"Abundantes divitiæ gratiæ suæ"1
Were he2 to comply with your request and tell you something of what he still remembers and that you consider useful for the Pauline Family,3 he would have to recount a twofold story: [first] the story of God’s Mercy so as to sing a marvelous Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus.4
And then, the humiliating story of his lack of conformity to the overabundance of divine love and [his need] to compose a new and sorrowful Miserere5 pro innumerabilibus negligentiis, peccatis et offensionibus.6
Every day he meditates on the various facets of this second story, contemplated piece by piece, and sheds tears in his colloquies with Jesus, hoping for complete forgiveness, through the intercession of Mary and of Saint Paul.
This second story led him to a profound conviction that became his fervent entreaty. [It is that] everyone must regard Saint Paul the Apostle alone as father, teacher, exemplar and founder. It is so, in fact. [The Pauline Family] was born through him, it was he who nourished it and raised it, its spirit is from him. As for his poor self: he7 has accomplished part of God’s will, but he must fade from the scene and from people’s memories, even though, because he was older, he had to take from the Lord and give to others. So, too, at the end of Mass, the priest removes his vestments and stands before God as the person he is.
I8 often say: Pater, non sum dignus vocari filius... peccavi in cœlum et coram te... treat me as your servant. It is as a servant that I intend to belong to this marvelous Pauline Family, both now and in heaven. There, I shall concern myself with those who use the most effective modern means to do good: [working] in holiness, in Christo [et] in Ecclesia.9
Convivificavit nos in Christo Iesu: et conresuscitavit; et consedere fecit in cœlestibus: ut ostenderet in sæculis supervenientibus abundantes divitias gratiæ suæ in bonitate super nos in Christo Iesu(Eph 2:5-7).10 In his goodness, God, in Jesus Christ, has bestowed overflowing riches of grace11 on the Pauline Family. [Such graces are] to be revealed in the centuries to come by religious women and men, [these] new angels of the earth.
With a wisdom equal to his love, the Lord bestowed the many riches that are in the Pauline Family: ...ut innotescat per Ecclesiam multiformis sapientia Dei.12 Everything is God’s:13 everything leads us to the Magnificat.14
Reflecting now on this small Pauline Family, one could liken [it] to a stream of water. As it flows, it swells with additional water from the rain, the melting15 of the glaciers, and various other little sources. This accumulated body of water then parts and is redirected to irrigate fertile plains and [employed] to produce energy, heat and electric light.
It was not he who caused this convergence and meeting of the waters in the valley. He complied with it, submitted almost, just as he then complied with God’s will in the division of the waters in various countries for the benefit of many people. Now he waits for those waterways to converge once more into the sea of eternal happiness in God.
1 Fr Alberione wrote this phrase at the top of the first sheet of ds. The words are from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (2:7).
2 The Author narrates in the third person the matters that concern him.
3 When he wrote these notes, in December 1953, there were four religious Congregations in the Pauline Family: Pious Society of Saint Paul (foundation 20.8.1914), Pious Society Daughters of Saint Paul (15.6.1915), Pious Disciples of the Divine Master (10.2.1924), and the Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (7.10.1938). Later, there followed the Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles, or Apostoline (8.9.1959) and four Aggregated Institutes (8.4.1960): “Jesus the Priest” (for diocesan priests), “Saint Gabriel the Archangel” (for young men), “Our Lady’s Annunciation” (for young women) and “Holy Family” (for married couples and families).
4 Cf. Lk 2:14 and the Missale Romanum, Ordo Missæ.
5 Cf. Ps 50.
6 Cf. Missale Romanum, Ordo Missæ: “Suscipe...”. In the change that Fr Alberione makes with respect to the text of the Missal (“negligentiis” = sins of omission) we find mentioned one of the themes on which he reflected often (cf. his Paolo Apostolo, [ed.] G. DI CORRADO, Rome 1981, nn. 13, 18, 27, 36 etc.)
7 The subject, previously Saint Paul, is once again Fr Alberione.
8 The Author, who here uses the first person singular, added this opening sentence by hand. The gospel text is from Lk 15:18-19 (parable of the Prodigal Son [Merciful Father]).
9 “In Christ and in the Church”: cf. 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 3:21.
10 The complete Latin Vulgate quotation is: “Et cum essemus mortui peccatis, convivificavit nos in Christo, cujus gratia estis salvati, et conresuscitavit et consedere fecit in cœlestibus in Christo Jesu...”: “Even when we were dead through our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus...” (Eph 2:5-6).
11 Fr Alberione finds, in this expression of Saint Paul, the key phrase that opens up and describes the whole mystery of love that God has manifested in him and in the Pauline Family, for the benefit of the whole world.
12 Cf. Eph 3:10. The complete quotation is: “Ut innotescat principatibus et potestatibus in cœlestibus per Ecclesiam multiformis sapientia Dei”: “That through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places...”.
13 Cf. 1 Cor 3:22-23.
14 Cf. Lk 1:46-55 for the whole Magnificat hymn
15 The Italian text has sgelo in place of disgelo.