TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: THE INVITATION TO TRACE THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN OUR HISTORY

Then in a poetic way, Eugene invites us to re-read the events from God’s perspective:

Normally the same fate would have been in store for us. But divine Providence, which from our cradle has surrounded us with vigilant care, and has thereafter extended over us its wings and protected us, has directed our footsteps and, shielding us with much goodness from the arrows of our adversaries, has now finally inspired us to put in the hands of the Father of every Christian the concern we have for our existence, the ardour which impels us to promote the glory of God and the salvation of souls, the ceaseless desire with which we burn for our own perfection, in a word the fate of our poor new-born Society, divine Providence, I say, has arranged everything so powerfully and so gently that we were able to foresee, from the moment of our first audience with the Holy Father, a most favourable outcome.

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

 Today, each Oblate unit could echo the same sentiments. Our first missionaries – and every other Oblate since then -were sent to places of seemingly “closed doors” and insurmountable obstacles. Yet, the God who has loved us from our birth two hundred years ago has cared for us, protected us and guided our efforts – and continues to do so. All members of the Mazenodian family are invited to re-read our history and recognize the presence of God behind every event.

 

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”   Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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One Response to TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: THE INVITATION TO TRACE THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN OUR HISTORY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find myself reflecting this morning not only on the ‘closed doors’ or rather the doors that at first appeared to be closed to Eugene and the Oblates, but also on my own doors that were closed – many of them not only closed but barricaded and heavily fortified. Rather than using the violence of thunder to remove those walls, locks and barriers God used only love to transform them – not destroying but transfiguring. As Eugene said; “…divine Providence, I say, has arranged everything so powerfully and so gently…” This is the face of redemption.

    “…the concern we have for our existence, the ardour which impels us to promote the glory of God and the salvation of souls, the ceaseless desire with which we burn for our own perfection…” That resonates within me – this way of being is no stranger to me. I find that in learning about Eugene, in tracing the presence of God in the history of the Oblates, I recognise also the presence of God in my own life, in the lives of those around me. There is in all of it a mystery that I can only sit in and allow myself to be filled with wonder.

    Perhaps this is why I come here each day. For so clearly do I see the presence of God in Eugene, in the Oblates who started out almost two hundred years ago, in so many of the Oblates today, in the members of this wondrous Mazenodian family that I am surrounded by, and in myself. I find myself being fed, nourished, groomed, led and sent out. Are not our hearts burning within us? Fueled with gratitude and love.

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