The Shrine of Our Lady of Laus was gearing up for the busy summer pilgrimage season during which the Oblates would be feverishly occupied with pastoral ministry to the pilgrims.

Now the feast of Pentecost is upon us, appeal to the whole community, in my name, to take twice as much care to see that the crowds of visitors don’t give rise to a kind of exterior dissipation which wouldn’t be edifying in men from whom one expects behaviour that is not only full of zeal but truly modest, grave and recollected as well.

Eugene reminds them of the principle that he was constantly insisting on in the lives of the Oblates: “be” in order to “do.”

The source of all activity, the goal of all ministry, and the strength to persevere came only from their community life as religious. “Regularity” – faithful observance of the Rule of Life – was the “be” of the Oblates from which the pilgrims would draw abundant graces.

Please, insist a lot on this subject. Let it be demonstrated that, when a religious has to devote himself to external ministry, the habitual regularity that he should have acquired in the bosom of the community is a source of abundant graces and help, so that he isn’t found wanting and doesn’t disappoint the faithful’s expectations: more is required of him than of others in the wholly supernatural action of his demanding work,

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 18 May 1836, EO VIII n 571

“BE” in order to “DO” sums up the Gospel for all, not just the Oblates.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I remember my early days in AA. It was not just doing ‘Step 12’ work that would help me to retain my sobriety – that would help; but I needed to take care of myself – rest, eat, and follow the 12 Steps and Traditions. Only in that way would I be able to help myself and others. It was not just the fact that I was no longer drinking – it was my attitude and my spirit and the sharing of that which would help and perhaps inspire others who wanted what I had to share – my sobriety – my way of “Being” that then allowed me to live – to do.

    I think of the oblation that each of us makes, no matter our role and which we make before and to God and each other. That total giving of ourselves in the many ways that we are called will always need to be renewed, and re-nourished. It will be through our communities, our family that God will support and feed us, will refill us.

    I think of how we come together in community, and how we celebrate and pray together. I am always awed when I look at the total picture of what God has called us to and that Eugene has shared with us. The simplicity of the Rule of Life which can guide us step-by-step which presents our way of “Being” and then also our way of “Doing” that comes from that.

    Community – it is most deeply a part of everything else that is given to us. I remember Bishop Peter Sutton, OMI telling me that we would meet in our prayers. Once again we are being offered the opportunity to “BE” together in prayer – in Oraison on October 20th. It is no small coincidence that this will take place on the “World Day of Mission” – “DOING”.

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