Blessed James Alberione

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A worthy perpetuator of Moses' work, he finally led the people into the Promised Land.
His name was Hosea, and was the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim. Moses designated him to be among the explorers of the Promised Land, while changing his name to Josua which means: The Lord is our salvation and it suited him who had to lead Israel into the Promised Land and to be the figure of Jesus Christ who leads souls into heaven.
God pointed out to Moses who would be his successor. The great leader, approaching death, introduced him to the people while encouraging him with these words: Be brave and steadfast, for you must bring this people into the land which the Lord swore to their fathers he would give them; you must put them in possession of their heritage. It is the Lord who marches before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.
After Moses' death, the Lord appeared to the new head of Israel and told him: My servant Moses is dead. So prepare to cross this Jordan with all the people, into the land I will give the Israelites. As I promised Moses, I will deliver to you every place where you set foot... No one can withstand you while you live. I will be with you as I was with Moses: I will not leave you or forsake you.
Joshua obeyed, secure of the divine protection. With grand prodigy he crossed with all the people the River Jordan, casting terror among the Canaanites. Then, he advanced from
victory to victory and no one could ever resist Joshua's sword. In six years he won over and put to death thirty-one kings and took possession of the Promised Land.
He divided among the tribes the conquered land by casting lots on the territory that would go to each one. After having governed the people for eighteen years, Josua, seeing his end coming, gathered in Shechem the heads of the nation and made them swear to remain faithful to the God of their fathers.
And then he died in peace, at the age of 110 years, in 1442 B. C., it seems. The book that bears his name is commonly attributed to him.


We can say that it is the continuation of the books of Moses; or rather, many Fathers consider it as one with them, since it completes the Pentateuch. It narrates the conquest and partition of the Promised Land.
With Moses dead and Joshua elected as his successor, full of trust in God's help, Joshua let the people exit the camps. Having miraculously crossed the Jordan and thanked the Lord, the Hebrews set camp in Gilgal, to the east of Jericho.
This was a well-fortified city. The Lord, however, miraculously gave it to the hands of Israel by making its walls fall. At this point the story of Achan is told: he was stoned with his entire family for having took possession of objects, thus violating Joshua's order.
They then conquered the city of Ai; and in another battle (memorable for the miraculous stopping of the sun) five Canaanite kings were conquered. The Gibeonites, however, who through deception had themselves spared, were condemned to serve the Hebrew people forever.
They then conquered southern and northern Palestine. Joshua thus vanquished thirty-one kings; but the occupation was not yet complete. The Lord nonetheless ordered Joshua to divide the land, naming the countries to be occupied. Hence, the part due to every tribe was determined, with their boundaries and cities. Only the priestly tribe of Levi, the one charged to serve the Lord, did not have any special territory, except some cities with their suburbs so that they might live there. Hence, the
tribes that had had their own possession beyond the Jordan and had helped their brothers in the conquest, went back to their own territory.
Joshua had accomplished his mission. He retired to his own possessions; then, as death approached, he called all the leaders of Israel and gave them his last recommendations. Then he gathered all the people to whom he recalled all the benefits that the Lord had granted to Israel, from the calling of Abraham until the last victories, and exhorted everyone to be faithful to their God. The book ends with the narration of Joshua's death.
The purpose of the book of Joshua is to demonstrate God's fidelity to his promises. God who obliged himself with the Patriarchs to give their descendants the Promised Land as their dwelling, kept his word: in fact, Palestine was conquered and divided among the twelve tribes of Israel.


