We have spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on the private retreat in which Eugene meditated on the Constitutions and Rules. Now it is back to everyday life for him – and his concerns as the superior for his religious family.

To give you tangible proof of my good will. I cannot bring my retreat to an end without writing you at least a few lines.
From this you see, my dear ones, that you are first in my thoughts on my descent from the holy mountain where, in conformity with the Rule and following the counsel of our divine Master. I have just “quiescere pusillum” [ed. Mark 6:31 “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place”.]
I must even admit that I have not waited for the end of my retreat to turn my thoughts in your direction. On many occasions you were in my thoughts and not by way of distraction.

Praying for the members of his religious family was always an integral part of his daily prayer. He wrote this letter on November 1, All Saints Day, the day in which the Oblates renewed their oblation – and on which new members of the family professed their first vows. Eugene gives thanks for the great gift of the Oblate vocation:

This morning as on others, in the deep silence of the pre-dawn celebration of the sacred mysteries in the seminary chapel, you were there in my thoughts to swell the number of the fervent disciples who had anticipated the break of day to give thanks to God for the great gift that has not been accorded to all.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille and to the Fathers and Brothers at Billens, 1 November 1831, EO VIII n 406

Today, all of us are invited to give thanks for the gift of our baptismal vocation and to remember that, as members of the Mazenodian Family, we are united in living and expressing our vocation.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This past weekend has been such a busy one – preparing for Convocation – working, preparing, setting up, laughing with, eating and sitting together to talk and joke. Moments for deep sharing and celebrating the Eucharist and at the end of the day falling into bed exhausted but happy – falling into the embrace of my waiting beloved.

    Today last minute tasks and setups. Moments of busyness interspersed with small bursts of excitement of what is to happen this afternoon reuniting with some and meeting others for the first time – somehow knowing all of them. Yesterday at Walmart explaining 3 full shopping carts to raised eyebrows – family reunion.

    There is in all of this an immense freedom and wholeness. For not to be forgotten are the daily prayers, quiet times and times to work on ongoing life and tasks. Oddly enough my studies fit right into this – it is as if I am experiencing that which I am learning of, it is becoming somehow a part of my lived reality, my day-to-day joy of being.

    I think of Eugene and those early Oblates, of the whole family up to today, of their passion and fire as they went out and how they returned to become refilled. Heady times! There is a oneness here.

    I don’t do any of this alone – for always this family is a part of me just as I am a part of her and I carry all with me – one heart – in the going out and the coming in, the work and the celebration. The mystery of God. The more I give my heart in love, the more it opens and becomes larger to love and hold even more. I begin giving thanks to God for this immense gift which has not been accorded to all.

  2. John Lau says:

    Well, I am in Aix, preparing for the de Mazenod Experience. Yes, you are all in my thoughts and prayers as I begin the climb to the summit. Blessings

    • Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

      And you are in our thoughts and prayers Jack. Much love to you as you climb!

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