Through the eyes of our crucified Saviour we see the world which he redeemed with his blood, desiring that those in whom he continues to suffer will know also the power of his resurrection (cf. Phil 3: 10).

CC&RR, Constitution 4

Fr. Jetté reflects: “we are invited to contemplate the cross, Christ’s suffering not only within ourselves but also in others. Our desire is ‘that those in whom he continues to suffer will know also the power of his resurrection’.” (F. Jetté, The Apostolic Man, p. 59)

Eugene’s first recorded homily, in the Madeleine Church, put this view into practice:

Lift yourselves towards heaven where your minds should be set, our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), let your eyes see for once beneath the rags that cover you, there is within you an immortal soul made in the image of God whom it is destined to possess one day, a soul ransomed at the price of the blood of Jesus Christ, more precious in the eyes of God than all earth’s riches, than all the kingdoms of the earth, a soul of which he is more jealous than of the government of the entire universe.

Christians, know then your dignity, with St. Leo I will call you sharers in the divine nature.

Notes for the first instruction in the Church of the Madeleine, 1813,  EO XV n. 114

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “…those in whom he continues to suffer will know also the power of his resurrection.” How is that I am suddenly reading this differently, seeing it differently?

    I remember back, almost 40 years ago, when I first arrived on this eastern side of the country – feeling so very alone. Sitting on the back porch I looked out through my tears at the crucifix hanging on a tree. Jesus was crying with me, Jesus knew my pain. This was my experience of Jesus at that moment. Suddenly I was no longer alone.

    I, like so many others, dare I say most, have a ‘built-in’ need to share with others; perhaps it is a part of my God-given DNA. Not just suffering but joy – the overwhelming immensity of being lavished with love by our Beloved. I look at Eugene’s words to those who were suffering; he needed, he could not stop himself from sharing his joy with those who did not know the same joy of love as he.

    “…let your eyes see for once beneath the rags that cover you…” What are the rags that I wear that try to hide and even at times obliterate my true self? Sadness, loneliness, darkness, fear, heart’s pain. If I can look past all of that will I be able to recognize God within, the divine nature that is the deepest part of myself, within and a part of all of us?

    Last night a friend called me; tired and lonely after a long day of work; the struggles to even get to and from work and then to come home to an empty house. It was not the living alone that she struggled with but the not have anyone there to share her fears, doubts and struggles with. I think of Ron Rolheiser’s story of a small child who has fears and who want not just God but “someone with skin” to comfort them. I recognized Jesus within her, on the cross and suffering with her.

    “Open my eyes Lord. Help me to see your face. Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see.” I want to hear Your voice: “I lie within you. Deep in your heart O Love. I live within you. Rest now in me.”

    This is my prayer for all of us today; for all of us in whom Jesus lives, suffering with us, we wait to know the resurrection within ourselves.

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