Eugene was a “heart” person who was intuitive and expressed and acted on his intuitions. As soon as he had met Joseph Guibert, he reflected that “it seemed to me to have found again something of myself” – he recognized in this young man someone who had his same spirit. Now that Guibert had joined the Missionaries, Eugene considered himself his father in religious life and expressed his paternal affection:

So let us ever be united in the same spirit. Pray for me who loved you first.
For my part, I think of you often before the Lord. Where rules his loving heart, there let us meet.

Letter to Joseph Guibert, 19 March 1823, EO VI n 97

Eugene concludes by referring to the secret of the prayer of communion that we Oblates know as “oraison”. In a world with no immediate means of communication, it was thru prayer that Eugene communed with the members of his religious family when he was physically separated from them.


Whenever we experience the love of God as a group in prayer together, we are united in our common goal.”

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Where rules his loving heart, there let us meet.” What an invitation, one that reaches out and gently takes hold, a promise of something to come. This is one of those “ohhhh” moments that simply stops me in my tracks, where I am invited to enter into an oasis and to simply “be”. As I read it I can only thank God and sink into God’s embrace which is in itself tenderness.

    It is through and in God that we are connected. I know that when I first heard of “oraison” I secretly scoffed at it as being something not quite real or healthy. I thought that it sounded “very holy” but wanted to say “lets get real”. And yet now it is a part of my day. If I begin to miss it because I am to busy ‘doing’ then it begins to show in my attitude, how I am doing things. I do suffer without it, without that connection, without that communion. Interesting – it is what keeps me real and healthy.

    Yesterday and last night we ‘waked’ Tom. We came together and told stories, we laughed amidst the moments of tears and sadness but it was as we prayed together that I celebrated Tom’s life, his part in my life. This family which opened their arms wide and invited all who had been touched by Tom into their hearts. We celebrated Tom and we celebrated each other, a coming together.

    This prayer, becoming not just something I do, but something I become, a place that I move in and out of, a base. It begins with God, it begins in God, it is how we are united as one, it is how we experience God within each other. It truly is through prayer that we come together, and in that coming together that we become united as one. Once again Eugene you have said it all. “Where rules his loving heart, there let us meet.”

  2. Sue Fleegel says:

    “So let us ever be united in the same spirit.” “Where rules his loving heart, there let us meet.”
    This is beautiful. On this cold, winter day in Minnesota, it reminds me that I am indeed one with those I love and who love me. We are not separate or alone. For in matters of the heart, it is through this love that sustains us. Simply beautiful.

    • Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

      Oh my gosh Sue – what you shared – simply beautiful!! It is so true – it is so good to be reminded that we are not alone, and that we are connected and one. We have never met, you and I and yet I listen and recognize your heart!

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