The father of the Oblate family rejoices because one of the youngest members has been ordained a deacon – as the final step before priestly ordination. Eugene underlines to this scholastic the importance of a coherent spirituality which will bear fruit in his diaconal service. For him it is always a question of “being” in order to “do.”
With all my heart, I congratulate you, my dear child, for the great grace which the good God has just granted you and I am consoled to see that you know how to appreciate it. I need not recall to you the virtues that you ought to strive to practice more; they must all become familiar to you, you have been raised to a great dignity in the Church, you can only bear the honor by working to become more like a saint every day.
Eugene refers to some of the new deacon’s liturgical functions and the corresponding attitude he should have
You have entered the hierarchy and your important functions call you every day to the door of the tabernacle, bring you closer to the Lamb without stain, on whom you can lovingly gaze, whom it is your privilege to bear in your hands, almost to touch.
Let your heart respond in these happy moments, let it be ardent, let it be purified. Zeal is the distinctive characteristic of the deacon for he has received the spirit of strength, for himself first, his own sanctification and perfection of soul, then to combat the enemies of God and to repulse the demon with that supernatural strength that comes from on high.
Letter to Barthélemy Bernard, 8 April 1824. EO VI n 133
“Never let your zeal outrun your charity. The former is but human, the latter is divine.” Hosea Ballou