The central aim of preaching for Eugene was to instruct and to give a message that would lead people into a deeper relationship with God and one another:
Experience proves that it is possible to attain this desirable end, the only end indeed that we may lawfully set before us in this dangerous ministry, which so many vain and proud priests have exercised to their own misfortune and without obtaining the salvation of others.
It may be surprising to read of preaching as a “dangerous ministry”. When one considers the huge numbers flocking to the missions and all the emotion around the many conversions, the danger would have been for the Missionaries to take personal credit for it themselves and to forget that they were preaching as instruments of the Savior and His grace.
We shall not attain it, however, unless we renounce our own personal glory, and repress in the depth of our hearts the vain praises of men; in a word, unless like the Apostle we preach Jesus Christ and him crucified “not with pretentious speech, but in the demonstration of the Spirit,” that is to say, unless we make it evident that we are penetrated with what we teach, and that we have begun to practice, before attempting to instruct others.
1818 Rule Part 1, Chapter 3, §1 Preaching
“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” Oliver Goldsmith