The SSP Retreat House at Ariccia (Rome) welcomed46 members of the Society of St. Paul and Daughters of St. Paul, who initiated the itinerary of spiritual exercises for the Pauline Family programmed for 2019. The theme of the new cycle of retreats is particularly appealing: Jesus Master’s Covenant with the Pauline Family: The Pact or Secret of Success. This Pact, made between the Founder and the Divine Master 100 years ago, continues to exert an extraordinary fascination on the whole PF. Like the great personages of the Bible (the patriarchs, prophets and apostles), Fr. Alberione felt his inability to fully correspond to his lofty call, yet he had the courage to set out on what turned out to be a divine “adventure.” With almost prophetic foresight, he urged his first young followers: “Aim for the heights! You are at the foot of a great mountain. Climb it!”
God guaranteed Abraham many descendants and he also stood as guarantor for Fr. Alberione. The Pact made with the Founder became a collective Covenant with the whole Pauline Family. Today, as in past decades, the story of the marvelous deeds accomplished through faith in the Pact is a reality we can “touch with our hands.”
At the end of a week of in-depth reflection and prayer on the Pact, the retreatants returned to their own communities bearing in their hearts and witnessing to what they had lived in communion and recollection, namely: fraternal hospitality, the wealth of biblical and charismatic content offered by retreat director Fr. Agatino Gugliara, ssp, the rich daily liturgies and the testimony of a joyous life.
Do not be afraid! I know the One in whom I believe and I know I can rely on him! A Pact, Lord, I make with you! These were the words that echoed and re-echoed during the spiritual exercises that officially launched the celebration of the Centenary of the Pact. They are words that extend beyond time and space, and that the Pauline Family wants to entrust to its new generations, just as it received the Pact from those who first incarnated and lived it in fidelity to the Pauline charism.