Blessed James Alberione

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The greater part of the Psalms is attributed to the royal prophet David.
The eventful life of this holy king, described at length in books I, II, and III of Kings, is the life of a just man, of a wise king, and of a penitent.
For the first time he is recorded in the Scripture when the censure of Saul is narrated: David1 was designated by the Lord to be consecrated as successor of Saul. His Father was Jesse, of Bethlehem.
When the king, as a result of divine punishment, was possessed by a bad spirit, the young David was called to the court so that by the harmoniousness of his harp, he could calm the furor of Saul. A little later we see him battling the Philistines: it was there that in the name of God, the defenseless Israelite went against the proud Goliath and killed him. The whole populace rejoiced because of it. Saul, however, suspicious even of the popular favor with which David was surrounded, became more and more jealous. At first, he denied him marriage with his daughter Merob; and if he allowed him to marry Michal, it was only after a victory of David over the Philistines who he hoped would kill him.
The young man established close friendship with his brother-in-law Jonathan, who, for a number of times, saved him from the spear of the infuriated king. But seeing that his stay in the court was not safe for him, he had to flee. He wandered in the deserts and then from city to city, always pursued by Saul, whose life he generously spared twice; but at the same time his followers became numerous.
When Saul was killed in battle against the Philistines, David was consecrated king of Judah.
His glorious and happy reign was disturbed by the rebellion of his son, Absalom. Thus the Lord wanted to punish him for a grievous sin; as later he punished him for an act of pride, inflicting his people with a plague lasting three days wherein seventy thousand died. The holy king unceasingly wept for his sins, but God wanted to show him through punishment how grave was the offense he caused him. He thought of building for the Lord a temple worthy for him to stay in, but it was the glory of his successor to realize the plan.
Feeling the end of his life, he chose his son, Solomon, as his successor; then he peacefully died at the age of 70, after having reigned for forty years.


They are a collection of the religious hymns of the people of Israel; and from the name of the poet to whom we owe the greater part of them, it is called the Davidic Psalter.
They made up the book of prayer of the Synagogue, from which the Church has inherited them. The collection of 150 Psalms was made on several occasions from the time of David to that of Ezra.
Not all the Psalms are by David, even from the titles they are said to be of various personalities, from Moses to Nehemia.2 It seems that Ezra, gathering also the Psalms of the exile and of the restoration, made the last touches on the Psalter.
The Psalms give nobility to almost all kinds of lyrics. They are hymns, thanksgivings, prayers, pious meditations, historical, didactic and penitential poems. Famous among them are the messianic psalms that speak of Christ and are grandiose prophecies.
The text used by the Church is the Gallican Psalterium, corrected by St. Jerome on the Hexapla of Origen and then became a part of the Vulgate.
The Psalter, which is the soul of the breviary and the breviary of the Old Testament and the garden of true devotion, must return as the prayer book of the Christian people, just as it was during the time of the Martyrs, the time of the Fathers, wherein the plowers, the harvesters, the vinedressers, the shepherds,
all of them, sanctified their work with the singing of the Psalms. In the Psalter there are praises and prayers for every soul; it is enough that each one makes them his own and recites them with heart.


The Bible for the Apostle of the Press is the Truth

Your servant loves your promise;
it has been proved by fire.

(Ps 118/119:140)

The Bible, or the book par excellence, is the complex of 72 books which the Council of Trent has defined as sacred and inspired by God. They constitute a single letter that God addressed to human beings, in order to invite them to heaven and to teach them the way.
In the Press Apostolate, it is so essential so that with the Bible alone it already exists in its essential elements. Without it the Press Apostolate cannot live in any way,3 although at times something may be done that resembles it.
In fact, God writes to human beings. The Apostles thereafter and the Popes continue the work as God's representatives. The priest acts as the pen, the mouth, and the hand of the Pope. The Press Apostolate is the continuation of God's work. Would you ever have a plant without roots? A rivulet without a source? Sacraments without the Cross? Continuation of a work without a beginning? We would have a branch that is not attached to the vine; and it would suffer the consequences of him who in the Church detaches himself
from Jesus. He loses authority, strength, merit, and readers themselves. We would have a Priesthood without a mission.

* * *

Biblical truths are contained in the Press Apostolate - God ordered Moses to write; all the subsequent sacred writers took from Moses and expanded, making applications; the writers of the New Testament showed us the fulfilled4 shadows and prophecies and revealed to us the mysteries of truth and grace brought by the Son of God; the Church is the continuation of the Incarnation and the mystical life of Jesus Christ who, staying with men until the consummation of the world, continues his work as sanctifier and as unique, universal, and indefectible teacher. The priests reflect his teachings, communicate them, and give them power through the press.
Hence it is the biblical truths that they give; even as they give them through historical events; inasmuch as religion has historical bases and on them dogmas, morals, the practice of worship that ought to honor God are written. History is an immense canvas that is drawn; on it God has written and writes; and the writers read and invite men to reflect on them, read them, discern them, learn, live them and be saved.

* * *

1) In fact, the primary object of the Press Apostolate is also that of the Bible: the truths concerning God and the soul; in a word, that which is spiritual. Hence, the work of God the Father, the work of God the Son, the work of God the Holy Spirit are revealed and preached. Furthermore, the duties that concern the soul: from the Holy Commandments to the Evangelical Counsels,
to the loftiest virtues. And all the means of sanctification of which revelation is very rich for us and of which the holy Church, the mother of Saints, is authoritative teacher.
2) The same end: that God may be glorified, that souls may achieve eternal salvation. Not human gain, no; but the Apostolate of the Press has but one treasure: the eternal, that it wants to assure for itself and wants to obtain for others. These souls are dear to it, as they are dear to the Heart of Jesus who gave his life for them.
3) The same means: The Sacred Scriptures and the Press Apostolate make use of the same voice: the written one. The best ornament of an editorial room is the picture of the Evangelists; the best sign and object of devotion, an open Gospel where this is said: Semen est verbum Dei... (Lk 8:11)5 and some fall on good ground and even very good ground and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, some a hundredfold. He who has ears, let him hear.

