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.”
“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