OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO STUDY THROUGHOUT OUR LIFE
What you tell me of Father Coste gives me great pleasure. Please take good care of this young man who will be one of our resources for missions in the Provençal language.
Father Joseph-Marie Coste, grew up in Marseilles and was thus fluent in the Provencal language – which was the language used by the Oblates in the south of France to preach parish missions.
I insist much that you give him a good education, so that we may get out of the sterile abundance of all these lazy people who find it easier to undermine their reputation and ours than to take the trouble to study.
Letter to Fr Hippolyte Courtès in Aix en Provence, 24 July 1847, EO X n 933
Eugene could never complain about the missionary zeal of his Oblates – but he worried that this zealous activity got in the way of study and proper preparation of sermon material. Here he expresses his disappointment at their laziness regarding ongoing studies which resulted in poor sermon content and reflected badly on the Oblate family.
The same holds true today for all in the Mazenodian Family. If we do not pray and prepare our activities with reading and reflection, our message suffers and our groups are impoverished in their knowledge of God.
“Solitude is very different from a ‘time-out’ from our busy lives. Solitude is the very ground from which community grows. Whenever we pray alone, study, read, write, or simply spend quiet time away from the places where we interact with each other directly, we are potentially opened for a deeper intimacy with each other.” (Henri Nouwen)
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