TO TRY BY EVERY EFFORT OF MY ZEAL TO BRING A LITTLE BIT OF LIFE BACK INTO A DEAD DIOCESE

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.

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One Response to TO TRY BY EVERY EFFORT OF MY ZEAL TO BRING A LITTLE BIT OF LIFE BACK INTO A DEAD DIOCESE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    My first thoughts on reading this are that I want what Eugene is speaking of to be removed from me and my experience. I want to acknowledge the truth of what he describes as being only of his time, pertaining to him – for Eugene was larger than life. Not a part of my life because if I allow it to touch me I will lose the “warm and fuzzy” bubble that it is easier to live in. He uses some pretty strong language; ‘resume my post …. dead diocese …. one’s duty …. hatred …. persecution …. God alone’. Those words are not a part of my life. But I feel myself being touched and tears welling up within. If I am truthful, if I am honest, is this not how I think sometimes, how I speak and cry out to God? Is this not what I write about in my journal when I allow myself to be completely open and honest on paper (but then I simply leave it there on paper, close the book and walk away from it – hoping/wishing/wanting God to secretly and magically take care of it for me and heal me of ‘all of it’). Am I trying to protect myself from something?

    I automatically want to move on to the second half – that is easier to bear and truly how I want to become. I feel myself ‘responding’ to it for it is truth. This morning has been one of learning something more or deeper about myself. Acknowledging and seeing just a little more clearly. I feel neither embarrassed or rueful, more glad actually because there is some type of freedom happening. I think of Marks Gospel (8:22-26) and of the gradual healing of the blind man – I will be giving a reflection on it this coming Saturday. Here it is now, my own experience of it in my daily life.

    Thank you Eugene, for I feel as if you have spoken directly to me once again. I am grateful once again. I borrow your words as I start out my day: “Lord! Grant me the grace of being ever more deeply imbued with these thoughts!”

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