One can touch the intensity of Eugene’s emotions! As he reflected on the situation of the Church in France he expressed his horror at the behavior of some of the priests who were not living up to the demands of their vocation.
He then contrasted this by describing his admiration and awe at the beauty of the vocation of the Missionary. It is with this same sense of awe that he reflects on the Church:
The Church, that glorious inheritance purchased by the Saviour at the cost of all his blood
and then he looks at the other side of the situation :
has in our days been cruelly ravaged.
The Church, the Body of Christ, is the magnificent inheritance left to us by the Savior himself. But, with sorrow and pain, Eugene described the state that she has been reduced to:
This beloved Spouse of the Son of God bears him almost nothing other than monsters. The ingratitude of people is at its peak; apostasy will soon be the norm.
And except for the sacred deposit of faith which will always remain intact to the end of time, there remains of Christianity only traces of what it was, with the result that it can be truly said that, due to the malice and corruption of the Christians of our day, their condition is worse than that of the pagans before the cross overthrew their idols
1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter One. The ends of the Institute, §3. Nota Bene.
Missions, 78 (1951) p. 15
I wonder what Eugene would write today if he were to situate his Nota Bene in our present world? The People of God, that glorious inheritance purchased by the Saviour at the cost of all his blood, continues in our days to be cruelly ravaged… Vatican II stressed that WE are that People of God…