Eugene describes the carriage journey from Genoa to Rome to Henri Tempier.
I was so happy during my journey! The Lord had made me experience so much happiness at the altar to which I ascended every day, in spite of the beautiful discourses, the reasoning to the skies of the Jesuit Father who travelled with me, and to whom coffee at three o’clock in the morning was as indispensable as the fresh air he had to breathe.
Eugene is referring to the law of complete fasting from midnight in order to be able to celebrate Mass and receive Communion during the day.
Our spiritual exercises, our conversations in a coach where we were all four invested with the priesthood, the pleasure of meeting twice a day at the inns with four others, Carmelite discalced religious, who travelled along with us and yet again, besides such company, the habit of interior recollection which gave me the facility of transporting myself in spirit either to be with you or at the bishop’s house, or in our houses and on the missions.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 26 November 1825, EO VI n. 208
The “habit of interior recollection” is something that we come across regularly in his diary: the ability to become aware of God wherever he was, no matter how much activity there was around him, and through this “oraison” to be in communion with his Oblate community in a deep way.
“I hope to have communion with the people, that is the most important thing.” Pope John Paul II