On pilgrimage in Loreto, we see Eugene’s normal other-centered style of prayer in action. Throughout his life he always tried to be aware of the presence of God in his heart in everything that he did – and he carried all his loved ones in that same heart: his Oblate family and his blood family.

This morning I had the happiness to offer Mass in the revered house where the Son of God became incarnate … my intention was for the family, an intention extended to those worthy to belong to it…

An important moment for Eugene each evening is what we know as oraison. A time of communion with all those who were close to him in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. (cf. https://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=897 and other entries on the website by entering the search item “oraison”)

All our friends will not be surprised that I kept them in mind yesterday evening in the holy chapel, uttering a little prayer for each of them in particular. I did not come out until forced to do so by fatigue.
The piety of the faithful who come and go in the chapel, and who do not leave until they have kissed the walls several times, with an effusion of affection that is very touching, inspires me with inexpressible tenderness and causes me to be at one with them.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 7 May 1826, EO VII n 239


“Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else’s suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.”   Mary Karr

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    As it is with so many ways with God I no longer spend a lot of time trying to figure out ‘how can this be’? Rather I find myself more often than not simply thanking God for it all – for it is only possible in and through God. Very often with oraison I find that “I” am lost – I am not praying my petitions – in fact the “I” almost seems to disappear. I cannot always tell where I have been.

    I have spent longer than my normal amount of time here this morning looking at oraison, my experiences of it and how I come away from it almost ‘more whole’ in some way, stronger, more me. It is that connection, that presence, more than that presence, for it seems that God draws me deeper into his heart (or that I simply become more deeply aware of residing there) and so touching, connecting, being with all those that I love – not so much of my own accord but by being where and who I am in God. I am quite unable to give words to explain or describe adequately. I know only that I am grateful for the connection, the communion that comes as a result of God’s most awesome gift to us, being in the heart of Jesus. The cross is here too, tied together quite inexplicably with the heart, it is perhaps the strength of his heart, our hearts. This is what gives me life, what fills me with the fire and the passion that is life. It is never me alone – it is always and only with God and the others. That is the true wonder of it.

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