THERE WILL BE MORE EDIFICATION THROUGH FIDELITY THAN FROM AN OVER-POLITENESS

“Regularity” refers to following the Oblate Rule of Life (“regula” – hence “regularity” is following the Rule and guiding one’s life by it).

A young and dynamic community would attract many people to the sanctuary devotions and sacraments, but also to visit with the Oblates. Eugene here gives an important piece of advice: do not let an exaggerated number of visitors become a distraction to their religious lifestyle.  

If the number of visitors is found to be a disturbing factor, steps should be taken to preserve regularity, notwithstanding that. There will be more edification through fidelity like that than from an over-politeness that would entail wasting a considerable amount of time and a lot of disturbance.

Letter to Fathers Guigues and Dassy, 18 August 1834, EO VIII n 484

Advice that continues to be relevant for today: while being close to people we need to keep focused on the witness we should be giving and WHY we are close to them.

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One Response to THERE WILL BE MORE EDIFICATION THROUGH FIDELITY THAN FROM AN OVER-POLITENESS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    We – I can be doing all the right things, but if the why of that is forgotten or even lost then the actions are not bad, but they well may be empty. If I do something just because I am told to or because it is expected, if it is just by rote then most likely I need to be reminded of why I do and be as I am.

    Measuring, counting, etc can give us an indication of how we might be on the right track, how we can help fill in a need but always we need to be able to remember the why of it all. I think of how I described the Oblate Constitutions and Rules as the “glue that holds everything else together” for me.

    A week or so ago a close friend shared how she keeps a small battery-run candle turned on in her house to reminder her that she is praying for another. She sees it as she moves through and in her house. An ingenious way of being reminded. I have taken up that practice and as I see my small candle I stop for an instant and am reminded.

    The Oblate Rule of Life. As I have sat and reflected this morning on the words of Eugene and the reminder from Frank words keep coming to mind of why I am here and why I try to live as I do. “The call… to live Christ Jesus… in apostolic community… to live Christ Jesus crucified… among the most abandoned… in the Church… proclaiming the Word… with daring humility and trust… and as prophets of the new world… with Mary Immaculate.” My focus as I begin my day.

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