THE GRACE OF OUR LORD HAS BEEN ABUNDANT

Eugene recalls his personal salvation history:

As I make myself more familiar with the idea of what I already am by my election and what I am to become by my consecration, it will be advantageous to examine attentively the Holy Spirit’s way of acting towards me both at the time of my ordination and during the course of my priestly ministry, and my cooperation on the one hand and my infidelities on the other hand, with the abundant communications of his grace.

Learning from those times when he had not cooperated with God’s grace in the past, he prays for forgiveness and for the ability to allow the Holy Spirit to mak up for his weaknesses and failings.

Thus I will ascertain the loss attributable to my fault, shed bitter tears before God, and full of trust in his mercy, I will dare hope that this living Spirit who is to come down into my soul will restore all I have let deteriorate, strengthen, consolidate, bring to perfection everything in me for me to become truly his right-hand man, the Elias of the Church, the anointed of the Lord, the priest according to the order of Melchisedech who has nothing else in view but to please God by fulfilling all the duties of my ministry for the building up of the Church, the salvation of souls and my own sanctification.
So may I be able to say with the apostle St. Paul: “I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. I was once a blasphemer… The grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus… . To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Tim. 1:12-17)

Retreat journal before being consecrated bishop, 7-14 October 1832, EO XV n 166

Like Paul and Eugene, each of us has been called by God in the ordinariness of our lives – and given the strength to be God’s instruments in and through our everyday occupations.

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One Response to THE GRACE OF OUR LORD HAS BEEN ABUNDANT

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of a river flowing deeply, becoming at times swollen and furious; in places calm and reflective; running deeply in one moment and then in another shallow with ripples and rapids. Always changing and yet still the same river. She carries nourishment to the lands she travels through, nourishing all that grows from the land and those who live by her banks. Absorbing into herself the many small streams and tributaries. The ordinary of a river – really quite extraordinary.

    I find myself focussing on Eugene’s words: “…to please God by fulfilling all the duties of my ministry for the building up of the Church, the salvation of souls and my own sanctification.” I think of what I learned since I began trying to walk with Eugene, in his footsteps – in the ordinary of my days – an ordinariness that has changed and yet been the same.

    What does it mean for me to fulfilling the duties of my ministry for the building up of the Church, for the salvation of souls and my own sanctification? How do I take part in that with my life? I look at my models, those I try to imitate and emulate – not to surpass but more to follow. Jesus, Mary, St. Paul, Eugene – the great ones, larger than life. I think of Joseph Girard and then closer to home, Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Kay Cronin… The list grows as images of faces pass through my mind – of people that I walk with and follow – some very well-known and others not so much – Gail, Frank, Shelley, Gene and Sarath – and in the ordinary of their days each is different from the other, Yet they are gifts in my life, they are a part of the abundant graces given to me by God.

    I look at the graces that God has given to me to share. They do not seem so evident, so noticeable. I think of the Reflection on the Scriptures for this coming weekend. A mustard seed – what blooms from the mustard seed of my life?

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