Continuing his presentation of the vocation of the Missionary, Eugene reflected on how to maintain the spirit of the apostolic model in everyday life:

So he ought to do everything to arrive at this desirable holiness which is to produce such great effects. What we have found most apt to help us attain thereto is to come as close as we can to the evangelical counsels, faithfully observed by all those who have been employed by Jesus Christ in the great work of the redemption of souls.
That is what has resolved us to despise honours and detest riches which are the obstacles which trip up too great a number of priests who thereby render their ministry unfruitful and endanger their salvation.

Letter to M. Viguier, 6 January 1819, O.W. VI n 38

The “evangelical counsels” are the attitudes of the way of life of Jesus which we find in the Gospel. The total commitment of Jesus to his salvific mission was expressed through his life of chastity, poverty and obedience. His apostles lived by this spirit, and so the Missionaries committed themselves to these by making vows. Expressingt the evangelical counsels in different words:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Philippians 2:4-8


“For only as we ourselves, as adults, actually move and have our being in the state of love, can we be appropriate models and guides for our children. What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.”      Joseph Chilton Pearce

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I searched quite deliberately for this posting – it is Sunday and I find myself wanting to do more than simply read over the notes that I wrote during the day yesterday. “Cultivating the presence of God” – how we do that. It was active as we looked at specific forms of praying – of being with our God through the Word, in stillness and silence, through reflection, through attitude and motivation. We practiced it – for how else will we learn except by beginning and doing. One of the things that I picked up on and noticed yesterday was my attitude. As I have noted in the past my attitude colours everything, specially how I approach my Lord during the day. I find that when filled with a spirit of gratitude all else flows and God is so adept at filling me with that particular gift [it is not something that I created on my own but perhaps a direct response of my being to the love that I know within].

    And then beginning to look at Jesus as my model. A few years ago I would most likely have scoffed at the idea of modelling myself after Jesus. Jesus was/is God – how could I model myself after my God. The very idea of it would have scared me silly. But who else to model myself after? Jesus my Lord and master, true son of the living God who has mercy on me, a sinner. How do I do that? We were walked through it beginning with the Gospel, our favorite text – how do we incarnate this?

    Some years ago I decided that I wanted to be in constant touch and awareness of God. To that end I decided I would pray a prayer over and over until it became as much a part of me as my very breathing. I wanted to become a ‘living prayer’ to incarnate it. It was a beginning – it still is now. This is a continuation, focussing on scripture, on ways to achieve this more and more. Looking at St. Eugene for inspiration, guidance, example, immersing myself in a way of being as called by God and shared with others. He who took Jesus as his model and who teaches me how I dare to do this.

    My thoughts go to those who I am with on this retreat for they are the real gift. I find myself looking outward more and more, through the eyes of my Savior – the love and the joy in that. God presenting God’s self through those around me both giving and receiving. We will meet again this morning and then will start to head homewards. We are being sent out – renewed, fired up and filled. And I greet another day filled with gratitude and joy, filled with expectancy of what is yet to come and hope. Nothing generated on my own- it is most surely gift. How awesome is our God!

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