(Eugene’s fifth “road sign” for the pilgrim)
ST EUGENE: PILGRIM OF HOPE IN CHARITABLE AND ZEALOUS COMMUNITY
The characteristics of the Mazenodian pilgrim are found in St Eugene’s last testament to his missionary family:
Among yourselves practice charity, charity, charity – and, outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.
This was our distinguishing sign from the very beginning. After two weeks of the intensity of living the experience of doing a parish mission together for the first time – where they worked day and night practically non-stop, Eugene exclaimed:
Among us missionaries, we are what we should be, that is to say that we all have one heart, one spirit, and one thought; it is admirable! Our consolations, like our hardships, are unequalled.
Letter to Fr Henri Tempier, 24 February 1816, EO VI n1 0
Community is not a geographical reality, but a way of life practiced comprising even distance and physical separation:
This is the only way of reducing distances, to be at the same moment in our Lord’s presence, it is so to speak like being side by side. We do not see each other, but we sense each other’s presence, hear each other, lose ourselves in one and the same central point.
Letter to Fr. de l’Hermite, January 10, 1852, EO XI n 1096
THE WORD OF GOD
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Mt 18:20)
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you…
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. (I Corinthians 1:2-6;10)
God our Father,
by the grace of the Holy Spirit,
you called St. Eugene de Mazenod
to gather a missionary family
to become community in heart and mind.
May we ourselves grow in unity and bear witness before the world
that Jesus lives in our midst
and unites us in order to send us to proclaim God’s reign.
May we receive through the intercession of Saint Eugene
the particular graces we ask for as pilgrims of hope.