OBLATES WHO HAVE NOT GRASPED THIS ARE AMONG US LIKE DISLOCATED PARTS OF THE BODY

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

 

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2 Responses to OBLATES WHO HAVE NOT GRASPED THIS ARE AMONG US LIKE DISLOCATED PARTS OF THE BODY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “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 […] dislocated from what the Savior intends us to be.”

    The word ‘vocation’ is not mentioned here, God’s call to us, and yet I hear it between the words.

    How do I assume a responsibility for the common heritage of this immense congregation, of this Mazenodian Family? It is not on my own. Constitution 168 speaks of ‘creative fidelity’ – creative fidelity to the legacy bequeathed by St. Eugene de Mazenod. I do not walk just with myself, but rather ‘with Eugene’ through his sons and daughters and this most beautiful Rule of Life which contains the heart and spirit of Eugene and of all those who have been faithful to it, adding along the way their own spirit which becomes a part of the greater whole.

    I have spent my time this morning going over and over Constitution 168 and Frank’s words, as if to do that would be like eating them, allowing them to nourish me and become a part of me.

    I look at how this Rule of Life begins with the Preface and in particular the last 2 paragraphs of the Preface and now ends with Constitution 168. The spirit that is contained within brings us to our common heritage. What an immense gift!

  2. Patrick M McGee, OMI says:

    This requires a true spirit of refounding! A daunting task!

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