The Holy Bible is inspired

Omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata.
(2Tm 3:16)1

All the seventy-two books that comprise the Holy Bible have God for their author: Deum habent auctorem. And yet we know with certainty the human author of the greater part of the books of Sacred Scripture.
Who does not know that the Pentateuch belongs to Moses? That the author of very many Psalms is David? Also, in the New Testament we know with certainty that the four Gospels have as authors St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John. No one can ignore the origin of the letters
of the Apostles that the Church for centuries attributes to St. Paul, St. James, St. Peter, St. John, and St. Jude.
Here we come across a difficulty.
How can the Bible be therefore a divine Book, while the books that make it up have been written by men?
The difficulty is easily solved.
The Bible has two authors: a primary author, and this is God, and many secondary authors, and these are those that God chose at different times, places, and circumstances, in order to manifest his word to the world. They are like intelligent and free instruments, or secretaries and scribes of God, whom, so to say, He deigned to inspire to write the letter to be sent to mankind.
Some applications shall better clarify how the Bible has two authors.
a) The books that today are printed in the world are immense in number. Daily, thousands and thousands of men work to print and diffuse books of every kind and format; books that deal with the most varied subjects: commerce, agriculture, mathematics, music, etc. These are all human and earthly subjects. There is, however, one that deals with supernatural and divine matters: the Bible; it is rightly called the Book par excellence, the Divine Book. Everything that the Bible contains is divine and was written through divine inspiration. This is confirmed by St. Peter when he says: ...human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God. (2Pt 1:21)
It is of this divine book that God is especially concerned, since He Himself is its primary author.
b) You already must have considered many times how beside the four Evangelists is generally placed a symbol: a winged lion, for example, stands beside St. Mark; an eagle, beside St. John, etc. What do such symbols want to indicate? They precisely want to indicate the superior Power that assisted them while they wrote their Gospel.
c) Often we hear it said: on the altar priest so-and-so celebrates the Holy Mass; or else: that other Priest has finished celebrating; and similar statements, to say that who apparently celebrates the Holy Mass is a man. We, however, know that who truly works the thunderous miracle of the Transubstantiation, that is, he who really changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is God himself, through His minister, the Priest.
Just as in the Holy Mass there are accidental matters, for example: the ceremonies; and essential ones, such as the words of the Consecration; so one can say the same of the Sacred Scriptures: in them there are accidental things, like the style, the language, etc.; and essential ones, like the thought and the meaning of the phrases.
The first, that is, the accidental things belong and are proper of every sacred author. What difference in style there is, for example, between the Gospel of St. Matthew and that of St. Luke! This last, being a doctor and scholar, has an elegant and plain style; St. Matthew, on the other hand, being a simple taxcollector, has a style that is a lot less elegant. Thus a learned and educated Isaiah will use sublime language; instead, a simple shepherd like Amos will have a style that is humble and rough.
All this, however, does not impede that God be the primary author of all the 72 Books of Sacred Scripture.
And that is a matter of faith. In fact, here is what
Pope Leo XIII says in his Encyclical Providentissimus Deus2 of 18 November 1893: ...the Church holds as sacred the books of the Bible, not because having been compiled by human effort alone, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor solely because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God for their author... And God, through supernatural power, so stirred and moved the sacred authors to write - and helped them while they wrote - that they correctly conceived in their intelligence and faithfully with their will desired to express, and in a fitting way truly expressed, only those things that He commanded. Otherwise, He would not be the author of the entire Holy Scripture.
In inspiring the Sacred Writers, the Holy Spirit exercised a three-fold function: he enlightened their minds regarding what they had to write; he moved their will so that they decided to write, and he assisted them while they wrote.
1. He enlightened the Sacred Writers on things they had to write so that they might write all and only those things that were according to his divine designs.
Many things which the Sacred Writer felt he was inspired to write already he could know. Or rather, it could be as well the case that, regarding that particular fact, the Sacred Writer knows more than what he feels inspired. St. John, in fact, at the end of his Gospel, says: There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be written one by one, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written. (Jn 21:25)
Then, at other times, the Sacred Writer ignores the things that he must write or he knows them confusedly; the Holy Spirit then reveals them to him and clarifies. All the Prophets, for example, ignored those things they predicted, and yet at a distance of many centuries, the things predicted by them came true to the letter. How could one explain, without admitting God's intervention, the fact that Isaiah, who lived more than seven hundred years before Christ, described the smallest details of the life and death of the Redeemer?
2. The Holy Spirit moved the will of the Sacred Writer, that is, acted in such a way that he decided to write. More than two hundred times we read in the holy Bible that God espressedly commanded to write.
In Exodus, we read that the Lord said to Moses: Write this down in a document as something to be remembered. (Ex 17:14) And to Isaiah: Take a large cylinder-seal, and inscribe on it in ordinary letters... (Is 8:1) Here we see how the Lord truly moved the will of the Sacred Writers to write.
3. The Holy Spirit guided and assisted the Sacred Writer while he wrote, so that he might not fall into error and wrote only and all that God willed.
How many things would we want to know, for example, about the private and public life of Jesus, of our Lady, and of St. Joseph! And yet, even if the Evangelists knew them, they nonetheless did not write about them! Why so? For the simple fact that the Holy Spirit did not inspire them to do so. It is, however, certain that all the things contained in the Holy Bible
have been written through divine inspiration: and this is a matter of faith. In fact, here is what the Vatican Council I says:3 If anyone will deny that the Books of Sacred Scripture, in whole or in part... are divinely inspired, let him be excommunicated.
St. Gregory Nazianzen even says that divine inspiration includes the accents and the shortest line: Usque ad apicem et lineam.
Hence, we are certain that in the Bible there are no errors of any sort, not only against faith and morals, but also against science and history, because this would be unbecoming of God who is Truth in essence.
The Rationalists who in the past raised proudly their voices against Sacred Scripture, saying they have finally discovered in it an error against science, today bow down their heads and in humiliation say to themselves: God was right. And it will be so until the end of time, since the Lord will never contradict himself.

* * *

It follows: a) that reading the Holy Bible, we must have the maximum respect and veneration for it and consider it as what it truly is, the Divine Book, having God himself as author.
b) In the second place, knowing that all the books of Sacred Scripture have been written through divine inspiration and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, we must read them with all tranquility, certain of not finding errors of any kind in them but of finding in them substantial food for our souls.
To believe that in the Bible there are errors depends on believing as true what, instead, is simple hypothesis; as it happened with the rationalists, who proclaimed as science what science was not.
c) In the third place, we must read the Bible with immense affection and devotion, as a son, far from his father's house, reads his father's letter. The Bible, in fact, as we have reflected yesterday, is a letter from the Heavenly Father sent to men his children.
Let us read it! In it we shall find the way to Heaven.

