The only appropriate expression of the gratitude we owe God for this miracle is a firm resolution to walk always in his presence according to our vocation, in the exact observance of our Rules.

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 3 September 1834, EO VIII n 485

Whenever some great act of God’s grace for the Oblates was manifested, Eugene’s response was always the same: God has given so much, now in response we need to give ourselves fully. The response has to be according to that spirit particular to us as expressed in the Rule. This was the case in 1826, when we received approbation by the Church, and it continues today for the Mazenodian Family

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I remember my father telling me (especially in my rebellious teen years) that as long as I lived in his house I would have to abide by his rules. Back then I grumbled and ‘reacted’; figuratively stomping my feet and telling myself that ‘I would show them…’

    What is my ‘response’ now to how God invites me to walk always in his presence? What is my response to the freedom that am invited to walk in as I say yes and surrender myself to God; when I give myself in oblation to God and to the family that God has chosen for me to be a member of?

    “…according to our vocation”, according to the way and state of life that God has chosen for each of us. And if there is a Rule of Life for me to follow then all the better.

    Rule 37a states it most perfectly: “The charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, and it radiates throughout the world. Lay people recognize that they are called to share in the charism according to their state of life, and to live it in ways that vary according to milieu and cultures.” We gain so much more than we could ever lose.

    I have often said that the Constitutions and Rules are the incarnation, the lived expression of the Mazenodian charism; that they are the ‘glue that holds everything together’. That they are shared with all of us members of this Mazenodian Family is a gift without measure. That with them I too can give expression to what it is like to share in this living charism.

    “For me the only true expression of gratitude to God for this miracle is a heartfelt resolution to walk always in the presence of my Beloved according to the vocation granted to me, in observance of these Rules of Life.”

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