BE FLEXIBLE AS TO FORMALITIES BUT RIGID REGARDING THE OBLATE RULE AND SPIRIT

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.

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One Response to BE FLEXIBLE AS TO FORMALITIES BUT RIGID REGARDING THE OBLATE RULE AND SPIRIT

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene knew the kinds of challenges those first young Oblates, including Bruno Guigues would experience over the course of their lives whether they stayed at home or were sent further afield in the world. If they were not able to allow themselves to become steeped within the ‘Oblate’ Rule of Life, sharing in the same spirit and community how would they be able to withstand the challenges and trials put before them? It is no different now and for many of us in this Mazenodian Family we need to know our roots and the spirit in which they are grown and shared with us.

    If the true spirit of the message becomes too diluted it will no longer have meaning or sense. For me it seems easier to try and take the full gift in and then later sort out what applies to me. I cannot decide on that which is for me until I know what is being offered. And that which does not apply directly to me remains there because it is part of my foundation – added grace and inspiration. I think of how Jesus called and invited the apostles and disciples to follow him. They got from him the full story – not just a tiny piece of it.

    The Constitutions and Rules are for me the embodiment of the charism given by the Spirit and shared by Eugene with his sons and daughters as applicable to our calls. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern that which is of importance and that which is rather inconsequential; that which fills and transforms our hearts or that which makes us ‘feel’ good.

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