THE PAULINE METHOD:
THE FOUR WHEELS (PIETY, STUDY, APOSTOLATE, COMMON LIFE)
All students-seminarians are trained, formed and expected to integrate their whole person in Christ, for a total love of God: intellect, will, heart, physical strength. The Pauline “car” has to run on four wheels: piety, study, apostolate, and common life. The most important occupation of the Paulines is the exercise of piety which includes Holy Mass, meditation, and the hour before the Blessed Sacrament. With study he prepares himself intellectually for a very challenging apostolate. He harnesses everything nature, grace and vocation for the apostolate. The work the Paulines do is apostolate that is, translating the Gospel into present day situations. They live as brothers in common life, and as communicators they constantly keep abreast with the issues of the times.
Formation of the whole man in Christ Jesus, means formation through a total love of God in all aspects: intelligence, will, heart, physical energies. Everything; nature, grace, vocation is for the apostolate. Thus the Pauline cart rests on four wheels, namely:
The specific objective of the Pauline Piety appears to be three:
a. The continuous contact with the sources, the Bible and the Eucharist
b. The special care in the total development of the person: “may they grow in wisdom, grace, and virtues.”
c. Prayer oriented to the apostolic communications: “by loving sincerely with the mind, will heart and with actions.” (cf. DSGC, 398; Io Sono con voi, p. 3)
The daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament, is born and directed as the relationship of the disciple with Christ, Master. It is the daily class for the integral growth of life and for the sincere disposition to the apostolate. (DSGC, 401).
The general lines of studies, as seen by the founder, show the intention of making studies not as an end in itself but to will it along the order of the integral formation of the person, to give it all the breath it can assume under the light of Christ and to orient it in love which is exercised in the apostolate. (DSGC, 402).
The end of the apostolate consists in giving salvation to humanity: Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life. And in order to “bring the whole Christ to man and render the whole man to God, through Jesus Christ” (DSGC, n. 139), the Paulines should employ the fastest and most efficacious means of preaching through the use of the media of social communications.
The content of the apostolate must be global and all embracing; thus a “wholistic” approach of the Pauline Apostolate includes the following dimensions:
An ecumenico-universal dimension is essential to the formation of the Pauline mentality. “Ut unum sint”: that all may be one in Christ is the reason of fulfillment of our foundation (cf. DSGC, nn. 82, 83, 84).
The approach of our apostolate must be simple and ordinary, popular and pastoral (DSGC, N. 165, 166), relevant and contemporaneous. (cf. DSGC, n. 89).
The missionary spirit: “the prophetic mission of the SSP has by itself no limitations as to geographic locations or its contents.” (DSGC, n. 88).
4. Communion of Life.
In the spirit of the Founder: “Common life for us is born out of the apostolate and in view of the apostolate. This type of society whose goal has been so finalized includes, to be sure, the common good of the members; at the same time, however, the very observance of communitarian life has an organization that must take into account that ‘we are at the service of persons’; we are religious apostles” (UPS I, 285).
a. Our religious community was born as an intention to love… all together, by our loving one another, we express our love in the integral fulfillment of the Pauline apostolate (DSGC, n. 409). The Pauline Community has the continuous need of feeling its presence in the Church as love in order to be sincerely faithful to the itself up to the end and in order to be able to offer itself as a “call” to many lives that desire to become “everything to everyone”. (DSGC, n. 408).
b. An insistence on a solid organization: “An organization would be formed, but a religious one, where energies would be united, where dedication would be total, where doctrine would be purer. And this society of souls, loving God with all their mind, strength, and heart, would spend themselves in the work for the Church… (AD 21-22).
c. The persons who make up the community constitute its fundamental value, and the community’s goal is to give them fraternal help towards their sanctification through their dedication to the apostolate (CD, 17).
d. Typical of the Pauline poverty consists in renouncing (the independent use and administration of things), in producing (by hard work), in preserving (that is the maintenance of things in use), in providing (for the needs of the institute), in building (by overcoming the desire for goods) [cfr. Pred. VP 294; CD 91.2).