After his strong words regarding the duty to live by the spirit of the Rule of Life, Eugene stressed that the cement that keeps the Oblate body together is love:
Charity is the pivot on which our whole existence turns.
Charity begins with God, and our call is to give everything to God in loving oblation.
That which we ought to have for God makes us renounce the world and has vowed us to his glory by all manner of sacrifice, were it even to be our lives.
The way in which Oblates express this love for God is by means of our consecration in religious life through the vows:
It is in order to be worthy of this God to whom we are consecrated that we have vowed to renounce ourselves by obedience, riches by poverty, pleasures by chastity.
Then Eugene points out that it is the actual living out of the practice of renunciation of self through obedience that leaves a lot to be desired.
I have no complaint about this last article. I have little to say about the second, but the first is not understood by certain individuals. Whence the disorders that I have had to deplore. Let us not cease to meditate on this point that is so important; that we are not religious by observing it as badly as we have up to now
Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 29 July 1830, EO VII n 350
It is this charity in obedience, in oblation of self to God for others, that makes us truly religious.
This does not apply only to religious. As lay members of the Mazenodian Family, what does this say to us? All who are united by the charism, are called to oblation in whatever way of life we have. The charity of oblation is the pivot of each relationship and action… The cement that holds our Mazenodian spirituality together.
“The call and the presence of the Lord among us today bind us together in charity and obedience to create anew in our own lives the Apostles’ unity with him and their common mission in his Spirit.” CC&RR , Constitution 3