Eugene encourages his missionaries in their style of modest preaching by noting how loved they are by the simple people who appreciate the Oblates’ closeness to them.

I have noted with exquisite consolation that all good people and especially those who walk with simplicity before God are very attached to their missionaries. It matters little that certain conceited persons wish their ears to be charmed with profane sounds; that is what I call those discourses which please but do not convert.
Hold fast to our method which is drawn from truth and which the good God deigns to support with his grace.

Letter to Pierre Mie, 19 September 1825, EO VI n 198


“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”    Francis of Assisi

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am reminded this morning of an Oblate who died not so very long ago. A good man, smart, educated, he enjoyed many things in life. He was a bit of a historian, he taught, was familiar with the skills of a diplomat, was a friend, and he loved. Oh how he loved. He never seemed to ‘put on airs’, he was simply Tom, or Fr. Tom depending on who he was talking with. There certainly was no preening or ‘gilding of the lily’ with him. He wrote a book once, a history of his brothers who had worked and lived in this part of the world and captured all the small everyday things that occurred and that were their lives. Not a book destined to become a great literary work, but rather one that was filled with love and pride in the very greatness of the ordinary. It was full of ‘doing’ that had come out of ‘being’. He spoke in the everyday language of the people and yet could hold his own in those ‘diplomatic arenas’ that his work would take him into.

    Tom was a man, a priest, an Oblate who was loved, simply and truly for who he was and how he lived. He once said to me that he had done nothing great in his life. Hah! His very life was preaching with simplicity and truth which converted others in more ways than one. I think of the people who Tom had been sent to, including myself in that number, and how he touched everyone. Eugene could well have been writing about him.

  2. Paul Howard, OMI Associate of Toronto says:

    “At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people,” he said. “For ordinary people the mystery enters through the heart.” Pope Francis, July 28 to Bishops in Rio

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