The day after his ordination to the priesthood, Eugene continued his reflections to his spiritual director.
My letter could not go off yesterday. O my dear Father, there is only love in my heart. I am writing at a time when my heart overflows, to coin an expression of the Apostle’s in a moment like the one I am experiencing.
Overwhelmed by God’s goodness he is frightened that his faults will make him forget God’s love. The more he experiences God’s love the more realistic he becomes about the danger of his weaknesses and aware of his responsibilities.
If the underlying sorrow for my sins, that is always with me, still persists, it is also true that love has changed its nature. Is it possible, my Beloved, that I could have offended you? How can it be that I offended you, you who at this moment seem to me so wonderful? Can it really be that a heart that loves you as much as mine could bring the smallest frown to your face! And two streams of tears flow with peace and sweetness, and the soul in a state of ravishment it cannot put into words, any more than the other things I am experiencing. I do not know what it is, I do not know how it is. But one thing I see with clarity is that I shall be deserving of hell if ever I deliberately offend against God in his goodness, even in the most venial way.
But it is the healing power of God’s love that overcomes all and sets him free.
I am a priest! You have to be one to understand what it means. Just to think of it sends me into transports of love and gratitude, and if the thought of my sinfulness recurs, love abounds all the more. “I shall no longer call you servants” [Jn 15,15] etc. “You have freed me from my chains. I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving” [Ps. 115, 16-17] etc. “How can I repay the Lord [for all his goodness to me]”, [Ps. 115, 12] etc., like so many arrows that pierce this heart that has been so cold until this day.
Letter to his spiritual director, Fr. Duclaux, 22 December 1811, O.W. XIV n. 98