WE MUST NOT TEMPT GOD BY ASKING TOO MUCH FROM HUMAN WEAKNESS

“It is dangerous to make everybody go forward by the same road: and worse to measure others by oneself.”  (Saint Ignatius of Loyola)

Eugene had just appointed Fr. Jacques Santoni as Novice Master in France and shared some advice about discernment regarding the suitability of his novices.

We cannot test our candidates enough lest we risk the unpleasantness of discovering when it is too late that we have been mistaken in their regard. All the same we must not tempt God by asking too much from human weakness. What I want to say is that not all are fit to be put through extraordinary tests.

Eugene then qualifies that it is the understanding and living of Gospel values as Oblates that must pass the test in the lives of the novices.

However, all must pass those tests designed to ground them in the virtues which they must practise. namely, obedience, poverty, self-denial, holy indifference towards everything that could be required of them in terms of work, place, persons. etc.

Letter to Father Jacques Santoni, 18 March 1845, EO X n 867

In our idealism in every day life, we are reminded not to push our family members, work companions, parishioners etc, beyond their human limits

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1 Response to WE MUST NOT TEMPT GOD BY ASKING TOO MUCH FROM HUMAN WEAKNESS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    “…it is the understanding and living of Gospel values as Oblates that must pass the test in the lives of novices.”

    I think of how there is for all living life a period of gestation, and then a period of growth before becoming fruitful.

    We can never measure one type of life against how another type of life is born, grows and gives fruit.

    I think of how as Jesus hung on the cross, there were only a few who remained with Him at the foot of the cross, while the rest of his disciples were running and hiding – not only from the Romans but perhaps also from themselves. And yet God called all of them to a deeper life, to receiving the Holy Spirit and then being sent out from there, with different roles, as Paul writes of.

    During the General Chapter, discernment has quietly already begun: as to how we who share in the Mazenodian charism are being called to move forward. Next week there will be a day of retreat and then on the 30th they will hold the elections for the Superior General. Halfway through the Chapter, as instruments of the Holy Spirit the capitulants will choose who will serve them, leading them as instruments of the Spirit.

    It is a very fine line that we walk in this life as Pilgrims of Hope in Communion. My experience of our collective journey may be very different from another’s. We let God do the testing and we simply are asked to accompany the other in our shared experience of the Spirit.

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