A COLLECTIVE SPIRITUALITY OF COMMUNION

The year 1822 saw the Missionaries of Provence fully engaged in evangelization in Aix, Notre Dame du Laus, Marseille as well as in the preaching of several prolonged parish missions. Eugene, as the father of this missionary family, rejoiced in their achievements and saw the goodness of each one as being beneficial to all.

I feel fortunate amongst my brothers, amongst my sons, because in the absence of virtues which are proper and personal to me, I am proud of their works and their holiness.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 3 March 1822, EO VI n 80

 

 “In the history of Christian spirituality we hear, “Christ is in me; he lives within me,” which is the perspective of the individual spirituality, of life in Christ, or we hear, “Christ is present in our brothers and sisters,” which is the perspective of charity, of the works of charity. But the decisive further step is missing, that is, to discover that if Christ is in me as he is also in the other person, then Christ in me loves Christ in you and vice versa… there is giving and receiving.”      Jesus Castellano OCD

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One Response to A COLLECTIVE SPIRITUALITY OF COMMUNION

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I struggle a little with this today, because of the wording. Am not entirely sure of what Eugene was trying to say. “….in the absence of virtues which are proper and personal to me ….” – is he saying that the others missionaries, his sons as he calls them are missing in virtues that he has or is he referring to each of them being unique and individuals as persons? I would tend to think that maybe it is the latter, only because of the quote which follows by Jesus Castellano OCD. Once again I need to get past the words.

    In the quote this morning I am struck by the sheer immensity of the mystery of God. God – Jesus is, within and without, a part of each of us just as we are a part of God. Impossible to define or explain and only to be experienced and lived. It is perhaps a bit like stepping out of time and rather than looking at infinity being a part of that infinity.
    There is most certainly the giving and receiving, it is mutual and living, the depths unimaginable. One would think that after receiving so much I would be satisfied and full and yet I find myself hungering and reaching for more. Already full and yet not for the capacity somehow continues to grow. I am unable to put words around it and can only sit and marvel in gratitude which seems to be the overriding response to all that I experience.

    Yesterday I looked at a friend and saw a new part of him, so that my experience of him grew and he became in a way more than he was before (less defined and constrained) and even as I think of him now the boundaries (for lack of a better word) start to stretch. How awesome is our God.

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