The vocation and life of the Missionary was presented in glowing terms in the first paragraph of the Foreword, and the members were exhorted to allow themselves to be totally transformed by these great ideals. Now Eugene continues to show that it is a gift that does not just fall from heaven, but that it is necessary to work towards this state. The route is clearly and unmistakably mapped out in the Rule:

To attain this so desirable an objective, they must apply themselves as well with the greatest care to adopt the most appropriate means to lead them to the goal they have set before themselves and to never depart from these prescribed rules to ensure the success of their holy undertaking and to maintain themselves in the holiness of their vocation.

Avant propos, Règle de 1818, Missions, 78 (1951) p.11

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    For me, now, the Rule of Life, the Constitutions and Rules are a response to an invitation; they are threads wrapped in tenderness and truth; flexible enough to be able to withstand the strongest of winds and to ride the swiftest of currents in life. They are not though always easy or painless to wear. Some of the wording alone does not seem open yet I have found ways to slide past those distracting words.

    So I persevered, returning to them time and again. I found myself wanting to do more than just comply – rather I wanted to enter into and have them become a part of me. This was/is where I had been led and what was being shared with me.

    They were wrapped in an invitation and as I looked at the persons who lived by them I was attracted and inspired ( realise I was being evangelized). And so I persevered, even as I found ways to rejoice and give thanks. More than being just a backdrop on the stage of life they were becoming delicate steps in a dance of love and life. I found my heart resonating and responding and I began drinking them in like the finest of teas; tasting them, savouring, chewing and swallowing them slowly as one would the sweetest of breads. So that they become a part of who I am, who I am becoming… And as I write this I realise that I am describing also the Eucharist – communion. They are a response to the responsibility.

    I have found a way and it is most clearly marked out in the OMI CC&RR – there is flexibility wrapped in threads of tenderness – stronger than steel. They are not easy, I struggle and at times seem to lose ground but I continue – always a hand is held out of to help lift and support.

    They become for me the ‘glue that holds everything together’ and that allows me to take those first and second and third steps in the dance of life.

    Cause to give thanks and to celebrate all that we are given.

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