What worked for Eugene, he wanted to share so that it would work for others and lead them to the same quality of BEING.

The Rule thus continued with Eugene inviting his Missionaries to share in the same exercise of ongoing formation that worked powerfully for him – living in the awareness of being in God’s presence.

The entire life of the members of the Company must be one of continual recollection. 
To achieve this, they have the desire to be always aware of the presence of God, by frequently making short but fervent one-line prayers.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. §5 On prayer and exercises of piety

This topic is also dealt with above in the entries for November 26, 2010 ; September23-26, 2011 ; and October 29 – November 2, 2011.


“Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to Him, being attentive to Him, requires a lot of courage and know-how.”     Thomas Merton

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  1. John Mouck says:

    Now today’s posting makes perfect sense to me. It is how I conduct my day-to-day activities.
    I think the previous two days’ reflections are just plain hogwash. Deny if you wish but I don’t think any present day Oblate would have survived in Eugene’s house – too much formal prayer and forced meditation just creates inaction and indeed resentment – so much for ‘being and doing.’
    Thich Nhat Hanh says it best: “We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors.”
    I am afraid I am still slamming doors.
    Instead of praying for and meditating upon the beauty in the tortured face of that poor person standing on the street corner, I rage at the injustice of the situation and help (and thank God for the opportunity).
    The simple act of doing is my prayer.
    There’s plenty of time for pondering when I am too tired for doing.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Oh dear! I finished reading this and exlaimed “oh yes”. Then I actually went back and read the postings from 2010 and 2011 and said a quiet “thank You my God”. And again reread this entry and was able to look at the 1818 Rule and figure out how it works, what Eugene meant (at least I think I did) .

    I think that the previous two days help me with the “how” of being and doing. For me what I am hearing that the discipline of formal prayer and meditation, allows for it to become a part of each of us, so that it becomes a part of being. I wrote in one of the older postings that I wanted to be able to “be with God, always, throughout all of my day”, with Him as my constant companion. I think that is achieved through a type of discipline and repetition (for a lack of a better word). My being is affected and somehow becomes transformed and then the doing occurs.

    Being in the presence of God can and does occur throughout the day, whether I am on the bus, or in the office, at the market or in a meeting, taking a walk and even having supper with friends – at least that is my belief. I am not always “aware” of it and so in a sense I guess I maybe move back and forth, however I believe I am there. That is what makes me alive, and what allows me to keep moving out and doing.

    I think that Eugene and the early Oblates (as well as the Oblates today) did pray and see the beauty in the tortured faces, they met Christ there and they moved from that to action – they went out and helped – not only spiritually but practically and physically – that is how they lived/live their lives. Active contemplation or contemplative action – what many of us are called to.

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