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.