Eugene writes with advice to the 26 year-old Hippolyte Courtès, the young superior of Aix and the one responsible for the formation of the new Oblates, (most of whom were around his own age). The letters of this period show the concern of Eugene for these young men who were in positions of responsibility, and whom he wanted to strengthen in their understanding and living of the Oblate spirit. They were all such zealous workers, and he struggled to get them to spend time in study and reflection as well.

I feel that Honorat needs to prepare material for the missions. In general, I fear that they do not know how best to make use of their time.
You will do well to be watchful about this important aspect in regard to everybody; give particular attention to Marcou.
Bernard is working here tirelessly and everyone is pleased with him.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtés, 25 August 1824, EO VI n153

Our Rule of Life continues to express Eugene’s concern:

“From a personal and coherent faith vision, scholastics will be able to present Christ’s Gospel in such a way that it reaches and touches the hearts of their contemporaries. Above all, they will interiorise in prayer what they study and begin to live what they learn, so that they will be credible signs of the message they are to preach.”    CC&RR, Rule 66b

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am pondering this morning of the gift of formation. “…they will interiorise in prayer what they study and begin to live what they learn.” I understand this morning a little more of why the scholastics are formed as they are. Using the word formed over trained, with the later there is a sense of the doing and rote, habit. With formation there is more a sense of being molded, of affecting the interior, the “being” and that in turn affecting the doing.

    I am thinking this morning of the Associates and what they may or may not be offered in the way of formation. What does it look like, this formation as we try to give our all to God? Am I open to being formed? Where does my formation come from? Am I open to the spirit working in and through many? How is each day and each situation an opportunity in allowing myself to be formed?

    I am thinking of the young man in the gospels who asked Jesus what he had to do and how upon on hearing he had to give everything [everything being bolded and double underlined] and how he walked away in sadness. What am I being asked to let go of? Is this all a part of my being molded? What direction do I take from here – do I turn and walk away? Do I simply stand where I am? Do I move forward and what would that look like?

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