Add to this that greed is one of the vices that does the greatest damage in the Church, our Institute’s spirit, which is one of atonement, leads us to offer to God the compensation for this vice, by adopting voluntary poverty, as the saints have done before us.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. §1. The Spirit of Poverty.

Eugene’s call is to an oblation, a giving of self, to show that only one thing is needed: “More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)

Stated in different words today:

Our choice of poverty compels us to enter into a closer communion with Jesus and with the poor, to contest the excesses of power and wealth and to proclaim the coming of a new world freed from selfishness and open to sharing.

CC&RR, Constitution 20


“The cross is the standing statement of what we do to one another and to ourselves. The resurrection is the standing statement of what God does to us in return.”   Richard Rohr, Easter 2012

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  1. richard chelin omi says:

    Eugene was first and foremost a man of action.For him, it was TO BE. He was a realist. As followers of his charism,we are also called TO BE. When he speaks of poverty, he calls us to act and not merely imagining an ideal. When one speak of the vow of poverty, it is easily believed that this belongs to the realm of the religious domain. Yet we are all called to be like Christ poor and simple. As lay people, we are called to simplicity in prayer, in living and in doing. Even in our time greed is one of the great vices and the impact of it can be seen in the world: poverty, hunger, war, conflict, and so on. Thus our poverty and simplicity will help free the world from ‘selfishness and greed.’

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is so very much here today. I have read it and reread it all including Richard’s reply. I seem unable to truly deal with the full writing from Frank, his beautiful rewording and his bringing out Eugene’s word and intentions from Scriptures and the wording from the Constitution and Rules.

    In fact I find myself unable to focus on anything except for Richard Rohr’s statement from his Easter Sunday reflection. I am not sure I even want get past it. “The cross is the standing statement of what we do to one another and to ourselves. The resurrection is the standing statement of what God does to us in return.” This is one of those truths that seems to grab my heart and then time stands still. This is the only truth that I seem to be able to see right now – all I can do is quite literally to weep at the truth and joy of it, and sit in sheer and absolute gratitude.

  3. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “To proclaim the coming of a new world freed from selfishness.” A world freed from selfishness – to be personally freed from selfishness. To be selfless. Interesting – it is not a doing thing, but a being thing. Oblation fits in there somewhere too – one is a part of the other. There is a stirring within – something that I cannot quite touch but it will come to me (most likely in a couple of hours after having moved away from this place).

    This morning I am thinking of how selfishness might appear – not always in monetary forms although that is extremely real and prevalent. Another form of selfishness might be how we can close ourselves off from others, to try to protect ourselves. We protect our homes, our jobs, our property, our feelings, what we do, how and why we do it. “letting go” has to come in there somewhere, sometime, somehow. I must ask myself how I close myself off. What and how do I arm and protect myself? What do I hold onto. I am very generous with what I have – which is not bad at all – it is good. But what am I hanging onto? For a while it was my woundedness – I armed myself in that to protect myself, I armed myself in the lack of a formal education, I armed myself in my sobriety, I armed myself in how my life has changed and how far “I have come”, I armed myself in all of the “doing” that I do. And it is not all in the past either. That all is a form of selfishness, of hanging onto, of not letting go. It is not bad at all, it is very human. Delaying tactics.

    I am thinking though now of the word selfless. Oblation. If I say Lord I am giving you my all what does that mean? What is that all? It’s more somehow than quitting a well paying job, or going to work for a cause for less money. It’s more than just working with the poor. I find myself standing before you, one with you, one within you, but holding a part of myself separate. The tatters I have wrapped myself in, I wear to protect my very being – from what, from who. And it’s not something I can just say take – I need to give this to you. Is it simply as easy as throwing them off and standing before you. As said at the beginning, oblation, a giving of self. It is all ‘inside’ stuff, it always has been. And it is then lived out. Even that – the being in order to do. Scary as in fear. Incredibly so not easy. Take me, for I am yours. I always have been, but now I am. St. Eugene pray for me.

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