“The apostle Paul never seemed to exhaust the topic of grace – what makes us think we can? He just kept coming at it and coming at it from another angle. That’s the thing about grace. It’s like springtime. You can’t put it in a single sentence definition, and you can’t exhaust it.”  (Max Lucado)

Babeau’s conversion was likened to that of the Samaritan woman in the Gospel. She converted her common-law husband and married him. Hopefully she did not have to beat him up to achieve this!

Just as her conversion had made her into a driving force to bring her fellow-market workers to the sacraments, so too his conversion led him to dedicate himself to the welfare of the workers.

Joseph, the coachman, who had lived with the new Samaritan woman before becoming her husband, was for the Conference of Saint Joseph what Babeau had become for the Congregation of Saint Anne. He dedicated himself to doing good and became a zealous apostle. In this way the labourers had their work of charity, which soon became very flourishing.

Rey page 204

How concerned are we for the spiritual welfare of those around us?

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    I loved Max Lucado’s words about St. Paul and grace. Did I ever share that when I first met St. Eugene I thought he was very much like St. Paul? I wanted to emulate them both.

    Frank’s question of “how concerned are we for the spiritual welfare of those around us?” scared me because I don’t think in those terms – spiritual welfare…

    Some months ago a friend was sharing their pain, for they lived on the fringes where the Church did not appear to enter, but only to skirt-around the edges… they felt abandoned, voiceless and untouched. The memory of their despair continues to haunt me. I told myself ‘this’ must stop and so I gathered a few like-minded people around me and we decided that we would create a ministry of accompaniment and share what we had. I laugh at myself because my model was Eugene de Mazenod himself as he gathered like-minded priests to form a small society. I invited some choice men and women and we seemed to know instinctively that we needed to build a strong foundation about us before going out to these poorest of the poor. We share our spirituality and we walk with each other… A Lay Dominican, a Franciscan Friar, a Lay Oblate and a few others single and married. We are companions on our shared journey of life with God…

    I think of Martin Luther King and his “I have a dream!” Me too. I have a dream that our small group will grow and spread to other parishes and then throughout the Archdiocese. That we will hook-up with similar groups – we don’t need to do it all on our own. It is always more fruitful to walk with others…

    The thought that any would live in pain, thinking that God had somehow made a mistake when God created them is not to be ignored. I am no different from them.

    The joy in realising that indeed I do care about the spiritual welfare of others around me is palpable. Just as Babeau touched her husband, who then began to seriously think about the welfare of his others – we too and effect such change – well God in us… There is a sweetness to be tasted in our collective joy.

    This morning the skies are clouded over, yet there must be breaks in the clouds behind my building – a few of the buildings’ windows in front of my eyes are a brilliant and deep shade of fiery orange. Just like the unseen sun giving off light and life, so is our God. God ready to be invited in and go deeper with each of us.

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