Writing to his mother during the demanding parish mission in Brignoles, Eugene reminds her of his need to be supported in prayer by her. He needs to be taken care of by her in the presence of God.
But, even though we are separated in body, we can be present to each other in spirit. Certainly, I greatly need you to take care of me before the good Lord: it is no light matter to have the responsibility of a ministry like that laid on me…
Letter to his mother, 16 January 1821, E.O. XIII n. 35
The preferred form of prayer of Eugene was that of being present to the other person thru them both being in the presence of God. It was a question of putting into practice the promise of Jesus: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am present among them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Thirteen years before he had written to her in similar terms, and often did the same in later years:
… Dearest Mother, do you really think that I was not beside you last night? … Indeed yes, darling mother, we spent the night together at the foot of the altar, which for me represented the crib in Bethlehem; together we offered our gifts to our Savior and asked him to come to birth in our hearts and strengthen us in all that is weak…
Let us often look for one another in the heart of our loveable Master
Letter to his mother, 25 December 1808, E.O. XIV n. 37
It was a form of prayerful communion and support that we will find him constantly using with his Missionaries – especially in the evening prayer of oraison.
“If there are two persons praying, there are three. If three meet to pray, there are four praying. There is always one more than you can see.” S. D. Gordon