A LIFE-LONG FRIEND AND CONFIDANT OF THE FOUNDER

We are beginning to make the acquaintance of the first generation of Oblates who came in after the initial founding group. These are names we will frequently come across in the writings of Eugene – Oblates who have left their mark on our missionary history. Hippolyte Courtès is one of these. Until Eugene’s death Courtès was his friend and confidant, and we see him being nurtured and helped to grow in his Oblate vocation as a missionary, the superior of the Aix house at a young age and as a formator of succeeding generations of missionaries. As zealous and capable as he was, so too did he have a tendency to being pessimistic. Eugene exclaims with frustration:

I have often said to you that I always tremble to open your letters. Few of them contain something that is not disagreeable or disturbing.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 15 October 1824. EO VI n 155

Eugene, however, was always kind and encouraging and kept in regular contact so as to be a guide and advisor for him in the various responsibilities he had.

We must expect, my very dear friend, all manner of trials. I know how susceptible you must be to the attitude of most of those to whom you give your services with such attention and concern.
Console yourself by realizing that it is a new trick of the enemy of all good, from whom it would not be reasonable to expect the least respite.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 11 October 1824, EO VI n 154

 

Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.”       Victor Hugo

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One Response to A LIFE-LONG FRIEND AND CONFIDANT OF THE FOUNDER

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Console yourself by realizing that it is a new trick of the enemy of all good, from whom it would not be reasonable to expect the least respite.” Could Eugene be speaking to me or is it nothing more than a fanciful imagination coming from a deep desire to be something that I am not and cannot be. This morning I find myself wondering, if it is simply a trick, a new type of attack from the enemy or is it my stubbornness, my weakness that keeps me hanging on. Am I walking in blind faith, or simply walking blindly? Why do I seem to want and hunger for so much, and not be able to settle for what is supposed to be enough?

    I wonder this morning what is wrong with me that I cannot write something good or true as I reflect on this today, and I wonder if there are others ‘out there’ who have experienced the same moments of questions or doubts. For all of us who do we need surely to pray together.

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