In October 1831, Eugene made a private retreat and took as his meditation material the Oblate Rule, which had been written 13 years earlier, and which was the guiding light of the life of the Missionaries.

The reflective reading of our Rules I have just made during this retreat has filled my soul with wonder

He kept notes on the main aspects that struck him in his prayer:

I thought it would be useful to extract from the book of our Constitutions the articles that express most explicitly why we were founded and what we ought to be.

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

November 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the writing of our Oblate Rule of Life. For this reason I would like to reflect in detail on Eugene’s retreat notes in the coming days, so that “our souls will be filled with wonder” too.

For the Mazenodian Family, and all its component Oblate branches, this Rule has various meanings.

  • For the Missionary Oblates it expresses the way of life that we publically commit ourselves to live by, through our vows and oblation.
  • For all those associated with the Mazenodian charism, the prescriptions as such do not apply, but the guiding spirit at their foundation helps us to live the spirituality in our different ways of life.
  • For the readers of these reflections not associated with the Missionary Oblates in any direct way, we remember that the Rules of  religious congregations is a specific reflection of the Gospel. They are the Gospel perceived through a particular light. I thus invite you to read these reflections as an invitation to enter deeper into your relationship with the Jesus you love in the Gospels.

For each of us, may Eugene help us to let God fill our souls with wonder.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    May Eugene help us to let God fill our souls with wonder! Wonder seems to come all of a sudden and it’s partner is so very often delight – a pair – sort of like joy and gratitude. Gifts that transform us.

    May Eugene help us. I look at this magnificent gift of life – of life that the Holy Spirit has given to me – St. Eugene de Mazenod, Eugene who himself through his writings and his sons and daughters invited, invites me to live and share in his charism, walking with, in our different ways of life that are not so different when we go a little deeper, past the outside trappings of our life. Oblations, our hearts and how we live…

    I fell in love with the Oblate Rule of Life – word by word I have been drawn to them, invited to go deeper with them and the Spirit guiding me with a way to be able to live them in this life that God has given to me.

    The wonders yesterday that I received as I learned where my beloved Church holds me within her self – amazement, truth, joy and gratitude, delight and wonder, awe. My heart was in part , sane, but also giddy.

    I think of the word servant, humble servant as expressed by Mary – her Magnificat which I call her heart song – her oblation. All a part of it. Mary our patroness.

    Wonder that God should fill me so, wonder that the Church, spouse of God (I must have heard that term because I comes to me frequently), my Mazenodian Family (to which I am a member so it is no longer ‘the’ but rather ‘our’ or ‘my’) – a part of me as much as I am a part of them. And that beloved Rule of Life (which is how I think of it) – I do not steal it or take it from the Oblates, but they have shared it with me. I turn to it, and I learn from it and it does not look the same perhaps for all of us as Frank notes – but the heart of it – that too is possible for me. Wonder.

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