THE PROBLEM OF PROVIDING FOR THE NEEDS OF SO MANY OBLATES RICH IN VIRTUE BUT DEPRIVED OF ALL EARTHLY GOODS

While being grateful for the inheritance received by the Oblates from the estate of Madame de Grimaldi, Eugene notes that her heirs could have blocked this legacy.

It is however essential to take notice that the benefactress could not have acted in this way for no doubt an heir with little scruple could have, according to the laws in force, appropriated this legacy. I do not believe that M. Alexandre de Panisse [ed. her relative] is capable of such vileness, but all the heirs could well not be like him.

He then refers to another nameless rich benefactor, who was ill, and reflects on how to make her aware of being clearer in making her intentions known to her heirs regarding the needs of the Oblate missionaries

For example, if the good God inspired this rich invalid to leave behind something for people she esteems so much, she should take great care not to commit this error; but how to suggest this advice to her? I do not know. Out of charity for our work, Madame de R. should make a sacrifice and go a little oftener to see this invalid. The occasion would present itself to make some mention. Who knows? Perhaps at a favourable moment one could broach the question frankly in speaking of the future and the problem of providing for the needs of so many people rich in virtue but deprived of all earthly goods.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 10 October 1826, EO VII n 256

 Today, the situation has not changed because the Oblate missionaries continue to be able to  minister only because of the ongoing generosity of our benefactors and associates around the world.

“Providence has its appointed hour for everything. We cannot command results, we can only strive.”   Mahatma Gandhi

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One Response to THE PROBLEM OF PROVIDING FOR THE NEEDS OF SO MANY OBLATES RICH IN VIRTUE BUT DEPRIVED OF ALL EARTHLY GOODS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I can remember many years ago taking part in a parish fundraiser; we needed to raise more than half a million dollars to do necessary changes and upkeep for our church. During the course of the campaign an older couple came to me to talk about their contribution. They could not afford to pledge any money to the campaign because of their circumstances but did want to be a part of it, and so they asked how they could work with us because they had nothing to offer but themselves. They were not in dire poverty, but they were poor in ways unseen because they could not give as they wanted.

    In a world and culture where the emphasis is to ‘do’ as much as possible, to be as powerful as possible, to have the biggest house, the newest car and to be able to give to our children and others; to not be able to afford all that can be hard. To not be able to pay one’s own way – that is hard. It takes equal measures of courage and humility to trust that God will provide through others. The ‘what if’s’ could knock us out of the ball park before the game began. And then it takes equal measures of immense gratitude to be able to receive what is then given to us.

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