It is supremely important, it is urgently imperative, that we lead the multitude of lost sheep back to the fold, that we teach these degenerate Christians who Jesus Christ is, that we rescue them from Satan’s power and show them the way to eternal life. We must spare no effort to extend the Savior’s empire and to destroy the dominion of hell. We must check the manifold evils of sin and establish the honored observance of every virtue.
Preface of the CC&RR
It was in the spirit of these words, that Eugene had written in the Preface of our Rule of Life, that he responded to Guibert’s vocational crisis in the novitiate.
Persuaded as I am that the good God has given you to us in answer to our prayers, that he has called you like the apostles with the most evident signs of a truly divine vocation to follow him and to serve him in the ministry which resembles most that which he prescribed for his apostles, with whose work he willed to associate you. Could I have seen you yield to the dishonest promptings of the spirit of temptation, the eternal enemy of all good, without my heart being broken?
… The cunning and malice of the enemy revealed themselves to me with greater evidence than any other because I saw his rage unmasked and all the more visible because of the circumstances. The spread of our Society is unacceptable to the hatred which he has vowed against the souls that we strive to save and of whom we are snatching so great a number from his tyranny. He saw two and even three bishops make overtures to call us to their sides; the war was going to be more deadly for him than ever…It sufficed to him for the moment to turn you away from the path which the Lord had traced for you;
Letter to Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, 26 June 1823, EO VI n. 109
“No one should be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of his life where he is consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest, some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? … How can you hope to enter into communion with him when at some point in your life you are running away from him?” Dietrich Bonhoeffer