Every day Eleanor Rabnett , a member of the Mazenodian family in Ottawa, Canada, responds to the reflection of “St Eugene Speaks” by sharing her reactions (see http://www.eugenedemazenod.net).

Yesterday I presented Bishop Bruno Guigues, who was basically the founder and builder of the Church in Ottawa of which, some 180 years later, Eleanor forms a part of. Here is her response:

Once again I begin by going to the Historical Dictionary to read about Bishop Bruno Guigues OMI before attending to this morning post for reflection. I readily recognize the original spirit of Eugene de Mazenod within Bishop Guigues and how he made it a part of himself.  No mimicking St. Eugene but rather living and sharing that Mazenodian Spirit.  Called to share this beautiful charism with all those he met. 
I am struck that he was not just a copycat image of Eugene de Mazenod but how in the way of all holy men and women he absorbed the gift of Eugene’s charism and spirituality, making it his own and living it as he had been created to.  I recognize Eugene’s light being shed upon Bishop Guigues and how he in his own way shed his light on the Oblates and all he met and cared for. He ensured that the charism remained relevant and alive here in Canada by his very life.
I am a little amazed, awed at the sentiments that rise from within me as I consider the immense gifts that we have received and how we give that back. This congregation, indeed this Mazenodian Family which began a continent away and was so instrumental in building our country (like the threads of a tapestry of life all interwoven to make a vast and full picture of life) and then spread back out into the world at large.
I look again and see how the lives of men such as Bruno Guigues OMI connect with and play a part in each of the lives of those who make up the Mazenodian Family; in our lives within the Church and within our local communities – all of which intersect with each other becoming a part of a greater whole. In the midst of all the trials and joys that will make up this day, I feel blessed with joy and gratitude. Lord, let all that I am and do today be a lived ‘giving thanks’.
Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is an invitation for me to go deeper.

    There is a refrain running repeatedly through the mists of my mind: “all that I am, all that I have, all that I’ll ever be I offer now to You.” These are the words that I have prayed for many years and for some reason they are there again this morning as I reflect.

    I remind myself of how I have often said that I come to know myself in my being a part of a community, not on my own, not by myself, but in the context of being a part of something much greater than myself. The intimate coming together of the community and personal and the flow outwards from that to the community and the personal. I think of how we remind ourselves that we come from the family of Abraham – so very much larger than our small selves – our heritage and promised birthright.

    It seems to point back to that expression and incarnation of our shared charism, our shared spirit: “Our 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… as prophets of the new world… with Mary Immaculate…”

    As with Eugene de Mazenod, Bruno Guigues and so many more past and present – this is the DNA of our Mazenodian Family.

  2. Anda Sprudzs says:

    I cannot NOT respond to how much I am amazed at / am thankful for the Oblates like you Fr Frank, as well as Fr Jack, Fr Roy and others I have met here, AND the lay associates like yourself Eleanor, and the others I have met through Galilee Centre, who share in their common charism “… with daring, humility and trust… ” to reach those like myself, who are fed, but don’t necessarily express our gratitude enough, for what we receive. Today’s post and your comments today, Eleanor, somehow also hit me in terms of the tapestry threads from the past and present all of which intersect with each other “becoming a part of a greater whole”, that is not my life, but has touched it in so many ways. My deep gratitude.

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