“Imitating these illustrious models, the missionaries will give one portion of their life to prayer, recollection, and contemplation, while living together in the seclusion of God’s house.” (from the 1831 retreat of St. Eugene de Mazenod – 163:XV in Oblate Writings)
I find myself wanting to rephrase Eugene’s statement so that it reads: “Imitating these illustrious models, the missionaries will give one portion of our life to prayer, recollection and contemplation, while living together with God as we find Him in each other and those around us.” For many of us who are Oblate Associates, we believe that rather than being called to seclude ourselves from any part of society, we are called to live there in the very midst of all of it. This is the truth of God’s call to us and it does not separate us from any other who we would walk with or who would walk with us. We find our seclusion in our time alone with God for prayer.
I am reminded of part of the OMI Lacombe Mission Statement; “Disciples of Jesus, with the heart of Mary Immaculate, sons and daughters of Eugene de Mazenod […] walking with those who, like us, hold within themselves tremendous beauty, strength and gifts as well as weaknesses, brokenness and limitations, that together we may help one another experience the love of God, so we may be healed and give of ourselves in the service of the continuous unfolding of the reign of God within creation.”
We are each given exactly what we need, and when we recognize and realise this life takes on a whole new colour and depth. We give thanks as we try to live this to the fullest.