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

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Have you ever marvelled at how God speaks with us? God will speak through one person and then through another, both times with essentially the same message or thought but both coming wrapped in different words and from different angles.

    Richard Rohr spoke this morning about “being” prayer and being in conscious union with God, constantly throughout the day. I believe that this being in union with God then allows us the connection with others, with each other. And Eugene writes to his mother “Let us often look for one another in the heart of our loveable Master”. Again the idea of connection through God, this one even more tangible.

    Last year on retreat we were asked how we might be “a living gospel” and from there I moved into asking God how I might become a “living prayer”. I think this might be living prayer, a way of being – with God and so with each other. I am sure that if Eugene was to ‘look down on me’ he would laugh because he would be aware of my initial reactions to his ideas of connecting in prayer.

    Today how can I let my small acts of service become transformed in God to conscious moments of love? How can I become a living prayer today in all that I do? How can I consciously live out the ongoing Creation Story that is being told of God’s awesome love in my life today?

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