17 FEBRUARY 1826: THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT EUGENE’S FOUNDATION IS A GOD-GIVEN CHARISM FOR US TODAY

My dear brothers, on February 17, 1826, yesterday evening, the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XII confirmed the decision of the congregation of Cardinals and specifically approved the Institute, the Rules and Constitutions of the Missionary Oblates of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary…

The conclusion to be drawn from this, my dear friends and good brothers, is: we must work, with renewed ardour and still more total devotedness, to bring to God all the glory that stems from our efforts and, to the needy souls of our neighbours, salvation in all possible ways; we must attach ourselves heart and soul to our Rules and practice more exactly what they prescribe to us…In the name of God, let us be saints.

Eugene de Mazenod to his Oblate Family, 18 February 1826, EO VII, n. 226

Today:

Writing to the Mazenodian Family, Father Louis Lougen urges us all to be missionaries according to the vision and heart of St. Eugene, wherever we are and whatever our state of life:

The missionary project of Eugene and companions, expressed in a passionate way in the “Preface”, is written in our hearts… we see its prophetic relevance even today.  The Church in our own times, in various ways and in diverse places around the world, has been devastated.  We experience a Church which is discredited because of its own ministers’ lack of virtue; a Church divided and polarized by ideologies; a Church whose faithful members very often are being persecuted for their faith; and in other places, a Church where Christians have ceased professing their faith; a Church weakened for lack of the Eucharist, lack of priests and difficult accessibility.

This reality cries out with urgency to us and touches our hearts as it did Eugene’s.  If there could be missionaries, filled with passion to bring the Gospel to the poor; missionaries inflamed with apostolic zeal; missionaries committed to a holy life of genuine love for others; missionaries who would share a life in common and collaborate together and with others for the Mission of God… Then, in a short time, there would be reason to hope that people would truly open their lives to God’s Good News.  Eugene’s was a prophetic vision, with a profound pastoral hunger to minister to the people forgotten by the Church. (https://www.omiworld.org/2020/02/02/the-letter-of-the-superior-general-on-the-194th-anniversary-of-the-papal-approbation-of-the-constitutions-and-rules/ )

Father Louis Lougen OMI, Superior General

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One Response to 17 FEBRUARY 1826: THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT EUGENE’S FOUNDATION IS A GOD-GIVEN CHARISM FOR US TODAY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    My reflection this morning is slow and relaxed as I find myself wanting to simply sit with it. To focus on what Fr. Louis Lougen has shared with us and give special attention to the Church’s struggles and brokenness – which is not really so very different than it was 194 years ago; this is a gift.

    It is not a day to look at her and make a list of her (or our) wrongs; nor is it a day to separate ourselves from her. It is not a day to lay blame or to walk away in anger or sorrow. That would be to close our hearts – perhaps forever.

    It is a day though to celebrate and give thanks; a day to allow God to renew us with this instrument inspired and dictated by the Holy Spirit for all of us who are called to share in this particular charism.

    This beautiful Rule of Life – which as Fr. Louis Lougen wrote in his letter to all of us, ‘guides and helps us to be faithful to the charism poured out upon us by the Holy Spirit.
    It takes great daring and courage to allow them to touch and then reside in our hearts.

    “The Church, that glorious inheritance purchased by Christ the Saviour at the cost of his own blood…” Our individual and collective oblations are both offered and received by the Church.

    I am reminded of Fr. Albert Lacombe OMI who joined the Oblates because he recognized that he needed some kind of regularity in his life and that a Rule of Life would give that to him. I too need and find that in the Constitutions and Rules, when I open my heart to them, allowing them to become a part of me.

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