The fulfilment of the mission he felt called to from his childhood led Bro. Gabriel to produce a series of writings through which, as much as through his own life, he transmitted the significance of his vocation as a Brother within the Church.
The collection of writings thus possesses an underlying unity, in that they express the vital message of an individual. Nevertheless, the texts show great variety in terms of their length, their characteristics, their publication dates and their presentation. Some were directly handed in by their author to be printed, whilst others remained in their manuscript form for a long time.
In order to facilitate the understanding of this “Corpus Taborinianum” the writings have been classified into five groups, taking into account their nature and the people to whom they were addressed.
- Intended for the Brothers
- Addressed to the students and to the faithful
- Various writings
The reading of his writings supposes a different type of focus on Bro. Gabriel Taborin as an individual to that which might be obtained from the interpretation of his life in biographical studies, theses, and articles of a historical nature dedicated to him. We have in his writings what he intended to say, or to tell us, if we wish to make his message ours.
Bro. Gabriel’s writings allow us to get to know his beliefs, his ideas, his intuitions, and also, in a wide variety of ways, and from several points of view, the outstanding traits of his personality as well as the minor ones, and his charism. It is important to be able to take that step that will make it possible to get in touch with the person.
Considering his writings as a whole, Bro. Gabriel appears as:
a witness to God’s love who follows the steps of Jesus, attentive to the will of the Father, seeking to respond to his vocation, to cooperate with God’s plan, and to guide others through the way of the Gospel;
- a man of the Spirit, capable of receiving and enhancing a charism characterized by fraternity, by a spirit of family, by educational activities as well as those associated with the catechesis and with the animation of liturgy; and capable of making it fructify through transmitting it to others;
a prophet of his time, well rooted in his era and within his geographical and cultural environment, still in possession of the inner strength required to quit his own country and to propose a set of values and a way of life: “consecrated laity” within religious life, not easily understood in his time but which made it well into the future;
- a travel companion and a guide, Brother amongst Brothers, passionately living this fraternity, and who has a prevailing word to say to those willing to walk with him.
In fact, through his writings, Bro. Gabriel does no more than to transmit, sometimes creatively, sometimes following the path already traced by others before him, what he himself had already received, whether through reading, through his teaching activities, as a catechist, or as the Founder and Superior of a religious Congregation.
The contents of his writings as a whole can essentially be tracked back to:
– the Holy Scriptures to which he refers frequently, whether implicitly or explicitly;
– the diocesan catechisms and certain doctrinal synthesis which he had first studied and mastered, then successfully taught;
– the most read and commented spiritual authors of his time, amongst which we can quote “The Imitation of Christ”, Saint Francis de Sales, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, and the authors of the French school of spirituality, which goes back to Peter de Bérulle (1575-1629). Amongst the latter Saint John Baptist de la Salle is of particular significance, especially considering his writings regarding educational matters;
– the authors who deal with religious life matters, ranging from the Rule of Saint Benedict and the monastic tradition, to the Jesuits, Alphonse Rodríguez and John Baptist Saint-Jure, and also John Peter Médaille.