THE GRACE OF OBLATION AT THE VERY MOMENT THAT MARY PRESENTS THE WORLD WITH ITS SAVIOR

“The contemplation of Mary’s faith urges us to renew, above all, our personal act of faith and abandonment to God. That is why it is so vitally important to say to God, once in life, let it be done, ‘fiat’, as Mary did. This is an act enveloped in mystery because it involves grace and freedom at the same time; it is a form of conception.” (Ranier Cantalamessa)

On 23 December 1809 Eugene made a definitive commitment towards the priesthood by being being ordained to the sub-diaconate. In a conference on that day he linked the commitment to give himself totally to the service of the People of God with Mary’s giving of the Savior in the Incarnation, which would be celebrated two days later.

These are the feelings which the grace of ordination has given birth to in our hearts. Let us go, my brothers, and place them at the foot of the crib of Jesus who will soon make his appearance. Let us be the first thing that catches his attention at the moment of his birth, and at the very instant that Mary presents the world with its Savior. Let us swear to him with one voice that we will be eternally faithful to the oath we have just taken to give our lives a thousand times over in defense of the inviolability of his Church. Amen, amen.

Conference for subdiaconate ordination day, 23 December 1809, EO XIV n 65.

The theme of Mary’s being united with Jesus, and thus being a model for his own unity with Jesus, returns often throughout the years that Eugene was at the seminary. On Christmas morning he wrote to his mother:

Dearest Mother, do you really think that I was not beside you last night? How could I fail, meditating as I was on the holy Mother of God, who had just been filled with consolation on giving the world its Saviour, and at the same time had to experience so vividly the poverty, weakness and misery to which she saw her Divine Master reduced for love of men, how could these tender sentiments fail to draw me close to you? Indeed yes, darling mother, we spent the night together at the foot of the altar, which for me represented the crib in Bethlehem; together we offered our gifts to our Savior and asked him to come to birth in our hearts and strengthen us in all that is weak, etc. 

Letter to his mother, 25 December 1809, EO XIV n 37

 

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to THE GRACE OF OBLATION AT THE VERY MOMENT THAT MARY PRESENTS THE WORLD WITH ITS SAVIOR

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning I had to google Ranier Cantalamessa to find out who he is. A Cardinal, but no ordinary cardinal, for he was/is preacher to three popes – the only one allowed to preach to the popes and he a priest, never having been a bishop. He speaks with his whole being. By all accounts I imagine him to be a very special person, and probably humble. “The contemplation of Mary’s faith urges us to renew, above all, our personal act of faith and abandonment to God. That is why it is so vitally important to say to God, once in life, let it be done, ‘fiat’, as Mary did. This is an act enveloped in mystery because it involves grace and freedom at the same time; it is a form of conception.” (Ranier Cantalamessa)

    They touch me deeply, finding their way into the private corners of my heart where only the Beloved knows and is.

    “…abandonment to God” – that is the stuff of martyrs and of saints. I want to do that, but am afraid even as my mind strays to Mary and her encounter with the angel – she lived a very ordinary life from all accounts – yet she is the Mother of God.

    God is asking for “everything” – dare I say yes? It will not be perfect; I will have to keep trying.

    I find myself skittering around the words as I listen to Eugene’s words to his brothers, daring words – said aloud in the presence of others, written down to be shared with future generations of those who would become his sons and daughters.

    Mary dared to say yes, dared to abandon herself to God – just as Eugene was advocating to his brothers and then two days later inviting his mother to do the same.

    Abandonment to God – this is the stuff of saints and great people… and just maybe the stuff of ordinary folks who dare…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.