CHALLENGING A MENTALITY THAT DESTROYS GOOD

Eugene’s examination of his life leads him to a situation that is peculiar to his time after the French Revolution. Many religious orders had been destroyed – and with them that particular spiritual and humanitarian contribution to society that was theirs. Eugene saw the Oblates as making up for some of that loss through their spiritual values. (cf for example, http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=1325 )

Today, despite the situation having changed, Eugene’s reflection invites us to identify some of God’s values regarding the dignity of life that our society has destroyed or ignores – and to make up for their absence by embracing them in our lifestyle and spirituality.

A second consideration based likewise on the end of our Institute enables me to discover to my great shame a lot of omissions. I refer to the fact that we are called so far as we can to make up for the various religious Orders that were destroyed by the Revolution. In light of that, what perfection are we called to? To the perfection of each suppressed Order. Perfection cannot be embraced in a more extended sense. And that is the end of our Institute. It fills me with confusion to have understood it so badly! What a subject for my examination!

Examination of conscience, October 1826, EO XV n 157

Unfortunately the remaining pages of this revealing document no longer exist.

 

“New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fueling that ‘throw away’ mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered ‘useless’.”    Pope Francis, World Day of Peace Message 2014.

This entry was posted in RETREAT NOTES and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to CHALLENGING A MENTALITY THAT DESTROYS GOOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Sometimes I think I understand what Eugene is saying and other times I find myself a little lost and having to rely on what others might say. This morning I am grateful for “..Eugene’s reflection invites us to identify some of God’s values regarding the dignity of life that our society has destroyed or ignores – and to make up for their absence by embracing them in our lifestyle and spirituality.” It would seem that today in many ways we have easily become distracted and looked away from God and true love with, as Pope Francis described, “New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fueling that ‘throw away’ mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered ‘useless’.” It has happened silently and it has crept into our lives without our realizing what was happening. This has become for many (but not all) an accepted norm. I must for myself look continuously at what will bring about true joy and love, awe and gratitude and it will not all be instant or what the world deems to be successful and good.

    Challenging a mentality that destroys good. Indeed! There is solace and hope, courage and truth, support and reasoning then in “Our mission is to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to seek it before all else (cf. Mt 6: 33). We fulfil this mission in community; and our communities are a sign that, in Jesus, God is everything for us.” (CC&RR Constitution 11)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *