A Rule of Life! Eugene and his first companions had come together as a missionary community in 1816. Two years later they captured the essence of their experience of God, their community life and mission in the Constitutions and Rules. These were later revised and then approved by the Church on 17 February 1826. It is this version of the Rule that Eugene is meditating on his retreat.
Wherefore, while pledging themselves to all the works of zeal which priestly charity can inspire-above all, to the work of the missions, which is the main end of their association-these priests, joined together in a society, resolve to follow a rule and constitutions which are unanimously proper to obtain all the benefits that they embrace for their own sanctification and for the salvation of souls..
Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163
By following the spirit and letter of this Rule, they – and we today – obtain all the benefits of salvation for oursleves and for our mission.
Yesterday the Oblate Associates at OST in San Antonio renewed their annual commitment to do exactly what Eugene wrote about here: to follow the Associates Rule of Life as the means to attain the same ends that Eugene proposes to all who follow his way of discipleship. As a saint of the Universal Church, his spirit belongs to and can inspire all the People of God.
What is your Rule of Life, dear reader?