The last mission of 1821 was from November 4 to December 23 in La Ciotat, a fishing and shipbuilding town at the edge of the sea. While engaged in this, Eugene was in communion of thought and prayer with the members of the community in Aix. They were his source of strength as they sustained him in prayer and fraternal support. They too were busy with their ongoing daily mission from the house, thus Eugene showed his being in solidarity with them.

When we are so busy, far from complaining, let us bless the Lord for deigning to employ us thus in his service, we who are only useless servants. 
Oh! my dear sons, what joy can be compared to mine on seeing you entering into the fray with such dispositions. I cannot prevent myself from shedding tears of consolation. You know that all you are doing for souls has a repercussion on my heart. So I bless God for what he is doing before my eyes by the ministry of those who surround me.

Letter to Brother Honorat and the Fathers at Aix, 17 November 1821, EO VI n 75


“Within each such social group, a feeling of solidarity prevails, a compelling need to work together and a joy in doing so that represent a high moral value.”      Christian Louis Lange

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Listening to Eugene this morning I am struck by how we love. Love being this unimaginable gift God first shows and gives to us and then tenderly fills us with as we allow. And then once that love is given it is never taken away, it remains and deepens. We quite truthfully learn and live in it, it becomes our manna. Not always comfortable and not dependent on our skills, our jobs, our name, what we do or what we don’t do. Truly our source of life. It is the food we taste and life we drink. It’s the connection between us and God and then us and each other.

    I find myself again today reminded of the image of Christ with heart afire, and that fire reaching across to his apostles, and from each of them back to God and out to each other and from them out to others, in this case to the Oblates and to all who walk with them, and to all that they touch. The flames of love, the fire of love dancing back and forth and around. Not lessening or dying through the ages but rather one continuous flame, as if time ceases to be a part of it for the flame grows and wanes not with time or with being used up but rather with pain (and even then is replenished coming from others around it). I wonder what it would like if we were to have eyes that could see these small connecting lines of fire, of love between each one of us and recognize the love for and of each of us.

    I see and hear with Eugene these bonds of fire, of love. He celebrates those back at the house in Aix because of that shared love and the shared purpose of his family. His joy is true for what is dearest to his heart is also shared and true for those he loves. We seem to receive such great joy when we are able to share this love God has sent us to give to others. We become united, as one, in solidarity, and it is always together no matter what form our love takes or is lived out.

    Once again I am filled with gratitude, for love and indeed all those I love and who love me, for our connectedness in all of life – I am so not alone. How today can I take time to stop and celebrate those around me, those in my immediate family and extended? How shall I stand with them, in the routine of my day? How will I recognize the lines of love touching and joining between us?

  2. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    I am glad I read this just before I ran out of the house. I was going to pass it by.
    Busy. Wow. We are busy here at the Novitiate. And so as I look and reflect up this note I give thanks for all that is happening and how in that quiet centre we find our source.
    Well got to run. Blessings

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