The reflective reading of our Rules I have just made during this retreat has filled my soul with wonder, and has raised in my mind a number of disquieting thoughts that I have to put down on paper.
The shame of having in one’s hands so perfect a rule, and of not having grasped its meaning!
When Eugene and the first Missionaries, had written the Rule in 1818, he had wanted to capture in writing the experience that they were living in response to the call of their God-given charism. See http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=1285
Every time he re-read the Rule he touched something of that original experience of God – and therefore his wonder and awe at the power of the Rule to bring him into the presence of God.
Then a note of realism crept in – for some this Rule of Life was a closed book that was not as used as it should.
Are there not indeed some among us for whom this rule is a sealed book? I want to believe that there are none any longer, but it is enough that there were some for my reflection to stand and make it food for thought.
Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163
Source of life or a sealed book – our expression of the Gospel? And the Gospel itself for me – source of life or sealed book?