But let us leave these reflections aside so as to stop and consider only the infinite goodness of God and the designs of his Providence on our behalf.

From the beginning, the odds were against a favorable response to Eugene’s request for papal approval. The official policy was to encourage and bless – but not to give a formal legal approval. When the Pope met Eugene, he was captivated by the way in which it was clear that God had inspired the missionary zeal of the Oblates and kept it alive.

Do you realize that nothing ever has been seen so astonishing as this? Those whose duty it is to deal with such matters are the first to make this remark and to be all the more surprised with the happy outcome of the steps we took, all of them inspired, directed, blessed by God, inasmuch as the policy was no longer to do anything of the sort and I, being right here engaged in my quest with the aid of the Master of all hearts, have seen the requests of several others come to nothing and not obtain what they were seeking.

Since God had acted for the Oblates, the Oblates now had the duty and the responsibility to respond in an equally generous way:

The conclusion to be drawn from this, my dear friends and good brothers, is: we must work, with renewed ardor and still more total devotedness, to bring to God all the glory that stems from our efforts and, to the needy souls of our neighbors, salvation in all possible ways;

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


“It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.” Jacques Yves Cousteau

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Always with Eugene it is about giving glory to God. He has become one of the conductors for the symphony of God, and we, when it is time for us to take our turn, will be the instruments that under his direction will create beautiful music. For each of us, our part is vital in the making up of the whole. I think of the young musician who auditions for, and is accepted to become a part of the orchestra. Once accepted and made a part of the group the musician does not take his or her place and then just sit and basque in the light of the others, but rather begins to work even more at becoming an integral part of the group. And if there is a solo piece to be played the musician continues as a part of the same orchestra to play their piece before being joined again by the others. And it is the conductor who leads, calling forth first the soloist and then drawing in the other members of the orchestra to fill out the sound. It is the complexity of the music, the fullness of many instruments that make the symphony what it is. It is the violin in the back row, along with the others that makes it all come together, turning it from an orchestra into a symphony orchestra.

    On my own I am nothing, that is I am unfulfilled, always looking. It is in being a member of the community that I discover who I am – it is not in being alone, on my own. It is in being with and a part of others that I come to recognize myself in them, in you.

    Oh – all these words and a small moment of awareness. This is when my being is realized, with my doing.

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