3. AT THE DAWN OF A NEW YEAR
Rome, January 1, 1947
You have started the year well by uniting yourselves to Jesus. Join yourselves to Him and let this bond always endure and be brought to perfection up to the day when it will be knotted fast, made perfect and eternal in Paradise.
This morning, I offered up with the chalice all your desires, your needs, your souls. There must be between ourselves a spiritual bond of aims and goals.
When the angel came and announced to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, she accepted, she became the Mother of God; she joined herself to Jesus and she never ever broke away from him. She was united to him at Bethlehem, Nazareth - always. She was a perfect Disciple, the most perfect, the model who must always be before our eyes. Meditate on the mystery of the Incarnation, then on that of the Crucifixion. When Jesus was offered up on calvary, there were two altars there: the cross and the heart of Mary. Each day in the sacrifice of the Mass, we offer up at the altar the sufferings of Jesus and the sufferings of Mary.
The rapport between the (P) Disciple and Jesus must become closer and also between the (P) Disciple and the Priest. There is the danger that this rapport may lead to something just between him and her, this is not what I mean; this is what has restrained me in talking about this matter. There is to be rather a close relation between one Institute and the other.
Your bond with Jesus must be like that described by St. Paul;1 and it finds its finality in the union between Jesus and the soul as outlined in the Song of Songs.2
What will be your relationship with Primo Maestro in this year 1947? We have to obtain two graces:
First intention: Marian grace. When the shepherds entered the grotto, they found the Child with his Mother;1 when we go to the crib we find Mary with Jesus. Hence, the Church of the Queen of the Apostles! You can say that we Pious Disciples will not eschew this work of ours. Domus Dei2 does not only mean beautiful embroidery; it means, first of all, preparing the House of God, the church. I counted a great deal on you during the construction of the Church of St. Paul and the Church of the Divine Master in Alba, and now, I am counting on you for the Church of the Queen of the Apostles.3
Here are the means you are to use: assist at the offering of the Mass, rather, of beautiful Masses! It is the Mass more than anything else that promotes God's glory and peace to souls. Let no one say that she cannot carry out the apostolate; in the Mass you fulfill a great apostolate. St. Francis de Sales1 says that to do away with the Mass, would be to do away with the sun. If the sun would be taken away, so would be taken away light, heat, life. Consider yourselves fortunate to be able to assist at the sacrifice of the Mass and more Holy Masses.
There is the apostolate of interior life, of holiness, prayer, suffering and of holy desires. The person who has holy desires fulfills the apostolate. Holy be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done...1
St. Theresa1 lived for a few years in the silence of a convent and she is the patron of the missions together with St. Francis Xavier,2 who travelled the world. They are linked together because both of them had an apostolic heart and each one fulfilled the apostolate according to their vocation, as far as they were able.
Second Intention and the second goal: the formation of Priests, the work of works!
You are to undertake this task with the means and in the manner proportionate to your condition. Model yourselves on the way Mary carried this out in respect to Jesus. Be united in this second intention: Rogate Dominum messis, ut mittat operarios in messem suam (Pray the Lord of the harvest to send good labourers into his vineyard).1
What recompense will you have, for contributing to the church's construction and to the formation of priests?
Vocations, beautiful vocations for you; generous vocations who understand God's gift, who know how to appreciate it, who will enter into the spirit of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary; persons who live united to Jesus with Mary, like Mary.
That you may have only one sorrow, one preoccupation: that of being not yet holy enough! The true religious is known by this preoccupation of hers: I am not yet holy enough!
So as to walk more securely in the ways of the Lord and in the spirit of your vocation, address yourselves more and more to righteousness, purity of intentions, intimacy with Jesus. The Lord has given you a great work: spiritual work. I pray that God may shower down his blessings on you everyday, for all the 365 days of the year and that such blessings will serve for the progress in virtue. May you be constant, take one step forward each day and if you keep that up for one year, you will have made 365 steps. That is not a bad sort of road, is it? How well and happy at the hour of death is the person who corrects herself a little each day, who gets rid a bit of that which displeases the Lord!
The Lord speaks not only in words but also in deeds. During the month of December, three Sisters of St. Paul have left this world: one in Alba,1 another in Rome2 and the third one in Naples.3 The Sister who was in Naples died quite unexpectedly. The lesson comes from God. We should not have many anxieties, but only this: to prepare ourselves to go to God and to have our eyes always fixed up there!
The Lord still leaves us in this world so that we may become more perfect and so enter more and more into this intimacy with him. Unum est necessarium (Only one thing is necessary).4 Let us not be disturbed by anything or by anyone.
May the Lord bless you abundantly. The Child in the crib stretches out his arms and extends them to welcome you all. May he bless your wishes, your aspirations.
The little things that come our way each day, whether they are setbacks or occasions of merit, are all geared to one thing and that is, to make us holy. God's Providence that disposes all things is paternal, very delicate, lovable and kind; each day God provides all that we need - for our sanctification.
Shall we complete this year? This is in God's hands, but should we only have a few days, let them be spent totally for God. May they be days worthy to be presented to Him for the eternal reward.
1 cf. Gal. 2, 20.
2 cf. Song 2, 16.
1 cf. Lk. 2, 16.
2 Domus Dei: all the works of the Liturgical Apostolate as a whole, was so-called since 1942.
3 It refers to the Temple of St. Paul in Alba (Cuneo), of the Church of Jesus Master in Borgo Piave, Alba and of the Sanctuary of the Queen of the Apostles which is under construction, in Via Antonino Pio, Rome.
1 St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), Doctor of the Church.
1 Mt. 6, 9-13.
1 St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (1873-1897). The Founder at the beginning, indicated St. Theresa as a model for the Pious Disciples to imitate, for her intimacy with God and love for the Priesthood.
2 St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), Doctor of the Church.
1 Lk. 10, 2.
1 Sr. Edvige Tarsilia Vitali, died in Alba (Cuneo) on December 3, 1946.
2 Sr .Anna Teresa Merla, died in Rome on December 6, 1946.
3 Sr. Maurilia Saveria Colangelo, died in Naples on December 29, 1946.
4 Lk. 10, 42.