The 30 year-old Father de Mazenod started his youth ministry with 7 young persons in 1813. With the numbers increasing rapidly it was necessary to produce statutes to formally express the ideals of the group and to give the body the regulations needed in order to live these ideals. The Rule would express the spirit that Eugene wished to communicate to them of how to live each day.

One must begin with the principle that on the good use of our days hangs the good use of life, and on the good use of life hangs eternity.
To spend the day well, one must try to establish a balance between the various duties one has to fulfil such that one gives nothing to one at the expense of the others.

Abridgement of the rule of life of the congregants of the Christian Youth Congregation, 1816, O.W. XV, n. 135

He was responsible for three versions we have of the Statutes: the initial Rule, then an abridged version of the main points and, finally an 80-page well-developed one. Many of the religious ideals that had been close to the heart of Eugene from 1806 onwards were evident.

Eugene gave the best of himself to the youth he was directing, thus communicating his central ideas to them in the Rules he drew up for them. The future Rule of the Missionaries of Provence would consequently contain similar ideas as a result of “a long work of maturation in the spirit and the heart” of Eugene (E. Lamirande).

Youth is, after all, just a moment, but it is the moment, the spark, that you always carry in your heart. (Raisa M. Gorbachev)

This entry was posted in RULE and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Please Brothers and Sister, Let us know what you think.
    Today’s reflection really speak at lease to me. Imagine living out my life, “To spend the day well, one must try to establish a balance between the various duties one has to fulfil such that one gives nothing to one at the expense of the others.”
    The sense of honesty and equanimity must begin first in the heart, it is not a score board of “this for that”. So how is that to happen, Meditation-Mindfulness=Mercy.

    And that sense of who we were when young is the spark-we can’t deny ourselves and those first loves and passions. They will ultimately be the most creative and inviting parts of our lives.
    Do we/I have the courage to “cross those boundaries” and share my self with the community in which I live?

    • Paul Howard, OMI Associate of Toronto says:

      Jack… In this reading, I saw the aspect of how Eugene had gathered idealistic young men who responded to the challenge. Here in North America and Western Europe, the harvest is great but the numbers are thin!
      However, I take heart from the Beatification of the Oblate Scholastics from Pozuelo in Madrid on December 17. A colleague had mentioned that they were targeted because they were Republican sympathizers, as opposed to Falangists of Franco. Do you or Frank know the answer? P

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is interesting being here a year later after having spent yesterday giving a retreat with Ken on Responding To God’s Call in Our Everyday Lives. We started out by looking at Eugene and how God’s call was a part of his whole life, not just one event. There was sharing and teaching – I learned much and am so grateful to Ken for all that he gave, and to those who came and dared to open their hearts and lives to new possibilities. So much speaks to me this morning, about giving fair time to all who need it, and I guess being aware of others who may just need that extra touch or words. And it most surely was a a gift to be able to share in a small way some of the joy God has given to me. Certainly for my whole life, but also in the relationship I have with Eugene, and I say that quite intentionally. So with Eugene, with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, with all who make up the Oblate Family. To be able to share what God has given to me – that is true joy and life, and I think that even the desire and passion to share what I’ve been given comes from God. How utterly awesome is our God!

    So this morning I simply marvel at the goodness of our God. Of where God is bringing me from, bringing me to. Granted its not exactly a free ride, in that I’ve had to let go along the way of the baggage, and the walls I’d built to protect me from myself, the wrapping that really wasn’t truth at all, and which by the way I continue to have to let go of as the ride winds ever deeper inward and outward at the same time. But that ticket to ride has brought and continues to bring freedom to be the Eleanor that God created me to be, to become more fully alive and continue to fall more deeply in love with all of creation each day.

    So Eugene – not where you and Frank started out on this day a year ago, but here’s where I am today. So far it’s been a heck of a ride and do so look forward to the continuing journey. Today I give thanks to God for your invitation to share your way of life, with not just the men, but indeed with all of us. I give thanks today for all of your, of my beloved Oblates, for they are beloved in a deep truth in my heart, in ways that I am not yet able (or perhaps a little shy) to say outright. I shall get there. I give thanks today for this wonderous gift of life and love from God, where all we need to do is be open to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *