IT IS ESPECIALLY IN CRITICAL MOMENTS THAT ONE MUST BE MORE FERVENT, MORE LIKE MEN OF GOD

The only way for the Oblates to survive the turmoil in the country was to keep themselves focused on what they were and what they were supposed to be doing. It was all contained in their Rule of Life which guided them in personal life and in their ministry:

Let them keep to the Rule more than ever; it is only thus that they will draw down the blessings of God on themselves and on others. Speak strongly on this subject to all. I put it to them as a matter of conscience. I see here only people who are regular and perfectly conformed to their state. Why should we not imitate them? All is good for them. Domini est terra et plenitude ejus. [ed. Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it]

Letter to Henri Tempier, 13 August 1830, EO VII n. 354

 To Fr. Courtès, the superior of the house in Aix, he repeated the same advice.

See to it firmly that each performs his duty punctually. It is especially in critical moments that one must be more fervent, more like men of God, irreproachable in every way. The extraordinary graces that one needs would not be granted to lukewarm souls, to earthly-minded men. This life is nothing for those who count on eternity; the essential is to please God, to accomplish his commandments and his counsels, to do in everything his holy will, however costly that may be to one’s nature. Our vocation is to do good to everybody; when we will no longer be able to do it in one place, we will do it in another.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès , 15 August 1830, EO VII n 356

Being so far away, Eugene worried constantly as his imagination ran away with him and he kept imagining the worst.

…I embrace you and am very vexed to be at such a great distance from you, my uncle and all my brothers; out of three thoughts, two and a half are for all of you.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 13 August 1830, EO VII n. 354

A reminder that the vocation of the members of the Mazenodian Family, especially in difficult times, “is to do good to everybody; when we will no longer be able to do it in one place, we will do it in another.”

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One Response to IT IS ESPECIALLY IN CRITICAL MOMENTS THAT ONE MUST BE MORE FERVENT, MORE LIKE MEN OF GOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Today is the Feast of the Assumption and I think of Mary’s faithfulness throughout her life, of the ordinary of her life. The words ‘faithfulness’ and ‘fidelity’ come to me as I sit here this morning and reflect on Eugene’s guidance.

    What does fidelity look like in my life? It is most often with the small events and daily happenings that I need to watch and be on guard. I think of something as ordinary as my daily prayer. I can awaken with my mind full of thoughts of what I must do in the coming day, of possible struggles that arose the day before, or the day before that, of small reminders of what is happening in and around me and what that might look like during the day. I might be tempted to skip the prayer time and get an early start in my ‘doing’ rather than focussing on my ‘being from which will flow the doing’.

    As a small child my parents would take me to Mass and the children would be told to sit on the floor at the front. When the priest would come down to talk to us he seemed even taller than he was. Week after week in a booming voice he would say “if you’re bad when you’re little you will be bad when you’re big, but if you are good when you are little, you will be good when you are big”. I hated hearing that for I was sure that he looked at me as he talked about the ‘bad’ and so there was little or no hope for me and I did not have anything to hold on to. From time to time in my life I have remembered that and each time I thought of it I felt hurt. This morning though I have been reminded of it and have viewed it quite differently. If I follow something or someone, if I make it as much a part of me as my breathing – in, out – then I will be okay not just in the good times but during the troubles that will most surely appear at different times, be they little or overwhelming.

    Funny that I should think of that this morning. For all that is going on in my life it is the small fidelities that keep me focused and able to be who I am called to be.

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