Parish missions had the ability to rouse up enthusiasm while they were taking place, and afterwards there was a tendency to lose fervor gradually. This touches into everyone’s experience of entering into new challenges with enthusiasm and the necessity to consciously keep the momentum going when the novelty wears off.
This is why the Missionaries insisted on giving a thorough series of instructions so as to maintain a solid ongoing foundation when the emotions had calmed down.
Knowing human nature, Eugene stressed the necessity of continually starting the spiritual journey all over again thru the use of the sacraments. He wrote ot the pastor of Brignoles:
As to the calculations you make about the number of Easter Communions, we must remember that reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance does not give perfection any more than justification in baptism does. We cannot avoid groaning with bitterness when we consider the instability of resolutions and the extreme misery of human weakness.
Alas! Fortunately for us! Our Lord knew the sad condition of our corrupt nature; that’s why, in instituting the sacrament of Penance in such a way that it may be worthily received several times by the same person, he has reassured in advance the priest who administers it according to the rules, and at the same time has held back the poor sinner from the despair to which he might have given in without this provident mercy.
Your comment, therefore, gives me no scruples, and I continue to believe that even what did not last was still real and not just apparent, as you think.
Letter to the Pastor of Brignoles, 23 August 1821, EO XIII n. 39
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie