In October of 1834 Eugene also wrote to Father Guigues, OMI who was at Notre Dame de l’Osier, which was a retreat house. He wrote on how to treat visiting diocesan priests who most likely did not have the same level and type of formation being offered to the Oblates.
“My advice is to seem not to have noticed and to keep up the courtesies, at the same time changing nothing of what is upsetting them, in other words be ever more regular, ever more aloof from dissipation, from the style of life they have adopted; in the long run, you will win the support even of those who see in your way of life a silent condemnation of their own” (488: VIII in Oblate Writings)
The men coming to the house for retreat may not have had a Rule of Life like the ones the Oblates had – guidelines, structures and practices to help keep them on track.
Oddly enough I find myself agreeing with what Eugene has suggested. After all, we tend to teach and share what we know and live by – even if it can be new or unsettling to others. We need to remain true to who we are and who we have become in God.
There is more than once I have had to remain true to who I am with one or with several. It is then up to that person or persons to decide if they will like it, agree with it – or not. It may take perseverance on my part – but the reality is I can only be who I am. Anything else is a sham and will not last.
It is God who allows me to remain where I am and who I am and to just walk in that. And perhaps one day that person will stop spitting at me like a snake ready to attack and will say hello. I think that while God is holding my heart in his hands He is also holding the others.
Reblogged this on K'Cadences and commented:
I’ve been feeling discouraged these last couple of days. It has nothing to do with this blog or moving forward with my goals this year. It was more of a discouragement of the soul. Seriously I don’t pose these questions to feel sorry for myself. Rather, I really mean them. Am I making a difference? Does anything I’m doing really matter? What I do and who I am,besides being the only way I know how to be (true)- am I touching anyone’s heart? Or are my efforts shiny dust that dulls on the breeze of ether? That’s how I’ve felt the last couple of days. Most of the time, this type of thinking comes along with emotional or physical exhaustion that has begun to seep into my soul. The best cure for me is sleep, and so for over 24 hours I slept (no kidding). I like to think my soul communes with ethereal “teachers” during this time- as we troubleshoot together, ponder, question, and they impart much-needed wisdom before I wake. I remember none of it when I awaken, if indeed it happens. But I feel better, more hopeful, and usually have a solution.
Then two things happened at 2:30 am this morning: she wrote that she enjoyed what I wrote. I hate to get caught up in outside approval, but it really was just the encouragement I needed.
And then I found this article writing about oblates in the 19th century, and from what I gather some hypocrisy they see in their elders. But rather than point it out to them, just continue to live with the oblates’ own integrity.
And I realized- that’s it, isn’t it? The best way to teach may be first to explain, but then to “do”. The best way to lead, is by example. Those of us who have decided the world holds little for us but a chance to learn and improve do not exactly belong here- or feel like they belong here. I often do not value what the world values. The world -groups of people- look at me like I’m an alien. But in a way they are right. Lol. I’m an alien in the sense that I’ve remembered that this is not my home, and when I begin to forget that, that’s when I become unhappy.
So what I’m trying to say is I’m thankful to my sleeping angels, the blogger and this fellow oblate for reminding me that whether people “get it” or not is immaterial. Do what is right. Live in God’s light as the Angels point the way. This may not be our home, but we are here for a reason- a different reason- and have our own journey to walk in the years we spend here. How we walk the journey is all that matters. People will learn the most from one’s actions than words. As we will learn from theirs
Hi Kai Carra – just so you know the hypocrisy seen by the Oblates was not of their elders but of the French government. There certainly was a problem with some of the clergy in the French church at that time and Eugene writes also about that. All that to say that he was sure that if they (the Oblates) remained true to their Rule of Life and their way of being, hearts that needed to be converted would be converted. For Eugene de Mazenod and the Oblates it was all about remaining true to God and to the way of life they were being called to.
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Thank you! I was wondering about that? How long have you been an oblate? I have been “practicing” since 2009, but this year have become committed to it. I hope to make my final Oblation this year.
I am what is known as an Oblate Associate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate – I am a lay person. I share in the charism of St. Eugene and walk with the Oblates. I made my commitment to the Oblates of my Province (OMI Lacombe Canada) last October but have been with them for quite a few years now. This is for me a very specific way of living, one which has chosen me, and that I have chosen.
What do you mean when you say you hope to make your “final Oblation” this year? Which province do you make it to?