What is the Pauline Spirit?
The Pauline Family strives to fully live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life, in the spirit of St. Paul, under the gaze of the Queen of the Apostles. There are not many details in the Pauline Family, or unusual devotions, or excessive formalities. The aim is to live in Christ the Master and in the Church. The spirit of St. Paul is drawn from his life, his Letters and his apostolate. He is always lively regarding the Church’s dogmatic and moral teaching, in her worship and in her organization. A secret of success is to model oneself on God living in Christ. Thus the notion of living and working in the Church and for the Church; of being wild olives grafted onto the living olive, the Eucharistic Lord; of reflection on and nourishing oneself with every word of the Gospel, in accord with the spirit of St. Paul, is always to be crystal-clear (AD 93-95).
What does it mean for the Pauline Family and for those devoted to St. Paul to live the Pauline spirit?
Basically, to live the Pauline spirit means “to possess the soul, heart and mind of St. Paul. This implies a very intense spiritual life; zeal and generous dedication to the apostolate; practical love for the Divine Master and the Church; and steadfast, intimate and serene union with God” In general, the will of God is to follow a spirituality, and your spirit must be that of St. Paul. Nourish yourselves on his spirit….The purpose of the Pauline spirit is to graft us onto Jesus Christ, just like St. Paul was grafted onto Christ. Consequently... What we need are people who assiduously read the Bible especially the Letters of St. Paul (Pr V 459).
“At first the Letters of St. Paul might seem a little high because St. Paul dominates history and has far-reaching ideas that not everyone is able to grasp immediately. But if we are humble, the Holy Spirit will speak to our minds and help us understand many things. It is not necessary to possess a lot of learning in order to comprehend the Word of God. The first condition is purity of heart, followed by humility. These virtues will help us obtain the light of God. Let us study the Letter to the Romans especially during our Hours of Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Father Giaccardo made the letters of St. Paul his daily nourishment and then incorporated them into his homilies (Pr A 139).
St. Paul lived in a spirit of prayer. After his conversion, his zeal urged him to begin preaching immediately, but instead he withdrew to the desert and then to Tarsus where he devoted himself to study and, even more, to prayer and the contemplation of holy things, combined with a life of penance, like St. Basil and St. Jerome. The Lord united St. Paul to himself and so everything that the Apostle learned came directly from Jesus Christ. It has been written that the contemplations and preachings of St. Ignatius and St. Francis echo those of St. Paul” that’s what I mean by an “understanding among great souls” (Pr SP 254).
Alberione speaks of a mystical rapport, a profound union with God which gives rise to the life-giving activities of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, in which all the great persons called by God down the ages meet. The Pauline Spirit to which Alberione refers to is indicating this same path to us…
“It is identification with Jesus Christ and the immersion in him that takes place whenever great souls at every time and place meet! This is a “super-highway” and we can make as much progress along it as we want (IA 1, 74). In fact, it is the “Pauline spirit”: to live Jesus Christ as he is presented to us by St. Paul (Pr DM90).
(Blessed James Alberione, ssp, Founder of the Pauline Family, to the Daughters of St. Paul, March 15, 1953).
If you liked this article you will love our bi-weekly newsletter Daughters of St. Paul: Becoming Hope for the World. Join the thousands of Daughters of St. Paul around the world who live and pray in the spirit of St. Paul. Learn from our Founders, receive guides for prayer, and connect with our sisters living and sharing our communication spirituality. Click here to subscribe.