WE ARE THE MINISTERS OF HIS MERCY, AND SO LET US ALWAYS HAVE THE TENDERNESS OF A FATHER TOWARDS ALL

Sometimes when we encounter opposition, and even hostility, in our living and expressing Gospel values, we are tempted to respond negatively. Eugene counteracts this here:

We are the ministers of his mercy, and so let us always have the tenderness of a father towards all; let us easily forget the insults that are sometimes committed against us in the exercise of our ministry as the good Lord wishes to forget the offences continually being committed against him. The father of the prodigal son was not content with putting the best robe on him and having a ring put on his finger, he had the fatted calf killed as well.
In the same way, we must not only reconcile sinners, but in the view of all the graces granted to them during the mission, of the guarantees their fidelity gives to respond thereto and of the efforts they have had to make for all this, we admit them to the Eucharist, we give them the bread of life so that they can advance in this new path which they are to follow…

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 20 February 1837, EO IX n 605

 

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One Response to WE ARE THE MINISTERS OF HIS MERCY, AND SO LET US ALWAYS HAVE THE TENDERNESS OF A FATHER TOWARDS ALL

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    In other words we cannot content ourselves with just not reacting negatively – we must actively do as Jesus did, treating them as our dearest of friends and family. Yikes – this is putting aside any hurts or struggles we might be going through so as to place ourselves with the other, seeing them through the eyes of our crucified Saviour with unending mercy.

    And we must go further and invite them to sit and share with us at the table of the Lord, taking part in the Eucharist.

    I dare say that this is not just reserved for priests in the confessional. I believe that this is how each of us is ‘sent’. We cannot just say the words of being sent to evangelize the poor – we must live them with all of our beings. Our love, like the love of our God must be lived out with every breath we take.

    The image that comes to my mind is a small one, but truly a tender one. During our most recent convocation we were all seated at our various tables and places listening to a speaker. One of the older men’s papers fell from the table to the floor. Ever aware, Fr. Louis immediately moved from his table, got down on one knee to pick up the paper and returned it to the older man; and then Fr. Louis returned to his chair as if nothing had happened and continued to listen to the speaker. There was nothing ‘showy’ about it, simply a man being who he most truly was.

    The image of that kindness and love is indelibly drawn in my heart – not to be forgotten. It is the image of tender, loving service. This to me is what the tenderness of a father towards all can look like.

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