MAKING SPACE FOR OUR GOD SHAPED VACUUM

Eugene placed high importance on the period of novitiate formation of the young Oblates –it was an opportunity to make space for God and to learn and imbibe the values of Oblate religious life. The spirit of a “novitiate” period is not only for future Oblates. All who are serious about wanting to grow spiritually need to make space so as to focus on God’s presence and work in their lives.

Beginning at the end of the school year, that is to say by the month of July, there will be no more studies at the novitiate. Study can scarcely be associated with deep recollection and with the heavenly and supernatural thoughts on which the novices ought to dwell continually. Our experience has been that study absorbs too considerable a part of the time of which there is hardly enough for the task of acquiring so many virtues and for imbuing oneself with the spirit of the Society. Study at such a time is, so to speak, a hole through which runs out some of the substance one is pouring into the mould.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 4 May 1828, EO VII n 299

 Today in our Rule of Life we read:

“The novice, led by the Spirit living within him, develops his personal relationship with Jesus and gradually enters into the mystery of Salvation through liturgy and prayer. He becomes accustomed to listen to the Lord in Scripture, to meet him in the Eucharist and to recognize him in other persons and in events. He comes also to contemplate God at work in the life and mission of the Founder, as well as in the Congregation’s history and traditions. Opportunities for pastoral experience in an Oblate setting help him realize the demands of a missionary vocation and the unity of apostolic religious life.” CC&RR Constitution 56

 

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”   Blaise Pascal

 

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One Response to MAKING SPACE FOR OUR GOD SHAPED VACUUM

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I look at my life and all that has been given to me. It would seem that my ‘novitiate’ began many years ago, continues still today, and will most likely be where I live until I die. I read Constitution 56 and am surprised (although I don’t know why) at how my heart picks up the words – making only a few slight changes. ” “The novice, led by the Spirit living within him or her, develops their personal relationship with Jesus and gradually enters into the mystery of Salvation through liturgy and prayer. They become accustomed to listen to the Lord in Scripture, to meet him in the Eucharist and to recognize him in other persons and in events. They come also to contemplate God at work in the life and mission of the Founder, as well as in the Congregation’s history and traditions. Opportunities for pastoral experience in an Oblate setting help them realize the demands of a missionary vocation and the unity of apostolic religious life.” Not to corrupt or lessen this beautiful rule of life, but rather to borrow from it and find how I can live it as I have been called. It feels neither unique nor common. This place here is a part of my lived novitiate – ongoing and ever deepening and enriching.

    I have spent the past hour moving in and out of Constitution 56, being cautious with my wording and how I share what is sometimes in my heart. For while I am filled with gratitude for all that I am given, for the path that I am led to walk, but my heart yearns for much more and that never fails to stop me and make me look. I am a little surprised at the passion and depth of both. Here I am God – take me.

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