The time of retreat had as its aim to help Eugene to strengthen his resources for the thankless ministry he was doing in the diocese.
Even so in two days’ time I will find myself once more in contact with it. I must resume my post. This will be, I hope, again to do my duty there, to try by every effort of my zeal to bring a little bit of life back into a dead diocese whatever appearance of health it may have; there will no doubt be new crises, there was never a reform without hurting, wounding plenty of people!
The only way to survive was to keep himself focussed on the reason for his efforts:
No matter; we must have God alone before us, the honor of his Church, the salvation of the souls entrusted to us; guided only by divine Wisdom, ignore human wisdom, and God will be our help.
But one must have much virtue to sacrifice one’s peace for one’s duty, to face the hatred and persecution of people precisely so as to do good for people. This virtue is acquired and conserved only by union with God, prayer and meditation, etc., walking always before God and keeping one’s eyes on heaven alone and its rewards which are none other than God himself.
Lord! Grant me the grace of being ever more deeply imbued with these thoughts!
Retreat notes, May 1824, EO XV n. 156
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Martin Luther King, Jr.