THE WILL OF GOD IS MANIFESTED IN A WAY THAT CANNOT BE MISTAKEN. AND I FIND MYSELF IN A POSITION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO REFUSE

Eugene would have liked to have dedicated the rest of his life to serving only the Oblates, but this was not God’s plan for him. 

How often I have counted the blessings I would enjoy eventually in the solitude of one of our houses, should the Lord have called my uncle to himself before my own death! …And now here today all this future happiness vanishes. I must submit to this yoke that I have done everything to avoid. The will of God is manifested in a way that cannot be mistaken. And I find myself in a position of not being able to refuse. No one would want to pay heed to the purely personal considerations I would like to be heard.

He now lists five reasons why it is important that he obey God’s will as shown in his nomination as Bishop of Marseilles:

    • The conservation of the Diocese of Marseilles assured after so many and such violent attacks to eliminate it from the list of dioceses.
    • The involvement of my venerable uncle, bound by a solid initiative  jeopardised inspired in his beautiful soul by considerations of heroic perfection, and confident of my obedience which he has every right to require of me.
    • The interests of all the diocesan foundations, a large number of which have only just been launched, and responsibility for which falls on us.
    • The good of our Congregation to which it is so important to have a Bishop of the Church of France as protector and anchor.
    • Finally the unanimous wish of all who are entitled to my trust. 
It took nothing less than all these powerful reasons to bring about my consent that I have given as if by necessity, with resignation, without hiding from myself the enormity of the responsibility, but also with the will, genuinely sincere I think, to fulfil it as well as I possibly can.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 9 April 1837, EO XVIII

We can learn from this example of discernment. When faced with a decision it is very helpful process to be able to write down all the reasons for and against.

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One Response to THE WILL OF GOD IS MANIFESTED IN A WAY THAT CANNOT BE MISTAKEN. AND I FIND MYSELF IN A POSITION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO REFUSE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Here we see the facets of Eugene’s heart – God, Church and Congregation. He has given himself in love and service to all three and each is a part of the other. This is what living, ongoing Oblation looks like. “The will of god is manifested in a way that cannot be mistaken.” This is what it looks like to have Jesus and his disciples as our models.

    I think for a moment of his words from The Preface: “We must lead men to act like human beings… and then like Christians… and we help them to become saints.”
    The wonder of life in, with and through God.

    This life journey that each of us make – not on our own but in and with and through God, the Church, and each other. It is never just about our own selves – it is both personal and communal at the same time. I think for a moment of the beautiful Rule of Life that has been shared with us and which helps to keep us centered on the axis that God has given to us.

    I have a friend who has spoken with me a few times about this wonderful ‘adventure’ that I am on. In times of struggle and fear my friend has reminded me of what it is really all about. The first time I heard that word I thought perhaps my friend had ‘lost it’; but now I have a dawning understanding. I have recently used that word myself as I have been walking with some others. The adventure that we are on, taking part in.

    I think that I will take this example of discernment that Eugene has shared with us and use it as a model in the coming month ahead for my own life. God never stops and so neither can our response.

    Yes there is the responsibility of this – sometimes heavy and onerous; but the responsibility is back-lit with light and joy. This is the adventure!

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