With the establishment of a second community, at a considerable distance from Aix, Eugene’s major concern was to ensure that the same God-given spirit was maintained in both communities. For this reason he appointed Henri Tempier as superior. He knew that Tempier had understood the founding spirit thoroughly and always referred to him as my other self (alter ego), and insisted:
Maintain in everything a most exact discipline; you are beginning to form a community in regularity, do not let abuses creep in…
Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 February 1819, O.W. VI n. 40
The concept of “regularity” now begins to make a systematic appearance in Eugene’s writings. It has nothing to do with the English expression of “being as regular as clockwork.” In Eugene’s usage it is connected with the Latin “regula” and the French word “règle” referring to the Rule of the Missionaries. “Regularity” meant being faithful to the precepts and spirit of the Rule. In English we would say “keep the Rule always in mind” or always be faithful to the Rule.
Being faithful necessitated a discipline, and it was this that Eugene was charging Henri Tempier to insist on from the beginning of the life of the new community. The purpose of this discipline was to form the habit of living everything by the spirit of the Rule. An unknown author captures the character that Eugene wanted his Missionaries to achieve through regularity:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.