Eugene’s realization that Jesus was his Savior led to an inner vision of a life commitment to living “all for God” – or a lifestyle of “oblation”, as he subsequently expressed it. So powerful was this conversion experience, that he dedicated his life to bringing others to his same experience of salvation. In other words, to invite others to “be” as he himself had been taught to “be” in his relationship with God.
The 1818 Rule had this leading others to his same experience as its purpose. This meant the obligation to constantly renew and develop their inner vision through a daily program.
Apart from praying part of the Divine Office together, they would also:
Mental prayer will be made in common twice a day: in the morning, after morning prayer, for at least three quarters of an hour; and in the evening, around the altar in the form of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, for half an hour.
We will meditate especially on the theological virtues, and on the life and virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the members of our Society should intensely keep alive in themselves.
Every month they will choose one particular virtue that they will try to practice better and with focus. They will make these same virtues the subject of their particular examen and spiritual conferences.
1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. §5 On prayer and exercises of piety
To this was added the obligation of reading a spiritual book for thirty minutes each day.
“A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.” Thomas Merton