PERSONAL INTEGRITY AND EXAMPLE AS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL MINISTRY

In his retreat reflections using the Oblate Constitutions and Rules, Eugene copied out some of the passages of the Rule that he wished to keep before his eyes regularly in the future as a reminder. It is the exemplary quality of the Oblate that he keeps returning to.

And above all, the missions. The Constitutions come back to it again and again and rightly so as missions are the first and principal end of the Institute. So I do not think that it is necessary to insist on this point: Since the missions are one of the principal ends of the Institute, all will strive principally to fulfill this task well. (Art. 1, parag. 1, Regarding the Missions).
The whole should be read, but note the passage: Above all the members of the Institute will be intent on not giving even the appearance of bad example, and they will behave in such a way as to be always venerated by the people… (Art. 25, para. 1, Regarding the Missions).
That is not all: Since the end of the Institute is not only to give missions, but also to replace, insofar as our weak means permit, the religious orders and to repair the evils that have crept in among the clergy, all should be persuaded that it is easier to achieve this end by example than by words. Hence, we must convince ourselves that it is indispensable that we should practice all the virtues, and not be unacquainted with any of them. (Art. I, Preaching).
Firmly established on the foundation of the virtues, all the members of the Institute will devote themselves to perform any good work that may be prescribed by obedience. (art. 2, ibid.).
Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163
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One Response to PERSONAL INTEGRITY AND EXAMPLE AS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL MINISTRY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have a sense that one of the courses I am taking is hovering over me, and what I am learning and being fed, is slowly changing my very being. I think of the hydrangea flower and the many colours of its blooms, and how the colour of the flowers is caused by certain minerals in the soil (aluminium ions), by how it is being fed. So it is with my heart and how my heart is nourished – how I am nourished with all the blessings – not only from my courses, but from Eugene and the members of his family. It has fostered a yearning, not a begrudging of another or their gifts but rather a yearning to be like them, to grow like them, to love like them. And while I have learned and been fed by others – that was like the hors d’oeuvres before the feast. It has nothing to do with my status (i.e. religious, lay, male, female) simply with who I am in the eyes of God.

    And here once again Eugene leads – this immense and magnificent gift that was given to him – he shares with others, tells us what it looks and tastes like; over and over reminds us how we can become and live – with the same ends. How to live it!

    From the beginning whenI first heard of the Oblate Constitutions and Rules (well not at the very beginning perhaps) I have been touched by them, invited, seduced cajoled by them. How can I live with them? And the mission – dear God in heaven – what might that look like for a person such as myself. Hopefully it is not just words but how I live, my example and I hate to use that word for I do not love as I do to set an example – the example is at best a by-product of my love – a snapshot that invites.

    And bang in the middle of all of this is God – for God is both my beginning and my end; and the Church for she too is in the very heart of this/me. And that quality of an Oblate, of an Oblate heart and way of being.

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