“In the prolonged silent prayer we make each day, we let ourselves be molded by the Lord, and find in him the inspiration of our conduct” (OMI Rule of Life, 33).
The practice of Oraison was an important part of St. Eugene’s daily prayer during which he entered into communion with the members of his missionary family. While they were all in France it was easy for them to gather in prayer at approximately the same time. When Oblate missionaries started to be sent to different continents it was no longer possible to pray at the same time, yet each day there was a time when they stopped and prayed in union with one another – even though not at the same time.
This is a practice that Eugene wanted the members of his religious family to maintain.
Just choose a time for personal prayer wherever you like, and consciously unite yourself with all the members of the Mazenodian Family in praying for one another.
The choice of length and content of the prayer is for each one to decide.
You are invited to take part in this practice of Oraison on Sunday, October 21, 2019, which is World Mission Sunday.
Mission Sunday 1975 was the day when Pope Paul VI beatified Eugene de Mazenod, recognizing the workings of God in Eugene and in the charism and spirituality he left his religious missionary family.
With Saint Eugene who dedicated his life to bringing the salvation of Jesus Christ to all people, you are invited to set apart some time this day to enter into prayerful communion with the whole Mazenodian Family.
Here are some texts that you may find helpful.
Mark 6: 34 – 37
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.
Eugene, at the age of 26, responded to the invitation to feed the most abandoned with the Gospel:
As the Lord is my witness, what he wants of me is that I renounce a world where it is almost impossible to find salvation, such is the power of apostasy there; that I devote myself especially to his service and try to reawaken the faith that is becoming extinct among the poor; in a word, that I make myself available to carry out any orders he may wish to give me for his glory and the salvation of souls he has redeemed by his precious blood.
Pope Paul VI in his beatification homily (19 October 1975):
We will say first of all to the sons of Father de Mazenod, to the members of his family… be very proud, exult with joy ! He was passionate about Jesus Christ and an unconditional lover of the Church! In the aftermath of the French Revolution, Providence would make him a pioneer of pastoral renewal …
From 1841, the Oblates of Mary embarked on the five continents and went to the ends of inhabited lands. Our predecessor Pius XI would say of them: “The Oblates are the specialists of difficult missions!” And Father de Mazenod wanted them to be perfect religious! This Pastor and Founder, an authentic witness of the Holy Spirit sends to all the baptized, to all the apostles of today an imperative reminder: let yourself be invaded by the fire of Pentecost and you will know missionary enthusiasm!
I John 1: 1-2
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life— for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us. What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us.
[For further reading, we highly recommend this reflection on the OMIWORLD website:
Published on the OMI USA website