The annual retreat of the whole group lasted several days more after the General Chapter meeting, and became a preparation for the step of making their oblation on 1 November 1818.

The retreat conferences, given by the Superior-General himself, completed this rapprochement of minds and hearts. His appeals for total self-sacrifice were stirring and effective. He begged the retreatants to make the same decisions they would favor were they at the hour of death and about to appear before the Supreme Judge. Maunier and Mie then decided to follow the majority and pronounce their perpetual vows. Aubert asked to be allowed to take only temporary vows; Deblieu no longer refused outright but requested a year’s grace to give himself time to reflect; in 1819, he, too, made his religious profession like the others…
This clever apportioning of positions meant at one and the same time approving Eugene de Mazenod’s firm determination to make his plan for the religious life prevail and proving to those who had opposed it that they still enjoyed everyone’s esteem. Certainly they must have been deeply affected by such delicate thoughtfulness.

Leflon 2, p. 168 – 169

Today’s Rule of Oblate Life:

Our mission requires that, in a radical way, we follow Jesus who was chaste and poor and who redeemed mankind by his obedience. That is why, through a gift of the Father, we choose the way of the evangelical counsels.

CC&RR, Constitution 12

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  1. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    As I look at the words of Laflon I say, How would I/we say this today.
    The image of the hour of death and that of the judgment seat.
    Yes, within our tradition and different sacred traditions a meditation on death is entered into. Not for the sake of being morose but in living more fully in the present moment.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I love the wisdom and love that Eugene showed and lived in dealing with all of the early members of the society. He had such a wonderful capacity to understand.

    I find myself reflecting on “He begged the retreatants to make the same decisions they would favor were they at the hour of death and about to appear before the Supreme Judge. ” I want to respond with “of course”. I cannot imagine anyone being so close to death and not checking to make sure they look their best, they are their best as they approach their beloved, as they come before their very reason for being. No more delaying tactics, no more games, simply a “here I am Lord, take me”. Why wait? I find that I am drawn, compelled to ‘give my all’ as I go along (and even that changes or deepens as I move forward). I then somehow live out of this.

    I find myself unable [or unwilling] to think of God as a “Supreme Judge”. Its not so much an “owing” as a “wanting”. I do not want to live out of fear of judgement, of “having” to do something in order to qualify. I shall never qualify for I shall never be able to “do” enough. As I go along then in this life I find all of the extraneous (and truly non vital stuff) falls away, its like cleaning away layers of dirt and dust that hide the true beauty of all of life, all of creation. Everything changes and deepens, our awareness of God within, God all around us, of our being within God. We move of our own volition, but compelled by much more than that and we move forward. Somewhere along the way God’s love has begun this process of transformation. In the Gospel today we have the story of the Transfiguration. Nothing was added to Jesus to allow the Peter, John and James to see Him as he truly was, but rather it’s like something was taken away, removed so that Jesus was seen in all his glory. Then a cloud came and covered the three, Jesus, Elijah and Moses. When Jesus appeared again he was alone and appeared as before. It is that type of transformation, a removing of the layers, the veils, and the focus becomes much clearer. I think of how after I quit ‘using’ the drugs and alcohol and other things that my view of the world around me changed, everything was clearer somehow and there were times that I swore I had never seen the mountains look so beautiful.

    God has raised me from the depths, and I know only love and incredible forgiveness. Part of the transformation, as I move towards death to appear before God who is most Precious Love, Awesome Wonder.

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