TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: RECEIVE WITH FRESH ENTHUSIASM THIS RULE OF LIFE THAT HAS BEEN JOYFULLY GIVEN TO US

In consequence, receive with delight this code of our Rules that I joyfully send you. Keep these Rules with the most scrupulous care; they have been judged by the Sovereign Pontiff as very appropriate to bring souls to perfection; may the peace of God which surpasses all sentiment keep your hearts in Christ Jesus, and may the Lord grant that you increase, as faithful stewards, and render you rich in charity for each other and towards all. Amen. 
Given at Rome, the year of the Lord 1826, on the day of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25th. 
C. J. Eugene de Mazenod, superior general.

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

For two hundred years the Superiors General, successors of Eugene have hammered the same message. Father Louis Lougen echoed these very sentiments of Eugene when he introduced the recently revised version of our Constitutions and Rules:

In the “Preface” written in 1825, Saint Eugene  de Mazenod stated that in order for the Congregation to achieve its goal of working more effectively for the salvation of souls and for our sanctification, “certain rules of life [are] absolutely necessary for unity of thought and action among its members. Such unity is a body’s strength, keeping up its fervor and insuring that it lasts.”

Let us receive these Constitutions and Rules anew, with fresh enthusiasm, so that our Congregation will be united, strong and zealous in the mission to preach the Gospel to the poor and most abandoned.

 

“If there are flaws they are in ourselves, and our task therefore must be one not of redesign but of renewal and reaffirmation, especially of the standards in which all of us believe.”      Elliot Richardson

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One Response to TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER: RECEIVE WITH FRESH ENTHUSIASM THIS RULE OF LIFE THAT HAS BEEN JOYFULLY GIVEN TO US

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I remember (hazily) what it was like when I received my first copy of the the 12 Steps at an AA meeting 35 years ago. I began almost immediately to try to reword them, cut them down and try to find excuses and rationalizations as to why some of them did not apply to me. They might have been very good but surely I didn’t need anything so drastic. I wanted to pick and choose which steps I would follow. I was looking for an easier, softer way. I smile at myself as I look back – my ego. It took quite a few members who were older and wiser than me to work at getting it into me that I needed the Steps, all 12 of them to live (more than survive but to fully live). My ego simply would have to stop getting in the way – at the time I had no control over it or any idea of how to tame it. All I could do was to try to follow those 12 Steps. And I think back to the grace and wisdom that those men and women had as they walked with me.

    It is not a lot different today, there are the Constitution and Rules that were laid out by Eugene and approved by the Pope, by the Church. I believe them to be ‘God-given’, from the Holy Spirit. They are like the 12 Steps, a guide and framework that allow me to live fully. They are a grace. They require a certain ‘letting go of my ego’. I like what Elliot Richardson said “If there are flaws they are in ourselves, and our task therefore must be one not of redesign but of renewal and reaffirmation, especially of the standards in which all of us believe.” I don’t need to do anything other than to try to follow them as I am called – any more than I needed to reword or ignore any of the 12 Steps of AA. They are a gift. “…receive with delight this code of our Rules that I joyfully send you.”

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