“The cross of Jesus Christ is central to our mission… Through the eyes of our crucified Saviour we see the world which he redeemed with his blood, desiring that those in whom he continues to suffer will know also the power of his resurrection.” (CC&RR, Constitution 4)
This defining characteristic of our Mazenodian family was the defining characteristic of the vision of Eugene, as this letter shows:
I rejoice with you, my very dear friend, in that you have been judged worthy to be despised for the love of God and be hated for all the good that you and yours accomplish in the Church of God…
let us never overlook that in wishing to become true disciples of Jesus Christ we have embraced the cross to be carried each day and that we have had to renounce the esteem and love of men.
Si hominibus placerem, servus Dei non essem,[ed. Gal. 1,10: If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ] that in being consecrated to the life of our divine Master in order to please him, in the exercise of Christian piety, it is necessary that we be persecuted: Qui pie volunt vivere in Christo Jesus persecutionem patientur [ed. 2 Tim. 3, 12: Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Jesus Christ will be persecuted.];
finally, that we ought not to be treated otherwise than our leader and our model: Si me persecuti sunt et vos persequentur [ed. John 15, 20: if they persecuted me, they will persecute you.] and that we ought to expect persecutions as numerous as the rewards which the Lord has promised to his own here below: cum persecutionibus et vitam aeternaI [ed. Mark 10, 30: … with persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal life.].
I cannot tell you more, this is enough to console you should it be that you are affected by the ill treatment that you have so unjustly received.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 22 May 1824, EO VI n 137
“The cross of Christ, embraced with love, never brings sadness with it, but joy, the joy of being saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.” Pope Francis