HOW MUCH DO I THANK THE LORD FOR KNOWING HOW TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF THOSE I MUST INSTRUCT, AND WHO LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND ME

“Confirmation at the La Charité home. A great number of children were presented to me to receive this sacrament”

La Vieille Charité, Marseille

 

Always close to the people, especially the poor in this almshouse of Marseilles “for the vagrants and the homeless,” Eugene narrates that he preached in the Provençal language for an hour and-a-half!

 

 

I would have stopped sooner, if I had noticed that the listeners were not attentive, but old and young were inhaling my words, so to say, that is why I continued. That is what happens wherever I go.

Oh! how much do I thank the Lord for knowing how to speak the language of those I must instruct, and who listen to me because they understand me. I would not change my approach for all the gold in the world; my conviction has no need of the witness that I perceive every day as to the excellence of that method.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 26 September 1837, EO XVIII

“As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)

 

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One Response to HOW MUCH DO I THANK THE LORD FOR KNOWING HOW TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF THOSE I MUST INSTRUCT, AND WHO LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND ME

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What really stands out for me this morning is Eugene’s joy at being able to speak the language of those in that almshouse, the joy of knowing that he was understood: “I would not change my approach for all the gold in the world.” His joy was in being able to share his experience of God with those who most certainly did not know the language of the Church, who did not know proper French or Latin. Eugene’s joy was in and for the children and that he could give them something that was of great value to himself.

    I catch a tiny glimpse of God’s joy, the joy that Jesus tried to explain over and over again as he would speak of the kingdom of God being “like”…. God’s joy is in loving us and in seeing, in knowing that we are receiving that love. It is not just about being understood, but in being able to love and give them that love.

    I have been dancing around this thought for the last hour and am reduced to tears in the small fleeting glimpse of God’s joy in loving me, loving us. God takes delight in loving us. The immensity of God’s love. I am unable to grasp that and can only sit with it. That same love that Eugene expressed in saying that he would not change his approach for the gold in the world.

    When I awoke this morning I realised and remembered my dream before waking and I was kind of lost in that. But now as I start out I am once again a sheep with a shepherd to love and care for me. I feel as if another light for me to walk in has been turned on.

    The delight and joy that God takes in showing us how we are so loved.

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