Eugene meditates ont he Oblate Rule of Life and reacts.

But for following in the footsteps of such models, a common virtue will not suffice. The Constitutions will make it plain. “And how should men who want to follow in the footsteps of their divine Master Jesus Christ conduct themselves if they, in their turn, are to win back the many souls who have thrown off his yoke”
Read attentively and hold fast to what comes next, for it is what your Constitutions require you to be, so weigh each word, engrave the meaning on your heart:
“They must strive to be saints.
They must walk courageously along the same paths trodden by so many before them: apostolic labourers for the Gospel who, while carrying out the same ministry to which they themselves now feel called, handed on such splendid examples of virtue.
 They must wholly renounce themselves, striving solely for the glory of God, the good of the Church, and the growth and salvation of souls.
They must constantly renew themselves in the spirit of their vocation, living in a state of habitual self-denial and seeking at all times to reach the very summit of perfection.
They must work unremittingly to become humble, meek, obedient, lovers of poverty and penance, mortified, free from inordinate attachment to the world or to family, men filled with zeal, ready to sacrifice goods, talents, ease, self, even their life, for the love of Jesus Christ, the service of the Church, and the sanctification of their brethren.
And thus, filled with unbounded confidence in God, they are ready to enter the combat, to fight, even unto death, for the greater glory of his most holy and sublime Name.”
Can one conceive anything more perfect on the face of the earth?
Reread this paragraph attentively, and when you have done that re-read it again.

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

The spirit underlying the vocation of the Mazenodian Family members, each according to their state of life.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    The Preface – that beautiful and cherished piece of work that never fails to touch my heart. For all of the ‘they musts’ it is nothing less than an open invitation to freedom, to enter into a way of being, a way of life. The words, the thoughts and heart behind them all coming together like an elixir of life. To take a sip demands the taking of a second and third and so on – one sip alone will never be enough. And so potent an elixir that the bonds around my heart slowly begin to crumble, fall and be blown away like so much dust.

    Such a gift from God. The call, the path chosen, special for each one of us who receives it – to live as we are called. Joy, giddy yet profound abiding joy that fills us and becomes the fuel of life, feeding our courage, our daring, our fidelity.

    And so what must I do when I allow fear to enter my heart? What must I do when I allow question and doubt to enter with each feeding on the other and striving to smother the flame of life so it no longer dances wildly? What must I do when they conspire to drown out the flame of life as it dances and burns with life?

    To come back here, to read and reread this paragraph, to breathe it in with gulps if necessary. To allow the others, my community to walk with me, for I cannot do it alone. I think of St. Paul and then of Eugene – yes Eugene, Founder, Father, Friend. The word ‘founder’ which I have heard so often and only now begin to appreciate it, understand what makes up that word – Founder. Only at this moment is there a glimmer of why Eugene is referred to as ‘the Founder’ rather than our founder. There is an immensity of grace accompanying this moment. And for a moment my mind returns to my course and how that is feeding me, giving me new life and understanding – one day at a time, one step at time – not just for myself, but for those I walk with, those who walk with me, for any and all. Charism – the gift of the Holy Spirit – more than just a word to be tossed around and used. Wow.

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

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