On 17 February 1826, the Oblate Constitutions and Rules, had been approved by the Pope – the Church had recognized the hand of God in Eugene’s actions of bringing the Oblates to birth – and the Rule was the expression of God’s handiwork.
I said to myself while meditating on our Rules that we will never be able sufficiently to thank God’s goodness for having given them to us, for God alone indisputably is their author. The person who consigned them to writing does not recognize anything in them as coming from himself; so it is in full liberty that he passes judgment on them, as of a work which is outside of himself. But how can I even speak of judgment where the Church has spoken in the person of its head!
“We hereby with a ready and willing mind, establish it, and wish it to be known by the name of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, conceived without sin….We, with the plenitude of Our Apostolic Authority, approve and confirm its Constitutions…”
That is how Pope Leo XII put it, in the Apostolic Letters of institution. Judgment is thus rendered by infallible authority
Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163
See http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=1260 Today we continue seeing Our Constitutions as belonging to the Church and not to us – we cannot make any changes unless the Church authorizes them.
An invitation to reflect on God’s presence in the Mazenodian vocation of each of us.