Initially the community of Laus was made up of three persons: Henri Tempier, Bourrelier (a scholastic brother) and a prospective member (postulant). As the ministry of the shrine was re-established and grew, so were other Missionaries to join the community.
Maintain in everything a most exact discipline; you are beginning to form a community in regularity, do not let abuses creep in…
As an example of regularity, Eugene wrote about taking one’s time in the community prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours.
… Remember how much importance I give to the Office being said very unhurriedly; I lay it on your conscience because nothing seems more unedifying to me, more incongruous than rushing through the psalmody. Whether we are in a hurry or not, we must go slowly with the psalms.
I reiterate this to you, I much insist on it – it is my duty. Do not hesitate to impose a penance on whoever may infringe this indispensable rule of decency.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 February 1819, O.W. VI n. 40
Refer above to the entry of April 20, 2012 for more on this part of the Rule.
Years ago I remember being struck by an article of a former soldier who had had one book to keep him company in his months of loneliness in a cruel prisoner-of-war camp. He called his reflection “slow, slow reading” and described how he would spend hours savoring just one sentence or paragraph at a time, and how entering into the world of his book he was able to survive and keep his equilibrium. Eugene seems to be asking the same thing: savor the Word of God as it is used for prayer.
By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet. Thomas Merton