LET GOOD FATHER VINCENS REJOICE AND TURN HIS THOUGHTS ON THEM WHEN HE ENCOUNTERS SOME DIFFICULTY

It is impossible to have more generous sentiments, more perfect dedication, more thoughts that are supernatural. They are sacrificing their most natural and legitimate affections with a true joy arising from their faithfulness to and love for their holy vocation. They are convinced that they will never again see their homeland, and they would reproach themselves for any regrets they might have about it.

The Lord has given us our marching orders, they said to me; nothing else should come to mind. Truly I have a bit of difficulty to hide my emotion and admiration. These are truly disciples who honor their Master.

This is what Eugene had written admiringly about the three Oblate scholastics who were preparing themselves to go to Canada. Now he invited Father Vincens, who had been responsible for their formation, to rejoice in the fruits of his formation ministry.

Let good Father Vincens rejoice and turn his thoughts on them when he encounters some difficulty. The Lord, our divine model had many griefs from his well-loved apostles, who were so often intolerable and bothersome.

Letter to Father Bruno Guigues, 18 August 1843, EO X n 812

Those involved in Oblate formation ministry recognize that there are many difficulties that are encountered and we tend to remember the difficult times. Eugene counsels Father Vincens to remember his successes whenever he feels overwhelmed by difficulties and failures.

Ten years before, Eugene had encouraged Father Mille in similar circumstances:

They will repay what you have done for them when, come to the end of their studies, they begin to work in our Father’s vineyard; it is then you will harvest what you are now sowing. You will have a double portion in all their works and it will amply repay you for the sacrifice you are making for them.

Letter to Jean-Baptiste Mille, 21 April 1832, EO VIII n 420

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1 Response to LET GOOD FATHER VINCENS REJOICE AND TURN HIS THOUGHTS ON THEM WHEN HE ENCOUNTERS SOME DIFFICULTY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “In God’s time” are the words that come to me this morning as I listen to Eugene’s advice to Frs. Mille and Vincens. Look at the fruits and not just the spots that are flawed and imperfect. The farmer knows his crops and what the fruits will be like as the plants grow and ripen. He nourishes and waits until the harvest time before announcing what is good and what is not.

    I think for a moment of the good shepherd for whom there is no sheep that is irredeemable.

    “The Lord, our divine model had many griefs from his well-loved apostles, who were so often intolerable and bothersome.” I am pre-occupied today with thoughts and sorrow surrounding not only the Indian Residential Schools, but how our First Nations, Metis and Inuit people were treated as lesser beings.

    To look only at that which is imperfect, or the struggles it takes for any and all of us on our journeys is to ignore redemption and the cross. And that may well be the darkest of roads to follow.

    Do not give up Eugene is telling Vincens – look at your successes – for they are there; and indeed they are also here in our midst.

    A message we will do well to listen to, as we are beset with only the crimes and failures of peoples who have come before us. We need to be able to forgive, both ourselves and others. Otherwise, we are looking at the crucifixion and then turning away from its ugliness and pain, never to see or experience the resurrection.

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