“We should often come together like this, in Jesus Christ, our common centre where all our hearts become as one and our affections are brought to fulfilment..” (Letter from St. Eugene de Mazenod to Father Mille and the Fathers and Brothers at Billens – 406:VIII in Oblate Writings)
Coming together in prayer. Meeting in the heart of Jesus. I remember when I first started hanging around with these Oblates and hearing the word “oraison” – a type of prayer – mysterious and scary – I didn’t know what it meant and or how ‘to do it’. A friend explained it one day as it being ‘one of Eugene’s favourite past times – ‘sitting with Jesus’. Okay.
“Eugene de Mazenod deeply believed that the Eucharist was not only the Sacrament of the physical body and blood of the Lord, but also the Sacrament of the Mystical Body of Christ. His fellow Oblates were in Christ as he was. Thus, it was in Christ that they commune. Visiting with the Eucharistic presence was a spiritual, but symbolically tangible, way to encounter his brother Oblates anywhere in the world. He could visit with some by direct conversation. He could visit with others by correspondence. He could visit with everyone through the Eucharist.” (from the 2006 booklet titled “L’Oraison” issued by the Office of Mission Enrichment & Oblate Associates in the US.)
For some of us not always possible to be in the physical presence of the Eucharist, and sometimes our coming together is only possible in prayer. It becomes a meeting of hearts in Jesus.