The foundational level of spirituality has to be lived out and expressed. Eugene expressed the means he used to focus on seeing everything through the eyes of Christ the Savior in these resolutions, written a few days after his priestly ordination and his being appointed to the staff of the seminary in Paris:

I will strive to live in such a way that my actions will speak more loudly than my words and counsels.
With that in view, I will try with God’s help to renew myself in the spirit of the priesthood…in everything seeking God alone, his glory, the salvation of souls and progress in the ways of perfection.

To give his ideals a foundation:

I will neglect none of the means that the masters of the spiritual life suggest for us to arrive at this goal, the only goal to which I must aspire…
My duties of piety consist: 1. in oraison, 2. holy Mass, 3. divine office, spiritual reading, examination of conscience, prayer; the whole accompanied, preceded and followed by the holy practice of the presence of God.

Resolutions as director at the seminary of St. Sulpice, January 1812. EO XV n 103.

In order for Eugene’s actions to speak louder than words, he needed to be solidly grounded in his relationship with his Savior on a daily basis – and only then would his ministry lead others to the same loving and transforming relationship.

How can my words teach and may actions speak today?


“Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.”   St. Anthony of Padua

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I begin with my first thoughts being nothing more than a conscious acknowledgement of God as a presence within me who waits only for me to recognize him within. Already a part of me. My heart settles and my being sits in wonder. I read, ponder, write and then start the process over again. This daily ritual has taken on a life of its own. Here it is that I reflect on my behavior and way of being and doing. I look at the many gifts God has given to me. It is here that from within the safety of an embrace that I look out through the eyes of my Beloved. It is brought about by my relationship with Eugene (imagine that – being able to have a relationship with a Saint who invites, leads, walks with, teaches, loves, prays for and with…), with the Oblates and the entire Mazenodian family. With those who I have met and those who are not quite so close, yet they too have taken up residence within my heart which seems to grow daily in order to accommodate, give place to all. This in itself is only possible in and with God. It is not magical but is most certainly is wondrous. And there is my relationship with Maman, Mary our Mother of Tenderness and all grace. Here it is that I sit with wonder and looking through the eyes of our Crucified Savior so as to begin my day. It happens only with practice and fidelity and becomes a most important ritual that leads me into and carries me through my day. I will return here later during the day to see with a heart that is fully awakened to those around me.

    So begins a daily transfiguration, that comes about from contemplative prayer, and often daily Mass and returning to this place – moving into others. It keeps me centred and focussed on, in and around God, the presence of God. It is not that my words or actions are so great, but that they are born out of the presence of God, they are a result, a gift that comes from seeing through the eyes of my Beloved who is there on and in the Cross. And so when others see me, experience my being it not me, but rather it is God.

    Once again I have strayed from where Frank’s own reflection but it is this most deliberate grounding and rooting that have led me here. It is from here that my words and actions speak.

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