THE APPROBATION OF THE OBLATES: CHANGED FOR EVER IN HOW WE EXPERIENCE LIFE AND THE WORLD

Rejoicing with the Oblates on the meaning of the approbation of our Congregation, Eugene points out that we have become “new persons”:

For the rest, what I ask of God, is that he choose for us and send us the people we need to do his work. You are quite right in saying that you all seem to have become new persons: this is truly so. May we understand well what we are!

Letter to Henri Tempier, 20 March 1826, EO VII n 231

May we understand well what we are!” In the “Preface” Eugene had spelt this out clearly:

But it is not enough for them simply to be convinced of the sublime nature of the ministry to which they have been called. The example of the saints and reason itself make it amply clear that the success of such a holy undertaking as well as the maintenance of discipline in any society make certain rules of life absolutely necessary for unity of thought and action among the members. Such unity is a body’s strength, keeping up its fervor and insuring that it lasts.

1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter One, §3. Nota Bene. Missions, 78 (1951) p. 16

 

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” John Milton

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One Response to THE APPROBATION OF THE OBLATES: CHANGED FOR EVER IN HOW WE EXPERIENCE LIFE AND THE WORLD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I remember when I first went to Madonna House I found that there seemed to be a lot of discipline about how things were done, why they were done the way they were. One of those disciplines was how the tables were set in the dining room. There were perhaps 15 tables and on the centre of each table the salt and pepper, sugar, bran, toothpick, etc were in the exact same place from one table to another. I thought it to be rigid and unbending and so when setting the tables one day I moved things around a little. Of course I was corrected and the person who showed me how to set the tables properly explained why it was done the way it was done. Of course one of the reasons was that with so many tables and people in one room having each table the same was more calming, less ‘busy’ for everyone entering the room and moving to a table to sit at. And then no one, when they moved from one table to another had to look for anything and so could concentrate on the food being served and the people they were sharing the meal with. It made excellent sense to me. And it was something I have never forgotten.

    That came to me this morning as I read what Eugene was saying in the Preface. “Such unity is a body’s strength, keeping up its fervor and insuring that it lasts.” Such unity is what allows our spirits to be free, allows our hearts to open and soar with love. It is the disciplines and rules that free us up to receive and experience, as Milton puts it “allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies”. It is the small discipline of coming here each morning and allowing myself to led that I am free to open my being to more. I am then able to walk away with gratitude and new life for the day.

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