Oraison: Praying With the Mazenodian Family

Mazenodian Family

By Fr. Frank Santucci, OMI

“In the prolonged silent prayer we make each day, we let ourselves be moulded 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. This is why you are invited to take part in this practice of Oraison. Sunday, September 15th, is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows and the anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Joseph Gerard, OMI. With Mary contemplating Jesus Christ crucified and with Bl. Joseph Gerard who dedicated his life to preaching Him, you are invited to set apart some time this day to enter into prayerful communion with the whole Mazenodian Family.

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. Here are two texts that you may find helpful.

John 19:25-27 – Our Crucified Savior is at the heart of Mazenodian spirituality, and Mary was at the foot of the Cross, sorrowful but trusting in God’s salvation. We are invited to take her to the home of our lives.

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Blessed Joseph Gerard OMI was beatified on this day in Lesotho. He dedicated his Oblate missionary life to bring others to know the love of the Crucified Savior. Here, from his personal diary,  is the secret of how he did it:

“There is a secret to be loved, it is to love. Also, for the Basotho, the Matebele, even the unbelievers, in seeing them we can ask ourselves what to do to convert them? The answer is on every page of the Gospel: we must love them, love them in spite of everything, love them always. The good God has wanted that we do good to a person in loving that person. The world belongs to the person who loves it most and proves it.”

(For further details on Blessed Joseph Gerard see http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=3699)