“In the prolonged silent prayer we make each day, we let ourselves be molded by the Lord, and find in him the inspiration of our conduct” (OMI Rule of Life, 33).
The practice of Oraison was an important part of St. Eugene’s daily prayer during which he entered into communion with the members of his missionary family. While they were all in France it was easy for them to gather in prayer at approximately the same time. When Oblate missionaries started to be sent to different continents it was no longer possible to pray at the same time, yet each day there was a time when they stopped and prayed in union with one another – even though not at the same time.
This is a practice that Eugene wanted the members of his religious family to maintain. This is why you are invited to take part in this practice of Oraison on Sunday, May 17, 2020, as we commemorate the anniversary of St. Eugene de Mazenod’s death on May 21, 1861.
Some suggested texts to pray with:
Hebrews 13: 7-8
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Excerpt from: Marcello Zago, O.M.I., Renewing Ourselves in the Charism of Eugene de Mazenod (January 25th, 1995).
Eugene de Mazenod still remains a living person with whom we have a personal relationship. Since he lived between 1782 and 1861 a life rich in events and responsibilities, he owes his importance not simply to his achievements and intuitions, to the Institute he founded and the movement he created in the Church. To this day he continues to relate to us and we to him through the communion of saints. So, remembering him is not enough. We must develop a personal rapport, always more intimate, with him. That is the reason why I invite you together to focus your attention on the Founder, considering him as
-a saint to imitate,
-a founder to follow,
-a teacher to heed
-a father to love,
-an intercessor to invoke.
Let us pause to reflect on how we recognize these qualities in St. Eugene today. The complete article by Father Marcello Zago (OMI Superior General 1986-1998) is worth reading: https://www.omiworld.org/wp-content/uploads/RENEWING-OURSELVES-IN-THE-CHARISM-OF-EUGENE-DE-MAZENOD.pdf
These are the words that St Eugene addressed to his family on his deathbed. They apply to the whole Mazenodian Family today.
Bishop, one of us asked him, give us some words to pass on to all our brothers. It will make them very happy!
Be sure to tell them that I die happy… that I die happy that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.
Bishop, would you reveal to us the last wish in your heart.
Practice among yourselves charity … charity…. charity… and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.
-Circular letter of Father Fabre, 1861 after the death of the Founder.