I have been doing a small daily reflection on the work by Frank Santucci titled “Eugene de Mazenod, Co-Operator of Christ the Saviour, Communicates His Spirit”, a presentation of the main lines of this thesis by the same name.  Each day I take a paragraph or two and find something to reflect on.  This was the gift for today.

the will and the courage to walk in the footsteps of the apostles.” […] …to become the ideal to be lived together by the group of Missionaries of Provence. (p. 14, Section 6.3.3 – That they form an exemplary community modelled on the apostles around the Saviour)

Sometimes I wonder if ever I would have the courage to walk in the footsteps of the apostles – there is a small connection with them, but it is nebulous at best.  It is really St. Paul who I have studied and read and who I easily and happily identify with.  He is the one that I have most wanted to be like.  Paul did not know Jesus from the beginning – he never met him in person when Jesus walked on this earth and yet he was totally and utterly transformed by Jesus the Christ.  He was the disciple that I related to and when I first met Eugene I kept thinking and saying that he was like St. Paul.  Is it any wonder that I have found myself wanting to follow Eugene.

It is truly all interior, a way of being and from that I seem to act – this is directly what Frank has been teaching: “Be In Order To Do” and that is how it comes about for me and always has.  I have spent time “doing” but that was more of an escape from myself than anything else.  It never worked.

It is all God-given – even Eugene and my beloved Oblates.  I want this way to become the ideal to be lived together by the Oblates and the Oblate Associates – with us all as one family – Oblates.  Perhaps this is where the burning and passion to better know Eugene and his way of life comes from.  The more I learn and understand about him the more I learn and understand about myself.  I listen and come to know and share in his dreams – we are not so different after all – him as priest and bishop and myself as a lay woman.  For we both burn with a fire to give ourselves totally to God and we do this in loving the poor, the poorest of those we meet and see to.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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