As Eugene charges the scholastics to live always in communion with one another, one can recognize echoes of John 17,21: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
…live always in this intimate union which makes of our house a true heaven on earth
Community for Eugene was a family, living as united as possible, of which he was the father. Stuck in Paris for the formalities around Fortune’s episcopal appointment, he longed to be back among his community where his heart was.
and whenever you are enjoying your family life and speaking amongst yourselves of your happiness, the greatest that one can taste here below, think of your father who languishes far from you in a land which he could almost call foreign, for it will always be a real exile for him as long as he is far from you and all his other brothers.
Letter to André Sumien and the scholastics in Aix, 18 March 1823, EO VI n.96
“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.” Wayne W. Dyer