For 7 years Eugene had been in charge of the Missionaries, and now as Vicar General of Marseille, his main preoccupation was about the priests of the diocese, whose “model, stay and support” he tried to be. He realizes that as a priest himself, he has the responsibility of ensuring that the quality of his life be of the highest standards. Thus on his retreat he concentrated on the “be in order to do” of his priesthood.
My readings centered on the dignity, the sanctity of priesthood, the grievous quality of sin in priests, the danger of sinning and being lost if one is unfaithful to grace, negligent in the practice of virtue which should adorn the priest’s soul continually and especially when the priest is one called to be a model, stay and support of those whom Providence confided to his direction, a priest whom God has awakened to the fact that the ordinary virtues do not suffice to accomplish the wonders which should accompany the works of his ministry.
Retreat notes, May 1824, EO XV n. 156
“Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life. Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God! Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility.” Pope Francis