As the novices prepare for their first retreat, it is in the light of the Rule that their vocation has to be presented. The house superior was to be the retreat preacher.
What I want is that in retreat talks, especially in the novitiate, there should be frequent and textual citation of the words of our Rules, both to form the attitude of respect that each of us owes them and for there to be a clear understanding that that is the code that lays down our duties.
It is the first general retreat in which our new men have participated, it is important that it should make a big impression on them: make it your concern to achieve this happy result.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 21 October 1834, EO VIII n 494
Eugene repeats this important prescription to the novice master too:
…I have written to Father Courtès that I want the one who gives the talks to base himself largely on the text of our Rules which he is to cite as the Code of the Congregation. This method builds up respect for these Rules and is a better way of inculcating the precepts contained in them.
Letter to Casimir Aubert, 21 October 1834, EO VIII n. 495
The Constitutions and Rules remain for all of us today the light which guides our Mazenodian vocation in whichever state of life we are called to live it.