I MUST ACHIEVE MY SALVATION THROUGH THEM, I MUST SAVE MYSELF WITH THEM

As Eugene meditates on his responsibilities, his concern for the salvation of those entrusted to his care is a reflection of the attitude he had instilled into his Missionaries.

As my obligations cannot be limited to the gaining of the most sublime virtues, I must attentively consider what is imposed in relation to the flock the Sovereign Pastor is to confide to me. I must achieve my salvation through them, I must save myself with them, at least I must be able to bear witness to having done everything that depended on me for their instruction, to exhort them, turn them away from evil, motivate  them to the practice of virtue, be an example to them in all kinds of good works, finally to procure for them all the means in my power to assure their salvation and lead them thus from the terrestrial fold, where God places them under my crook, to heaven where we must be reunited in God’s bosom…
The whole thing is to act only with a view to pleasing God and to acquit oneself worthily of the charge he has imposed on me.

Retreat preparatory to taking possession of the episcopal see of Marseilles, May 1837, EO XV n 185

This pastoral approach applies equally to all members of the Mazenodian Family in whatever we do for the welfare of others.

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One Response to I MUST ACHIEVE MY SALVATION THROUGH THEM, I MUST SAVE MYSELF WITH THEM

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I could so easily say “yes; but this is St. Eugene we are talking about; priest, Founder, Bishop and more; surely God would not ask the same of me”. I hold on to my own small lived response that rises from deep within me and it is so similar to Eugene’s; “It is through others that I come to know who I am – it is in loving and serving others that I find myself served and loved…” In other words “I must achieve my own salvation through them, I must save myself with them…”

    How do I know that this is what God is calling me to? Am I simply ‘tilting at windmills’ or is it real? Do I stop because I feel unworthy, not good enough for God to love me? No! I must decide if I am going to listen to my own small self, or if I am going to recognize and be as God has called me.

    I am reminded of Eugene’s 1822 experience when he prayed before the statue of the “Oblate Madonna” (see earlier posting http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=4139) Who has God chosen to speak and share with me of how I am called to live? Most certainly it has been Eugene and other members of our Mazenodian Family and so many more – those I serve and love.

    Is it really as easy as Eugene says? “The whole thing is to act only with a view to pleasing God and to acquit oneself worthily of the charge he has imposed on me.” It is not easy, and indeed I do not always feel like it is a “burden”. I can either trust or ignore it all. I choose the former; it is then that I am filled with new life when I acknowledge and accept God’s love – everything and everyone becomes transformed.

    How will I be asked today to act in a way that pleases God; that allows me to be filled with the joy that comes in serving my beloved Master?

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