Sending his greetings to all the Oblates, Eugene assures them of how much he appreciates being accompanied by their prayers on his journey.

I feel ever more each day the good effect of their prayers which, joined to the indignation which a whole lot of priests arouse in me by saying Mass in a manner that sickens the heart, will succeed in giving me a little fervour. Adieu.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 3 November 1825, EO VI n. 204

He was always insistent on liturgy that had to be celebrated in a manner worthy of its importance, and was always “sickened at heart” when this was not done and God was being dishonored. He expresses this sentiment again on his journey:

The following day, Sunday, we stopped at Tende, at the foot of the famous pass of this name, of which the summit was already quite covered with snow. I said holy Mass at the parish. In all my life, I have never seen anything filthier than the amice, alb and the altar linen; it was beyond all expression.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 8 November 1825, EO VI n.205


“Worship is a way of seeing the world in the light of God.” Abraham Joshua Heschel

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Yesterday at our retreat the bishop spoke of the presence of God in the liturgy, in the presider, in the Word of God (for when the the Word is proclaimed it is Christ himself who speaks), in the community and of course in the Eucharist. Of course he was speaking to the priests, but not only to them, he was most assuredly speaking also to all the members of this community, this family who had gathered together. At times it seemed (and was I believe) aimed primarily at the priests it was not limited just to them. I swear that a couple of times as he spoke I could hear Eugene speaking. When I go to church do I sit passively through the liturgy, mentally planning the rest of my day and thinking up responses in advance of meeting with those I will see. Do I celebrate the presence of God as the Word is proclaimed or do I perform a review of what I shall do when I return to work the next day? What are my thoughts as I approach the altar to receive communion? Is it just something that I am doing without thought, a habit of “what one does when they go to Mass”? Do I recognize that this is God physically touching me. A kiss, an embrace. How do I stand and celebrate the very presence of my God?

    He talked about how our God permeates this universe that we are but a small part of. How do we show our respect, how do we honor God in our liturgies, in our lives, in the very persons we meet, in the million and one little things that we see and do each day? In our very being? Not only how do we respect and honor our God, how do we do this with each other? How do we do this with our very selves. This brings the whole idea of self respect, of self love into an entirely new light.

    How do I see God? Where and when do I see God? How do I show my respect and my love for God in my worship, in my job, with my family, in my every day moments of breathing in and then out?

    Eugene speaking to us today is but a continuation of, a refresher, a review of what we heard and took in yesterday and as expressed by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

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