THE PRACTICE OF PEACE AND RECONCILIATION

In all families there are moments of tension, misunderstanding and harsh words. The Oblate family was not spared. The newly-ordained Hippolyte Guibert had been reported to Eugene as having passed comments to someone else on one of the members of the community. For the sake of the welfare of the community, Eugene was forced to intervene.

Is it true, my dear Father Guibert, that you have had the inconceivable imprudence, that you have been lacking in charity to the point of disparaging Father Honorat in the eyes of Father Jeancard by saying to him: 1° that Father Honorat is not esteemed in the seminary of Nimes; 2° that they regard him as a hot-head without judgment or knowledge; 3° that Father Mie, who fortunately knows him well, is forewarned about him and keeps him in check; 4° that Father Mie has been obliged to impose silence on him, having reproached him with being an obstinate man who maintains stubbornly a false position on the sacraments?
If you are not to be blamed for this fault or if you can attenuate it, send word to me, post-haste, for you cannot believe how distressed I am by this. I have not come to any judgment; on the contrary, my first word has been to say that it was not true that you could have made statements so outrageous as to tend to put the one about whom you made them in an unjust light but as by excusing you in my thoughts I impute wrong to the one who has repeated them as coming from you, I need to be enlightened in order not to be unjust to anyone and to give each his share of the blame with which it is right that he reproach himself.
I add no other reflection so as not to expose myself to beating the air. I embrace you and await your reply with as much impatience as anxiety. Adieu.

Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 22 August 1825, EO VI n 195

Father Guibert replied with humility: “I have just received your letter to which you ask me to hurry my reply. I do so immediately so as not to add a second fault to the first. Father Jeancard has done nothing but repeat my statements in stronger terms… I ask God’s pardon for the sin I have committed and yours, my very dear Father, for the grief I have caused you and I am disposed to ask pardon from Father Honorat whom I have offended and to receive any other penance that you will wish to impose on me” PAGUELLE DE FOLLENAY, I, 146-147.

 

“The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.” Nhat Hanh

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One Response to THE PRACTICE OF PEACE AND RECONCILIATION

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Sometimes these daily reflections are not so easy to simply read and be with. It is not very difficult as I ponder what is written, to see myself. In truth, I am unable to dis-associate myself from this as is evident when I read it and am immediately reminded of when I have done this myself. And then I begin to conjure up all the possible reasons and excuses for having done what I did, said what I said. Like Hippolyte Guibert I have no true excuse and am filled with shame and sorrow. To disparage another to make myself feel better (for that is the only reason I can think that I might do this) does no good at all, least of all for myself. It simply leaves me feeling actually worse, smaller than before. It is my humanness, my weakness, my sin. “My sin is always before me” are the words that come to me (Psalm 51), I cannot raise myself up by putting down and stepping on another.

    I can but ask God to forgive me and more, to heal me of this affliction and give me the strength to not move into it again.

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