In insisting that his Missionaries focus always on the “still point” of Jesus Christ, Eugene wanted to help each Missionary to develop an “inner vision” that would be a source of meaning and of transformation for himself and for others. Richard Rohr sums this up for me when he writes:
What many desire – and some don’t even have the language to express it – is an inner vision that tells them where they fit in the world and what they are here to do, something that is often different from what they do to pay the bills.” On the Threshold of Transformation”
Reading Eugene’s Rule in this light, we can see him using a two-pronged approach aiming at an inner vision with an equilibrium of being and doing. Through his Rule he is inviting them to developing a series of “BE-attitudes.”
In imitation of these great models,
one portion of their life will be given over
to prayer, interior recollection and contemplation
in the privacy of God’s house,
wherein they will dwell together in common.
1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances
In the prolonged silent prayer we make each day, we let ourselves be moulded by the Lord and find in him the inspiration of our conduct
CC&RR, Constitution 33
This spirit of interior recollection was not meant to be a time of detached monastic contemplation, as our Rule of Life shows:
It is as missionaries that we worship, in the various ways the Spirit suggests to us. We come before him bearing with us the daily pressures of our anxiety for those to whom he sends us (cf. 2 Cor 11:28).
CC&RR, Constitution 32
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”