For 7 years Eugene had been in charge of the Missionaries, and now as Vicar General of Marseille, his main preoccupation was about the priests of the diocese, whose “model, stay and support” he tried to be. He realizes that as a priest himself, he has the responsibility of ensuring that the quality of his life be of the highest standards. Thus on his retreat he concentrated on the “be in order to do” of his priesthood.

My readings centered on the dignity, the sanctity of priesthood, the grievous quality of sin in priests, the danger of sinning and being lost if one is unfaithful to grace, negligent in the practice of virtue which should adorn the priest’s soul continually and especially when the priest is one called to be a model, stay and support of those whom Providence confided to his direction, a priest whom God has awakened to the fact that the ordinary virtues do not suffice to accomplish the wonders which should accompany the works of his ministry.

Retreat notes, May 1824, EO XV n. 156

  “Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life. Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God! Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility.”    Pope Francis

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What a mixed bag of feelings arise this morning as I reflect on this today. This morning I was good until I got to the quote from the Pope and immediately I got distracted and moved away from this post to my reactions of yesterday when I read of the update on the Vatican’s status concerning the LCWR. Suffice to say that I “reacted” in shock and sorrow, in sadness. I do not pretend to know all or have all of the answers. God’s love – never wrapped in power and subjugation of another(s) because of gender, race, or any other type of excuse that we seem to be so good at pulling out of the hat. God’s love – fully given, freely given, so perfectly given to us all. I detest power and control but I wonder what I would be like if I were to have it (or think that I had it)? I shall not give up on my Church, nor on Pope Francis – for this causes me to look into my own self – to what I wrap my sinfulness in. It will not take me long to find in myself what I see happening before us – the only difference perhaps is that I will not make the news headlines around the world.

    I look at what both Eugene and Frank have written – this all speaks so clearly to me. Frank and Eugene write and reflect from who they are – no different than how I write and or speak as a lay woman. Once I move past the fear of being excluded because of gender or vocation – it is all the same. My main preoccupation will be about others (all). I have “the responsibility of ensuring that the quality of my life be of the highest standards”. I read Eugene’s statement and substitute the word “laity”, or the word “woman” or the word Oblate Associate for his use of the words priests and/or priesthood. Today the title of this posting might well read “A person (or a woman or a lay person) cannot proclaim the gospel without the tangible witness of his/her/my life.” And if I am preoccupied with blaming, not liking or discounting anyone or thing else I won’t have any time left at all to proclaim, to incarnate the Gospel.

    Richard Rohr speaks of Mary and real “presence” and how she, Our Lady, our Mother is the “model of how this ‘real presence’ happens. It is not just through a priest’s transubstantiation of bread, but by the transformation of the persons who eat that bread.” How shall I today allow God to transform me? How shall I allow his Word to be incarnated within me? How shall I “be in order to do”?

  2. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    The coupling of these two reading are clear. And Francis’ clarifies Eugene’s while using contemporary language. Yet they say the same thing. And your addition Eleanor that as the baptized we are all call to be who we say we are. Not easy when living in fear and so many do or have. Yet when one know deeply their dignity, they can be true to Self in and out of season. Let’s just be real and walk the journey together.
    In today OMI U.S.A. convocation our speaker, Joe Nassal CPPS concluded his excellent presentation by saying, We are all cracked bells and yet it is only when cracked can the light shine through.

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