Blessed James Alberione

Opera Omnia


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The object of the publishing apostolate is the same as that of oral preaching; in other words, it is Catholic doctrine. Such doctrine includes necessarily faith, morals and worship. In this way we honor the Divine Teacher completely for he proclaimed himself to all people as "Way, Truth and Life". It meets the fundamental demands of a human being who has a mind that must be enlightened, a will that must be guided towards good, and a heart that must be sanctified.

Since the prime duty of human beings is to know and adhere to the truths of faith: "We were created to know... God,"1 such truths
revealed by God and which the Church teaches and proposes to us as the object of our faith, must be the publishing apostolate's primary object.
The publishing apostolate's aim is to make these truths - wholly set out in Theology, simplified in the Catechism and abridged in the Creed - known to all so that they can profess with the Church the Catholic creed. In other words:
I believe that there is a Creator, the origin of everything; a powerful and good God who governs the world wisely; a God who is also our supreme end, to whom we tend with all the faculties of our soul;
I believe in his divine Son, become Man, born of the Virgin Mary, who preached his doctrine, instituted the Church, died on the Cross to save us, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven whence he will come to judge the world;
I believe in the Holy Spirit who sanctifies our soul, enlightens and guides the Church;
I believe in the Communion of Saints, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
The Divine Teacher said in fact: "I am the Truth".2
It is not enough to know and to profess the truths of the faith to attain salvation. We have also to fulfill God's will: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."3
God's will is set out in the Law he gave to human beings. They fulfill it by their observance of the Commandments and by the practice of the virtues and the evangelical counsels, in accordance with the duties of their state.
Thus the object of the publishing apostolate, secondly, is Christian morals; that is, all those rules that help to guide the behavior and free acts of a human being to conform to God's will. It is to serve God by means of the will: "You shall love the Lord your GodÅc with all your soul."4
In particular:
The Commandments: the worship which is due to God alone, which forbids any idolatry, superstition and vain observance; respect for God's name, for vows and oaths, and the prohibition of all blasphemy or violation of sacred things; sanctification of the holy day; the duties of children,
servants, subjects, and workers towards their superiors and employers, and, vice versa, condemnation of all injustice towards people, possessions, or to a person's reputation.
In sum, all the duties that people have towards God, towards themselves, and towards their neighbor.
The precepts of the Church in both their negative and positive aspects: the obligation of the Sabbath rest, of prayer, and of good works.
The virtues: Theological: Faith, Hope, Charity; Cardinal: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance; Moral: Obedience, Purity, Industriousness, Humility, and so on.
The evangelical counsels of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience, in common life, where the soul is raised to the most sublime heights.
The religious state and the ecclesiastical state, as well as all the teaching on ascetics regarding Christian and Religious Perfection.
All this is to be expounded and corroborated by the holy and exemplary life of Jesus who said: "I am the Way."5

Worship, which is the third part of preaching and of religious instruction, is also the third part of the publishing apostolate.
Thus, besides making known the truths to be believed and the laws to be observed, it must still make known and lead to a sharing in the means of Grace by means of which God grants the necessary help to believe his truths and to observe his laws. In other words, it must lead to the practice of worship, that is, to those series of acts, external and internal, public and private, which honor God and transform our life into the divine life and incorporate us in Christ.
The Sacraments constitute the noblest part of Catholic worship.
The publishing apostolate is to explain Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Matrimony and Extreme Unction. It is to give a detailed explanation of Confession, the Mass, Communion and Eucharistic worship.
Hand in hand with the Sacraments are the Sacramentals: various consecrations and blessings, exorcisms, prayers for the dying, burials, alms...; Prayer in its threefold aspect: vocal, mental and life-giving, whether private or public. Public prayer, regulated and animated by the Church in the course of the whole liturgical year, is the most perfect, because it is official; it is the most useful because its aim is to engrave on the soul the very image of Jesus Christ himself.
All of this "donec formetur Christus
in vobis",6 and on up to "vivo autem iam non ego: vivit vero in me Christus."7
Jesus said: "I am the... Life."8
The object of the publishing apostolate as it is set out here is to be understood as extending to the whole deposit of revelation, direct and indirect.
Direct: the presentation, the defense, the explanation and the popularization of the Church's theological doctrine.
Indirect: the presentation, the defense and the explanation of such facts, philosophical principles, artistic monuments and literary works which contain or are linked to revelation and to the traditional teaching of the Church.
To all this is to be added everything which in literature, history, the arts and the sciences acts as a ladder to faith and sheds light on it as are, for example - in the field of the press - academic texts, newspapers, magazines, and light reading. This is because in creation everything represents God, reveals God and praises God and because in life faith must enlighten and sanctify everything.
We have to see all of this not only in a positive sense of consolidating the good but also in an adverse sense by blocking the spread of evil or by eliminating it.

1 Catechism of Pius X.

2 Jn 14:6.

3 Mt 7:21.

4 Mt 22:37.

5 Jn 14:6.

6 Gal 4:19. * "Until Christ be formed in you." There is also a book with this title by Fr Alberione: Donec formetur Christus in vobis. Meditazioni del Primo Maestro, Alba, Pia Società San Paolo, 1933, 110 p., 16 cm. A new edition is in preparation.

7 Gal 2:20. * "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

8 Jn 14:6.