I IMPLORE YOU TO EASE MY WAY AND DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE WHO CAN ONLY CLOUD UP THE SKY; THERE ARE ALREADY TOO MANY IN THE ATMOSPHERE IN WHICH I LIVE

As Superior General, Eugene had a global vision of the communitarian and ministerial needs of the Oblates. It was not always easy to convince some of them of their need to focus beyond their immediate ministry and sacrifices themselves for the good of the whole Oblate family. This letter is one example of a person who allowed himself to cloud the sky of the overall vision. In exasperation, Eugene exclaims that there are far too many clouds in his atmosphere!

You must try to get Brother Nicolas disposed to obey me as he should, so that I can send him without meeting resistance to teach dogma at Ajaccio. That is the only way I have to relieve Father Bellon and at the same time to employ him according to our needs… In a word, use all your skills to bring him to a conscientious attitude not to put obstacles to my assignments, which are taken before the Lord for the good of the whole Congregation that is confided to me.

If men were only what they should be. I would not have to take so many precautions to ensure success in a matter which I judge important and even necessary for the common good.

Read my letter to Father Guigues, answer me as soon as possible; but I implore you to ease my way and don’t be one of those who can only cloud up the sky; there are already too many in the atmosphere in which I live.

Letter to Father Ambroise Vincens, at N.D. de L’Osier, 20 July 1843, EO X n 805

All of us, members of the Mazenodian Family, are invited to have a bigger picture of the needs of the world that it is our particular charism to respond to.

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1 Response to I IMPLORE YOU TO EASE MY WAY AND DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE WHO CAN ONLY CLOUD UP THE SKY; THERE ARE ALREADY TOO MANY IN THE ATMOSPHERE IN WHICH I LIVE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is not just about me and my own small view of the needs immediately around me, my group, my parish, my city… I think of how we come to be a part of the Mazenodian Family who serve in our Province, in the Church, throughout the world… We are all a part of something that is so much bigger than just our small selves with our immediate needs and desires.

    As members of the Mazenodian Family, we are invited (and indeed we agree and respond with the vows, the commitments that we each make) to allow ourselves to be ‘sent’ to fill the needs in our own arenas and the larger arena of the Church and the world. We trust that it is the Spirit speaking to us through our superiors, our leaders, our animators, and our friends; it is with trust that we are able to say yes even if they are not our first or only preference.

    It requires great trust in God and in the Spirit speaking through others for us to let go of all that we hold on to, including not just our needs but also our wants, our desires. I am reminded of the rich young man in Matthew’s Gospel who asked Jesus what he needed to do to attain eternal life. Was he really any different from Brother Nicolas or ourselves in today’s world?

    Looking at the bigger picture can be difficult, but I often find that God will speak to me through the other members of my community, of my chosen family. This morning Eugene reminds me not to ‘muddy the waters’ and at once I think of my friend and sister Gail who in her own words reminds me how “All of us, members of the Mazenodian Family, are invited to have a bigger picture of the needs of the world that it is our particular charism to respond to.”

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