THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD FOR THOSE WHO SHARE EUGENE’S SPIRITUALITY

The founder desired that the Oblates use the same methods that proved so beneficial to him in his relationship with and ministry of the Savior. In the first Rule of Life that he composed for us he insisted:

The entire life of the members of the Society must be one of continual recollection.
To achieve this, they have the desire to be always aware of the presence of God, by frequently making short but fervent spontaneous prayers.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. §5 On prayer and exercises of piety

Forty years later, he was still insisting on the same principle:

What else does the Rule say to remind the members of the Institute of their obligation to strive for a life of perfection? “The whole life of the members of our Society ought to be a life of continual recollection. To attain this, they will first of all make every effort to walk always in the presence of God, and frequently to bring him before their minds by short but fervent spontaneous prayers. …

Then he applied this to a practical issue:

… What shall I say about the vow of chastity? To be true to this precious virtue, we must not consider it too much to observe faithfully all that the Rule prescribes in order to make us men of God, true religious; do not forget, I repeat, that “the whole life of the members of our Society ought to be a life of continual recollection. To attain this, they will first of all make an effort to walk always in the presence of God.”

Circular Letter no. 2 to all Oblates, 2 February 1857, EO XII pages 209 – 222

All of us, members of the Mazenodian family, are urged to learn to look through the eyes of the Crucified Savior by striving to “walk always in the presence of God.”

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“The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever thirsty for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified, and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving river.”   Edward McKendree Bounds

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One Response to THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD FOR THOSE WHO SHARE EUGENE’S SPIRITUALITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What an invitation to begin a Friday as we have this morning. “The practice of the presence of God for those who share Eugene’s spirituality.” What does this look like? Must I first be a man? Must I first be a religious who dresses in a most particular way? Must I first live in a community house with a lot of other like-minded persons or use a particular book of prayer so that the words in my heart be exactly the same? Oh I think it is much more than just the external appearances although some of those might help and be a part of it.

    I find myself singing over and over the refrain from the Gloria for that is how I awaken these mornings. It is solace to my soul as I stand before God, looking at the questions I have thought; looking at all that Eugene has said and Frank has repeated.

    “…to have the desire to be always aware of the presence of God” this resonates in my very soul. … to bring him [God] before their minds by short but fervent spontaneous prayers” – yes my being cries out. Yes and thank you most wondrous God for you have given to me Eugene and his family, to walk with, to learn and be in communion with. I will not pretend that I do this most perfectly or better than any other, and neither will I lessen my life in it because it is most imperfect. There is joy this morning because I can seem myself in this picture, without measurement.

    “All of us, members of the Mazenodian family, are urged to learn to look through the eyes of the Crucified Savior by striving to “walk always in the presence of God.” There is within me at this moment in time a singular thought of how St. Eugene truly is a father to us. We are brothers and sisters in a very profound way and although I often use these terms this morning they are filled with light and truth. I think for a moment of ‘oraison’ and even that has a deeper meaning for me this morn. Together we will walk in the presence of God. Whether we crawl, are carried or run pulling others with us, we do it with one aim; to be with and in God.

    O wondrous Lord you have given me so much. Glory to you God in the highest….

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