TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: THE INVITATION TO BE GENEROUS AS GOD HAS BEEN GENEROUS WITH US

In helping the Oblates to understand and live the grace of the enormous blessing that God has given to the Congregation, Eugene points out that we have the responsibility to respond with a quality of work that measures up to what God has given us.

There is none amongst you who, while happy over the grace that we have obtained, does not recognize at the same time what a strict account we must render for it;
the Church has the right to expect work from us which is not inferior to the benefit given to us;
certainly it is a blessing which strikes you, like us, with astonishment since you well know the almost insurmountable obstacles which blocked the way to this quite unhoped for favour.

Then Eugene recalls how the Vatican doors were firmly shut to approving new religious congregations – yet God pushed them open for us!

For some time the Congregation of Cardinals, that deals with affairs and requests of Bishops and Regulars, granted to no one the preliminary approbation, basis of the pontifical decision. In the course of last year, in conformity with this principle, this favour was refused to several Societies, of which the heads themselves had come to the Rome to solicit the approbation of the Apostolic See, and in spite of all efforts exerted, these venerable men have only obtained letters of praise, in which the Sovereign Pontiff makes a brilliant elogium but omits purposely to speak of their Institute and Rules.

Letter to all the Oblates, 25 March 1826, EO VII n 232

 Today we are invited to re-read our rich history as a Mazenodian family and to respond to the God “who has done marvels for us” by renewing our desire to work marvels for God through our dedication to the most abandoned.

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One Response to TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: THE INVITATION TO BE GENEROUS AS GOD HAS BEEN GENEROUS WITH US

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    As Eugene spoke of “There is none amongst you who, while happy over the grace that we have obtained, does not recognize at the same time what a strict account we must render for it;” I was reminded of the parable of the three servants and the talents in Matthews gospel and how two of the servants multiplied and grew the number of talents given and how the third buried what he had been given to keep it ‘safe’ to give back to his master once he returned. Eugene who received so much from God – and so gave all of himself to God with those who had nothing, who shared the love he was given with others of like mind, founding a family, a congregation. He dared greatly and risked his all, he went and asked Pope Leo for approval in how he felt called. Looking at it he multiplied what he had been given by founding a society, a congregation leading others to the same in the many ways that we who make up the Mazenodian family are invited and called to do.

    I look at the many wondrous gifts given to me by God, not the least of which is the immense and overwhelming love poured out for me, given and filled me with. God has given me so much – many talents. I find myself questioning how I love, who I love, am I reaching out to the most abandoned? Who am I serving? That which I have been given – do I hoard it, bury it to keep it safe only for myself or do I go out and put it to work – for others? How do I share in St. Eugene’s charism, his spirit, his spirituality? I could probably find myself lacking in many ways should I choose to go that route or I could pontificate to myself the many good works and deeds that I do. I choose to recognise the small little things that I do, how I love and share that with those who I find to be abandoned in many ways. Is it more than just good thoughts and prayers? How do I give of myself?

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