Having stressed the importance of avoiding sin at all costs, Eugene now encourages the young men of his Youth Congregation to be aware of God’s mercy when they do not live up to their ideals.

To this end, they will put all their trust in God, and not rely on their own strength and their good intentions. But if, as a result of human frailty they come to commit some sin, they must not become discouraged. They must humble themselves immediately without becoming despondent, and turn to God with an act of contrition and renew their resolution not to offend Him again.

Règlements et Statuts de la Congrégation de la Jeunesse, 1813, p. 22

Here we see the Eugene who had been irrevocably touched by the mercy of God himself just a few years earlier. The aim of his ministry is to lead others to the same life-giving and healing experience.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I read this earlier and then walked with You in the wind and the rain, in the embrace of darkness and a world asleep. I sang to you for there was none to hear and danced with joy of abandon that comes when no one watches. And we were together in the silence of the rain and the wind.

    And I thought of Eugene, irrevocably touched by your mercy and wanting only to share that, for all of his traits and ways of being he loved deeply with a heart you gave to him as big as the world. Did he have his doubts and fears, little niggles of questions – I sure hope so. So how today do I give you myself, how do I become a living gospel. It won’t be in the doing, but somehow in the being? In being right where I am, where I am supposed to be while you do your gardening of my soul. Humbling. Give me the grace to just be here and allow you to do your work. Perhaps that is my all today.

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