EUGENE AND THE RESURRECTION: FROM THE CROSS TO THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION

Eugene’s Good Friday experience did not leave him standing at the foot of the Cross. The focus of his life had changed, and it became a continuous Easter – responding to the light of the Risen Christ’s, “I am with you always.”

Never was my soul more satisfied, never did it feel such happiness; for in the midst of this flood of tears, despite my grief, or rather because of my grief, my soul took wings towards its final end, towards God its only good whose loss it felt so keenly. Why say more? Could I ever express what I experienced then? Just the memory of it fills my heart with a sweet consolation.
Thus I had looked for happiness outside of God, and outside of him I found only affliction and vexation. Blessed, a thousand times blessed, that he, this good Father who, notwithstanding my unworthiness, lavished on me all the richness of his mercy.
Let me at least make up for lost time by redoubling my love for him. May all my actions, thoughts, etc., be directed towards that end. What more glorious occupation than to act in everything and for everything only for God, to love him above all else, to love him all the more as one who has loved him too late.
Ah! The happiness of heaven begins here below. This is the true way to glorify him as he wants.

Retreat Journal, December 1814, EO XV n.130

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One Response to EUGENE AND THE RESURRECTION: FROM THE CROSS TO THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    We are invited this morning to find within the lived Paschal Mystery our own experience of God and “The power of the resurrection”. As I read those words from the title my mind stops it waking wanderings. A conversion experience so powerful that death is transformed into new life. Hidden yet seen, unexplained yet described.

    I am reminded of Mary Magdalene’s experience outside the tomb – in the garden where lovers went and the imagery of that seeps into my mind with the brilliant light of resurrection. She did not at first recognize Jesus because he was resurrected – transformed. It was though as he said her name, that she knew him.

    I think of my own first experience of God that took place not on Good Friday but during – as part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation: “Eleanor I love you. I have called you by name and you are mine.” Those words, that voice speared my heart and I recognized Jesus my Saviour, my Beloved. Similar to Eugene’s experience and yet not the same at all. My response though was like that of Mary Magdalene and Eugene de Mazenod – total love and oblation.

    Mary Magdalene’s and Eugene’s experiences of the Cross (death) and resurrection – and even my own in the ‘confessional’ – a love so powerful it brings new life, transforming all who are lavished and drenched in its power. “What more glorious occupation than to act in everything and for everything only for God, to love him above all else…”

    Seen in this light Mary would have been one of the founding companions of Jesus’s Family. I am reminded of my Easter Sunday spent with some Oblates in their home and how I went in and saw their small chapel. On the wall was that beautiful large picture of the Prodigal Son – right next to the tabernacle and to the Cross. The resurrection – also in and with and through our Mazenodian Family.

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