Saint John Eudes, the spiritual master
In the 17th century, a man called John Eudes gave his spiritual daughters and sons a taste for what nourished him spiritually. Four centuries later, his directives are still capable of vitalizing whosoever dares overlook his rather forbidding style. The Congregations that are part of his extended spiritual family and the myriads of the baptized who have discovered the riches of this heritage bear witness to the fact.
Born in Normandy, in the little town of Ri, Diocese of Sées, in 1601.
What distinguishes him is his practicality. His soul was that of a missionary and the mission is foremost in his mind. He attempts to provide his "dear reader" or his listeners with practical material they can put to use directly. The challenge facing this pastor's heart was to help each Christian discover the riches of his/her Baptism. The ideal he proposes to every baptized person is to "FORM, SANCTIFY, ALLOW JESUS TO LIVE AND REIGN IN US."
At his school, our desire for conversion will not translate into methodical efforts, even if such efforts are necessary, but will first command a loving and admiring look at Jesus:
- we contemplate him at length in a spirit of praise,
- we ask forgiveness for whatever in us is not him,
- we give ourselves to his Spirit asking him to destroy in us what is contrary to the life of Jesus, and make us live of his life.
Our efforts then no longer reflect tension or anxiety; they are impregnated with prayer, trust and thanksgiving. Our entire life is meant to become continuation and fulfillment of the life of Jesus. We thus become missionaries ourselves. Our sole concern is TO MAKE JESUS LIVE AND REIGN IN EVERY HUMAN HEART, so that each one may also have access to the riches of the Heart of Christ, the source of all life.