EXAMPLE. - St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Sacred Scriptures. - Fr. Germano of St. Stanislaus tells us that St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows had great veneration for the words of Holy Scripture, veneration that shone forth even externally.
He read it and heard it read with great pleasure, and with head uncovered, at times on his knees. He fed on its great lines, especially on those that applied more to his spirit. He wrote them on loose cards so that it would be handy to have them in his Breviary or on the lectern during divine psalmody time in choir; and he besought other religious of great maturity and skilled in Sacred Scripture to gather for him copies of such lines, and depending on opportunities he meditated on them with much profit; since his heart was raised in holy thoughts, he was fired with holy feelings and thought of holy aims.
Let us also learn to have great respect and veneration for Holy Scripture.

A GOOD DEED - Recite the third glorious mystery so that the Bible may be loved, read, and lived.


Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord,
the God of our fathers, and glorious forever is your name.
For you are just in all you have done;
all your deeds are faultless,
all your ways right, and all your judgments proper.
You have executed proper judgments
in all that you have brought upon us and upon Jerusalem,
the holy city of our fathers.
By a proper judgment
you have done all this because of our sins;
For we have sinned and transgressed by departing from you,
and we have done every kind of evil.
Your commandments we have not heeded or observed,
nor have we done as you ordered us for our good.
Therefore all you have brought upon us,
all you have done to us,
you have done by a proper judgment.
You have handed us over to our enemies,
lawless and hateful rebels;
to an unjust king, the worst in all the world.
Now we cannot open our mouths;
we, your servants, who revere you,
have become a shame and a reproach.
For your name's sake, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant,
and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven, or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received;
As though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord:
Let all those be routed who inflict evils on your servants;
Let them be shamed and powerless, and their strength broken;
Let them know that you alone are the Lord God,
glorious over the whole world.

(Dn 3:26-45)


Joshua's final pleas

Many years later, after the LORD had given the Israelites peace and all the surrounding nations had been subdued, when Joshua was already old and advanced in years, he summoned all Israel (including their elders, leaders, judges and officers) and said to them: I am old and advanced in years. You have seen all that the LORD, your God, has done for you against all these nations; for it has been the LORD, your God, himself who fought for you. Bear in mind that I have apportioned among your tribes as their heritage the nations that survive (as well as those I destroyed) between the Jordan and the Great Sea in the west. The LORD, your God, will drive them out and dislodge them at your approach, so that you will take possession of their land as the LORD, your God, promised you. Therefore strive hard to observe and carry out all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, not straying from it in any way, or mingling with these nations while they survive among you. You must not invoke their gods, or swear by them, or serve them, or worship them, but you must remain loyal to the LORD, your God, as you have been to this day. At your approach the LORD has driven out large and strong nations, and to this day no one has withstood you. One of you puts to flight a thousand, because it is the LORD, your God, himself who fights for you, as he promised you. Take great care, however, to love the LORD, your God. For if you ever abandon him and ally yourselves with the remnant of these nations while they survive among you, by intermarrying and intermingling with them, know for certain that the LORD, your God, will no longer drive these nations out of your way. Instead they will be a snare and a trap for you, a scourge for your sides and thorns for your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD, your God, has given you.
Today, as you see, I am going the way of all men. So now acknowledge with your whole heart and soul that not one of all the promises the LORD, your God, made to you has remained unfulfilled. Every promise has been fulfilled for you, with not one single exception. But just as every promise the LORD, your God, made to you has been fulfilled for you, so will he fulfill every threat, even so far as to exterminate you from this good land which the LORD, your God, has given you. If you transgress the covenant of the LORD, your God, which he enjoined on you, serve other gods and worship them, the anger of the LORD will flare up against you and you will quickly perish from the good land which he has given you.

(Jos 23:1-16)


A new hymn I will sing to my God. O Lord, great are you and glorious, wonderful in power and unsurpassable. Let your every creature serve you; for you spoke, and they were made, You sent forth your spirit, and they were created; no one can resist your word. The mountains to their bases, and the seas, are shaken; the rocks, like wax, melt before your glance. But to those who fear you, you are very merciful. Though the sweet odor of every sacrifice is a trifle, and the fat of all holocausts but little in your sight, one who fears the Lord is forever great.

(Jdt 16:13-15)4


1 “All Scripture is inspired by God.”

2 Cf. this paragraph with pages 17 and 109.

3 Called by Pius IX, Vatican Council I (December 1869 - July 1870), aside from the dogma of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff on matters of faith and morals, sanctioned the doctrinal authority of the Bible. Don Alberione quotes herein the dogmatic constitution Dei Filius, which affirms: “If anyone will not accept as sacred and canonical all the books of Sacred Scripture, in all their parts, just as they have been accredited by the Sacred Council of Trent, or will deny that they are divinely inspired: let him be anathema.” (can. 4, part II, Della Rivelazione)

4 LS refers to “Jdt XV, 16-19,” (Jdt 15:16-19) but it really refers to chapter 16 (not 15) as correctly indicated on p. 94. Furthermore, this quote refers to the Vulgate and in current translations, it corresponds to vv. 13-15.