TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: A SPIRIT OF OBLATION TO CHANGE THE WORLD OF THE MOST ABANDONED

Eugene concludes his official narration of the events of our approbation with the exhortation to respond by making their own the words of Saint Paul: “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15)

Now, my Reverend Fathers and Brothers most beloved in the Lord, what more shall I say to you, in whom the Holy Spirit inflames your hearts and has inspired everything, if not, after these so numerous and so great signs of the protection of the Most High, that you ought to give yourselves eagerly to the promotion of the glory of God, ready to endure for his honour the most dire sacrifices;
that you have been chosen, by a special grace, in these times of calamity, to rekindle the flame of piety of the first disciples of the faith,
reproduce in your life the illustrious examples of so many Religious who, by the attentive exercise of these same virtues you practice, have arrived at the summit of holiness and have thus consoled the holy Mother of Christians who deplores the destruction of these Orders, crushed in several places by the violent tempest of the persecution;
finally, that by a sustained effort, especially, following the spirit of our Institute,  you ought to bring help to souls of the most abandoned, repeating without cease with joyful eagerness this word of the Apostle: “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls…”

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

  “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”   Mahatma Gandhi

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One Response to TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: A SPIRIT OF OBLATION TO CHANGE THE WORLD OF THE MOST ABANDONED

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Now, my Reverend Fathers and Brothers most beloved in the Lord, what more shall I say to you, in whom the Holy Spirit inflames your hearts and has inspired everything…” Recognizing that it is God, the Holy Spirit who lights the fire, who gives birth to the passion and life which we not only feel called to, but that we cannot ignore for this is who we were created to be. Can there be any greater freedom and joy as to discover who we are and to have life in that? Can there be any better way of living out of and living this love than in the spirit of oblation? We seem to have been designed for this. I am reminded of Peter saying to Jesus ‘but where would we go?’ How could we be any other way without denying our very selves?

    I remember going to the Czech Republic a couple of years ago and meeting in person for the first time Lucy, an Oblate Associate that I had corresponded with a couple of times. As she entered into the room it was like recognizing each other without an introduction. We were both filled with great joy because we recognised and seemed to know the other almost without introduction. Later it was explained to me that it was often like that with those who share in the same charism, the same spirit. So it was I think between St. Paul and St. Eugene. “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls…” A gentle way of expressing that burning fire and inspiration within, the desire to take all that God offers and in receiving that to give it all with our very lives for others. That is, as Frank said, the spirit of oblation. For this we have been created and born for. And the most abandoned become too a part of our heart, become our most beloved in the Lord as Eugene says. I might go to evangelize but it is I who is evangelized. Almost in a way my salvation is in theirs. It is in giving my life that I have life. What an awesome thought to step out with as I begin my day. How can I possibly give less than everything?

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