Or is it because you like it? ... I shall have to make my intentions, dispositions, judgments right. Nothing purely human. Everything supernaturalized. "Vivit in me Christus!"... (L’Apostolo Paolo modello di vita spirituale, 65f). (Text)

35 - Cf. F. Chiesa, Lectiones theologiae dogmaticae recentiori mentalitati accomodatae, vol. III, Tractatus de Spiritu Sancto, MCMXXX, 617-619. (Text)

36 - In 1932, on the occasion of the spiritual exercises, Fr. Alberione notes in a personal Notebook: "Prayer: to heal and to make all the faculties by J. C bear fruit. In the Holy Spirit: mind, will, heart". And here is the text of the prayer, first draft, handwritten: "O Holy Spirit, Through the intercession of the Queen of Pentecost: Heal my mind from lack of reflection, ignorance, forgetfulness, hardness, prejudice, error, perversion and conceive wisdom, truth - J. C. in everything. Heal my sentiments from indifference, diffidence, bad inclinations, passions, sentiments, affections, and impart tastes, sentiments, inclinations, Jesus-Life, in everything. Heal my will from lack of power, lightness, inconstancy, laziness, obstinacy, bad habit, and impart J. C. - Way in me, the new love for what J. C. loves and J. C. himself. Divinely elevate: the intelligence with the gift of intellect. Wisdom, with the gift of wisdom. Knowledge, with knowledge. Prudence with counsel. Justice with piety. Fortitude with the gift of spiritual strength. Temperance with the fear of God." ("Invocation to the Holy Spirit", in the Prayers of the Pauline Family). (Text)

37 - A question spontaneously rises. Even simply in the light of our research, is the affirmation, very recurrent, according to which Fr. Alberione would have invariably repeated the proposal of conformation with the Master, without bothering to explain it remain valid? (Text)

38 - Cf. Haec meditare, I, 3, 1947, 13f. (Text)

39 - "The Mission, in fact, before being characterized by exterior work, is expressed in making present to the world Christ himself through personal witnessing. This is the challenge, the first duty of consecrated life! The more we allow ourselves be formed in Christ, the more we make him present and working in the world for the salvation of men" (VC 72). (Text)

40 - Under this aspect, the comment of the Founder on the "dream" he had is of great significance (AD 151-158), where he strongly points out that, for the Pauline, the manner of being before the Lord is Eucharistic-apostolic. The Eucharist is, meanwhile, the place of adoration, of illumination-transmission of light, of purification, and of filial abandonment to his own Lord under the form of the Pact. (Text)

41 - "It is now, more or less, about six months of the year during which we come to know the Redeemer, to meditate on the examples of the Redeemer, and the teachings of the Redeemer, and the redemption accomplished through the passion and death and resurrection. Redemption is done when the Lord Jesus has gone up to heaven thus sending the Holy Spirit to the Church. About six months of the year. Now, those other six months, thereabouts: from Pentecost to the new Advent, it is the time wherein we must meditate on the examples of Jesus Christ, meditate on the teachings of Jesus Christ and live according to Jesus Christ: Vivit vero in me Christus; that is, to be always more perfect" (PD 65, 772). (Text)

42 - For example: "The Liturgy is precisely so that we may grow, thus we better understand the redemption and correspondence to the grace of redemption. So, every year, grow. We cannot be always at the same point every year. At times it also happens that one could even lag a bit behind. But at least, at least we do not go backwards. That there should truly be: donec formetur Christus in vobis, which is after all the expression of St. Paul: Vivit in me Christus: Jesus Christ lies in me. May you be happy and holy" (PD 64, 433). (Text)

43 - Cf. ╚ necessario pregare sempre, Vol. II, Alba-Rome, Pia SocietÓ Figlie di San Paolo [1940], 198ff. (Text)

44 - Cf. Introduzione, in S. Lamera, Ges¨ Maestro..., op. cit. (Text)

* Note. — To the participants of the Seminar had been handed over, together with the report, a long "Enclosure" (selection of texts) under the title Le tappe pi¨ significative dell’illuminazione ricevuta [da Don Alberione]. For reasons of space such an enclosure is not being inserted in this present volume. However, we shall give the "summary" so that one may have an idea of the contents: 1. Almost a prelude... [From quaderni manoscritti (1901-1913)]; 2. A decisive passage... [The Donec formetur Christus in vobis (1932)]; 3. As confirmation... [From the bulletin "San Paolo" (years 1934-1941)]; 4. The reflections became prayer... [Coroncina a Ges¨ Maestro (1943)]; 5. The points of the "devotion" to the Divine Master [Haec meditare, I, 3, 13ff (1947)]; 6. A first synthesis [year 1954-1955: "Abundantes divitiŠ gratiŠ suŠ" and "Amerai il Signore con tutta la tua mente"]; 7. Year dedicated to Jesus Master [1955]; 8. The great dream: an Encyclopedia on "Jesus Master" [1959]; 9. Towards the conclusive synthesis... [The path traced for Paulines (1961)].(Text)

 

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