What a consoling thought, by observing our Rule we are obeying the Church. And as our Rule embraces every action of our lives, and the spirit which must animate them, all that we do shares in the great merit of obedience to the Church. And as the Church commands nothing but good, what is conducive to salvation, by observing our Rule we are walking in the way of heaven. There is no room for argument.

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

The Oblate Constitutions and Rules, whose foundation is living the Gospel, are at the foundation of the spirit of each expression of the Mazenodian Family. Eugene was convinced that everyone who lived their life by the Rule was assured of eternal life. He often expressed this sentiment about the Oblates.

Surely he continues to believe this of all those who follow inspiration today.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of the times in my life, when there has been absolute certitude in where I was in relation to all of creation. My first experience when I was at an AA meeting – and I ‘knew’ that I needed AA to be able to live sober. Then later when my little world exploded with new life – I heard God say my name, heard God say that I was loved, that he had called me and that I was his. Absolute awe and wonder filled me that still touches me today. No expectations, no time-limited clause, although there was times when I tried to ‘earn’ the right to be so loved; but that too fell by the side of the road that I traveled. God was becoming my absolute in life, in my being ; he did not rush me as he invited and while he did not rush me, he invited me to get to know him, to experience him.

    The Church became my family, my base as I wandered; looking at the different ways of living, much as do young adults. Until I met the “Oblates” in a deep, personal way. Certitude returned. I met Eugene, experienced his invitation and slowly began to walk a very specific path.

    The words from the screen are dancing, beckoning. ‘The Oblate Constitutions and Rules’ which I began to fall in love with a few years ago; ‘…whose foundation is the living Gospel’ and that truth to has taken up permanent residency within me. ‘… the foundation of the spirit of each expression of the Mazenodian Family’ – look Lord – I am one of those expressions and does this now mean that spirit of my living is bound in this beautiful Rule of Life that I have borrowed and found a way to live.

    This is where I have been planted, where roots have been put down – root that have been slowly and gently become inter-twined with others and so we feed and nourish each other.

    These morning reflections lead me down a path that is being tilled and groomed by my Oblate Studies. Amidst the reading and reflecting, listening and writing; it is all here – being lived out and now seen and recognized for it is Eugene shining his light on me and my life.

    I know the delight when an Associate joins us, when an Oblate makes his first profession and then his final vows, when a very special friend becomes a Novice with the Oblatas – for we all share something together, that came from Eugene, inspired by the Spirit which filled Eugene.

    Look Lord at how you fill me with, how you grow me. I am not ‘trudging’ along, but rather running and skipping, singing and joining in the dancing!

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