After the priestly ordination of Hippolyte Guibert, Eugene wrote to Jean Baptiste Honorat, who had been unable to be present at the Oblate family celebration.

God knows with what joy and with what unspeakable consolation I pronounced the “scio et testificor” [ed. “I know him and I testify to his worthiness”]. You were represented at this ordination that one can say was “en famille” since all the priests who composed the presbytery and who imposed their hands on the chosen one belonged to the Society. May God bless our family!
It seems to me that in asking him to grant us men such as the one who has just been promoted to the priesthood, we have asked for all that we need. Holy priests, this is our wealth!

Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 18 August 1825, EO VI n 194


A marble cutter, with chisel and hammer, was changing a stone into a statue. A preacher looking on said: “I wish I could deal such changing blows on stony hearts.” The workman answered: “Maybe you could, if you worked like me, upon your knees.” – A. T. Pierson

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I can only imagine the joy of Eugene and the others as Hippolyte was ordained – it was a joyous occasion, this young man who was already a member of the community then becoming a priest. When we find something that makes us happy, that we find fulfilling we naturally want to share it with others. And on a strictly human level it is affirming when we choose a specific way of life that others want to join with us in that life. I actually loved Eugene’s phrase “Holy Priests, this is our wealth!” Yesterday evening when I reread the morning reflection I pondered on the “I” and the “we” and again found that it is in the “we” that the “I” finds life. The times in my life that I find and notice great joy are not only those times of peaceful contemplative prayer – they are the times that I celebrate with my community, they are in the sharing. It is then that I discover and rediscover my riches.

    Perhaps though it is in “how” we share and celebrate. I found myself bristling a little as I read Pierson’s quote. It ‘pushed my buttons’. I recently returned from a visit where everything had to be done one specific way, no deviation and no allowance for anything different. This applied to stance and posture and what was deemed to be real prayer when in church, to how dishes were stacked at home and clothing laid out. There was one way only and that was the right way according to one person; anything different was not tolerated. The sting of it was not always pointed at me for I was a visitor but it was always there, visible and deadly. It was a painful visit, and there seem to be no openness to the ‘other’. I see the preacher and the marble cutter each being able to bring out the beauty of God’s creation but in different ways. If we share who we are and allow others to share themselves with us we will walk together in incredible beauty and will then see our riches, our wealth. And as I write this I beg God to remind me of my words the next time I try to get others to do it ‘my way’ simply because it is the way with which I am most comfortable.

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