OPENING ONESELF TO RECEIVE GOD’S GIFTS

Sometimes, because of the work schedules of the people, the evening prayer for the public and the oraison for the Oblates would be at the same time. We have often seen the importance Eugene gave to this evening meditation before the Eucharist, which Oblate tradition calls “oraison.” It was a time of informal prayer where each one could commune with God and with his loved ones in the Communion made possible by Jesus Christ. Here he received strength for his ministry.

Writing to the Superior of the community in N.D. du Laus, Eugene stresses its importance for the community and underlines that the external mission of the Oblates must be adapted to accommodate a part of this time of communal prayer.

The evening oraison ought always to take place at half past seven, during the half hour which precedes supper. In order not to deprive him who conducts the evening prayers from the entire oraison of the community, when the oraison coincides with the time of the other, see to it that this prayer does not last more than a quarter of an hour. In no instance must it go beyond twenty minutes, but let it not go over a quarter of an hour when the times of the two exercises coincide.
As the community must make its oraison before the Blessed Sacrament and you do not have the holy Eucharist in your interior chapel, the one who takes the evening prayer for the faithful must do so in a very moderate voice so as not to disturb the community. I was always opposed to the shouting in Marseilles, that I heard in the house when they had prayers in the outside chapel.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 26 August 1826, EO VI n. 252

For Eugene, the Oblate mission had to flow from and be nourished by the community prayer, while at the same time the experience of mission would enrich the missionary’s prayer.

 

“When you meditate or pray… you give up control and find the answer and you open yourself to receive God’s gift.”   Erin Gray

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One Response to OPENING ONESELF TO RECEIVE GOD’S GIFTS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “For Eugene, the Oblate mission had to flow from and be nourished by the community prayer, while at the same time the experience of mission would enrich the missionary’s prayer.” Here I have sat this morning with this one statement. I cannot forsake one for another because they are so intimately connected. Each flows from and with the other and it seems not to be a case of which comes first. I am as the poet wrote, a part of all that I have met. And all that I have met is a part of me. All I know is that without my time with Jesus, without my prayer, without my ‘being’ with – things simply do not fit, or sit right. I need to be on guard that I do not forsake this, I need to be on guard that I find/make the time/take the time that I need to be okay. To “open myself to receive God’s gifts” does not just magically happen, it is a conscious decision and then an asking of God’s grace to help me do that, for on my own I can do very little. Like yesterday, the title of todays reflection I want to keep it in front of me so that for moments in time I simply sit with it, taste it and chew on it, so that it becomes a starting point that I be and move with.

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