Why have a demanding program of personal and spiritual growth? The answer is provided in a threefold goal, which occurs hundreds of times in Eugene’s writings because he insists that it must be kept in mind constantly: “the glory of God, the building of the Church, the salvation of souls.”
What must we, in turn, do to succeed in winning back for Jesus Christ so many souls who have cast off his yoke? We must…
maintain in view exclusively the glory of God, the building of the Church, the salvation of souls
Then he gave the list of virtues necessary in order to achieve this (see the previous entry), after which he hammers again:
be ready to sacrifice our goods, our talents, our rest, our persons and our lives for the love of Jesus Christ, the service of the Church and the sanctification of our neighbor.
1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter One, §3. Nota Bene. Missions, 78 (1951) p. 16
He started the list with the triad, and he repeats it again at the end to stress its importance. It is like the cover of a book that contains the means to oblation in every one of its pages: “for the love of Jesus Christ, the service of the Church and the sanctification of our neighbor.” We find this expression repeatedly in all Eugene’s writings either with three goals: “the glory of God, the good of the Church and the salvation of souls” or as a pair: “for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.”
The golden thread of Eugene’s life was to be “all for God” and it is this same concept that is expressed by living for the “glory of God.” It is summed up in the word OBLATION It is the high point of “imitating the virtues” of Jesus Christ, because the glory of God was the major desire of Jesus as Eugene used to point out:
The entire life of the Savior was totally dedicated to the glory of his Father…
Since I have not imitated my model in his innocence, will I be denied the opportunity to imitate him in his devotion to the glory of his Father and the salvation of men?
Spiritual conference, 19 March 1809, O.W. XIV n.48
The reason for our oblation expressed in community, spirituality and mission, is found in the “litmus-test” that Eugene repeatedly used for discernment and decision making until his death: “Is it for the glory of God, for the good of His Body, the Church, and for the salvation of others?”
“Our ideal is an absolute and enthusiastic commitment, a total availability to God and to souls for God, drawn from contemplation and in interior union with God” Leo Deschâtelets OMI, former Superior General