We have often seen Eugene’s special fatherly affection for the members of his Youth Congregation who became Oblates. The newly-ordained Jacques Marcou stood out because he had been a founding member of the youth, eleven years earlier. Addressing him by his nickname, Eugene rejoices in his ministry:

My good Marchetto, I embrace you very tenderly and rejoice to see you performing so zealously your holy ministry…. 
Be humble and you will do much good; you know that it is to the humble that Lord dat gratiam [ed. James, 4, 6: God resists the proud and grants grace to the humble. Prov. 3, 34; I Pet. 5, 5.] The cleverest amongst us and amongst all men is nothing by himself but a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal, it is the good God who does all and to whom alone all should be attributed; of that we must all be persuaded.

Letter to Jacques Marcou, 27 January 1824, EO VI n. 128


Christian joy comes from knowing God and from trying to follow God’s will. Joy means rejoicing in God. But we can see from the Magnificat that, when Mary rejoices in God, she is also celebrating the liberating action of God in history. Mary rejoices in a God who is faithful to the poor. Our service of others must be wrapped in this joy.”       Gustavo Gutierrez

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    A gentle reminder. I reflect on this joy that comes from God, from living in and with God. I reflect on the joy that comes with the freedom of being and living in God’s love. It is like no other. More than just a feeling, an emotion, it seems to originate in the deepest part of my being. Coming from deep within and yet reflected from without. A part of everything that surrounds us and yet not dependent on.

    I used to get uncomfortable when I would hear someone talking about how everything they received or did was due only to the grace of God – I didn’t disagree but I was simply not comfortable with that – it sort of scared me. And now, well not always, but more and more I tend to think [and speak] exactly that way. For none of it comes from “me” – I am not capable of imagining let alone creating the kind of joy and rejoicing that Eugene, Frank and Gustavo are speaking of. It could only come from God.

    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit exalts in God my Saviour…” There is a joy that comes in praising God, particularly in song, particularly (for me) in this song. It lifts me up away from myself. “Our service of others must be wrapped in this joy.” Perhaps this is the joy that seems to come when I am with those I love, be they those around me in the pews at church on Sunday, those I see and work with daily, my family, my community. My youngest brother once said that he wanted the great joy in life that he saw in me (of course it left me wondering how and what he saw) and my response to him was that for me – it was/is all about God.

    So this morning as I stand here in the darkness, waiting for I know not what, I shall do it in quiet song; “my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exalts in God my Saviour, for he looks upon his servant in her lowliness…..” It is thus I want to start and go throughout the busyness of my day, somehow wrapped in the joy of God’s love.

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