Blessed James Alberione

Opera Omnia


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The universality of the publishing apostolate demands of its practitioners particular yearnings and gifts which can be summed up as to feel and think with Jesus Christ, to feel and think with the Church, to feel and think with Saint Paul.

Feel and think with Jesus Christ
This means to have the same feelings for people that the Divine Teacher had, as is shown in "Venite ad me omnes."1 So do not, for example, be solely concerned with the missions or schools; or solely with prayer and people's frequency of the sacraments and the word of God; nor solely with directing your efforts to the mass of the needy, or to women, or to one class of people.
There are
specialists for these particular apostolates who can also use publishing for their various and holy undertakings.
But the publishing apostolate, per se, is concerned with everything: every need, every work and every initiative.
Thus it embraces:
The works of religious instruction: catechisms, Christian education, schools.
The works of moral formation: everything that regards youth education (nursery schools, colleges, universities), Catholic Action, vocations, missions, holiness of marriage, family values, good legislation, the government of nations.
The works of the spiritual life: the practice of worship and of the liturgy in general and in particular, such as the Sacraments, the liturgical year, prayer and devotions.
The works of charity: Saint Vincent de Paul conferences, daily almsgiving, orphanages, shelters, convalescent homes, hospitals, prisons, the sick, widows, the maimed, captives, and all other forms of affliction.
The publishing apostolate is able to contribute to all kinds of tasks in an active and effective way with books, periodicals and suitable publications. Emphasis should be placed on the Gospel, on Eucharistic undertakings, on youth formation work as well as on all the other works of education whence, as from a spring, the other apostolates flow.
Feel and think with the Church
The publishing apostolate must not only consider the Church as the one, holy, catholic, apostolic, Roman, indefectible, infallible, and visible society instituted by Christ for the salvation of all, but it must further demand of those who engage in the apostolate that, putting to one side their private opinions, they always incline their mind, heart and will to think, work and feel with the Church and, hence, to write in conformity with her teaching. In a word, they have to have a childlike heart for her who has a mother's heart for all.
Therefore their training must be based on authors who have the Church's approval and recommendation, particularly so if they are invested with the title of Doctor. Read and meditate on these for the whole of life. But read especially the documents of the Pope, of the Roman Congregations and of Bishops; be ready to reject at once every book, periodical, tendency, party, speech and directive that is not in strict conformity with what the Church teaches or desires.
It is for the publishing apostolate to shed light on, commend and publish all that regards the Church, the Pope, the Bishops and the Councils, as well as canonical, liturgical and disciplinary norms and the Church's doctrinal and traditional teachings; to defend and apply them to practical life; to promote all
the institutions in the Church and to reprove all opposition to her.
Entrusted to this apostolate, especially, is the duty to join forces with the Holy See in its initiatives and recommendations so as to bring about their realization; likewise for the Episcopate concerning matters apropos their dioceses; so, too, for the regular and diocesan clergy in local matters. The end result will be harmony, unity and efficacy.
To sum up: the publishing apostolate, as we have already said, becomes the voice of the Church, the Pope, the Episcopate, the Pastor and the priest. Like a loudspeaker it extends and reinforces that same voice, bringing to all the benefits of the truth, of holiness and the life of the Church.

Feel and think with Saint Paul for souls
Saint Paul is the model Apostle. He blended the most disparate elements and made them his own, [placing them] at the service of an Idea, a Life, a Being.
He was the unflagging Apostle who, "omnia omnibus factus",2 was available, always and everywhere, for everyone with all means. The audacious Apostle who, despite weak health, the distances, the mountains, and the seas, the apathy of the intellectuals, the strength of the powerful, the irony of the Epicureans, the chains, and [the risk of] martyrdom, journeyed the world
to renew it in the light of Jesus Christ.
Thus, and no less so, must be the publishing apostle. In the footsteps of his model and protector, the Apostle of the Gentiles, he must have a heart immense enough to embrace the whole world and a heroic and unstinting activity so as to guide people to God and to give God to people.
Since not everyone comes to God in the same way and all have their individual needs the apostle must learn from his model, Saint Paul, the art of "being all things to all people" and to have that flexibility of adaptation as to treat people accordingly, in keeping with their physical, intellectual, moral, religious and public circumstances.
At times the apostle will need to be steeped in deep-rooted charity as revealed by the Apostle of the Gentiles in welcoming Onesimus, or in sweet converse with the maid Thecla; at other times, it will need be the robust tone used with the Corinthians, or the lofty type of sermon given in the Areopagus; at other times again, the simplicity with which he spoke to Philemon.
The publishing apostle will find no great difficulty in this if he discovers the secret of Saint Paul's adaptability, which is charity: "in omnibus caritas!"3

1 Mt 11:28. * "Come to me all of you."

2 * Cf. 1 Cor 9:22f: "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."

3 * Cf. Col 3:14: "And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."