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HOW FR. ALBERIONE INTRODUCED
JESUS "THE MASTER" TO THE APOSTOLINE SISTERS
Acts of the International
on "Jesus, the Master"
(Ariccia, October 14-24, 1996)
by Maddalena Verani ap
1. Jesus, "the Master"
2. Jesus, "the Master," Way, Truth and Life
3. Jesus, Way, Truth and Life, the Eucharistic "Master"
4. Jesus, Way, Truth and Life, the Apostolic "Master"
5. Mary, Mother, Teacher and Queen of the Apostles
6. Some reflections and personal remembrances
7. The last years of Fr. Alberione
Before introducing my communication regarding the Apostoline Sisters, I would like to give thanks to God for two motives: 1) for having poured so generously the "abundant riches of grace, through his goodness... in Jesus Christ" (AD 4) on the Pauline Family through his "servant," now "venerable," Fr. Giacomo Alberione, our common Father and Founder; 2) for this Seminar on Jesus "the Master," for which we in the Pauline Family felt the need. The Seminar is, as we know, a continuation of the Seminar of 1984, which had the theme: "At the center is Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life." I wish to thank God also for this Seminar because, through it, we have rediscovered and deepened, in the "tridimensional" the expressions "Way, Truth and Life," (1) the Christocentric-Trinitarian heritage of Fr. Alberione as it appears clearly in the book that emerged out of that Seminar, "The Christo-centric heredity of Father Alberione." (2)
Turning back to the theme of this Seminar, I thought it best to let Fr. Alberione himself speak, to see how he has "presented", that is, made vitally "present" "the Master" to the Apostoline Sisters.
I present some passages, taken from homilies and instructions (recorded on voice tapes from 1957 onwards), through which he wanted to form us, with an uninterrupted "catechesis-presence," which ranges from the start of our foundation (3) until, so to say, the last days before his death on 26 November 1971, which 25th anniversary we remember this year.
In these passages one can note how to find, even though in a necessarily synthetic form, the substantial thought of Fr. Alberione on Jesus "the Master" as is outline well in the historical-charismatic survey of Fr. Sgarbossa.
In regard to "our" Sources, they are still being arranged for a "critical" edition, for which reason as reported in the notes, the texts have been taken again, either directly from the tapes or from a small collection that we used for a manuscript. (return to summary)
1. JESUS, "THE MASTER"
"Today, the Feast of Jesus Master, let us read the Gospel, St. Matthew, chapter 23 [1-10]:
... The teachers, those whom we call so, are teachers who could be and would be better called instructors. In the first place, Jesus is the only Master. Why? Because he is all Wisdom, and he is the only Truth. No one can be this... In the second place, Jesus Master, the only Teacher, did not act the way the scribes and the Pharisees did... Jesus says, they were not doing what they were teaching. The better teaching is first with deeds, with works, with virtues... Only he has given the example of a most holy life, perfect like the Heavenly Father: He, who sees me, sees the Father, sees God; he reflected the whole image of God... He alone is the Teacher of holiness, and first he acted, and for thirty years he did and only for three years he taught, because to do is more important than to talk... Then Jesus has another characteristic; thus he is the Only Master. [We] can counsel souls the way to holiness, but can we give them grace? No, only Jesus... Because we pray... but precisely the grace, the strength to live what we have counseled comes from Jesus. And who among the teachers can give grace? No one... The grace of Jesus is that which made vocation be felt, and it is the grace he brought so we may correspond." (4) (return to summary)
2. JESUS, "THE MASTER," WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE
"... [Jesus] could define himself: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. The Truth that teaches, the Way that Jesus traced by his example in order that we may live the way he lived, and the Life because he communicates grace, even more, he gives the daily helps that are necessary... Hence he is the Teacher in the complete meaning of the word...
Jesus Christ must be formed in us: "donec formetur..." ... On earth we are always in formation, until he have reached the age of maturity, that is, our entrance to heaven...
Now we adore Jesus Master this time. Know him better, love him better, imitate him better, above all, pray to him better...
