We continue exploring the question of what gave Eugene the inner strength to keep him going. He begins his letter to Tempier by clarifying a statement he had made in a previous letter that could have been interpreted wrongly:

I begin, my dear Fr. Tempier, by rectifying a statement of my last letter which would be too absurd and ridiculous were I not writing in intimacy and trustfulness to a friend, the confidant of my most secret thoughts; certainly I would not have let it slip out with any other person. When I said I was not sinning, I meant to say that I was sinning less; the reason for this is quite simple.

He then explains that, when one is doing something important for God’s work, it is essential to live as closely united to God as possible. He used all means at his dipoosal to do this.

First, while busy with our affairs, I have tried my best to profit from all the extraordinary and manifold graces of the Jubilee.

As we have seen in previous entries above, he went out of his way to benefit from all the religious ceremonies connected with the jubilee year. Then he was consciously aware of the religious history of Rome, and that he was walking on the same streets as countless martyrs, saints and pilgrims had walked in their desire for a deeper experience of God.

Besides, everything here reminds me of the great examples of the saints who seem to be still living for those who go about this city with a measure of faith.

Thirdly, he never lost focus of the reason why he was working for the approbation of the Oblates

Moreover, having in my hands an affair of the utmost importance, of which the consequences must so influence the building up of the Church, the glorifying of God and the sanctifying of souls, an affair that hell must thwart and which can only succeed thanks to a very special protection from God, to whom alone belongs the power to touch the hearts and guide the wills of men,

For these reasons he had the duty to live in a conscious awareness of the presence of God: God

I have had of necessity to convince myself that it is my duty to do all in my power to live in the most intimate state of union with God that I possibly can and be resolved in consequence to be faithful to his grace and not give cause for grief to his spirit.
As things stand at present, the least voluntary infidelity would seem to me a crime, not only because it would be displeasing to God, which doubtless would be the worst evil, but still more because of the consequences it could bring about.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 10 January 1826, EO VII n 217


“All human experiences make up God’s humble path to us”        T. Dunne S.J.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I remember when I went to Aix and what it was like to walk the same roads that Eugene had used, to look and see in some ways the same things that he saw as he went about his daily business of giving his all to God. Perhaps I experienced in a small way what Eugene was experiencing in Rome as he walked and prayed, as had so many saints and martyrs before him. Eugene’s experiences were changing him, transforming him, just as I was being transformed by the experiences given to me by God. Each of them personal and yet tied-in with, connected and a part of everyone else around me. When I went to Montreal to ‘experience’ a sculpture depicting different people gathered together for an event, each separate and yet connected, physically and spiritually, emotionally. Finding my family and friends in those images, finding myself in those images, past and present. A back and forth type of movement of my very self. Experiencing very profoundly how we are all, each and every one of us, connected with the other(s) in and with and through God. I am reminded of St. Paul when speaks of how we are all different parts of the same body.

    Perhaps that is why this morning if feels like it is more than just reading about Eugene’s experience of prayer and how he feels he must live -in and with and for God.

    We each of us speak of the roads we take, the journey that is unique to us, one that we must make on our own. And yet we do it together, while it remains profoundly intimate and personal, but not alone, rather shared somehow with the other. One of those WOW moments, a huge heart-stopping moment with Dunne’s statement. “All human experiences make up God’s humble path to us.” I think that perhaps it really is as Dunne suggests. Here we are, all one in God, united in God, with God and with each other. Perhaps indeed it is because we are walking, journeying, experiencing “God’s humble path to us”. Again and always God being the initiator, God starting it, God’s path laid out for us. That is enough to sit and reflect on for hours and days. I am reminded of the Magnificat, the greatness of God.

  2. Manuel Aguilar Jr. says:

    I had this prayer of St. Eugene de Mazenod I forgotten it & I hope you can send to me the whole prayer. Because when I fell lost I just recite it & it makes me feel ok.

    May the good God’s plan for me be carried even though in my infidelity I thwart them. Let Him strike me or use the knife on me only let Him make me do what He wants. May He destroy the obstacles to that better state to which I’m sure I am called and gave me the grace to realize how empty this world so I will seek nothing but the things of heaven which moth cannot destroy.
    I am full of good intentions oftentimes I am satisfied if I do no more than make them. I yield at times to my own inclinations

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