THE APOSTLES WERE FOREIGNERS IN THE COUNTRIES TO WHICH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ASSIGNED THEM TO PREACH THE GOSPEL

One of the difficulties of establishing missions by French religious and priests was that the people of the Kingdom were suspicious of foreigners who would bring in “revolutionary” ideas.

Would someone want to oppose us as foreigners? The members of a Congregation recognized by the Church, whose Superior is named by the Pope, are Catholic before all else.
Their lives are dedicated according to the spirit of their vocation to the service of souls without preference for persons or nations, their ministry is entirely spiritual, they belong to the country that adopts them, and live there under the protecting mantle of the law as faithful subjects, solely occupied with the purpose of their heavenly mission which strives to accomplish every duty, whether to God or to the Prince, his representative among men.

Eugene strengthens his argument by reminding them that the apostles were foreigners, as were all foreign missionaries around the world.

The Apostles were foreigners in the countries to which Our Lord Jesus Christ assigned them to preach the gospel. Religious who laid the first foundations of their Orders in various parts of Christianity were also foreigners and were not rejected because of that.
No one more than I will praise the wise measures that result in keeping a State from the contagion of evil doctrines and the influence of perverse men who trouble society elsewhere and shake its foundations; but would it be reasonable to suppose that one equally fears what is good, proven, what could only be useful and advantageous?

Letter to Fr. A Grassi SJ, 11 December 1830, EO XIII, n 76.

It was, in fact this suspicion, that won the day and the Oblates were not invited to the Kingdom.

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to THE APOSTLES WERE FOREIGNERS IN THE COUNTRIES TO WHICH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ASSIGNED THEM TO PREACH THE GOSPEL

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of how I ‘react’ sometimes to change – be it big or small change – fear – instant fear may be very high on my list because I am more comfortable in a way with what I know. It is always the unknown that can be so dark and fearful.

    Today I and a four others are starting something new – new for us. It is not fraught with any dangers – it is though new for us as a group and in new in some ways from what I have known. So there will be some challenges for me, but only those of the best kind. There is a degree of trust in all of this, trust that God has brought us together, trust that God does and will continue to carry each of us as we come together in a new small community – not separate from the larger community but within it. There is too, small degrees of excitement and challenge as each of us move past the small fears and let go of the ‘old’. As I write this my mind flits back and forth to the new communities that Eugene opened, in towns, in countries – and each of those communities part of a much larger community – within.

    The word missionary comes to mind – one or ones who are sent – perhaps first to each other and then with that out to others. It would seem that this was the way it was with Eugene and those first Oblates, but looking back I see also that this is the way it was first with Jesus and the apostles. A small whoop of joy and excitement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *