The day before leaving for Rheims was Pentecost Sunday, and Eugene wrote to his mother:

The holy day of Pentecost was too appropriate a day not to take the opportunity to give the Holy Spirit to Caroline. My uncle celebrated Mass in her bedroom and administered the sacrament to her, as well as to another young person who had been prepared for this. Before confirming this child, it was appropriate that she make her first communion before. The uncle took care of this, and yesterday afternoon our beloved little one had the joy of receiving Communion for the first time; she was perfectly disposed for it and everything went well, to the edification of all.

Letter to his mother, 22 May 1825, General Archives Rome, AGR MJ I-1

As Caroline’s health deteriorated, her mother wrote to her husband: “You can believe, my dear friend, that nothing is neglected to relieve her: medicines, remedies, prayers. What to more is there to do, only to throw oneself with trust into the arms of God? He is her Father, and ours; he thus knows better than us what is needed for the salvation of our souls. Let us adore his plans and cease to complain.

My uncle and my brother have prolonged their stay in Paris out of compassion for me, because it appears that their business is completed. They cannot bear to leave me alone in my suffering. How I praise the good God every day that the King, in summoning them to himself, has made it possible for them to be here as my strength and consolation.”     Letter of Eugene’s sister to her husband, Count Armand de Boisgelin, 19 June 1825, General Archives Rome, AGR MJ I-4


“God has reserved to Himself the right to determine the end of life, because He alone knows the goal to which it is His will to lead it. It is for Him alone to justify a life or to cast it away.”   Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “What to more is there to do, only to throw oneself with trust into the arms of God?”

    I keep going back to this one line and thinking this is the only way that we can do it, this is the only way that I can do it. It’s not a measure of ‘giving up’, but more a manner of how we walk through whatever struggle and pain we are experiencing, We do not stop asking God to help us get through what we must but perhaps we do stop telling him how to help us. It is the ultimate letting go of control and walking in faith.

    Eugene’s sister does this, in the midst of her daughters illness which was getting worse every day she found the time to be grateful – that the king had invited members of the church to Paris for his coronation so Eugene would be there to pray and visit. She praised God every day and in that praise I hear gratitude.

    How do I handle my struggles and pain? Do I find time to actually thank God for all that I have been given? Do I see only the ever growing clouds or do I take time to notice the light finding ways to come through those clouds? “What to more is there to do, only to throw oneself with trust into the arms of God?”

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