Eugene’s desire to live “all for God,” led him to want to live in an awareness of the presence of his “beloved” throughout the day. The many demands and activities of each day made it necessary for him to have reminders to do so.
I would wish to have near me a faithful friend who would remind me of my Beloved in times when occupations cause me to lose sight of him.
In the absence of such a friend, I will use other means, such as, for example, raising my heart to God whenever the clock sounds, whenever someone knocks on my door, whenever a carriage passes, etc. Since I am already familiar with this practice, I have only to continue it.
Another means for developing the habit of placing oneself very often in the presence of the Saviour, is that used by the good and respected M. Emery [ed. his superior in the seminary]; he used to have a small box filled with little peas, and each time he thought of God, he passed one of these peas into another box: he used then every evening to make a count of the number of times he had been united with God during the day, he compared that with that of the previous evening, and if he had not had the thought at least every quarter of an hour, he imposed a penance on himself. That is what that venerable old man used to do in the midst of his countless occupations.
Rule drawn up on my retreat in Aix, December 1812, O.W. XV n. 109
This same concept is expressed in other words today by Tom Tenney:
A God chaser is a person whose passion for God’s presence presses him to chase the impossible in hopes that the uncatchable might catch him. A child chases a loving parent until, suddenly, the strong arms of the father enfold the chaser. The pursuer becomes the captive; the pursued the captor. Paul put it this way: I chase after that I may catch that which has apprehended me (Phil. 3:12).