* * *

From this follows the need for devout and daily reading of the Bible. The Popes Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV have so much recommended this pious practice.
Let's hear what the very unassuming Pius X wrote to Card. Cassetta:
The reading and meditation of the Holy Gospel is a very wholesome action, as that which leads us to the narration of an entirely divine power, that is, to the narration of the life of Jesus Christ, of which nothing could be thought of as more eminently efficacious to form us in sanctity.
Everyone must read the Sacred Scriptures, but the Apostle of the Press more than everyone else, before everyone else, and more constantly than everyone else so as not to be, as St. Augustine says, one blind guiding another blind.
He who reads the divine book, assumes the divine language, speaks the divine language, and acquires divine effectiveness.
Numerous sermons, many books, many exhortations would be much more effective if, instead of man, God spoke: Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any twoedged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. (Heb 4:12-13)
He who daily reads the Gospel becomes capable of truly saying the word of God.
However, by reading it with piety: that is, with the spirit with which it was written: with the heart of children who want to listen and wholeheartedly follow their Heavenly Father. We must take it as spiritual reading, as a means for recollection and elevation during the visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament, as the principal book of meditation, and as a divine sanctuary to be consulted in all needs, whether spiritual, apostolic, or social.

EXAMPLE. - Louis Veuillot. - Louis Veuillot is the glory of Catholic journalism in France, the indomitable asserter of the rights of the Church, a martyr of the Papacy.
For several years, he directed L'Univers, a combative Catholic newspaper, which was suppressed by the government because of his devout attachment to the Pope.
After having read and meditated the Holy Gospels several times, he wrote a Life of Jesus, fruit of his pious readings and meditations,
a biography that is one the warmest in love for the Divine Master.
He always carried with him the book of the Holy Gospels. He put down in his testament that the life of Jesus he wrote be placed in his coffin.
Here is his testament that served as the epitaph for the tomb of the distinguished Catholic journalist.

Place my pen beside me,
Christ, my only boast, over in my heart,
This book at my feet,
Then, my friends, close my coffin in peace.

When the last prayer ends,
O plant the cross on my grave:
And if a stone be generously given me
Let it be inscribed: I believed, now in Heaven I see.

Say amongst you: He sleeps, at last his honest
but difficult work he finished.
Or rather say: He wakes up
And sees what one day he dreamed of so much.

I hope in my Jesus: here, amidst many
Of my faith never did I blush.
And on the last day before the Father,
He, too, will not be ashamed of me.

Gounod6 found this testament so beautiful that he wanted to put it in music and composed the famous Last prayer.

LITTLE SACRIFICE. - Recite the Litany of the Sacred Writers that is found at the end of the book so that the Press may ever be inspired by the divine teachings of the Bible.


My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.
There is no Holy One like the LORD;
there in no Rock like our God.
Speak boastfully no longer,
nor let arrogance issue from your mouths.
For an all-knowing God
is the LORD,
a God who judges deeds.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes.
The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, he also exalts.
He raises the needy from the dust;
from the ash heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.
He gives to the vower his vow,
and blesses the sleep of the just.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S,
and he has set the world upon them.
He will guard the footsteps of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall perish in the darkness.
For not by strength does man prevail;
the LORD'S foes shall be shattered.
The Most High in heaven thunders;
The LORD judges the ends of the earth,
Now may he give strength to his king,
and exalt the horn of his anointed!

(1Sm 2:1-10)7


Sincerity and frankness in the apostolic ministry

Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even though our gospel is veiled, it is veiled for those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone
in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of (Jesus) Christ. But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

(2Cor 4:1-12)


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.

(Jn 1:1-14)


1 Davide: the spelling of this word is not uniform, perhaps because of different sources.

2 Neemia or Nehemia: a variable spelling (cf. preceding note).

3 The close relation between the apostolate of editions and the study of the Bible is one of the fundamental themes of LS (cf. pp. 72ff; 98ff, 191-193, 289-294, 306, 317ff) as it was of the preceding Apostolato Stampa, and it is along the line of Vatican Council II's teaching: “The bride of the incarnate Word, the Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, is concerned with attaining an ever deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures, so as to be able to feed her children continually with the divine words.” Therefore, “she encourages the study of the holy Fathers of both East and West and of sacred liturgies. Catholic exegetes then and other students of sacred theology, working diligently together and using appropriate means, should devote their energies, under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings. This should be done in such a way that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able to offer with fruit to the people of God the nourishment of the Scriptures which enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and sets men's hearts on fire with the love of God.” (Dei Verbum, no. 23)

4 This is about sensus plenior, or full meaning. Cf. p. 40, note 7, n. 3.

5 “The seed is the word of God.” - LS erroneously indicates “Luca XVII, 11.” (“Lk 17:11)

6 Charles Gounod (Paris 1818 - St. Cloud 1893), former seminarian, besides music had also studied literature and philosophy. He won the Grand prix de Rome, where he stayed in 1840 and 1841. He became enthusiastic of Palestrina's polyphonic execution, in such a way that he himself composed a mass that made him deserve the designation of chapel master in the Roman Church of St. Louis of the French. In his brilliant opera career, he was successful in Vienna and in Leipzig, aside from Paris. He is most popular for his Ave Maria adapted from a prelude of J. S. Bach.

7 LS indicates 1Kings for 1Sm.