When I speak of the central focus of a spirituality and refer to a defining experience or understanding of God, some respond by saying that they have never had an experience of God. By ‘experience’ I do not mean a dramatic apparition or vision, but am referring to a moment of awareness, of intuition, of knowing that something I understood or experienced or saw was special – that I was somehow in the presence of something sacred. Sometimes it is only in looking back that I recognize what happened. The more I reflect on it, the more understanding I attain.

Seven years after his experience of the cross on Good Friday, Eugene continued to reflect on what had happened: on how the sight of the cross had led him to become aware of God’s love for him in a way that was different from before. He had always known what the cross stood for, but this time God’s grace touched him personally and it became a defining moment in his life.

For this reason I have chosen this logo to accompany our reflection on Mazenodian spirituality:


It captures that focal point that became Eugene’s lifetime source of energy.

His goal as a result? To aim to see and understand everything through the eyes of Christ the Savior. The choice of the cross in the logo comes from Eugene’s instruction to the Oblates:

Their only distinctive mark will be the crucifix, which is proper to their ministry. They will always wear on their chest, inserted in the cincture and it hanging from a cord to which it is attached.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances

 Today, “our only distinctive sign is the Oblate cross” (C64) because it was the only distinctive sign possible for Eugene:

The Oblate cross which is received at perpetual profession is a constant reminder of the love of the Saviour who wishes to draw all hearts to himself and sends us out as his co-workers.

CC&RR, Constitution 63

And you? As you look back and identify significant experiences/ moments of awareness, what symbol can you use to capture and read this special moment? What is, or could be, the logo of your life.


“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.”   Denis Waitley

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am most grateful for these daily reflections. This to me is a sacred place where I begin my day. It is the focal point from which my view opens and widens as I move through the day. This can be the spirit of my day. Like a widening and lighting of a path already traveled but which now seems different, some of the previous shadows seem to be gone and the connection deepens. And my experience of this path can colour not only the steps I take during the day but also what I see and understand as I stop to rest and reflect at different times along the path that is my day. A little like a flower whose petals begin at the rising of the sun to open and as the warmth. Light seeping in cause the flower to open it’s petals even wider, as fully as possible, even at some points turning it self so that it faces the sun.

    Here we are fed – at least here I am fed. I think of Sundays homily, of how we speak of ‘breaking open the word’ and of ‘bread being broken and shared’. Here we are and this is what seems to happen here – or at least for me. Here I am taught and fed, nourished in a way that will colour everything.

    Thank you Frank for inviting us to join you and look at how we are each broken open and shared.

  2. Patrick M. McGee, OMI says:

    Constitution 63 is important – yet, “the power of this Cross” moves me only as I take the time to place myself before it, hold it, gaze on it, pray with it. I am reminded often of the experience some 40 years ago as a young Oblate working with youth retreats; we would have chapel visits with small groups, during which we would pass our Oblate Cross around and invite each person to “talk with Jesus, the Crucified Savior”. Miracles happened! The Cross given to us at Profession is a gift; we need only to actualize the gift to realize God’s power in this personal encounter. We each are invited to replicate Eugene’s own experience before the Cross!

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