200 YEARS AGO: NOTA BENE – THEN FILLED WITH CONFIDENCE IN GOD

One of Eugene’s early biographers, Alfred Yenveux, describes this passage as being dressed “from head to foot in this solid armor of virtue” – in the impenetrable metal coat of armor worn by soldiers. Eugene concludes with a call to oblation, using the military vocabulary of St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, with which he was very familiar:

Then, filled with confidence in God, we must enter the lists and fight unto death for the greater glory of God.

1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter One, §3. Nota Bene.
Missions, 78 (1951) p. 16

The vocabulary of this list of virtues was in keeping with the current teaching he had received at the seminary. Perhaps if he were writing today, I believe that Eugene’s vocabulary would have been closer to the following list of virtues, because this is the spirit of the above list:

“Being poor in spirit… gentle… mourning… hungering and thirsting for justice… being merciful… pure in heart… peacemakers… persecuted in the cause of uprightness…” Matthew 5:3-12

 

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One Response to 200 YEARS AGO: NOTA BENE – THEN FILLED WITH CONFIDENCE IN GOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Being able to translate Eugene’s wording from his time to ours – into the language of love – perhaps his way of saying that we can do anything when we are filled with love – that we can not only survive in the world but even more we can thrive.

    I look at the language that Matthew wrote of, the words of Jesus and I think of the ‘spirit’ of St. Paul; this is what Eugene himself lived and ‘dressed’ himself in. I think of the words that he used as he was dying: Charity and Zeal – am not sure why this comes to mind but it does. The fire of love – it is that which we dress ourselves in – not as a shield to protect ourselves with, but rather as something to be given away to, to be shared because it is always renewed and refilled. Oblation.

    I look at the ‘spirit’ of the 1818 Rule and how the wording has changed over the past two hundred years but remains relevant today. The wording of the Preface which I love and which my heart responds to – it is the spirit of Eugene’s words that I respond to. A quick glance at the OMI CC&RR and the headings beside each of the constitutions that carry and incarnate the charism and spirit of our founder – in today’s world: “Our call – to live Jesus Christ – in apostolic community…” I notice that OMIWorld has begun to post the Constitutions – well the first two. A daily prayer – a daily reminder of how we ‘arm’ ourselves; of how we dress ourselves as missionaries.

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