17 FEBRUARY 1826: THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT EUGENE’S FOUNDATION IS A GOD-GIVEN CHARISM FOR US TODAY

Eugene wrote this good news from Rome to his Oblate brothers in France:

My dear brothers, on February 17, 1826, yesterday evening, the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XII confirmed the decision of the congregation of Cardinals and specifically approved the Institute, the Rules and Constitutions of the Missionary Oblates of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, and accompanied this solemn act of his pontifical power, with most admiring words for those who happily form this Society from which the head of the Church indeed expects the greatest good.
…The conclusion to be drawn from this, my dear friends and good brothers, is: we must work, with renewed ardour and still more total devotedness, to bring to God all the glory that stems from our efforts and, to the needy souls of our neighbours, salvation in all possible ways; we must attach ourselves heart and soul to our Rules and practice [more] exactly what they prescribe to us…
… In the name of God, let us be saints.

Letter to the Oblates, 18 February 1826, EO VII, n. 226

Today:

“The call that our Constitutions express is a gift from the Lord, and like any gift, we must ask for it, with the desire to transform it into action, with humility and a sense of responsibility. Prayer is essential for internalizing the Rule.

On the day of our perpetual oblation, when we receive the text of the Constitutions and Rules, we are told those words that contain a promise of life: “Do this and you will live!”. And Constitution 168 brings us back to that very moment when it reminds us that “with his oblation, each Oblate takes responsibility for the common heritage of the Congregation expressed in the Constitutions and Rules and in the family tradition”. The common heritage of the Congregation is a legacy that we must receive, cherish and pass on, together with the traditions of our family. Every Oblate is exhorted to “let himself be guided by these norms in creative fidelity to the legacy handed on by Saint Eugene de Mazenod”.

Fr. Louis Lougen OMI

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One Response to 17 FEBRUARY 1826: THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT EUGENE’S FOUNDATION IS A GOD-GIVEN CHARISM FOR US TODAY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I sit here this morning simply reading the message above and contemplating it; much as I do when I am reading The Preface for it is profound and yet delicate. Not to swallow it down in huge gulps and then to run from the table of the feast – no to take the words and as a friend of mine taught me – to taste them, to savour them as the gift that they are; allowing them to dissolve in my mouth and become a part of me and only then to swallow them.

    Today is the Feast and we find ourselves renewing our vows, our commitments again. This is our anniversary, how we remember our beginnings and recognize the mantle of how we carry them, live them today.

    Today Lord, let everything I do be a step in my preparation for our evening celebration, when we will come together at Mass to repeat our vows, our commitments as community, together. And we will welcome a new Associate as she makes her first commitment. Then from that table we will move to another table to continue the celebration, with food specially prepared for this celebration.
    Tomorrow will come soon enough but today we celebrate. A very Blessed and Happy Feast Day to every single member of this wonderful family – here and all around the world, those who have gone before us, those who are with us now and those yet to come.

    And Eugene, St. Eugene who said as you lay dying “Be sure to tell them that I die happy […] that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.” Happy Feast Day Eugene. Did you ever imagine that it would look like it does now?

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