To further convince the Bishop of Grenoble, Eugene now describes the ideals of the Oblate Congregation in glowing terms through the experience of Fr Dupuy:

He had come to know and appreciate the priests of our Congregation; he knew that our communities are paradise on earth; that peace, agreement, and the most perfect charity reign therein; that there is only one will, one heart, the practice and love of obedience. And so, he wanted to bring in these men who here below seek only the glory of God and the salvation of souls and who would not oppose his good objectives.
I can assure you that, even though these priests belong to a religious Congregation, you will find in them respect, obedience, and devotedness equal to any test.

Letter to Bishop Philibert de Bruillard of Grenoble, 18 August 1834, EO XIII n 82

It is good to be reminded of the idyllic picture, as do the Acts of the Apostles when speaking of the earliest Christian communities.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    My first response to reading what Eugene wrote was to laugh silently as he described the community as being “paradise on earth; that peace, agreement, and the most perfect charity reign therein.” Wow!

    There is a phrase that keeps coming to mind: “with God all things are possible” and which I translate to “with love all things are possible” – it is what we hope for, what we work for, what we believe in. How often have we heard a parent speaking about their child, who if they are to be believed, are the most perfect; the smartest… Or how as we fall in love with someone we give only the most glowing descriptions of how he or she is. The best book ever written – the most beautiful of paintings – the best, the truest, the kindest…

    I think of how God loves me – my Beloved who knows and sees me better than I am able to know and see myself. Total and absolute love without ignoring my brokenness and weakness. Acceptance – love – this is what we are called to strive for.

    Perhaps that is what Eugene was practicing…

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