THE MAP WE WILL USE TO EXPLORE OUR MAZENODIAN SPIRITUALITY

As we explore our understanding of Mazenodian spirituality, I need to pose the question: “What do I mean by using the word spirituality”? Eugene himself gave me the answer when he wrote:

You, you alone will be the only object to which will tend all my affections and my every action. To please you, act for your glory, will be my daily task, the task of every moment of my life. I wish to live only for you, I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you.

Notes made during the retreat in preparation for priestly ordination, December 1-21, E.O. XIV n.95

“I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you” gives us the method. Eugene’s spirituality is built on his God-centered focus. We can call his spirituality the way in which his experience and understanding of God, himself and his world was expressed in action. Using Philip Sheldrake’s definition (quoted below) as a guide, we can say that to study Eugene’s spirituality is to explore how his understanding of God, the human person and the world were expressed in a set of values, in a style of life and in spiritual practices as the context for transformation and mission.

“I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you” gives us the content of Eugene’s spirituality and the direction to follow. In the following weeks we will explore Eugene’s experience of God and how this was expressed in the “all else” of every aspect of his life understood “in God” and “through God.”

To complete the picture, this Mazenodian spirituality has been lived for 200 years, and we also need to explore how it has been understood and lived by the religious and lay members of the Mazenodian family for two centuries.

“I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you” poses a question to each of us today – what is my basic understanding of my spirituality?

200

“In Christian terms, spirituality refers to the way our fundamental values, lifestyles, and spiritual practices
reflect particular understandings of God, human identity, and the material world
as the context for human transformation.”       Philip Sheldrake

This entry was posted in WRITINGS and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to THE MAP WE WILL USE TO EXPLORE OUR MAZENODIAN SPIRITUALITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you” – doesn’t your heart just leap in joy in reading this and recognizing this experience of God? I think back to my first and defining experience of God – life altering and the beginning of infinite transformation and being. My own feeble words trying to describe how I would ‘be’ and saying that it would only be in giving all of myself and love to God that I would be able to love others. Not knowing how it would work – only that it would, with an intense and singular point of knowledge that God would ensure it would be. A sense of powerlessness in myself that only heightened the joy of looking to God for life.

    “I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you”. Like a seed that burrows it’s way to the center of life within, and plants roots so creating a heart, a centre of being and then grows outward from that. That ‘love of God’ which has come only and always from God’s love of me is the base/centre of who I am and all life flows from there. Basic and all.

    “I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you” My first experience of God and the Cross, then of the poor how dear they were to me. Being barely able to express my thoughts of who I was. My own spirituality forming and taking root. Meeting individual Oblates and so becoming aware of the entire congregation and then Eugene himself. So many definitive touchstones. Coming slowly to know myself and who I am in the family around me. It is in the ‘we’ that I have come to recognize the ‘me’.

    What is my basic understanding of my spirituality? I begin now to answer this root question and imagine that my day will be impacted and affirmed just as was yesterday. There is a bubble of excitement rising within me. I rush to thank God for this day and all that comes with it for there is a great joy and freedom in not only realising but also in sharing it. It is of no value to keep it hidden within me.

    Thank you again for this invitation and opportunity Frank. Look at what God gives to us!

Leave a Reply

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