It is not enough to know him; we need to believe him... Follow him and imitate him ever more. Then to participate ever better in his Life: if the Holy Communion is received better, if we do better Visits, if we participate better in the Mass and have habitual union with God, then we live in Jesus Christ. Let us live Jesus Christ: "Jesus Christ lives in me." Because it is He who thinks in me, it is He who wills in me, it is He who in me, in my heart, loves, loves God and the souls. This way we prepare ourselves well to celebrate the Feast of Jesus Master." (5) (return to summary)
3. JESUS, WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE,
THE EUCHARISTIC "MASTER"
"Todays feast is exceptional, because we celebrate the presence of Jesus among us. I shall be with you until the end of the times. Not only inasmuch as [Jesus] assists the Church, which he makes infallible, but he lives in the Church and the Church works to sanctify souls... his real presence indeed: Jesus in his body, blood, soul and divinity. Just as the way he was in the crib, as he worked in Nazareth at St. Josephs table, as he preached, dealt with his parents, sought vocations, chose the apostles, as he raised the dead; just as he suffered at the crowning of thorns, scourging, on the way to Calvary and on the cross. Alive and true and glorious at the same time, because his wounds, his injuries now are glorious; how he won over hell in his sufferings, he glorified God and won over the grace for the salvation of souls.
Oh! Let us pause in but one point: that one indicated, in the manual of prayers, that is how to make Communion and ordering our piety in conformity to the devotion to Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life. Jesus comes to us and with what does he nourish us?... He who eats flesh shall have life, but what life?... The supernatural life. He comes to us as truth, and so the nourishment is in our mind... Then Jesus comes to us as grace, as life. It is then that Jesus sanctifies our heart, nourishes our heart... And Jesus comes to strength our will..., in order that our will may be established in his, in the will of God, in the will of Jesus." (6) (return to summary)
4. JESUS, WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE,
THE APOSTOLIC "MASTER"
"We invoke Jesus Master... and in invoking him we have this intention: to live his life. So we say: Way, Truth and Life, that is the whole of our being... I am the Way, may he teach us the way that he followed. Second: I am the Truth, [may he teach us] the things that must be said regarding vocation... the truth that persuades. And third, the Truth: may Jesus accompany us with his grace, and that we may have so much grace in our heart to attract souls to God...
There are numberless methods and teachings that concern the fostering and search for vocations. In the first place, however, we must look to Jesus, how he did, to the Queen of Apostles, that is [Queen] of those called to the apostolate, to all apostolates; and St. Paul, who imitated Jesus so perfectly and holily that one could say: he has truly been a model disciple." (7)
"During these days we meditated on this: how to imitate Christ; we considered him especially in the way has taught us to look for vocations, to form vocations, to pray for vocations, to confirm vocations and to make them active..." (8)
"Let us learn from Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ is Master in everything, also in the area of vocation. He has given vocation work first place... In his public ministry, Jesus preached the Gospel to the crowds and accomplished Redemption. But the better part of his time was engaged in his seminary with his twelve seminarians. He chose them so that they would stay with Him, so that they could be witnesses of what he did and so that they would hear, then repeat, the message of salvation." (9) (return to summary)
5. MARY, MOTHER, TEACHER
AND QUEEN OF THE APOSTLES
I give briefly, three Marian texts, attuned with the theme of Jesus "the Master", indicate the "Via Matris", so dear to the heart of Fr. Alberione, and they are important for our Institute dedicated to Mary Queen of the Apostles.
"Mary became the Mother of all of us when she became the Mother of Jesus, because Jesus is our Head; He is the head of the Mystical Body and we are its members. Mary, who is the Mother of the Head, is Mother of the members, and hence she is called "Mater Ecclesiae," "Mother of the Church"...
...Honor Mary as Queen of Apostles, why? Because the Institute has to take care of vocations... And so, to whom shall we recommend this vocation and to whom shall we recommend this apostolate? To the Queen of Apostles. Because, just as Leo XIII says,(10) she has been the Teacher and Queen of the Apostles of the early times, so She is Teacher and Queen of all apostolic souls, of all apostolates... Mary obtains two graces for us. First: holiness of the apostle; second: the practice of the apostolate of vocations." (11)
"Mary is like the Mother of vocations, and it is She who helps their formation. The vocation apostolate, after that of Jesus, can be said to have been initiated by Mary... Remember how Mary helped those vocations to whom Mary was given as Mother by Jesus and how the apostles learned and understood what they had not in three years, when the Holy Spirit, constantly invoked by Mary and by the apostles, too, descended." (12)
"Oh, let us call Mary Queen of the Apostles because she has accomplished the whole apostolate. There shall never be another apostle who understands an apostolate so complete, so sublime, so total, as Mary did. Because apostolate means, to give Jesus and Mary gave him in a marvelous manner... And, that is, she gave him as Son, she gave him as Master of humanity, as Redeemer of humanity, as Host of humanity, as Priest of humanity, as Mediator between heaven and earth." (13) (return to summary)
Continued: Some reflections and personal remembrances
Jesus Master yesterday, today and for ever
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