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For a new reading of Dei Verbum - the poetry and the truth of the most beautiful and challenging document of Vatican II

Reflecting on Dei Verbum is tantamount to retracing the entire history of the Second Vatican Council. This Dogmatic Constitution was the subject of  debate among the Council Fathers in the early months of the Council, it accompanied their work for the next three years, and was approved almost unanimously at the conclusion of the session on 18 November 1965. Certainly, I do not hesitate to say that we are before the most beautiful and challenging document of the Council. More beautiful, because it was able to combine dogmatic truth, with its precise language often reluctant  to let itself be translated into  forceful images, with expressions of high poetry. More challenging, because some of its contents come, after centuries of theological debate, clearly  expressed highlighting the dogmatic development achieved.

Revelation, which is the foundation and the heart of the Christian faith, was finally to find its place in the life of the Church. The initial words with which the document begins, citing the text of the First Letter of John, make one perceive immediately that it is a fundamental and vital experience.  The need then to communicate this real encounter with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, calling us to communion of life with the Trinity, is the heart and pillar of the faith. Dei Verbum immediately states the extraordinary newness that the Son comes to accomplish in the history of mankind. “The Word of God” is not intended here as a generic discussion of the Father, but attests to the definitive event of his intervention in history: the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son. He is the Word who for all time was proclaimed and who now becomes also visible.

Rino Fisichella

Christ in Silence by Odilon Redon 1890


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* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)