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

by José Bortolini ssp



1 "Does a Pauline pedagogy exist?" Jesus Master and the "Master of the group" according to Fr. Alberione, in La formazione integrale. Corso di studi per formatori, Ariccia, September 1976, p. 28. (come back to text)

2 "It was asked: what are the distinctions, the powers, the limitations between the prefect of discipline and the Master of the spirit of the aspirants in Pauline houses? The answer: no distinction; there is only one person who oversees everything: the spirit as well as the discipline. Hence, only one office, or two offices fused into one. It is so in all religious institutes" (UPS I, 145). "Hence, excluding the variety of opinions, the Master or Prefect shall experience the gravity of his office before God, before the Congregation, before the aspirants; he takes care of the spiritual, intellectual, apostolic, human and religious formation. He considers himself as Jesus among the Apostles, candidates to the religious life and at the same time to the apostolic life" (ibid., 146f). The spiritual director is "the visible angel who guides the soul in its journey to perfection. Often he identifies himself with the habitual confessor. He has the assignments of the Angel for little Tobiah: he enlightens, guards, supports the docile soul up to the paternal house in heaven" (DF 210). (come back to text)

3 "The full and comprehensive concept of Master in relation with every man and the whole of mankind, in view of human and supernatural upliftment, is incarnate in Christ: ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life’... This conformation with Christ Jesus – ‘to be conformed after the image of his Son’ – covers the whole man: intelligence, sentiment, will. Clement of Alexandria, speaking of education, observes that he who goes to Plato learns and becomes a philosopher, he who goes to Jesus Christ shall have a perfect formation, after the image of the Divine Master, and shall arrive at living like the God-Man" (Comunico o que recebi do Senhor, EP, São Paulo 1976, 73-74). (come back to text)

4 "The Master of departments (or group) remains in the midst of his people in imitation to Jesus Master: he feeds their intelligence with words, lives and experiences together and with each one in various cases, prays with them, celebrates Mass with them, gives them communion; guides, corrects; and if he can, starts recreations and games; he keeps his eyes on everyone especially during the more difficult moments: after supper, rising from bed, taking baths, vacations, going to bed; he is his own people’s first helper, friend, father, mother. The Master represents the eye of God as it is described in Psalm 138:1-12..." (UPS II, 101). "The Master is truly a sacrifice, a servant of the aspirants, a friend and father who continually lives with his aspirants. He gives not many advises, but fundamental meditations, and he is continually present among the aspirants" (DD 65, quoted by Fr. Perino, op. cit., 37). (come back to text)

5 "Let the discipline of the house... be paternal, preventive, patient; let it avoid whatever seems cleverness and police-like severity: live with those being formed, correcting them and, above all, convincing their minds, strengthening their will, praying for them and making them pray. Let us educate consciences for the Congregation, so that they may feel the weight of the duties of the house and that they may carry them" (SP 1 December 1938). "The Master of the department in seeing his young how they behave in school, in the apostolate, in the chapel, in catechism, takes note if there are inclinations, docility, intelligence, love..." (Per una coscienza sociale, 53; quoted by Perino, op. cit., 36). (come back to text)

6 "The Master of the aspirants shall always be informed by classroom teachers, he shall be asked as regards the place in the apostolate to assign to individuals, he shall be listened to and shall have the greater weight on the judgments on them: how they are in piety, study, apostolate, poverty, vocation, etc." (VR, quoted by Perino, op. cit., 37). (come back to text)

7 "It is a mistake to weigh down the young so that they do not manifest their thoughts and, especially during adolescence and in the crises, they may also be strange. Instead, help them to talk, explain to them, support them, make it easy for them to reveal themselves and to be open... And then correct the ideas, give them proper books, explain, use the greatest wisdom and goodness" (Santificazione della mente, quoted in Vad no. 170). (come back to text)

