When the last hours of the sick young man had arrived, all the members of the Youth Congregation were asked to live them in solidarity. The bells of the parish church would be rung to indicate that someone was dying.

Art 48. As soon as the death knell rings, all the congregants who are able to, will go immediately to the church. Overwhelmed with grief, they will participate in the prayers that the Director himself will lead.

Those caring for the dying youth would be united with those in church.

Art 49. While on the one hand, the congregants will be participating in the prayers for the dying in the church, the infirmarians, on the other hand, will remain with the patient to recite the same prayers.

Statuts XIV, §2 Envers les congréganistes malades

The gesture of being united with absent brothers is one of the characteristics of Eugene’s prayer – in particular during the moments of “oraison”. (See the entries above of August 4 and 5, 2011.)

Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

William Blake

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2 Responses to UNITED IN SORROW

  1. Anda says:

    Jack and I must be on part of the same wavelength…. I read today’s note and wanted to say that I truly appreciate not only your brining St Eugene more ppresent to me, but also the effort you take in adding poems, quotes that add to the meditative quality of your posts. That Is still true – but Before I wrote it down, I looked at the previous reply, and saw Jack’s comment. I was NOT copying! Thank you Frank (and Jack)!

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have read this now a couple of times and keep coming back to the word “community”, to a new understanding, to a glimpse of something more than I’ve been seeing. For I read this and it resonates deep within.

    I think until now community has been in part (the visible part) something that I “get something from”, it fills within me a need. There is and has been most certainly love but there has also been a “receiving”, a “me getting something out of this” which in itself is not a bad thing, but it has not been as full, as the glimpses I am “experiencing glimpses” of this morning. There is a sense of just “being a part of…., of being there” and somehow in that there is giving, of myself, of my heart. It comes from within, rather from without and has something to do with belonging.

    There is in some way a sense of me giving more of myself and it is not in anything that I am “doing” – it is somehow in my “being” and I experience this somehow most deeply in prayer, in my experience of Oraison. Part of me is frustrated because I am unable to express, to put into words my sense of it, for now it is simply one of those things that “is”. At the same time I am also experiencing a profound sense of gratitude for this gift that I am being given a glimpse of.

    Not what you were writing of here Frank, for sure but this is where this posting from a year ago has led me.

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