Throughout his life Eugene insisted on correct and meaningful celebrations of the liturgy. In his own case he used the liturgical texts as a basis for his prayer in the retreats he made in preparation for receiving the sacrament of Orders, in its various stages. Here he suggests the same practice to Brother Barthélemy Bernard by inviting him to reflect on the text of the ceremony used to ordain him in the Missal (the “Pontifical”).

Reread sometimes the admonitions of the Pontifical, both in regard to the Order that you have just received and for that you have previously received.

As another aid to deepen his understanding of the sacrament he has received, Eugene suggests that Bernard meditate on the saints who had been deacons and to benefit from their example and intercession:

Invoke every day the great saints who sanctified themselves in the diaconate and ask God through their intercession all that you still need to resemble them. Pray also for me. I never forget you before God and especially on the day of ordination I accomplished this duty during the holy sacrifice that I offered for my dear ordinands. Adieu, I embrace you with all my heart.

Letter to Barthélemy Bernard, 8 April 1824. EO VI n 133


However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”    Buddha

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Again this morning I find myself agreeing with Eugene and then reflecting on what do I use to remind me, to deepen what I have experienced, to become the person that I want to be, am called to be. It is so easy for what is actually the most important for us to be come the least thought of in our busy days. It takes intentionality, it takes specific effort.

    We tend to do this with family members and colleagues – that favourite uncle or aunt who we looked up to and would try to be like, or that boss(es) that we tried to emulate, who inspired us in how to work towards and attain specific goals. So why not the saints, why not those who have gone before us? I find that so very often Eugene’s suggestions are very practical. They remind me and help me to be in a specific mind frame. That is why I come here to start my day. If I open myself to it all, then I learn from Eugene, from his writings, from Franks reflections and interpretations and for the comments of others. And although Eugene is writing and speaking to his priests and brothers there is so much that applies to and helps all of us, but more specifically me in my everyday life with God and with all those around me. And to return to specific prayers and liturgies, journal and diary entries, notes from past retreats, I find that I often see and reflect a little differently or deeper than I had previously. Not always, but I may come back to this page later during the day, just for a little while to re-look, reflect and be in it. It helps me to stay in the being so I can continue the doing.

    Isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have to do it all on our own? Isn’t such a grace to be able to look at saints, both those who came before us and those who walk amongst us. We can pray for help and ask those we are with to help us, to pray for us, to guide us. Again as it was said yesterday, none of it earned, all of it gift How gracious is our God?

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