FORMATORS: YOU WILL HAVE A DOUBLE PORTION IN ALL THEIR WORKS AND IT WILL AMPLY REPAY YOU FOR THE SACRIFICE YOU ARE MAKING FOR THEM

Eugene was fully aware that the youthful, 25 year-old, Fr Mille found the burden of being a formator so heavy – as do most Oblate missionaries who are in houses of formation.

Once and for all impress this upon yourself. I have not sent you to Switzerland to exercise the exterior ministry but to direct, instruct and look after the community that is entrusted to you; this has been repeated and explained too often for there to be the least shadow of doubt about the course that you must follow in your situation. Apply yourself unreservedly to giving edification by your regularity to those at whose perfection it is your duty to labour.

Then he gave beautiful words of encouragement to Mille:

They will repay what you have done for them when, come to the end of their studies, they begin to work in our Father’s vineyard; it is then you will harvest what you are now sowing. You will have a double portion in all their works and it will amply repay you for the sacrifice you are making for them. God will reward you precisely for what you omit, or better, for what you do not do, in virtue of holy obedience. He alone can assign a value to your actions ….

Letter to Jean-Baptiste Mille, 21 April 1832, EO VIII n 420

I have quoted these words over and over again to all Oblates involved in the formation of our new members: you are a missionary through the mission of those you have accompanied in their formation journey. When they are in the missionary field, “you will have a double portion in all their works and it will amply repay you for the sacrifice you are making for them.”

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One Response to FORMATORS: YOU WILL HAVE A DOUBLE PORTION IN ALL THEIR WORKS AND IT WILL AMPLY REPAY YOU FOR THE SACRIFICE YOU ARE MAKING FOR THEM

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have had the privilege of learning about Eugene’s own formation, yes coming from his own life experiences, but in particular from the Sulpicians, what men like Duclaux taught Eugene, helping him to become imbued with a particular spirit. I am not sure ‘what they signed up for’ in the beginning, but I can only imagine the joy and satisfaction that was accorded to them as Eugene journeyed through life.

    Eugene himself who wanted to preach – who loved to preach and to lead and inspire – but to preach and enjoy the results and satisfaction of that. Still – he said yes to founding a congregation and from that a family that is world-wide. I am reminded of Abraham for a moment. Eugene knew what it was like to live in the duty of the moment. And he knew what it was to be a formator and to send his sons out into the missionary field. That was his role, part of his sacrifice. His responsibilities had been so wide, so large and yet he had shouldered them with joy. I think for a moment of his words as he was dying ‘be sure to tell them that I die happy that God chose me to found a congregation’ – he had not done it for himself, but rather for God, to help build the kingdom of God.

    “…you will harvest what you are now sowing”. “…you are a missionary through the mission of those you have accompanied in their formation journey”. I will carry these words through my day – what are the seeds I am sowing, what will God harvest from them.

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