THE LORD IS PLEASED TO FORM HIS ELECT IN OUR MIDST, HE SHAPES THEM, BRINGS THEM TO PERFECTION AND WHEN THEY ARE RIPE FOR HEAVEN, HE TAKES THEM FROM US

Eugene advises the community of the edifying manner of the death of Father Pons.

The Lord has just taken away our excellent Father Alexandre Marie Pons, at 28 years of age, in the 8th year since his call. He died as one predestined, yesterday at 8.00 p.m., assisted by all his brothers, who had nursed him with heroic charity throughout his illness, fearless of its malign and contagious nature. My presence and words were so much of a comfort to our poor sick confrere that I made it my personal duty to console him until the end came. Although for four hours he could no longer speak, he remained conscious and fervently followed every edifying suggestion made. Following our custom his confessor, Father Tempier, frequently repeated the act of absolution which he received with joy. I think he had received an interior light warning him that his end was near, for since the holidays he has devoted himself to every practice of perfection, living out such an exact regularity that the whole community was edified. His conversation was only of God, and he did all things for him.
It is thus that the Lord is pleased to form his elect in our midst, he shapes them, brings them to perfection and when they are ripe for heaven, he takes them from us although we are counting on them to help us in carrying the heavy load he has imposed on us. His will be done. I bless him for the good that he pledges to my children and I pray that he will hearken to the petitions they certainly make in heaven both for me and for us all and for the Congregation that has given birth to them, fed them and formed them for his glory.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 17 September 1836, EO VIII n 585

What will they say about us and our attitude to death as the door opening to our eternal life?

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One Response to THE LORD IS PLEASED TO FORM HIS ELECT IN OUR MIDST, HE SHAPES THEM, BRINGS THEM TO PERFECTION AND WHEN THEY ARE RIPE FOR HEAVEN, HE TAKES THEM FROM US

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    God forms us to do his will, to be his apostles, sharing what we have – not so that we become great and well-known persons or the most loved in our circles and communities, but so that we do the work of God, sharing the good news. This is how we are led, formed and sent. This is what it means to say yes to God. “It is thus that the Lord is pleased to form his elect in our midst, he shapes them, brings them to perfection and when they are ripe for heaven, he takes them from us…”

    In this morning’s “Daily Inspirations” from OMI World Fr. Jetté reminds us: “For the Oblate, becoming incarnate in today’s world is the normal way of evangelization. We must travel along this road with confidence and courage, but we must do so while having Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, always present in our spirit. What saves the poor, what saves people of each culture and of every culture, is not the presence of one more poor man in their midst or of an “inculturated” foreigner joining their ranks; rather, it is the presence of Christ in their midst, of Christ who, because he loves them, has freely chosen to become poor and incarnate among them.” F. Jetté OM

    It was the “presence of Christ in their midst” that Fr. Alexandre Marie Pons lived his life in preparation and how he died, entering into new life. It was his presence of God that he shared with his brother Oblates and now with all of us who are members of this Mazenodian Family.

    Although I am not running towards death I am also not running away from it. There is an anticipation of what is to come for I look forward to joining in a new way all those I know and have loved.

    I do not know what will be said about me and my attitude to death being simply the next step towards something greater but if any recognized within me the presence of God then I will be happy.

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