I’ve been feeling discouraged these last couple of days. It has nothing to do with this blog or moving forward with my goals this year. It was more of a discouragement of the soul. Seriously I don’t pose these questions to feel sorry for myself. Rather, I really mean them. Am I making a difference? Does anything I’m doing really matter? What I do and who I am,besides being the only way I know how to be (true)- am I touching anyone’s heart? Or are my efforts shiny dust that dulls on the breeze of ether? That’s how I’ve felt the last couple of days. Most of the time, this type of thinking comes along with emotional or physical exhaustion that has begun to seep into my soul. The best cure for me is sleep, and so for over 24 hours I slept (no kidding). I like to think my soul communes with ethereal “teachers” during this time- as we troubleshoot together, ponder, question, and they impart much-needed wisdom before I wake. I remember none of it when I awaken, if indeed it happens. But I feel better, more hopeful, and usually have a solution.
Then two things happened at 2:30 am this morning: a blogger wrote that she enjoyed what I wrote. I hate to get caught up in outside approval, but it really was just the encouragement I needed.
And then I found this article writing about oblates in the 19th century, and from what I gather some hypocrisy they see in their elders. But rather than point it out to them, just continue to live with the oblates’ own integrity.
And I realized- that’s it, isn’t it? The best way to teach may be first to explain, but then to “do”. The best way to lead, is by example. Those of us who have decided the world holds little for us but a chance to learn and improve do not exactly belong here- or feel like they belong here. I often do not value what the world values. The world -groups of people- look at me like I’m an alien. But in a way they are right. Lol. I’m an alien in the sense that I’ve remembered that this is not my home, and when I begin to forget that, that’s when I become unhappy.
So what I’m trying to say is I’m thankful to my sleeping angels, the blogger and this fellow oblate for reminding me that whether people “get it” or not is immaterial. Do what is right. Live in God’s light as the Angels point the way. This may not be our home, but we are here for a reason- a different reason- and have our own journey to walk in the years we spend here. How we walk the journey is all that matters. People will learn the most from one’s actions than words. As we will learn from theirs.
In October of 1834 Eugene also wrote to Father Guigues, OMI who was at Notre Dame de l’Osier, which was a retreat house. He wrote on how to treat visiting diocesan priests who most likely did not have the same level and type of formation being offered to the Oblates.
“My advice is to seem not to have noticed and to keep up the courtesies, at the same time changing nothing of what is upsetting them, in other words be ever more regular, ever more aloof from dissipation, from the style of life they have adopted; in the long run, you will win the support even of those who see in your way of life a silent condemnation of their own” (488: VIII in Oblate Writings)
The men coming to the house for retreat may not have had a Rule of Life like the ones the Oblates had –…
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