AT EACH HOUR OF THE DAY AND NIGHT OUR FATHERS ARE EXPOSED TO INFECTION FROM THIS CRUEL EVIL THAT GIVES NO WARNING OF ITS COMING

Eugene’s anguish was not only for the victims of the cholera and their suffering families, but for all the members of his Oblate family who endangered themselves by ministering to those infected with this contagious disease. He thus wrote to every Oblate community asking them to pray for the welfare of one another

As the danger is constant and at each hour of the day and night our Fathers are exposed to infection from this cruel evil that gives no warning of its coming, at the end of every community exercise you will say together one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” with the “We fly to your patronage” and the prayer “Defend us”, one “Glory be” for our protector St. Joseph and an “Angel of God.” On all half-doubles you will say the collect, etc. “for the Congregation and family.” These are the prayers I am ordering in all our houses:

Because Father Mille and his community were at a Marian sanctuary, he added

you will add, by reason of your happy position at Mary’s feet, a daily visit in community to the sanctuary where you will recite with every ounce of fervour you have the Litany of our good Mother.

Assured that as an Oblate family they were strengthening each other in the face of danger, they could now minister in solidarity to those in need with renewed courage.

That done, we will throw ourselves with confidence into the bosom of divine Providence, submitting ourselves in advance with all our hearts to whatever plans it pleases him to make for us …

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 19 July 1835, EO VIII n 524

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to AT EACH HOUR OF THE DAY AND NIGHT OUR FATHERS ARE EXPOSED TO INFECTION FROM THIS CRUEL EVIL THAT GIVES NO WARNING OF ITS COMING

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is real beauty and grace in Eugene’s letter to all of the Oblates on how they are to pray. My inner response it to sing softly within myself “Father, I put my life in your hands”; not just on Good Friday but every day as we live the Paschal Mystery.

    Focusing on Eugene’s guidance and leadership of his family I see in him the leadership that is conferred upon him by and through the Holy Spirit. He is the Founder and the Superior General of the congregation and it is the Holy Spirit who inspires him, while at the same time inspiring the other members of his family to follow and support that, not just in empty words but with their very lives. There is an immense humility about all of this and the image of the Good Shepherd comes to mind. We do not have to do anything alone on our own.

    I think of our current Superior General and all the images, words and graces led by the Spirit coming from the very recent Inter-Chapter. Most of us, if not all, will not have to face cholera epidemics but we may find ourselves drawn into the current epidemics that rage around us; epidemics of hatred and intolerance, of threats of war and various types of ethnic cleansing, wars of egos and elitism – the list is endless. As Eugene said “…the danger is constant and at each hour of the day and night our Fathers [and indeed all of us] are exposed to infection from this cruel evil…” Perhaps none so clearly as our leaders who ponder how they will stand tall and continue their work.

    In less than a month OMI Lacombe Province, the province through which I come to the Mazenodian Family, will have a new Provincial and council. On August 15th I will silently pledge my commitment, love and obedient support to him even though it is not required of me; as I do with our Superior General. Yesterday after I finished my morning prayer I jotted down my thoughts that I share now: “the Constitutions and Rules for me are more than how we have to live, but rather how we do live for they are called forth by the Spirit within us.”

    I seem to have strayed this morning but perhaps not. “…we will throw ourselves with confidence into the bosom of divine Providence, submitting ourselves in advance with all our hearts to whatever plans it pleases him to make for us…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *