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THE MASTER AND HIS SISTER DISCIPLES:
A LIFE RELATIONSHIP

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

by M. Regina Cesarato pddm

 

III. FR. ALBERIONE’S PREACHING
TO THE PIOUS DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER (1946-1971)

1. The prospect

In view of a provisionary conclusion, it seems important to me to recall some themes which are clarified in the preaching of the Founder to the Pious Disciples regarding the Divine Master and these are as also points for further research:

1) Jesus is "the Master" in the Eucharist

2) In Trinitarian dimension

3) The Liturgical Year

4) A life patterned after Jesus Master Way, Truth, and Life

5) The Truth, Way, Life method

6) The journey of interior unification

7) The Divine Master in relation with the Eucharistic, sacerdotal, and liturgical apostolate.

Analyzing in a synoptic manner the 1944 Constitutions of the FSP and the first 1947 Constitutions of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, one can notice how common, for example in the case of the formation of the novices, is the call for the love of Jesus Master that immediately is specified for the Pious Disciples in relation to the Eucharistic mystery.

The Congregation which recently obtained from the Holy See a juridical configuration of its own in relation with the Daughters of St. Paul is described in a synthetic manner as "a religious family of withdrawn life, dedicated to adoration and the priestly and liturgical apostolate: entirely of Jesus Master present in the Eucharistic mystery(55) because "we must learn everything, with the Eucharistic soul of Mary, from Jesus, Divine Master present in the holy Host(56) Redeemer, Savior, Repairer, Great Priest and Master of humanity.(57)

In this vision open to humanity Fr. Alberione recalls an interesting event in 1908 when, one day, during a class of Church history that he was giving the clerics of the seminary of Alba, he presented the situation of the world thus provoking a strong impression on the young clerics who were listening to him, so much so that they gathered in prayer so that "in the Church should be instituted a religious family dedicated to prayer in order to obtain the grace that humanity would welcome, hear, love Jesus Master and Savior." (58)

It concerns re-living a basic element of young Alberione’s experience made in the night of adoration that divided the two centuries, when, among other things, he understood in a new manner the gospel words Venite ad me omnes (Mt 11:25-27): this he entrusted as an intention for Eucharistic adoration of the Pious Disciples.(59)

The Eucharist is the great teaching chair of the Divine Master and it is essentially in attending this school assiduously that the Pious Disciples are conformed to the mystery of the Lord. Fr. Alberione said in 1947: "I must tell you one thing that I must absolutely never omit or forget. Your virtue, your spiritual development, these you must draw from the Tabernacle; you must model your life after that of the Divine Master who dwells in the holy Tabernacle. The virtues of the Gospel continue and are repeated here: in the Eucharist... The Pious Disciple must learn to model her virtue on the lessons she learns from the Tabernacle, more than from any other book or method." (60) And, again, on another occasion he said: "You must be persons dedicated, lost, totally consecrated in the Divine Master, in order to make him known, loved, served and glorified." (61)

The simplest manner for assimilating the total mystery of Christ indicated by Fr. Alberione is in living the Liturgical Year (62) for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.(63) It has to do with the most profound and fecund intuitions of the Founder.

To the proposal of the "total" Divine Master, in fact, corresponds an integral formation proposal that touches and transforms the whole person: mind, will and heart, in a manner that "the whole life is conformed, not only that, but is kneaded, is lived in this love for Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life... it is precisely according to the expression said in the profession: to pattern my life to the present Constitutions that are such and with the Constitutions of all the Pauline Family." (64)

It deals with a proposal of Christification: "If it were true, if we could obtain this: that all the Pious Disciples had the thoughts, the sentiments, the will, the desires of Jesus! Then the whole of the Divine Master, not just the title, not in order to print a beautiful name, but because indeed one lives that way. What a blossoming of souls! How well would Jesus find himself among the Pious Disciples! Then the title of Divine Master would not only be put on paper, but would be lived. I belong to Jesus. I am with Jesus and Jesus is mine. This, when there are no longer disagreements between you and Jesus, disagreements of thoughts, disagreements of sentiments, or disagreements of wills." (65)

In fact, also in 1960, Fr. Alberione confirmed the Pious Disciples: "Not a perfection whatsoever, but the perfection asked of the Pious Disciples, that of the Constitutions. Not another spirituality, no imitation of what sisters of other Institutes do... No, there is only one method for the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master: to live the Master. And it is not a method, it is the method because your life does not go after a spirituality that can be called Dominican, Franciscan, and let us say (we could count about twenty!) Carmelite, for example. No. Your method is to live Jesus Christ Master Way, Truth and Life. And there is no other for anyone... They proposed to me to write books to direct spirituality. Yes, if you make known Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life, then yes. So, let us not allow ourselves to get distracted; let us follow the straight path..." (66)

The Founder continually insisted that in the Eucharistic adoration the Pious Disciples should follow the way-truth-life method (67) and so, too, in the formation and in the apostolate.(68) It is a manner of procuring that the whole Pauline Family lives in this spirit, a desire that seems to especially press on the heart of the Founder in the sunset of his earthly life,(69) as he himself had reached his vital synthesis contained in the per Ipsum et cum Ipso et in Ipso and in the vivit vero in me Christus.(70)

Such a process of transforming identification with the Divine Master requires a climate of great spiritual depth in prayer and in the apostolate. It specified that the apostolate of the Pious Disciples is wholly concentrated on the presence of the Divine Master in the Eucharist, in the Priesthood and in the Church. (return to summary)

2. Draft of an analytical index of the APD

Granted the concrete impossibility to analyze in this event the many numerous references to the Divine Master Way, Truth and Life and the reality of discipleship in the preaching of Fr. Alberione to the Pious Disciples, registered on magnetic tapes and then faithfully transcribed and published I enclose, a first draft of an analytical index of the APD on the theme we are now discussing...(71) (return to summary)

CONCLUSION

Attempting a synthesis regarding the reflection on Jesus Christ Master in reference to our congregation, the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, I quote a text by Fr. Alberione:

"Disciples of Jesus Master means wanting to remain in the school of the Divine Master. But it is a school that is not like any other school. Other schools teach human sciences, teachers give some explanation and it can be said that in general there is only instruction of the mind. In the school of the Divine Master, instead, there is the instruction of the mind, yes, but regarding supernatural, divine truths and together there is the reform of life, the change of life so that one is conformed to the life of Jesus Christ. He is the restorer of the heart, of the sentiments.(72) (return to summary)

return to summary

 

           Jesus Master yesterday, today and for ever

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