Illness and loss of voice made Eugene unable to participate fully in the Barjols mission and he had no choice but to accept and make the best of the situation:

One must be patient, since the good God wishes this to be so.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 10 November 1818, O.W. VI n.32

 Henri Tempier, who had remained in Aix and was his spiritual director, knew him well and was able to empathize and give him a positive regard:

In spite of this program, what bothers me, nevertheless, is to see you upset that you are almost a simple spectator without being able to do anything else. I know that there is nothing more painful.
But, once and for ail, you must commit yourself to that and then see in it the will of God, who perhaps wants you to accomplish by your example what you cannot do by your words.
You could pray more, be in front of the Blessed Sacrament more often, bring graces on your sons, which they need both for themselves and for the sinners who approach them.

Letter from Henri Tempier to Eugene de Mazenod, 11 November 1818,
O.W. II 2, n.11

“I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.”   Jack Welch

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am wondering what Eugene’s initial reaction to receiving Henri Tempier’s letter was. Eugene seemed to be a pretty vibrant and passionate man and I imagine there was a lot of disappointment at first that he could not do what he so badly wanted to.

    I look back to a few of the times when this happened in my life and how painful that was for me. My way of handling it was not always ‘stellar or gracious’ and you can believe that I ‘talked’ with God about it (perhaps cried and sulked would be a better description). Acceptance and gratitude are not always instantaneous friends of mine. The ‘Henri Tempiers’ in my life often took the form of my grandmother, an Oblate pastor or my AA sponsor. Now I am able to look back and see what appeared to be so big in my eyes at the time was but another drop in time and not that huge at all. I realise that in the grand scheme of life it was not such a crushing defeat or disappointment that I first thought it to be. I also find myself grateful for the infinite tender wisdom of God. Child of God seems to sum it up best.

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