THE 1826 GENERAL CHAPTER: NO DOUBT THAT THE EXISTENCE AND APPROBATION OF THE OBLATES WAS THE WORK OF GOD.

On his return to Marseilles, Eugene convoked an Extraordinary General Chapter from July 10-13, 1826. In his opening address he recalled the events leading up to the papal approbation and dwelt on their significance. Just as he had always been profoundly convinced that his own vocation came directly from God, so too could he now have the same conviction about the coming into existence of the Oblates. Their existence and approbation was the work of God. After this event he considered the Rule no longer as the work of a human author, but as the work of God who had made this work his own by inspiring the Pope to give them their character of their divine authority. The minutes of the proceedings continue:

“He assured us, that for him, he saw nothing of the man, and that he was so persuaded that they had been inspired by Heaven, that it was impossible for him to recognise himself except as the instrument of Divine Providence.”

PIELORZ, J., Les Chapitres généraux I, p. 57-58.

The extraordinary means that had taken place in Rome, in a climate where new foundations were not approved, was an even further confirmation of God’s providence.

 

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”   Helen Keller

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One Response to THE 1826 GENERAL CHAPTER: NO DOUBT THAT THE EXISTENCE AND APPROBATION OF THE OBLATES WAS THE WORK OF GOD.

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find myself wondering what it would have been like to be in the room of that General Chapter in 1826. I have never experienced a General Chapter but I have had the privilege and joy of attending a Convocation as well as other gatherings of Oblates and Associates, of coming together – like a very large family reunion or gathering. I have witnessed the joy and love and connection, the bond between some who might not have even met before. There is an affinity, a kinship, something shared which is more than blood, as Helen Keller said – of the heart, of our ‘beings’. It is beyond us and yet a part of us – God in us.

    I find myself thinking of Eugene as he speaks of the Rule as not being from him but rather from God. It takes courage to say that and then live it. Eugene who had not just once but many times and ways over (a life long way of being), given himself totally to God – all that he was. He was claiming that this all came from God. I remember writing a reflection once and then reading it later and asking myself where did that come from – how could I possibly know and write so authoritatively? Another time at a workshop giving an explanation to a person of how God calls and invites us and then asking myself where the words had come from. A little bit scary, wondrous, humbling. That God might – would – speak through me? That takes things to a whole new level, a new realm. Something once brought into the light cannot be denied, never hidden away in the dark again – it can only be lived out! Life changing! Yet there was Eugene – daring to say it.

    I wonder why sometimes we, I, am so hesitant to give credit to God – it is not fashionable but it is the only explanation of what is and what can be. I think of the early Christians who were in the lions dens so-to-speak. I wonder if this world today is not somehow a kind of ‘lions den’? Who will we give homage to? Who will we, or won’t we deny? Who or what will we be an instrument of? I cannot be a person divided – if I believe that God is in me, a part of me, the author of my dna then I will have to live accordingly. Scary – but then the other thought – God in me. How could I deny that? Why would I want to?

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