I WOULD GIVE MY LIFE TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER GROW, KNOWING THE GOOD WORKS THAT YOU COULD ACHIEVE

We may fall into the danger of thinking that Eugene’s complaints in the preceding letters showed an Oblate congregation that was in a state of chaos. This was definitely not the case.

The demands of the people for the ministry of the Oblates were never-ending. The missionaries responded with zeal and begged Eugene to send more Oblates to their communities – and they complained when he did not comply. Eugene’s response:

Do not add, I beseech you all, to the difficulties of my position and my soul’s bitter distress, the painful experience of your complaints coming in all at the same time and from every direction. Is it my fault that there aren’t more of you and if amongst our small numbers there are so few men of ability? I would give my life to make your number grow, knowing the good works that you could achieve, that offer themselves in every quarter but which will remain undone for lack of workers.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 15 September 1836, EO VIII n 583

Today, with the blossoming of the charism families in the Church, the Mazenodian Family has come forward to be an integral part of the mission given to the Church by the charism of St Eugene.

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One Response to I WOULD GIVE MY LIFE TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER GROW, KNOWING THE GOOD WORKS THAT YOU COULD ACHIEVE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene did actually give his life to making those numbers grow, never sitting back to decide he had done enough and so he could rest – after each battle that engaged him he would stand up, stronger than ever and re-engage the world.

    In our Oblate studies we are learning and experiencing how so many Oblates followed Eugene’s example and gave their lives in oblation to God and the Church; we are learning how they faced unbelievable conditions and yet how they thrived in life sharing that which they loved most. It was not a one-time effort and as hard as they worked they continued to grow in number and to share what they had with others. They relentlessly pushed forward sharing the good news across the world and on every continent.

    Frank wrote of it so beautifully: “Today, with the blossoming of the charism families in the Church, the Mazenodian Family has come forward to be an integral part of the mission given to the Church by the charism of St Eugene.”

    We are all a part of this; this is our combined heritage.. Called and invited by God, by the Church, by St. Eugene and by each other we step forward taking our place in this family.

    I think of the line from Isaiah: A voice cries out: “in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord…” It began with Jesus offering his whole life for the world, and followed by many others, including Eugene de Mazenod who invited us to come and be a part of his family. Every morning, here in this place where Eugene speaks with us, we hear the voice calling us in the wilderness of our hearts to join our voices with his and others in this Mazenodian Family in making heard the cry.

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