Eugene has often been described as an apostle with a heart as big as the world. His missionary zeal and generosity only came about in response to God’s zeal and generosity in his own life, and then in the life of the Oblates. As he rejoices with the Oblates because of the Church approbation of the congregation, he constantly comes back to the realization of God’s goodness, as it was shown directly and through the actions of the Pope..
The more I think of our situation, the more I see therein the hand of God and his doings; the same has been perceived likewise by all those who have been the instruments of his mercies towards ourselves. To think that we are the only ones favoured in this manner and that it is the Pope who has done everything!
In looking at his patron and model of religious missionary life, Alphonsus Liguori, (see http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=654), he shows that the similar steps taken by him and the Redemptorists did not bring the same results as God achieved for Eugene.
We have not even had the anxiety which the blessed Alphonse experienced when his Congregation was approved in 1749 by Pope Benedict XIV. First they only wished to approve it for the kingdom of Naples, then refused to approve the Institute: Regulam et non Institutum.[ed. approve the Rule but not the Institute] As for us, the Pope not only approves the Congregation but he founds it: Constituimus.[ed constitutes us, brings the Missionaries into being as Oblates of Mary Immaculate] They first thought we were only asking for France and the Cardinal ponent said to me: “Take that now, the rest will come after”. I was not of his opinion and the matter was resolved as we desired.
When aware of God’s overwhelming and measureless goodness, it is easy to understand why the zeal of Eugene and the Oblates extends to all the abandoned souls throughout the world.
I ought to say that it was enough for me to make the observation that our Congregation would not limit her charity to a small corner of the earth and that all abandoned souls, wherever they were, would always be the object of her zeal and would have the right to her services, for them to accede to my views.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 20 March 1826, EO VII n 231
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie