YOU CANNOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH PLEASURE I DERIVE FROM ANYTHING THAT REMINDS ME OF THE CHILDREN THAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME.

Separated by the Atlantic Ocean from his Missionaries in Canada, Eugene was constantly united to them in thought and in oraison prayer. Father Dandurand had sent him a sketch of the house where the Oblate community was established.

I thank you, my dear Father Dandurand, for the sketch that you have sent. It gives me an adequate idea of the place inhabited by so dear a portion of my family. It fills this gap of time while I wait for you to prepare a picture done with care that I can have framed and hung in my study. You cannot believe how much pleasure I derive from anything that reminds me of the children that God has given me.

The Founder’s love for his children was much more than a human emotion. He loved his oblates because they were living by the charism that God had given the Congregation. He rejoiced because of the way in which they loved Jesus the Savior and made an oblation of theor lives to bring the most abandoned to the same love. He now reminded them of the conditions necessary to maintain this relationship.

Let all be intent on making our community very fervent. Fidelity to the Rules, exact discipline, charity, mutual support, goodwill in doing promptly and willingly all that obedience demands, these are the virtues to practice which makes religion a true paradise on earth. I know that you understood this from the moment you entered the Society and I rejoice about this in the Lord while blessing you with all my heart.

Letter to Father Damase Dandurand, 11 August 1843, EO I n 23

Today, through the communion of saints, Eugene continues to pray for “his children” – all the members in all the categories of his Mazenodian family who continue to love Jesus our Savior and to make him known to those who need him most.

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1 Response to YOU CANNOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH PLEASURE I DERIVE FROM ANYTHING THAT REMINDS ME OF THE CHILDREN THAT GOD HAS GIVEN ME.

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Today in Canada it is “Thanksgiving Day” – a day to celebrate gratitude and joy; twins born out of love.

    Eugene’s words describing the joy he received from Fr. Dandurand’s sketch of where they lived here in Canada – he writes “You cannot believe how much pleasure I derive from anything that reminds me of the children that God has given me.” I think of how in 1854, Eugene requested that a daguerreotype be made of the missionaries who were leaving to go overseas to their missions, so that he could look at their images as he held them “in his heart”.

    Isn’t this exactly what we do today, when we come across pictures of those we love? We see a photo and we are reminded with joy and gratitude for the place they have in our hearts, in the ongoing formation of our hearts. It is to be reciprocal amongst us members of the Mazenodian Family.

    Such great love – not meant to be fenced inward towards only a few, but to be shared with all, especially those most in need. It is the love of our crucified Saviour which lights up our hearts so that we might share this greater love with those who are most in need of it.

    Like Eugene, I give thanks for all that I am given, for the immensity of God’s life within each of us. And the most wondrous part of all of it, that it is not lessened as I share it with all of my Mazenodian brothers and sisters, but rather it grows as it moves outward to all who I meet, all who “…hold within themselves tremendous beauty, strength and gifts as well as weaknesses, brokenness and limitations…” (Lacombe Province Mission Statement) I give thanks that God has chosen me to be a part of this Mazenodian Family and in this way become healed myself and serve in a never-ending unfolding of God’s reign within creation.

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