PANEL 11: From the diary of Fr. Albera
Fr. Albera’s journal in which he wrote his meditations and conferences, especially for the confreres.
From 1893 to 1899, Fr. Albera writes his diary entries in French.
On December 31, 1895, he writes:
“The year 1895 has slipped into eternity. For me it was full of joys and sorrows. I was able to see the house in Marseille again, where I have left the better part of my heart. From there, I went to the Holy Land and was edified by the company of Fr. Rua. Such piety, such a spirit of sacrifice and mortification! Such zeal for the good of souls; and above all, so even-spirited! I saw Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth: what sweet memories! I was able to take part in the Bologna Congress. I will never forget it. I was able to preach spiritual exercises in France and Italy, and tend to the ordinandi with whom I was much more satisfied than those of previous years. I wrote a few pages about Mons. Lasagna, about which he was kind enough to express his apprection. But even the year 1895 has ended without my most serious defects being corrected. My pride is still flying high. I still have a difficult character, even with Fr. Rua himself. My piety is still superficial and does not exert much influence on my conduct or on my actions, which remain so wordly and unbefitting of a religious. My charity is capricious and full of partiality. I fail to mortify my eyes, my tastes, my words … My physical illnesses have increased; I could die at any moment given my state of health; this is not just a concept, it is reality, and I am aware of it. I want to begin this new year living better so I can die better. I remember having directed some of my confreres who have offered themselves completey through the profession of vows… They edified me with their zeal, with their devotion. Their commitment has been sealed in thier blood, and I, who have presumed to be their teacher and director in all this, am really nothing … Mary, my mother, spare me the shame of being inferior in virtue to those who are under my responibility: give me great love for you. Domina mea, numquam quiescam donec obtinuero verum amorem erga te ” [My Lady, I will never know peace until I obtain a sincere love for you].
Entry from the journal in which Albera recorded ideas for meditations and conferences to share with his confreres:
The Congregation has undergone extraordinary development. We have already opened a significant number of houses, but this does not even satisfy one-tenth of the requests we receive every day for new works. The Superior has decided to limit the number of new foundations for now and has ordered those in America to stop expanding.
Our expansion, certainly due to the grace of God, to the prayers of Don Bosco and of many of our brothers and pupils who have died a holy death, imposes on us a serious obligation to fulfill the hope and the trust that others have in us. This should impel us to grow in virtue and to make ourselves more and more capable of doing good. One way to do this is to seek excellence in the pursuit of wisdom. We must cultivate a good reputation if we are to do good among our young people, if we are to excercise charity effectively among them, and if we expect to attract the charity of others to our cause. To exercise zeal, to carry out our mission towards youth, we must obtain as much wisdom as possible…