Oblates Of St Francis De Sales

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Reflection of Consecrated Life.

Reflection " Year of Consecrated Life " Week 18: Thomas F. Dailey, OSFS " Director, Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DSU "How Tiring Consecrated Life Can Be" In his homily for this year's Chrism Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the tiredness of priests. Given the vagaries of this winter, the theme is especially appropriate! And even though his homily was directed to priests, it can easily be adapted to all in religious life. The first he called "the weariness of people, the weariness of the crowd." It's the exhaustion we face from the ecclesial work we do, especially when we couple our apostolic efforts during the week with ministerial tasks on the weekend. But, says the pope, this kind is a "good and healthy" fatigue, "a fruitful and joyful exhaustion." It's taxing, to be sure, but it's valuable because we share it with the Lord whose work we are doing. It's the weariness of St. Francis de Sales, who found himself worn out from the multiple ways in which he ministered to a great variety of people. The second form is "the weariness of enemies." It's the one we face by the very life we lead, where our profession of vows clashes with a culture and society that seems more and more antithetical to religious convictions. It's the one our founder and first confreres faced and overcame. It's the one that calls for us to hear for ourselves and to repeat often the exhortation of Fr. Brisson: "Bon courage!" The third form Pope Francis calls a "weariness of ourselves," a personal dissatisfaction that sets in as a "flirting with spiritual worldliness." It's the sometimes nagging desire to want something else, something different, something more or anything but what we are mired in at the moment. Fortunately, we have St. Francis de Sales' wisdom to recall, from his letter to Madame Brulart: "Don't long to be other than what you are, but desire to be thoroughly what you are. What is the use of building castles in Spain when we have to live in France?" Although the pope didn't mention this one, we might add being afflicted by a "weariness of each other." It happens due to the variety of personalities among us, as well as the diversity of personalities, proclivities, and penchants each of us has for doing as we do. It can be exacerbated by the close proximity of the common life. Yet it is also our gift and our opportunity to fulfill the divine call to love one another, even, or especially, those in our daily midst. Whatever the form, our weariness provides a way for us to draw closer to the Lord in this Year of Consecrated Life. As Oblates, we do so in response to that favorite Scripture passage of our patron: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matt 11:28:29). Thomas F. Dailey, OSFS " Director, Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DSU.