LET US THANK THE LORD WHO HAS HAD ME SHARE ABUNDANTLY IN THE BITTERNESS OF HIS PASSION THIS YEAR

A Good Friday to remember! Thirty years earlier Eugene had received the grace of experiencing the meaning of the Cross in his life. Now in 1838, he had been publicly slandered by a former domestic servant – who was later to admit that his words had been invented. Seizing on this public event, some who were hostile to the Church in Marseilles were about to print a booklet on Good Friday to frame the bishop in an even worse light.

Eugene had wanted to spend Good Friday meditating peacefully at the foot of the Cross – but the Savior had other plans for him to experience the Cross in a more holistic way.

April 13: Good Friday. Why should such holy days be troubled and my soul, which would like to remain in meditation at the foot of the Cross, be diverted from the only thing that should occupy my mind and my heart? The reason is that evil people are on the lookout today as they were in time of our divine Saviour. Let us thank the Lord who has had me share abundantly in the bitterness of his Passion this year. It is up to me to profit by it.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 13 April 1838, EO XIX

“I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20)

“ Not that I have . . . already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians. 3:12).

As followers of Jesus, Eugene and Paul encourage us on our daily journey – as difficult as it may be.

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One Response to LET US THANK THE LORD WHO HAS HAD ME SHARE ABUNDANTLY IN THE BITTERNESS OF HIS PASSION THIS YEAR

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Let us thank the Lord who has had me share abundantly in the bitterness of his Passion this year. It is up to me to profit by it.” And “I have been crucified with Christ…” These are much more than feel-good expressions and holy-sounding words.

    When we first meet our crucified Saviour it is in the blinding light of absolute love and we most willingly run towards him; announcing our desire to give ourselves totally and join him on the cross. The dance of seduction begins – interrupting life that will later return to also claim us.

    We grow into the cross as it were. For most of us it is a step-by-step journey – just like that of Eugene de Mazenod’s life.

    Eugene could have easily allowed himself to be consumed with anger, bitterness and thoughts of retaliation and punishment towards his former servant. Eugene though, experienced this as being an invitation from God to love more deeply, to share what that crucifixion was really about. Total love. Jesus had been and continued to be his model. It was in that sense that his life revolved around Jesus; through him, and with him and in him. Jesus was his beginning and end.

    “We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” (1825) All those little steps – this is what it means to be a saint. So much more than nice and holy sounding words – real and lived. In AA we began by talking-the-talk and then learned how to walk-the-walk.

    Jesus, Paul and Eugene…

    A small “aha” moment! This is what we are all called to in our life – the sorrow and bitter humiliation of death on the cross and the light and joy of resurrection that we experience. Life is both.

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