The Oblate community at Notre Dame de l’Osier ranged in age from 27 to 32 years of age and with minimal years of experience of priestly ministry. For this reason, Eugene kept a watchful eye over them and guided them to establish firm foundations. It is important to remember this as we read these extracts from the letters of Eugene to the community.
I recommend you to be very flexible as to formalities but to be rigid when it comes to what is basic regarding everything that concerns to the Rule or the spirit of the Congregation.
Eliminate anything that hints of childishness from amongst you.
Letter to Bruno Guigues, 8 October 1835, EO VIII n 547
The only way that Bruno Guigues, the young community superior, could animate his community of peers was through observing the Oblate Rule. he had to learn to rigidly adhere to the prescriptions of the Rule and to the Spirit which this Rule of Life enshrined, but flexible in non-essentials.
Sometimes it is difficult to discern the difference and we fall into the trap of focusing only on the trivial and we forget the big picture.