As Eugene shares the good news of our approbation with the Oblates, he reflects on the meaning of this event. The Pope recognized the work of God, a charism of the Holy Spirit, in bringing the Oblates into existence.

Everyone is amazed at this. Even those called upon to contribute with their votes to the execution of the very emphatic will of the Pope, are surprised by the unanimous agreement of views and especially with the unchangeable resolution of the Holy Father, whom nothing has been able to deter from the first thought with which the Holy Spirit inspired him on the first day that I knelt at his feet and presented to him the plan of this undertaking which now we can call divine.
The Pope knew everything and weighed everything in his profound wisdom. We have not here the decisions the view, the approbation of a certain few, of certain Prelates: we have the decisions the view, the approbation of the Head of the Church… The document of approval which is going to be delivered to us will also be, in a way, the work of the Holy Father in the sense that he himself decided on several things to be inserted in it.

Letter to Henri Tempier and all the Oblates, 18 February 1826, EO VII n 226


“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”     Isaiah 41:13-14

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I spent much time this morning reflecting on ‘recognition” – in fact so much time that I had to run and pack-up to catch my bus. Here I am now finishing that very reflection – only now I have been rewarded in being able to see and share in the sunrise and early dawn of this planet God has given to us. Always (provided I am open to it) it is a gift of awe and wonder as colors first lighten then deepen – where even in the clouds there is beauty and peace. It is recognition of God’s being in a part of everything,

    Recognition – the Pope recognizing in Eugene the spirit of God, recognizing God in the work that these first Oblates were doing, recognizing God in the foundation of this congregation, this family. Eugene recognized God totally as the origin of all life.

    I remember what it was like to ‘recognize’ the voice of God that very first time I heard it. I remember what it was like the first time I realized that God recognized me! Recognition – so very much more than just knowing, or seeing something. In recognition there is life, there is movement. In recognition there is a mutuality, there is movement, a flow, a force back and forth. It is active, alive.

    And even that recognition is a gift from God. I begin my day in celebration of such gifts of love that are God. I start my day filled with gratitude for I am recognized by God and God gives me the gift of realizing and living that. This is what it is like to love. This is what it is like to be loved, to be a child of God. Before me on my calendar are the words which this morning seem to touch me a little deeper. “My very dear and respectable people, listen to me; you are the children of God, the heirs of His eternal kingdom, you are the chosen portion of God’s inheritance.” (St. Eugene de Mazenod). The life there is in being recognized!

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