Our Life a Prayer
Those are the four words that describe Constitution 33 in the OMI Rule of Life. “It is as missionaries that we worship, in the various ways the Spirit suggests to us. We come before him bearing with us the daily pressures of our anxiety for those to whom he sends us (cf. 2 Cor 11:28). Our life in all its dimensions is a prayer that, in us and through us, God’s kingdom come.”
It is that very last sentence of this Constitution that seems to overtake me, and for some reason as I write this it is as if a light has been turned on in my life. “Yes,” I say to myself: “Yes, that’s why I’m doing this. That is why I am a member of the Mazenodian Family, why I am a committed Lay Oblate Associate.”
It says nothing about asking to become a better person, or a holier person. No asking if I will make it to heaven or sit close to my Beloved. And it is not just for “me” who is living this way; it is for the whole community, the entire family. The words are very intentional: “our life… is a prayer…” This is a part of our being, who we have been created to be. It is so much more than just a plea for help or forgiveness. It becomes a part of our breathing in and breathing out.
It is about the Kingdom of God coming alive within us; what we experience and what we share, what we receive and what we give back. As my professor mentions throughout our course: “that is Oblation!” God who is the alpha and the omega and everything in between.
I think of “missio Dei” – the mission of God. Yes, it is God’s mission that we are living – not our own. It is how we have been sent out as both religious and lay brothers and sisters and it is how our lives will come to fulness.
We walk with others: the Dorothy Days and Mother Theresa, St. Eugene de Mazenod and Oscar Romero, Blessed Joseph Gerard and Kay Cronin HOMI and Chiara Lubich… But for us members of the Mazenodian Family we walk in the light that Eugene de Mazenod shines on us. All of us walking together.
Indeed, it is about God’s mission, about the Kingdom of God. We become God’s instruments when we offer ourselves to God, in the Church, in community and family. Everything we have been given fills us and we offer it back and to others, our very breaths. This is oblation expressed in missionary discipleship. This is our life a prayer.
By Eleanor Rabnett