200 YEARS AGO: THE RULE – ENRICHED BY THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS

When Eugene had written to Henri Tempier to invite him to join the Missionaries, he had said:

We will live together in one house, that which I have bought, under a Rule we shall adopt with common accord and for which we will draw the elements from the statutes of St. Ignatius, of St. Charles for his Oblates, of St. Philip Neri, of St. Vincent de Paul and of the Blessed Liguori. Happiness awaits us in this holy Society which will have but one heart and soul.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 9 October 1815, O.W. VI n. 4.

The Rule which Eugene put together in September 1818 at St Laurent drew from the source of the Rules of other religious Congregations, especially that of St. Alphonsus Liguori who preached missions from the perspective of Christ the Redeemer, also of Saints Ignatius, Charles Borromeo, Philip Neri, Vincent de Paul, as well as the Sulpicians.

All these figures were admired by Eugene for their zeal either in mission preaching, or devotion to the poor, or ministry to youth, or foreign missions, or pastoral care etc. Eugene built on solid rock here as well because he made use of Rules that had been approved by the Church, and which contained the lived experience of other and older Congregations.

The sections which Eugene adapted and made his own clearly expressed his own spirit in a tried and tested manner, and thus together with the Missionaries of Provence whose Rule it was, we need to see these Rules as their own reality which expressed the spirit with which God led them to respond to God’s call.

The Rule was the Gospel reflected for the Mazenodian family in the light of our charism.

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One Response to 200 YEARS AGO: THE RULE – ENRICHED BY THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I spent a good chunk of my life working for the government of Canada and within that there were times when I seemed to work on my own. I loved what I was doing and was grateful to be able to work in an area that allowed me to grow – but there was a lonely responsibility to it and having to do things on my own was difficult. Eventually I transferred to a job where I would be a working as a member of a team. It was here that I was able to discover and delve into my strengths and passions that I could then share with and take part in the gifts shared by others.

    The Rule – not added to, but ‘enriched’ by the experience of others. I think for a moment of the Oblate motto and how we are sent to evangelize the poor and the 2nd half how the poor are evangelized – not just them – we too are evangelized – a sharing and a cooperating and being with.

    Frank has written “we need to see these Rules as their own reality which expressed the spirit with which God led them to respond to God’s call.” I have fallen in love with those Rules – they are the expression of the spirit with which God leads me.

    The charism, that magnificent gift given by the Holy Spirit to Eugene and which today is shared with all of us. I have in my mind the image of the “prism of the cross” and there hidden in the shadow of the Cross are the OMI Constitutions and Rules.

    “The Rule was the Gospel reflected for the Mazenodian family in the light of our charism.” I think of how Eugene spoke of himself when was dying that he was so happy that God had chosen him to be the Founder of the congregation. Right now at this moment I am so very happy and grateful that God chose for me to be called to be a member of this Mazenodian Family. I want to carry this with me as I move into the weekend

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