“They must be known by heart so as to conform not only to the spirit but to the letter from which it is never permissible to stray.” (from the 1831 retreat of St. Eugene de Mazenod – 163:XV in Oblate Writings)
Eugene is writing here about his vows and the first chapter of the Constitution and Rules which he regards as definitive and regulatory for all Oblates.
This could be seen as something for only professed Oblates – the “religious” and yet for me who feels called to live them in a particular way – not as what the Church calls ‘religious’ but most simply as a very ordinary lay woman who wishes to give all of herself to God and does this in sharing in the Oblate charism and way of life.
This one sentence written by Eugene I find myself wanting to engrave on my heart so as to be able to live as fully as possible under the influence of Eugene and what the Oblate Constitution and Rules offer to me. It will not look entirely the same as with the religious, but that does not really matter. I do it in prayer and discernment with others. God’s road map for me, or as I wrote in an reflection a few days ago, the music score which I will take part in playing in this grand symphony of life.
What joy there is today and being able to say this. I am unable to memorize the words but I ask God to write these on my heart – so that they become a part of me and how I live. I am most surprised at how this fits in with a reflection I had in responding to St. Eugene Speaks To Us earlier in the week. What greater grace is needed as I move towards the weekend?