Bishop Eugene had instituted exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in all the parishes of his diocese. Now he decided to personally unite himself with this practice.

During my thanksgiving after Mass a few days ago, God inspired me to pay solemn homage to our Lord Jesus Christ during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament which takes place in all parishes on Thursdays, Sundays, Mondays and Shrove Tuesday.

To unite himself with his people in this act of common prayer, or oraison, he joined them for a time of personal prayer. I see in thsi an invitation to each of us to pray with and for those who form part of our lives.

I began fulfilling this duty today, and I thank the Lord a thousand times for giving me this good inspiration, because I experienced in this religious act the consolation and happiness that only God can give.

Then, in his Diary at the end of the day, he expressed what he experienced while in prayer before the Eucharistic:

What more does one not ask for when at the foot of the throne of mercy, when one adores, loves, and sees Jesus, our master, our father, the Saviour of our souls, when we speak to Him and He answers our heart with an abundance of consolations and graces? Oh! How quickly this half hour passed, so delightfully used.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 7 February 1839, EO XX

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Matthew 11:25

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is truth in what Eugene is sharing with us today – to sit in the presence of God. What a beautiful practice for Eugene to invite all the members of his flock to enter into with him.

    This might not be our current reality during this time of pandemic with our churches being locked down and gatherings being kept to a minimum. This is not so much a movement away from God as it is perhaps an invitation to find new ways of gathering and praying.

    I think for a moment of what Jesus said to us: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Mt 18:20

    Matthew’s words are most certainly an invitation for us to gather together – a call to community; but they do not mention all the many ways of coming together. I think of how our hearts come together in prayer in the light of great catastrophes – we become united as one in our prayer. During this time of living with and in the midst of a pandemic we are finding new ways of gathering together, in our hearts and in the heart of Jesus himself.

    God calls, God invites – we respond as we are able to. The consolations are exactly the same as when we are there before the Blessed Sacrament together. I think though they may go deeper for there are no physical distractions to hold us back. And the internal distractions – well they eventually get left behind as we enter into the light – the heart of Jesus.

    A practice for all the members of this Mazenodian Family – not just on the 3rd Sunday of the month but daily – in a new way. Each day we come together in this place to sit and be, to read and reflect – though we might not be before the Blessed Sacrament, we still gather in the presence of our Beloved who exposes himself to each of us – through the words of Eugene and Frank as well as through our thoughts with each other.

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