What gratitude, in keeping with such a favour, can we possibly offer to God who is so great and so good?
Continuing his reflection on the meaning of the papal approval, Eugene stresses that the only way that we can respond to God’s goodness towards us is by being faithful to our oblation so as to be more committed bearers of the Word and bringers of life through a greater appreciation of the meaning of our Constitutions and Rules.
Is it not by being consumed by the fire of devotion and by performing with an even greater eagerness and joy than ever the duties of our holy vocation?
If until now you have just been trying out as a model for your life this Rule, which has become so precious to you and whose holy guidance has won the support of the illustrious and venerable bishops of the dioceses which for ten years now you have ceaselessly toured while preaching repentance;
if, I say, it is thus you have been bearers of the Word and bringers of life to the peoples you have evangelized, what will you be in the future now that, with the strength and support that Apostolic authority gives to our Institute as well as to our Rules and Constitutions, our so young and recent Society has been raised to the dignity of a religious Congregation like the venerable Societies which have preceded us, for example those of the Priests of the Mission of Saint Vincent de Paul, of the Most Holy Redeemer, of the Most Holy Cross and of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.?
Letter to all the Oblates, 25 March 1826, EO VII n 232
Our 200-year history could be summed up as a history of faithfulness to the spirit of the Rule given to us by the Church, through St Eugene. In the spirit of this letter, Eugene invites each of us to celebrate this milestone by looking back at the missionary fruits that this Rule has produced. Then he invites us to respond by familiarizing ourselves more deeply with our present Rule of Life as Oblates, and making it more consciously the basis of our personal and communitarian strategic renewal. Each member of the larger Mazenodian family is invited to do the same with the particular Rule of Life to which they are committed.
“Top athletes understand that to play at their best, they must alternate periods of intense performance with periods of strategic renewal.” Robin S. Sharma