We must be filled with our spirit and live only by it…
Those who have not grasped this, as a result of not having made a good novitiate, are among us like dislocated parts of the body. They make the whole body suffer and are not themselves at ease. It is indispensable that they put themselves back in their place.
Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 29 July 1830, EO VII n 350
What makes an Oblate an Oblate? What makes a member of the Mazenodian Family truly a member of the Mazenodian family? It is not the work we do, no matter how successful and helpful to the poor and those in need. It is living by the spirit that came to us by St. Eugene, enshrined in the Constitutions and Rules, that we become what we are truly meant to be. Or else we risk becoming a loose association of “lone-ranger priests” or a club of “charitable workers” – dislocated from what the Savior intends us to be.
Each Oblate through his oblation assumes responsibility for the common heritage of the Congregation, expressed in the Constitutions and Rules and our family tradition. He is exhorted to let himself be guided by these norms in creative fidelity to the legacy bequeathed by St. Eugene de Mazenod.
CC&RR, Constitution 168