8 DD 65, quoted by Perino, op. cit., 38. (come back to text)

9 "The Master of the spirit must possess three principal traits: patient and benign charity, priestly and pedagogical knowledge, prudence according to the Divine Master" (CISP 752); and eventually these three principal qualities are further developed (p. 753). (come back to text)

10 Op. cit., quoted by Fr. Perino, op. cit., 38. (come back to text)

11 The psychological and neuro-psychiatric problems, quoted by Perino, op. cit., 39. (come back to text)

12 Perino, op. cit., 39. (come back to text)

13 "To teach meditation means to teach to think; and this is fundamental; today however people reflect much less, it is the sickness of the times. With reflection we become aware and secure of our thought under the human and theological aspect; it forms the true personality in Christ" (FP, 61, quoted by Perino, op. cit., 44). (come back to text)

14 Cf. FP, 61. (come back to text)

15 Cf. notes 5 and 6. (come back to text)

16 "Our method... is not a reserved method, but it is the method, that which our Lord has taught with his very life. We must bring the whole of man to God. We cannot make him Christian only in prayer or in works. It is necessary that man lives in Jesus Christ with the whole of his being, inasmuch Christ is the only way to go to the Father. We must make the whole man Christian! Jesus presented himself as Way, Truth and Life. To honor him therefore as our model, as the obligatory road for reaching God... The Pauline method is the only method..." (PrDM 81; cf. PrDM 39). (come back to text)

17 Meditation to the FSP, 1957 (quoted in Catechesi Paolina, 103). (come back to text)

18 Cf. Catechesi Paolina, 279. (come back to text)

19 Cf. ibid.; UPS II, 193. (come back to text)

20 Cf. also CISP 1161: "The intellect was given us in order that we may know the truth and above all God and the things divine. God is the true sun of the mind, which enlightens us with a double light, the light of reason and that of faith. In the present state we cannot arrive at the whole truth without the concurrence of these two lights." (come back to text)

21 "Christ accepted the name Master given him by men. ‘You say well.’ But in what dimensions has he placed that title? Aside from teaching a ‘doctrine’, the title is bound to the following values: 1) humility-service, that is, exemplarity in the washing of the feet: ‘You call me Master... I gave you an example so that what I have done, you also must do’; 2) love: ‘In this all will know you to be my disciples: if you love one another’; hence charity is the specific element of his magisterium; 3) salvation, relationship with God: ‘Rabbi, we know that as teacher you teach the way of God’; 4) the apostolate: ‘Lead everyone to my school’" (Fr. G. Roatta, Jesus Mestre Caminho Verdade e Vida, EP, São Paulo 1976, 178-179). (come back to text)

22 "Jesus formed his apostles by communicating to them a heavenly doctrine, interposing the example of a holy life and unceasingly praying for them. The conduct and the manner of doing of Jesus must be the conduct and the manner of doing of all the masters. Like him, also they must attend to their work of formation by inculcating those truths which are of secure orientation to the life of the young, confirming the value of their teaching with an exemplary conduct and constant prayer" (CISP 778). (come back to text)

23 "Unus est magister vester, Christus. He is one because he is at once Way, Truth and Life; formation shall be accomplished when the image shall be reproduced and the elements that constitute Jesus Christ are reproduced, so that one can say, ‘The Pauline is a second Master’" (UPS III, 190). Cf. also note 17: "In learning and in teaching the various subjects, we have to act in such a manner that studies are always ordered to and cultivated in a manner that Jesus Christ, our Divine Master, who is Way, Truth and Life, is more intimately known by us and Christ is fully formed in the mind, in the will and in the heart; thus we shall become expert masters of souls because first we were humble and diligent disciples of Christ" (AD 98). (come back to text)

