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.