Eugene continues his retreat meditation notes on the Oblate Rule of Life:

But how is one to go about bringing some remedy for such great ills, for it is not enough just to desire it.
“They are convinced that if priests could be formed, afire with zeal for men’s salvation, priests not given to their own interests, solidly grounded in virtue – in a word, apostolic men deeply conscious of the need to reform themselves, who would labour with all the resources at their command to convert others – then there would be ample reason to believe that in a short while people who had gone astray might be brought back to their long-unrecognized responsibilities.”
There then we have what one has to be if one is to hope to succeed.

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

Let’s substitute “priests” with “Christians” and re-read the paragraph. There is much meditation material contained in it.

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    That paragraph from Eugene’s retreat notes speaks to me, always but especially when the wording appears to be inclusive and inviting to me as a person. This does not lessen anyone but rather lifts all of us up in life. I dared also to twice change the word men to persons and it speaks to all of us. I wonder if I have not been doing that at a very deep level for a long time now.

    In one of the courses I am taking we are asked to read the ‘Preface’ (which of course was written in very specific language for a very specific time) and to look at how it was lived out in the lives of some very specific Oblates. That Preface which has spoken to me from the first time I allowed my heart to be touched by it, by the sense of it regardless of specific words or times.

    I have a friend, a very beautiful woman who loves God with her entire being and who expresses that love in gestures and sometimes words that are different from mine. She lives in another city but if I am very lucky she visits with me for a couple of minutes once a week when she comes to town for another part of her life. We exchange small stories – each of them saying who we are – she is special to me and I am special to her – in the deepest of small ways. We have decided we are sisters. Me a Roman Catholic and she a Muslim – both of us in love with God and life with God. We pray for each other and in our living we pray with each other. In times of stress we particularly have the same needs of being with God. I invited her to come to the chapel with me because she seemed to be needing a place of peace and solitude. She said no – she had entered the chapel once but a lot of people turned and looked at her, perhaps at the differences and she was not so sure that the invitation had been more than just some nice words. So I will speak that invitation over and over again until her heart hears and believes the invitation.

    Eugene’s words said it all: “There then we have what one has to be if one is to hope to succeed.” Wording from a different time – like the Gospels. I do not need to actually change the words of the Gospels, just open my heart to what they mean – the same with so much of what Eugene wrote. What a blessing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *