MY METHOD IS TO SUPPORT THE ZEAL OF ALL THOSE WHO WISH TO CONSECRATE THEMSELVES TO A LIFE OF PERFECTION, TO PRAYER AND TO PENITENCE

During his time in Marseilles, Bishop Eugene was responsible for bringing in twelve congregations of religious sisters to meet the needs of the poor and abandoned in his diocese. When he could not “import” he was instrumental in the founding of four new congregations of sisters in the city.  In this extract from his diary, he speaks about one of these new foundations.

Mass at the Victimes du Coeur de Jésus [Victims of the Heart of Jesus] I solemnly blessed their chapel and gave the habit to two postulants. My method is to support the zeal of all those who wish to consecrate themselves to a life of perfection, to prayer and to penitence… As well, whatever may be said about it, I will always favor this type of vocation and the establishments that result from it.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 27 December 1842, EO XXI

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1 Response to MY METHOD IS TO SUPPORT THE ZEAL OF ALL THOSE WHO WISH TO CONSECRATE THEMSELVES TO A LIFE OF PERFECTION, TO PRAYER AND TO PENITENCE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene did not regret the state of life that God had called him to, but rather he celebrated it. What could be more natural than that? To invite and help others who are called to live in the same manner as oneself and to be all that they can be. “We must lead men [and women] to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” His way of striving for perfection, of praying and repentance was for him foundational, and it was only natural that he would support this way with others (be they men or women) who also believed they were called to the same state (i.e. Religious, married, etc.). I think of his many letters to his mother and sister in which he extolled these virtues in life; not just for himself but for them also in their lives.

    It is no different today within our Mazenodian Family. “The charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, and it radiates throughout the world. Lay people recognize that they are called to share in the charism according to their state of life, and to live it in ways that vary according to milieu and cultures. They share in the charism in a spirt of communion and reciprocity…” (Rule 37a)

    And at the base of it all as people of God we all love, support and walk with each other. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34) Eugene looked to Jesus and the apostles who were his model and passed that on to his many sons and daughters.

    I think of how I love in a deep way those in other families (members of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Franciscans and Dominicans, members of the Focolare Movement, members of my parish community and members of the family of God). Like Eugene, I find myself wanting to support their zeal as they consecrate themselves to a particular way of living; no matter who they be or what that might look like…

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