I SIMPLY CANNOT ACCEPT THAT ANYONE SHOULD SETTLE FOR BEING LESS THAN ADEQUATE IN HIS CALLING

Eugene expected everyone who lived according to his God-given Oblate spirit to live a life of Gospel-inspired regularity. It upset him when he came across mediocrity in living this ideal.

By regularity I mean fidelity in shaping one’s life according to the spirit and the letter of the Rule. The Rule obliges us to work very seriously at becoming more perfect…
I fret with impatience at being hindered from bringing this home personally to all who do not understand it and who imagine that they have done their duty while still remaining far from their goal.
Enough on this point which pains me too much! I simply cannot accept that anyone should settle for being less than adequate in his calling.

Then Eugene sees that the way to achieve this regularity is by giving oneself totally to the Ideal in obedience, humility and detachment.

The root of the matter is the acceptance of obedience and absolute detachment as to whether one does this or that, whether this one or that one is the superior. Without that, you haven’t got anything

Letter to Hippolyte Courtes, 10 January 1831, EO VIII n 378

What is the Ideal of my life, and how do I live Gospel regularity?

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One Response to I SIMPLY CANNOT ACCEPT THAT ANYONE SHOULD SETTLE FOR BEING LESS THAN ADEQUATE IN HIS CALLING

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of the Gospel reading where the landowner pays the workers the same wage, whether they worked for two hours or 8 hours. How many times do I look at the amount of work that a colleague does or does not do and compare it to mine?

    ‘What is the Ideal of my life, and how do I live Gospel regularity?’ What a question, how do I answer that? The only thing for sure at this moment is I know that I will not find the answer by comparing myself to anyone else (even though that seems so often to be the instinctive way to respond).

    I believe that God has called me, introduced me to his beloved Oblates. So how do I live according to my God-given Oblate spirit? It sounds so daunting yet at the same time not so unreachable that I would wish to ‘water it down’ to less than everything. As to living my life of Gospel-inspired fidelity – God have mercy on me because that sounds even more improbably and impossible than the first part. Have I left everything to follow Him, to hear and live his call? Of course not perfectly, for I am quite incapable of that – and yet I keep trying. I remember hearing God say ‘Eleanor, I love you’. There was nothing less than everything there in that – it was all.

    And that ‘rule’ that Frank speaks of –it inspires me, challenges me. It somehow embodies the Oblate charism, the Oblate spirit – this is what gives me life and a way to respond to God’s ‘Eleanor, I love you’.

    Yesterday I heard an Oblate referring to the Constitutions and Rules, regarding the role of the Superior in a community and he said: “…the Superior is the sign of the Lord’s presence in the community.” Wow! Incredibly beautiful and daunting at the same time. He went on to say “that it means ultimately that you look at yourself, at your behaviour and your attitudes.” And even though I am not the superior of anything or anyone my response was to ask myself “how I might be a superior to my brothers and sisters – and how might they be a superior to me”?

    Today again I begin my day with gratitude and joy – also anticipation of what might come. I begin with a spirit of humility for I look at all that God has offered to me – for sure I have been paid more than a life-time of wages!

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