OUR FOUNDING VISION: A WORK IN PROGRESS

In this important document of 25 January 1816 that we have been reflecting on, we see the seeds of all the major areas of growth that Eugene was to nurture till his last day of life, and which still continue to bear rich fruit 200 years later. It was in an attitude of generous openness to discerning the will of God that Eugene guided the nascent Society of Missionaries step-by-step.

Jacques Jeancard, a close lifetime collaborator, wrote that when Eugene founded us he:

was far from knowing the whole extent of his mission. By no means did he draw up a vast plan a priori, complete in all its parts. That plan of which he was the craftsman was not of merely human conception; it was inspired in him and, in a way, revealed to him progressively as circumstances opened up new horizons to his zeal.

The Lord who was guiding him allowed him to see only what had to be done in the immediate situation and He rewarded his fervent love for the Church and his zeal for souls by allowing him to see the exact distance he had to cover in each new advance toward the completion of the work which devolved upon him.

Thus he advanced under the impulse and direction of Divine Providence, along the path which was unknown, or practically unknown, to him in the beginning, and by which he was ultimately to reach his destination willed from on High.

Melanges historiques sur la Congregation des Oblats de Marie Immaculee, (Tours, 1872), pp. 70-71.

FOUNDING VISION

“Believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God, and in this way, in silence, hearing the Word, seeing love.”   Pope Benedict XVI

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One Response to OUR FOUNDING VISION: A WORK IN PROGRESS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This is so encouraging, so helpful, so much the–way-it-is for many of us. One step at a time – it is like we are always evolving. “That plan of which he was the craftsman was not of merely human conception; it was inspired in him and, in a way, revealed to him progressively as circumstances opened up new horizons to his zeal.” Perhaps it is that God only gives us – yes what we need- but also what we can handle. Trust is required here, trust as we enter into the mystery that is life in and with God. This is the paschal mystery lived out somehow. I see it with some Old Testament figures, also with, most certainly with Jesus, it is how we are all walking now on our Lenten Journeys.

    I really believe it was all inspired in St. Eugene, just as it is inspired in people today, and I don’t count myself out of that equation. I look at my life with wonder, for God has deigned to inspire me through others and in me that I might inspire other. This is not a pious thing, not a boasting or an arrogance but rather a serious case of wonderment and gratitude. Funny how that word creeps into everything.

    Eugene’s founding vision: A work in progress. Just as it is in living out his vision as each of us is called and inspired. I am glad that I am a work in progress for it means that I have not reached an end. God always with me, renewing, reshaping, bringing forth what was hidden from all but God from within. It means that I am not dead, that I am alive and continue to be, to move towards. Constantly ‘becoming’. A work in progress. This – for me – is what happens with community – it has not happened by magic or on my own. Eugene’s founding vision! Gratitude once more.

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