THE POOR INSTRUMENT OF THESE MARVELS IS THE FIRST TO BE SURPRISED

Eugene marvels at what is being achieved by the Oblate missionaries in their parish missions.

My dear Father Vincens, the Lord be praised for what he has accomplished by means of your ministry and dear Father Dassy’s. Good master as he is, he wanted to give you some encouragement and he let his blessings accompany your words.

They are the instruments being used by God and the more they allow themselves to be the co-operators of the Savior, the more blessings are given to the people.

Like us I’m sure you give all the credit for our work’s success to his grace and his grace alone.
That’s what gets through to the heart while our words merely enter the ear, and here we see precisely where the immense difference lies between our sermons and those of fashionable preachers which are infinitely superior in other respects. At the voice of the missionary miracles abound and he is so struck by the wonder of so many conversions that the poor instrument of these marvels is the first to be surprised, and while praising God and rejoicing he humbles himself in his littleness and nothingness.

The co-operator of the Savior is a generous instrument through whom God works miracles:

What sign of approbation can come up to a miracle, and never were there greater ones than those that are worked on missions, those you have yourself worked.

Letter to Ambroise Vincens, 17 January 1835, EO VIII n 503

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One Response to THE POOR INSTRUMENT OF THESE MARVELS IS THE FIRST TO BE SURPRISED

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning I am a little awed and amazed at what both Eugene and Frank offer to us. There is within me a recognition of the hand of God in writing the words to Father Vincens and in Frank’s shared experience of those words. “They are the instruments being used by God…” And the word “Oblation” comes to mind, that immense gift of surrender and giving ourselves over to God. It is in this way that “they allow themselves to be co-operators of the Saviour”. There is no arrogance or boastfulness here – simply gratefulness that they are allowed to share their own beliefs and reality of how God blesses us. And that we become and are a part of that.

    How often have we been surprised when another has thanked us for our love, or for ‘being’ there in times of struggle; for giving of ourselves; for through us somehow they have met God, or heard their Beloved speak and call their name. How often are we surprised and filled with joy as we witness conversion moments in others and give thanks and praise to God; knowing that it was not us but rather God who has orchestrated such magnificent wonder. “Thank you Lord for using me, for speaking through me, for opening my heart so that others might see yours.” It is not just ‘them’; for if we look through the eyes of Immense Love we will see flashes of our own selves being used as instruments.

    It is then that we are surprised and give thanks “praising God and rejoicing – humbling ourselves in littleness and nothingness. These are the miracles that we get to take part in as members of this Mazenodian Family.

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