While Eugene wrote in superlatives about the ideals of the Oblates and what the Church approbation meant for us, he also had to face the reality that the Oblate Congregation was made up of imperfect human members and not angels! “If all the members of the Society were what they ought to be” – it would have been heaven on earth.
For the rest of his life as Superior General, Eugene struggled to form us into becoming “what we ought to be” – and his ideals, example and writings continue to be a guideline for us today.
If all the members of the Society were what they ought to be, would we be in such a predicament in regard to composing the personnel of our houses? Is it not a pity that we have to defer to caprices or aversions? Has such a scandal ever been seen? Why can Fr. Touche not live under the obedience of Fr. Honorat? Whence this repugnance which troubles the order of a new-born Society in which there should be only one heart and one soul? The fact is we are steeped in pride while still wishing to appear humble ….
You have given me an agreeable surprise by letting me know that the mission of Aubagne has already begun. As soon as Fr. Mye gets over his annoyance at Fr. Suzanne being in charge, I think it is better that way, but they need more confessors than you have given them.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 9 March 1826, EO VII n. 229
Henri Tempier had understood the “what we ought to be” from the moment that he responded to Eugene’s invitation to become an Oblate. May our journey as Oblates and as members of the wider Mazenodian Family, united around the charism of Eugene, be one of mutual help to become “what we ought to be”