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

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I did not know the term ‘oblation’ when I first experienced God, I knew only that it would be in my giving of myself totally to God, in giving all of my love first of all to Jesus that I would be able to love others through and in and with that love. I felt called to live in this manner. I truly did not know what that would look like or how it could be lived for one such as myself. This love was to be at the core, to be the pivot of all of my relationships and actions, of who I am. It was not static but rather alive, flowing and colouring my life. The poverty and obedience came/come from that love. That love for it is never a one-time event but rather something that is renewed and created anew over and over. I tried it on my own off and on but in truth it was not until I met Eugene and became aware of Eugene’s spirit and of sharing that with others that life seemed to ‘take off’, as do fireworks heading up to the sky before opening and becoming incredibly beauty and wonder.

    There is among our young people a very popular movement and each year there are days of celebrating this particular way of living – “WE” Day. The idea is to move from “me” to “we” – a change in the focus of how we look at everything. A very broad common mission. I experience this in my life with my Mazenodian Family just as did the Apostles with their ‘unity with him [Jesus] and their common mission in his Spirit. Just as the Lord with us binds us together in love and yes obedience. I look at the three vows: poverty, chastity and obedience. It is most truly in our poverty we discover how rich we are, in chastity how full our love can be and in obedience how free we become.

    Today there is Constitution 3 that I will take with me and ponder during my day, finding again the richness of this gift. “Give us today our daily bread…” and God is doing just that.

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