That is enough reflecting on the past. The best thing is to abandon myself to God to apply myself specially to consider what is going to be done in me by virtue of the Most High, and the obligations I am going to contract on receiving the plenitude of the priesthood of J.C.

The future bishop then spent the rest of the retreat meditating on the prayers of the rite of consecration and what tey highlight about the meaning of being a bishop. A successor of the Apostles:

Dust and ashes as I am, I am really going to be lifted up among the Princes of God’s People, as I am going to be aggregated to the apostolic College, re-clothed with the character they were clothed with, succeed to and participate in a share of their power… to enter into participation in the solicitude for all the Churches, to pass on in my turn the Holy Spirit to work towards the perpetuation of the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ, to judge, interpret, conserve, ordain, offer, baptize, and confirm.

Prostrate on the ground during the singing of the Litany of the Saints:

As for me is it excessive to abase myself with the thought of my own nothingness, prostrate myself face downwards to the ground, send up groans towards the Lord, implore his mercy, his almighty grace, the help of his right-hand, to invoke, hands joined, tears in the eyes, the Blessed Virgin my Mother, the holy Angels, my holy Patrons and all the saints of paradise and all the just on earth and even the holy souls in purgatory, for I am sure that even though they cannot merit, they can obtain by intercession…
All-Holy God, grant me the grace to penetrate this great mystery …

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

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    A little difficult to read this morning for Eugene’s words are almost excessive, too effusive and unrestrained – over the top… yet I have the distinct feeling that although the wording is slightly different from those that I might use – the sentiments themselves are every bit as real as some that I have entertained at particular times in my life.

    Eugene spent the remainder of his retreat meditating on the prayers of the rite that is to be performed upon him. He has tried to model his own life on the life of the Apostles but here he begins to look upon it in a deeper way; and if before he saw his life of loving as the ripples of a small stone dropped into a pond, he looks towards what it will become – like a mighty stone being dropped into an ocean and the ripples extending outwards in the same way yet differently.

    He invokes all of the saints, all those who have gone before him – I think for a moment how we sing the Litany of the Saints before a baby is baptised at our church – of course. I think somehow I shall be changed forever for there will be something deeper the next time I am ‘present’ and so taking part in other’s baptism, even to helping with the setup etc. Like the surface of a pond or an ocean I will be forever changed in those moments.

    In August Oblate Studies will start up again – a new course that already I am looking forward to. There is a small area that is nothing less than excitement within me at the thought of the gifts that will be offered and received with the course. It happens that our district retreat will take place the week before the course. I have purposely signed up for that retreat – not so much to fulfill any kind of an obligation or practice, but simply to open and prepare myself for what will be offered and shared within the course.

    It is still too early to be giddy, but excitement has begun, little ripples…

    I will open by abandoning myself to God… so to be blessed with the grace to enter into the great mystery that is God.

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