What an assertion for Eugene to make at the end of his retreat! Quite some trumpet-blowing! We are the best!
I re-read our Rule during my annual retreat, in a profound spirit of recollection, and I remained convinced that we are, of all men, the least worthy of heaven’s favors, if we are not penetrated with a gratitude that would inspire us to the point of heroism for the favor that God has done us. There is nothing on earth higher than our vocation. Amongst religious. some are called to one good work, others to another; some are destined, be it indirectly, to the same end as ourselves.
There is nothing swollen-headed about this, however, because our vocation is exactly the same as the vocation of Jesus when he began his public ministry:
But for us, our principal end, I would almost say our only end, is the self-same end that Jesus Christ proposed to himself on coming into the world, the self-same end that he gave to the Apostles, to whom, without any doubt, he taught the most perfect way. And so our humble society knows no other founder than Jesus Christ, who spoke through the mouth of his Vicar [ed. The Pope who gave approbation to the Oblates, and who recognized the God-given charism of their origins], and no other Fathers than the Apostles. It is stated unmistakably. Let me delineate some of the features that emerge of the image of high perfection required of us by our Rules.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille and to the Fathers and Brothers at Billens, 3 November 1831, EO VIII n 406