Paul tells us: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Eugene tells us:

Always the obligation to retrace Jesus Christ in our persons: We will meditate especially …on the virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ, for these should be obvious in the life of our members.

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

In the Preface to our Rule of Life, he lists the following virtues of Jesus that he wishes his Oblates to meditate on and make obvious in their lives:

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?
  • 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 CONTINUALLY 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 others.


In my daily life what are the virtues of Jesus that I need to learn from to strive/walk/renounce/renew/ and work continually at?

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am in a fog this morning – as I try so hard to focus on the virtues of Jesus as described in the Preface? None of those things are going to happen on my own. Nor will it happen if I decide that I will do it to ‘show anyone or everyone’ that I can do it. I need others who will walk with me, gently correct me and pull me back when I start to stray away.

    None of it is just for myself; for the love of Jesus, for the service of the Church and for the sanctification of others. Okay – so here we go Lord. This I can try, once again, as I seem to need to do on a daily, hourly and most often minute-by-minute basis.
    I think of my brother who like suffers from addiction. I have been sober now for more than half of my life while he struggles over and over with his demons. Every day putting one foot in front of the other and when he falls, trying desperately to get up again. A daily battle for him. B – if you knew how much I love you.

    The Preface – it brings me back to where I need to be. I can’t do it on my own, of course not, but who said I have to. The fog clears and I see before me. It is not pure white, clean, neat or tidy. It there it is before me – I am messy. I think again of Eugene in those years before he became Bishop of Marseilles. His life too was messy but he did not give up. And for some reason I think of that Jesuit in the movie Silence – his life was messy but he did not give up. And my brother who does not give up. I am reminded of the words: ‘as thought to breathe was life’.

    I think of Jesus and his virtues and one word comes to mind – love. On small word – it is deceptive – it holds everything within it. It has been on the tip of my tongue from the beginning, but I needed to get around the rest to be able to say it.

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