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The spirituality of the Pauline communicator

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

Document of the General Government
at conclusion of the International Seminar
on "Jesus, the Master"



0.1. Seminar after the Divine Master’s insignia

The VI General Chapter (1992) thus established: "The General Government is to promote a seminar on ‘Jesus, the Master’ which will develop the implications this has for the spirituality of the Pauline as communicator" (Acts and Documents, p. 65). This indication explicitated the 1st Priority which urged the Congregation to "form thoroughly the Pauline as a man of communication modeled on the example of the Apostle Paul, his formation should be directed towards his specific mission, carried out within history and in dynamic fidelity to the spirituality bequeathed by the Founder: the whole is an assiduous listening to God communicator, Word and Eucharist" (ibid.).

In this manner the Chapter drew the coordinates of the Seminar: the Pauline communicator has as his model the Apostle Paul; he lives and works in communication with God, Word and Eucharist, and in communication with the men of history; he is animated by a missionary spirit which brings to reality the indissolubility of the two summary commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind; you shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 22:37.39). As a baptized person, the Pauline welcomes the teaching of Christ which indicates in the love for God and neighbor the two commandments on which "the whole Law and the Prophets depend" (Mt 22:40); as a person consecrated to the mission of evangelizing with the modern means of communication, the Pauline must live a harmonious synthesis between communion with God (spirituality) and love for neighbor (mission). (index)

0.2. A legacy to develop

Fidelity to the Founder cannot but be dynamic and this requires above all a documented research, an attentive study and a profound assimilation of what Fr. Alberione lived and transmitted through the title and the "devotion" to "Christ Master, Way, Truth and Life." It, in fact, involves the central legacy of the Pauline charism, of which we should be gratefully aware: "We are grateful to God’s Providence which has granted us the immense wealth of better understanding Jesus Christ. We accept what is obligatory, that which constitutes the spirit, the soul of the Institute: that is, to live the devotion to Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life. [...] Now the will of God: to truly acquire the Pauline spirit consists in this, which is the soul of the Congregation. [...] It is not a beautiful expression, not a counsel: it is the substance of the Congregation; it is to be or not to be Paulines" (PrDM 72-73).

Fr. Alberione clarifies the meaning of "devotion" to Christ Master: "Such a devotion is not reduced to mere prayer or some hymn, but it involves the whole person. [...] Our devotion to the Divine Master must be learned and then applied to spiritual work, to study, to the apostolate and to the whole of religious life. [...] We become more Pauline by how greatly we live of this spirit and in this spirit" (ibid. 80).

In the "devotion" to Christ Master Way, Truth and Life, Fr. Alberione indicates therefore the "substance of the Congregation" and the specific element of the "Pauline spirit."

Dynamic fidelity to the spirituality inherited from the Founder consequently requires from Paulines of every historical era that knowledge and practice of the past be integrated with openness to the needs of the present. The actualization of spirituality is grafted into the more vast creative fidelity that covers all the aspects of the charism. Fr. Alberione himself speaks of this evolution in terms of "aggiornamento": "Aggiornamento lies in keeping alive the entire spirit of the Founders and the principles and rules of the Constitutions but at the same time considering the needs and the circumstances of today for their application and necessary interpretations" (San Paolo, Nov. 1950).

Dynamic fidelity therefore is the actual version of the aggiornamento described by Fr. Alberione: a living knowledge of the past which produces an adequate creativity in the present in view of the future. (index)


Abbreviations |  Presentation | Introdution | Proposals for animation
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