“…we are, of all men, the least worthy of heaven’s favours, if we are not penetrated with a gratitude that would inspire us to the point of heroism for the favour that God has done us. There is nothing on earth higher than our vocation.” (Letter from St. Eugene de Mazenod to Father Mille and the Fathers and Brothers at Billens – 406:VIII in Oblate Writings)
Of course Eugene was writing here to the young men on their journey in becoming Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, talking about their vocation – God’s calling to each of them. So for Eugene his vocation, his calling from God was profound and intricate – called to be a priest, to found a congregation and to share all of himself, who he was with everyone else, called to lead us and inspire us, called to lead others – us to the same experience of Jesus as he had.
As I read this my heart jumps, I grin madly and say “YES” – there is nothing higher that God’s call to me, than my vocation. Who God has called me to be, created me to be. I am Eleanor, an Oblate Associate, a lay person, a woman who deeply loves her Church in spite of it’s many frailties and warts. I am a person who loves to love, to give myself to others – most specially those who do not have what I’ve been given, to share with others what God has lavished upon me. No different from a million others, never to make the headlines or even most likely the eyes of others. But for me – I am surprised that the earth does not quake under the force of it. At the very heart of who I am there is light and joy right along side of a deepening welling of gratitude of all that God bestows upon me.
There was nothing higher on earth for Eugene than his vocation. Let us hope that there is nothing on earth higher than what God calls to each of us.