24 "What is needed is a formation of true and clear Pauline color and tone: for study, spirit, apostolate, education, poverty, etc. Avoid, therefore, a colorless formation: what is useful either for the Christian, the secular priest, for common religious. As soon as he enters in the house, let the young man immediately experience in speech, in sermons, in classes, in arrangements of schedule, study, etc., that here work is done only for forming the Pauline; if he finds such life convenient, he shall continue, otherwise he shall go back home and shall look for the path assigned him by God. We shall have better prepared, happier and holier persons" (CISP 749). (come back to text)

25 "The person directly responsible of formation, in dependence and collaboration with the Superior, is the Master of the group. Like the Divine Master with the apostles, he willingly stays with the students, feeding them with the word, listening, praying with them, guiding and correcting with fatherly delicateness, always available to personal conversation" (UPS II, 101); quoted in Chap. Doc., no. 537). (come back to text)

26 The formator is he who welcomes, guides, respects and collaborates in the process of vocation growth; mediator between God and the formandi; capable of creating the conditions for vocation discernment, towards a generous yes or towards the choice of another state of life; he takes into consideration the different needs which come during the personalized guidance; he does not educate only with words, but above all with his life (cf. Ratio Formationis, 112-118; UPS II, 88-100). (come back to text)

27 "Educators must be gifted with a great human equilibrium, be fully master of themselves and of their own emotional life, capable of understanding and of loving the young people, open to collaboration with the other members of the community. The Pauline educators must emerge for their religious, priestly and apostolic traits, special spiritual and pedagogical formation adequate for their very delicate duty, solid doctrine and convenient pastoral and apostolic experience, special spiritual and pedagogical formation. It is therefore necessary that a careful training of masters of groups be provided for (cf. PC 18d), in school and in the apostolate, who must be chosen from among the better members (cf. OT 5a)" (Chap. Doc., 541). (come back to text)

28 Fr. Alberione, in the convention on formation of 1961, said: "What is needed is a specific and adequate preparation of the Master, so much for the spiritual part as much as for the intellectual part, zeal and love for their aspirants. At times, it is often inadequate" (quoted by Perino, op. cit., 39). "The formation of formators must have assimilated the thought and the work of the Founder, the successive developments promoted by the General Chapters and the current directives of the Congregation; to have a formation in the disciplines of social communication, in pedagogical disciplines and a solid experience or involvement in apostolic activities" (Pauline formation for mission, 26). (come back to text)

29 "The group master is directly responsible for the formation of aspirants, in collaboration with the superior" (Constitutions and Directory, 98.4). "The spiritual director and the confessor, in harmony with the other teachers, have the duty of following up, giving support to and authenticating God’s work in action in these young men as well directing them, in view of their calling, in their growth as human beings and as Christians" (ibid., 98.5). "The work of formation... does not depend only on the concerns of formators. It must have the concurrence of the community and of Paulines engaged in the apostolate, the concern of the Circumscription government, the complementariness with the Pauline Family, with other religious institutions and relevance to society and to the local Church. It is in fact an essential criterion in formation to aim the Pauline’s formation at the concrete life he ought to be living in the future" (Pauline formation for mission, 26). (come back to text)

30 "In order to guide there must be: the will, the knowledge and good criterion and then to always remain a little bit behind. Discover the state of the deed and the action of the Holy Spirit in order to follow it" (ESM, quoted in Vad 167). "The educator must, little by little, make himself useless: as regards government of self, the religious has for his guide his conscience. On the other hand, for as long as to behave well he needs the superior’s eyes to guide, he shall not have been formed. It must be that his conscience shows him the ever vigilant eyes of God" (UPS I, 252). (come back to text)

31 These considerations are based on Diferentes modelos formativos by José C.R. García Paredes, cmf and Gonzalo Fernández Sanz, cmf, Inst. Teológico de la Vida Consagrada, Encuentro de formadores y formadoras, Madrid, no date. (come back to text)

32 Cf. above, notes 4, 5, 9, 13. (come back to text)

33 Cf. ibid. (come back to text)


           Jesus Master yesterday, today and for ever

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