SUBMITTING WITH HUMILITY TO THE ONE CHOSEN AMONG THEIR BROTHERS TO REPRESENT JESUS CHRIST

Quoting from the Rule, Eugene’s retreat meditations lead him to comment on some of the areas of relationship with the Savior which are lived out in everyday activities.

The ministry they are doing brings them gratitude, praise and acclaim. It is, therefore, important to realize that they are merely instruments of Jesus the Savior. They need to cultivate humility (to say “It is about you, Jesus, not me”) and simple cooperation with their superior (“It is about us, the community, and not about me.”)

“Closely united in the bonds of close fraternal charity, all will be exact in the practice of holy obedience under the direction of superiors”. It is not talking here only of the Superior General. What is to be said then of grumbling, prejudices?
“By this mode of life they will become well versed in the virtue of humility…”. in submitting with simplicity to the one chosen among their brothers to represent Jesus Christ, to have authority in his name, for him to be obeyed exactly “exactly” and for one to comply with the humility that is infinitely necessary in their case, “they will become well versed in the virtue of humility, a virtue that they will not cease to implore from God, since it is absolutely necessary for the perilous ministry in which they are engaged”.

Then Eugene gives the practical reason for these safeguards: to God belongs the credit and not to our “swollen-heads.”

And here is the reason: “So rich, indeed, are the fruits of this ministry, that it is to be feared that such marvelous achievements-due as they are to grace alone and whose glory consequently belongs only to God-might prove a dangerous snare for an imperfect missionary, who has not sufficiently cultivated this fundamental and indispensable virtue.” The proud have had their warning!

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

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One Response to SUBMITTING WITH HUMILITY TO THE ONE CHOSEN AMONG THEIR BROTHERS TO REPRESENT JESUS CHRIST

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    ‘…they are merely instruments of Jesus the Savior. They need to cultivate humility (to say “It is about you, Jesus, not me”) and simple cooperation with their superior (“It is about us, the community, and not about me.”)’ Part of me wants to get up and run – very fast and very far. Afraid that I can and equally afraid that I can’t. To hand over control to another. To submit. If it was only to God, to Jesus alone – no problem! But to another who is just like me – human. My “who is just like me” seems to break open my struggling heart – who is just like me – who is sometimes loving and beautiful but who is also human and broken, wounded – who is just like me. And I know it cannot be just some ‘empty words’ – this is soul deep stuff – words alone are not enough.

    Two things come to mind. The first is that young man who had many possessions, many things and who asked Jesus what he had to do to follow him. And when Jesus told him – that he had to give up everything and follow him – well that was just too much for him so he walked away. Who knows – maybe he returned later on. He didn’t just have to give up things – he had to let go over everything – his pride, his control, his needs and wants… What am I holding on to inside of myself – what am I allowing to remain in the dark so that I don’t have to see it?

    I also think of Blessed Joseph Gérard OMI this morning. I know – a different time, a different man – and yet what he had to let go of in his life – his humility which did not necessary mean that he lived this outwardly ‘very holy and pious looking life’. He did live that but he also lived with deep and faithful humility which allowed him to persevere through immense pain and suffering that he did not give in to. I have only yet begun to to get to know him, but I’m drawn to him – to pray to him to help me and pray for me. And with time I will get to know him better.

    This is all ‘inner stuff’ – sometimes perhaps the most difficult stuff – all those wounds and scars that are not seen, that are hidden away. Yet I don’t want to run away any longer, even as I, at the same time, am afraid that I will not be able to do this. Dear Joseph Gérard pray for me.

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