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

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Is there anything here on earth that can rival what God has given to us, to me? God has called each of us to be in a particular way and I am quite unable to imagine that there could be anything greater or higher than that. We are where we are supposed to be, where our fiats, our oblations have led us to on a journey that is not yet finished.

    Convocation came to a beautiful end last night. The celebration of Mass was powerful and poignant and at the end we sang together the Salve Regina and then Jesus Christ is Risen Today. What could be more perfect? After dinner we chatted and we sang, we celebrated each other – with each other.

    It has been a time of hard work, of deep sharing, small chats, smiles, laughter, unimagined surprises, praying together, dreaming and looking at what is. We carry all of this with immense hope for our future. It has not been so much a trumpeting of our horns – there has been that, but there has also been the sharing of our questions, fears, struggles… We have acknowledged and claimed all of it.

    Heady stuff found only in the ordinary of the day, in each other.

    There was not a lot of mention of our Rule of Life – but they were so evident for they could be seen and heard in the voices and words that were expressed and in our shared experiences. There is within me this morning no small amount of pride that I belong to this Mazenodian Family, immense gratitude and joy that God would choose for me to be here. This morning we begin with Mass and then we pack up and head out again. A sending of a sort. I am anxious in a good way to return home and share the joy and goodness that has accompanied us this past week. I do that with excitement and renewed spirit, and the phrase that comes to mind is that these are some of the fruits of our labours.

    My heart is filled with new treasures. Eugene what a magnificent family you have founded for each us. For us there could be nothing better for this is what God has chosen.

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