Our spirituality comes from our Founder’s life and his intuition written in the Constitutions and Rules, updated by the Chapter. Jesus Christ crucified is the center of our spirituality, he calls us and sends us to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. We are able to achieve such a challenging task because we live in a community of people who pursue the same aim and try to love and care for each other. So now I want to let our writings speak and lead us all in the discovery of the Oblate spirituality.
- “Whoever wishes to become one of us must have an ardent desire for his own perfection, and be enflamed with the love for Our Lord Jesus Christ and his Church and a burning zeal for the salvation of souls..” (Rule of 1853)
- “We are men set apart for the Gospel, men ready to leave everything to be disciples of Jesus.” (Constitution 2)
- “The community of the Apostles with Jesus is the model of our life.” (Const. 3)
- “Like the Apostle, to preach “Jesus Christ, and him crucified… not in loftiness of speech. ” That is to say, by making manifest that we have pondered in our hearts the words which we proclaim, and that we began to practice before setting out to teach.” (Rule of 1826)
- “Wherever we work, our mission is especially to those people whose condition cries out for salvation and for the hope which only Jesus Christ can fully bring.” (Const. 5)
- “The Founder left us a legacy: ‘Among yourselves practice charity, charity, charity – and, outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.’ In fidelity to that testament, each member’s zeal is sustained by the bonds of fraternal charity.” (Const. 37)
These quotations show both the realism and the ideal of our life. Seeing the demands of our commitment sometimes frightens us. Mediocrity is always a potential danger. Daily generous fidelity, often heroic, that is the way followed by our brothers whose holiness the Church has recognized: Saint Eugene de Mazenod, the Blessed Joseph Gerard, the apostle of Basuthos, and Blessed Jozef Cebula, who was killed in Mauthausen in 1943, and so many others whose anonymous holiness is registered in the heart of God.
“Always close to people with whom they work, Oblates will remain unceasingly attentive to their aspirations and values….” Close, is the word that often people use to speak about us. We are not complicated. That is found in our way of welcoming our guests. Fr. de Mazenod had a big heart, a great capacity for affection; some of this has probably remained in us. Fr. Gerard, wrote during one of his retreats: “. The secret with the Basuthos is to love them, to always love them, to love them anyway.” He knew the Founder in his youth! This closeness to people makes us learn their languages and become one of them, it makes us take up the cause of the workers in Latin America or France, to accompany the immigrants, to build schools, hospitals or radio stations, it saves us from the danger of becoming officials, it is often why people love us and regret to see us leave.