The National Assembly would construct a new constitution, which Eugene portrayed as an invisible building encompassing all the citizens of France. Its builders and protectors would be the politicians in the National Assembly.  He invited the people of Marseilles to see God’s role in this building process

A new structure is to be erected, bringing the children of France under its roof as one family. Could we not ask the Lord “to build this house himself, which men would build in vain without him” (Ps 126-127,1)? If a new city is to be built, and we are to be its inhabitants, is it not necessary that, after inspiring and empowering the builders, “he himself should guard this city, over which without him those who guard it would watch in vain” (Ps 126-127,2).

Yes, our dearest brothers, those who are sent to work on the constitution of France are called to become, if they faithfully and holily fulfill their mandate, the very cooperators of a merciful Providence, the visible instruments of its invisible action. They will then truly be “God’s ministers for good” (Rom 13:1). What an important mission! And how interested we are in their unreserved dedication to it, animated by the most sincere and generous zeal for the fatherland! May they happily fulfill this glorious mission, according to the loving plans of “our Father in heaven” (Mt 6:9)!

Pastoral letter from the Bishop of Marseilles, on the occasion of the general elections and the forthcoming opening of the National Assembly, March 20, 1848


“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” (Samuel Adams)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    Once again I am amazed at the ease that allowed Eugene to be able to use scriptures as a backdrop to our lives and what the world might look like if we followed them!

    “We must lead men [ed. and women] to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.”(Preface – 1825 Manuscript of the OMI Rule of Life). Some verbs that Eugene used were lead and help; to work with God rather than trying to take over for God.

    It takes courage, daring and humility to listen deeply, to pray and discern what God is asking of us, rather than deciding for God what we are called to. Cooperating… working with and for God does not mean that we are called to take over for God. I think of the demons within us that try to convincingly pretend and we are saviours on our own. There is one Savior who died and was resurrected so as to transform all of life.

    “Cooperators of God”. To work with others to try and fulfill the “missio Dei” (God’s mission)… To lovingly serve all who we meet, no matter their role or state of life, their culture and milieu is all a part of God’s plan: that we be able to learn to enter into the flow of life that is God’s love…

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