We must be filled with our spirit and live only by it. This is self-evident without it being necessary to explain it.
What makes the Oblate what he is, and distinct from any other religious in the Church? What characteristics make a member of the Mazenodian Family distinct from the members of any other ecclesial group or family? It is the family spirit expressed in our Rule of Life and lived for over 200 years.
Just as we have in a Society a common dress, common Rules, so must there be a common spirit which gives life to this particular body. The spirit of Bernardine is not that of the Jesuit. Ours also is our own.
Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 29 July 1830, EO VII n 350
“On February 17,1826, the new Congregation and its Constitutions were formally approved by Pope Leo XII. For the Oblates, the Founder’s Preface to the Constitutions will always be an unrivalled expression of his charism and a bond of unity for the Congregation. Here, then, is that text which each succeeding generation of Oblates has treasured as its Rule of Life” Foreword to the Preface and the Oblate Constitutions and Rules.