In January of 1835 St. Eugene wrote also to Fr. Guigues at Notre Dame de l’Osier.  He spoke of the men sticking to their mission and the success of some missions that had been preached.

What you tell me about the effect produced by occasional sermons given at Grenoble confirms me in the attitude I have always adopted of dissuading our men from this type of activity which has never been the cause of a single act of love of God, let alone produce a conversion. Let’s stick to our missions, retreats, catechetical instructions, this is the way grace communicates itself to souls. Let’s go straight for our objective by the simplicity of our ministry and leave human considerations to those who seek something other than God. […]. It’s no small consolation to see the Lord directing our men’s steps like this, giving them his assistance and working miracles by their holy ministry. […] Never stop thanking God for such signal favours, […] In the meantime we must suffer in patience, and especially not try to go faster than God urges us. He knows the needs of his Church and our good will.” (502:VIII in Oblate Writings)

Here I see Eugene calling his men back to their Rule of Life.  There are specialists galore in this world, but for the Oblates – Oblates are called to love the poor and in a very specific way – to love those poor whom the structures of the church have not touched.  There are no reasons given to qualify people for why they are not touched but only that they are not.  That is our mission, our ‘raison d’etre’.  It was God who led St. Eugene to this and gave him the strength and courage to see it through.  I am unable to argue with any amount of learning or education but I believe this so much that I accepted Eugene’s invitation to live as much as possible – as a lay person – what he set out for all of us.   That this has been accepted by many is a grace but I would have found a way regardless – because it came from God.

This is my life and how I live it continues to unfold before my eyes.  It is neither planned nor written across the skies for me to see.  I stumble and trip and step off of the path most often and yet always God is there with St. Eugene and many Oblates and Associates pulling me back, reminding me, loving me and praying for me.

I am filled with gratitude.


About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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