PRACTICE EXACTLY WHAT OUR VOCATION PRESCRIBES FOR US

It was in the context of the first death among the Missionaries that André Sumien had written to Eugene, who responded:

You speak to me, my dear friend, of all the crosses and persecutions that I have experienced since the beginning of the Society. I would have been quite annoyed if such had not been the case.

Eugene’s response was to recognize that suffering and persecution were God’s seal of approval on their mission:

Do you not know that it is the seal of the hand of God upon us? And how could it be otherwise? How can you expect the demon not to make every possible effort to shake us and arouse at the same time all the tempests from outside of us when he sees his kingdom attacked and so many pickings snatched from his aggressiveness? It could not be otherwise. It is ever thus that he has acted from Abel down to us. One must read on this subject the admirable letters of Saint Paul, one finds therein many subjects of consolation for he passed by all the trials, as other saints have.

He concludes by reaffirming the necessity of the foundational principle of the life of the Oblates – “BE in order to DO”

Let us be firm in goodness, walk ever in the paths of the Lord by practising exactly what our vocation prescribes for us. Let us encourage each other, be united and all will go well because we will accomplish the will of God.

Letter to André Sumien, 2 May 1823, EO VI n.103

 

Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”         Letter to the Romans 5:3-5

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2 Responses to PRACTICE EXACTLY WHAT OUR VOCATION PRESCRIBES FOR US

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have spent the past week being busy. Even as I write this I look at the words and repeat “being busy”. Not necessarily a bad thing because it happens, and yet there were moments …… For me being busy can be a bit of an escape, a way of turning away from the moment, from God. Oh!

    In the midst though of some of that busyness were moments of wanting to ‘be’. I found myself walking one day to a meeting. It was brutally cold out and as I walked I could hear the crunch and squeak of the snow under my boots. I was wrapped in layers of scarves and mitts and walked with my head bowed down to keep the bitter cold off of my face, eyes focussed on keeping my footing sure on the sometimes icy pavement. It was this way that I found myself talking with God about needing and wanting to be back in the space I’d found myself in during my trip to Europe. I was open and vulnerable then, and it allowed for me to be open to God, to his love through others and to simply be. I told him that this would be a good way for me to join the group I was meeting with. Even as I thought this I realised that I did not know “how to become so open and vulnerable”, I did not know what “to do to make myself” that way. I looked back and realised that “I” had not done anything special to ‘become’ that way, only that I had been willing to step out into the risk of it and let it happen. The rest was ‘grace’ pure and simple – it was God’s doing, not mine. A “wow” moment that literally stopped me in my walk. Humbling to say the least and joyous to say the most. “Even this,” I told God, “this way of being – not something I can do. I can only somehow be open to it and then wait, then allow for it to be given to me. Not by any magic or doing of my own. For even the very desire, the wanting to ‘be’ this way comes not from myself but from You.” And there was in that a small moment of wonder and whole lot of gratitude. I wasn’t exactly ‘exulting in my hardships’, but was I was thankful at being so loved that even some of my desires come from God. God created me to love me.

    Last night David was ordained to the Deaconate! On the feast of St. Paul, on Founder’s Day he was ordained. Awesome! “Let us encourage each other, be united and all will go well because we will accomplish the will of God.” In these ways do we all practice exactly what our vocation prescribes for us.

  2. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    Let us be firm in goodness, walk ever in the paths of the Lord by practising exactly what our vocation prescribes for us. Let us encourage each other, be united and all will go well because we will accomplish the will of God.
    Letter to André Sumien, 2 May 1823, EO VI n.103

    This is a keeper for sure and can be use as a concluding of our prayer and gathers.

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