As Eugene charges the scholastics to live always in communion with one another, one can recognize echoes of John 17,21: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

…live always in this intimate union which makes of our house a true heaven on earth

Community for Eugene was a family, living as united as possible, of which he was the father. Stuck in Paris for the formalities around Fortune’s episcopal appointment, he longed to be back among his community where his heart was.

and whenever you are enjoying your family life and speaking amongst yourselves of your happiness, the greatest that one can taste here below, think of your father who languishes far from you in a land which he could almost call foreign, for it will always be a real exile for him as long as he is far from you and all his other brothers.

Letter to André Sumien and the scholastics in Aix, 18 March 1823, EO VI n.96


“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.”   Wayne W. Dyer

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Oh my. I felt myself drawn to looking at I might make my house a true heaven. Do I add to it, do I love and support, do I help to build up or do I lessen it, with my attitudes, my needs, my woundedness? It’s both of course.

    And “heaven on earth”. As a child (and for a great deal of my adult life) I thought of heaven as this “place” that I would go to, a sort of magical place and that I would somehow earn my way in there by ‘magically’ becoming ‘all’ good, etc etc. Dyer says it is a choice, and my own ready answer is it’s a state of being. Perhaps its both. I don’t have an easy answer & think perhaps its a combination of many answers. I can only say the images that come to mind and they are the images of that wonderful love that I felt with the people I was meeting in the Czech Republic, huge,wide, and growing, of sharing with each one of them. The image of Tom who I loved and letting him go, or others who I have loved deeply, the image of a woman that I sat with yesterday evening and found myself looking at and loving, sharing with her my experience of our mutual desire to more deeply know God. In fact all of the images crowding in front of me are those of love. Even the cross, of standing there at it’s foot, at allowing ourselves to ‘join Christ upon that cross’, as ‘Co-operators’, of giving our all as much as we are able – it is all love. Perhaps this is heaven on earth.

    None of it has been “alone”, but rather all of it has been with others – it is personal to the ‘nth’ degree and yet it is also shared, again to the ‘nth’ degree. “…live always in this intimate union which makes of our house a true heaven on earth” – this is a truly packed one-liner. Even to spend the time reflecting on the words ‘intimate union’ or ‘house’. It is full and I will need to come back later for a few brief periods of reflection.

    Thank you Eugene for giving voice to this, for being an instigator and an inspiration. Thank you Frank for this sharing and teaching, this giving voice to. Thank you my God for it all, for all of those who have come before us and who are with us now, who have shown and will show us the faces of love. They are through You a taste of what heaven on earth can be.

  2. Denyse Mostert says:

    “Le paradis sur terre est un choix que vous devez faire, pas un endroit que vous devez trouver.” Wayne W. Dyer

    En fait on peut traduire cette phrase par : une vie conforme à l’Évangile à construire jour après jour…

    • Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

      Comme je l’ai dit dans mes commentaires sur votre partage sur Loblation implique al familiarité avec l`écriture; quelque chose qui est intemporel. As you say It is an intentional daily decision to a specific way of living, of being.

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