WE MUST MAKE IT EVIDENT THAT WE ARE PENETRATED WITH WHAT WE TEACH, AND THAT WE HAVE BEGUN TO PRACTICE, BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO INSTRUCT OTHERS

Eugene underlines another passage from the Rule that he finds important to refer to constantly:

…we shall not attain it (the conversion of souls by preaching), however, unless we renounce our own personal glory, and repress in the depth of our hearts the vain praises of people; in a word, unless like the Apostle we preach Jesus Christ and him crucified … not with pretentious speech, but in the demonstration of the Spirit, that is to say, unless we make it evident that we are penetrated with what we teach, and that we have begun to practice, before attempting to instruct others (Art. 5, ibid.).

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

A pointed reminder that people see right through our words if we are not authentic in our witness and conviction.

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One Response to WE MUST MAKE IT EVIDENT THAT WE ARE PENETRATED WITH WHAT WE TEACH, AND THAT WE HAVE BEGUN TO PRACTICE, BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO INSTRUCT OTHERS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    How do I preach, how do I love? How do I preach Jesus Christ, my Beloved and him crucified. He was most certainly penetrated with what he taught – he gave his life. He gave his life! I remember Ron Rolheiser talking about him – the scapegoat. That is not a glorious and honourable death.

    Because it is foremost in my mind, because I am allowing myself to become penetrated with what I am learning in able to learn to become like some of those early Oblates that I met when I was helping to pull together, update really what others had started (that is telling) with the necrology listing of the Canadian Oblates. I needed to be able to read the notes of their lives and so was gifted to be able to see how they lived and how they died. Those early Oblates here in Canada – I was struck by how they gave everything in such a way as their dying was a continuation of their giving. I think of this beloved family that I hold so dearly in my heart.

    My mind is fickle sometimes – this morning it flits from one area to another. I am becoming penetrated. So, how do I ensure that my words are authentic? How do I walk the walk rather than just talk the talk? That’s what those early guys did, and that’s what so many of us do today. I look at my models – beginning with Jesus. Not sure I am ready for the whole dying thing – and yet I look and have to admit that I live with struggle, I live in having to let go and die to myself in so many ways – some small and some that seem to be impossible until I start. There is a joy hidden in all of that and the face of my friend Jim passes before me. God has not given me what I have and continue to receive for self-glory. No, I receive so that as it enters my ever-growing heart it overflows and empties out as I share it and so to make room for more. I am not sure I will ever be “ready” to instruct others, but then maybe that is a part of it – I will ‘share’ and give of that with which I am filled.

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