Having exhorted Bourellier to “fully convince yourself that you are quite happy to belong entirely to Jesus Christ,” Eugene continues to remind him that belonging to Jesus Christ involves obedience. Firstly to the Word of God as it is expressed thru the Rule of the Missionaries.
Now it is Jesus Christ, our divine Saviour, who is your Master and he manifests his will to you through the Rule that you have embraced with love and through the voice of the superior who stand in his place.
Secondly it is thru the guidance of the person of the superior of the community, who is the guardian of the spirit and ministry of the Missionaries.
Open the lives of the saints, you will see how they understood this truth and especially how they put it into practice. It is them you ought to take as your models; with such examples one cannot go astray.
Oh holy obedience! Sure road which leads to heaven, may I never deviate from the way you mark out for me, may I ever be docile to the least of your counsels! Yes, my dear brother, outside this path there is no salvation for us. But, thanks be to the goodness of God, you have already understood this and your letter allays the concern that was rightly aroused in me.
Letter to Hilarion Bourrelier, 19 September 1821, EO VI n 72
Jesus is the source and model of authority in the Church. Just as he washed his disciples’ feet, so too those in charge among us are called to serve and not to be served. Their service coordinates and leads our efforts to evangelize the poor. Among us, they foster a way of life based on faith and on a deeply shared love of Christ.
CC&RR Constitution 71
“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” Douglas Bader (British World War II pilot)