THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR CRUCIFIED SAVIOR: EVERY ACTION IS ACCOMPANIED, PRECEDED AND FOLLOWED BY AWARENESS OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD

As we reflect on Eugene’s spirituality, and on our own, his writings and life point to one constant: his ongoing existential relationship with Jesus Christ the Savior expressed in daily life.

Firstly he experienced and related to the God he perceived and understood through the eyes of the Crucified Savior: the God who is Love and invites to a life of full unity.

Secondly, he expressed this relationship by seeing the world and its people through the same perspective: people to be loved and served as the Savior did, and to be brought to knowledge and relationship with the Him.

Eugene’s principal method was the practice of the presence of God, which he referred to often. In 1812 he was appointed to the staff of St Sulpice seminary for a semester to take the place of the Sulpicians who had been expelled by Napoleon. He resolved to let his actions speak and to let everything be accompanied, preceded and followed by his awareness of the presence of God

As it seems to be the Lord’s will for me to stay on this year in the seminary and the purpose of my remaining on is to assist in maintaining in the house the spirit of piety that our Fathers sought assiduously to create, I will submit to what seems to be the design of Providence in my regard; and in order not to render unfruitful the ministry for which it destines me, I will strive to live in such a way that my deeds will speak more loudly than my words and suggestions…
My duties of piety consist: 1. in oraison, 2. holy Mass, 3. divine office, spiritual reading, examination of conscience, prayer; the whole accompanied, preceded and followed by the holy practice of the presence of God.

Resolutions as director at the seminary of St. Sulpice, January 1812, EO XV n 103

When his responsibility at the seminary ended, he went to Aix to begin his priestly ministry.

And so during the day whether I am studying or eating or walking or alone or in the company of other persons, I will take great pains to keep myself in the presence of God, watching over myself so as never to do a thing that might sadden my good Father, and to bear witness to my love for him, I will turn often towards him by means of short but lively aspirations, secret yearnings, loving glances towards the images which trace for us what he has done for us, his all-too-ungrateful creatures.

Rule drawn up on my retreat in Aix, December 1812, EO XV n 109

Out of “the images which trace for us what he has done for us,” the cross is the most important. For Eugene’s spirituality thus, to be in the presence of God and to live constantly in the sight of the Crucified Savior seem to be synonymous.

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“If we are hungry enough for God, we will find a way into His presence. We should be so hungry for the presence of God that we absolutely will not go out of our house or tackle any kind of project until we have spent some time with Him.”   Joyce Meyer

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One Response to THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR CRUCIFIED SAVIOR: EVERY ACTION IS ACCOMPANIED, PRECEDED AND FOLLOWED BY AWARENESS OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Once again the title itself is an invitation to look more deeply. My being cries yes and I am hard pressed not to simply rush through and read the words as fast as possible. This is most surely the Good News – it is not like this is new to me, and yet it is – a point of awareness seems to be new in some way. I find myself filled with delight and a very great gratitude.

    “He resolved to let his actions speak and to let everything be accompanied, preceded and followed by his awareness of the presence of God.” How often have I begun my day by simply saying to God that all that I do and think and be in that day, that all of it be for God? How often have I asked that my Beloved be with me in every way as I move through the day? From before the beginning, during and after – a small awareness that God is with me, in every way God is with me. All I need do is look and see through His eyes. And none of it just ‘happens’. I know that I am simply not capable of that on my own. Even such a desire originates from something much greater than myself.

    To be able to look down and see the small cross that I wear, to touch it is to be reminded most immediately that God is with me. As I go about my day, seeing the particular beauty that is a part of autumn in this area , meeting the people that I do – every sight, every breath taken in and then expelled is an opportunity and invitation to be aware of God’s presence with me. The love is so keen and vast that it is all an invitation to turn to him, to touch him somehow, to see what is around and before us through his eyes, to be more and more one with him. This awareness of His presence, of moving into his presence is almost too great to bear. It comes slowly in little pieces so as not to destroy me.

    Seeing through the eyes of our crucified Saviour – it is this that makes it enough to simply behold and love. It is this that makes even the smallest gesture of love ‘enough’. It is this way of seeing that fills my heart with a tenderness that I did not know to be possible and which stretches my heart even as it invites me to love more deeply than the oceans.

    As I stand here and begin my day, let my heart look O Beloved, and see through your eyes so as to be aware of your presence all around me, in all of life; as I breath in and breath out, as I go about my daily routines.

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