Blessed James Alberione

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Retreat, Mother House, Alba, Piazza S.Paolo, June 1947*

The grace in the soul establishes our union with Jesus Christ.
The degree of grace corresponds to the degree of holiness; the degree of grace shall correspond to the degree of glory in Paradise.
When the Lord judges us, he shall assign to us the reward that is in conformity to our merit. The one who has more grace, will possess greater glory. On the other hand, the one who at the point of death is deprived of grace, shall remain deprived of glory for eternity.
The means to obtain grace and to increase it are: the sacraments, sacramentals and prayer. The most effective means are the sacraments, because they are instituted by Jesus Christ and are accomplished by Him.
The sacramentals on the other hand, are instituted by the Church and take effect according to the disposition of the person who receives them.
Prayer is considered as a private duty, as well as, a public obligation.
Baptism is first among the sacraments.
Let us consider it briefly, not to prepare us to receive it but to revive the grace in us.
To be baptized means to become Christians.
In Baptism, a pact is set between Jesus Christ and the person.
What did you ask for through your Godparents when you were brought to the baptismal font? Quid petis ab Ecclesia Dei? (What is it you seek from God's Church?) Fidem, you answered. Fides quid tibi praestat? What does faith give you? Vitam aeternam. Eternal life. If therefore, you want to enter in the eternal life, observe the commandments: love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and your strength; love your neighbor as yourself.1
Then the Priest expelled the devil from the soul in order to make room for the Holy Spirit.
The pact was concluded: Jesus promised his grace, assistance, Paradise. The baptized commits himself to believe and to observe the commandments, to serve our Lord Jesus Christ, by avoiding sin, doing good, loving God and neighbor.
With the pouring of water the chains of sin were shattered and grace entered the soul which made us God's children.
God committed himself to give us the graces we need for the whole of our life. We are never tempted beyond our strength.1 He never withdraws from the person unless by one's own free will, the person drives him away.
We have the graces to observe the commandments, to be faithful to our religious vows. If at times we fail to correspond, we must bow our head and say: mea culpa, because the grace is there.
When we feel deprived of grace and when we are in greater need of it, there is prayer at our disposal which obtains for us the grace. Anyone who wants can pray and obtain (grace).
Then, if we are faithful to the end: Paradise!
Whoever would be unfaithful in life, still has salvation through repentance, penance and amendment as means.
One can never be sure of eternal salvation, but we are sure of having the graces each day for the daily correspondence.
Have faith. The Lord is most faithful in his promises.
Baptism makes us God's children, members of Jesus Christ. We are so united to this Head of ours, Christ, that his merits can be our merits.
We need to be convinced, however, that in spite of the grace of Baptism, temptations are not lacking.
Have we kept our promises to renounce satan up to now?
Baptism has raised us up to supernatural life. You are a daughter of God, co-heir of Jesus Christ.1 What a dignity! There-fore, do not give what is holy to dogs, or toss the pearls you have received before swine.2
When you were baptized by the priest, he placed on you the white garment and you were clothed in it. He told you: Wear it unstained up to the everlasting life of heaven.1 Have we kept our baptismal clothing spotless? And if unfortunately, we have soiled it, are we committed to wash it clean?
Are there persons who preserve their baptismal innocence? Yes, certainly there are, but may they be careful, because the devil is so envious and wants to sully such innocence by inducing them to sin. Be vigilant.
If ever our white garment has been soiled, then, let us wash it clean with the blood and tears of Jesus Christ and with great trust, let us make it beautiful again. Jesus came to save, to seek for sinners.2
The Religious are God's most intimate children; they possess the invaluable dignity of being the elected children of the Church. They can contribute more than the others to the development of the Church and to the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ in the world.
Baptism is the door of the sacraments. It is the door of the golden palace that holds every treasure of grace; it is the first gold ring of every grace that shall be linked up again with the last ring which will bring us into eternal bliss.
Let us renew our baptismal promises and vows.
Let us reflect that more than a billion persons do not know the grace of Baptism; they do not have the grace yet to avail themselves of the mercy promised by Jesus Christ.
Let us hasten the advent of the kingdom of Jesus Christ with good desires, with prayer!

* It is supposed that the Retreat was held as usual on the last Saturday of the month.

1 Cf. Rituale Romanum, Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum.

1 Cf. 1Cor. 10, 13.

1 Cf. Rom. 8, 17.

2 Cf. Mt. 7, 6.

1 Cf. Rituale Romanum, Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum.

2 Cf. Mk. 2, 17.