On the difficult journey in Rome towards approbation of the Oblate congregation, it was Eugene’s intimacy with God that gave him the strength and blessings he needed. This was especially the case when he became one with Jesus in Communion at Mass.

It was especially at communion, when our divine Savior is on the point of giving us the utmost proof of his love that I was prompted to abandon myself to all the sentiments that his divine presence and the immensity of his mercy inspired at that precious moment in my miserable soul, never better felt than when I see him not despising a sinner like me.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 February 1826, EO VII n 224


“Jesus didn’t say, ‘Blessed are those who care for the poor.’ He said, ‘Blessed are we where we are poor, where we are broken.’ It is there that God loves us deeply and pulls us into deeper communion with himself.”     Henri Nouwen

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning I have spent my time reflecting more on my own brokenness, more on my being a sinner than I have on the words of Eugene or Henri Nouwen. I look at Jesus on the cross and then at Eugene and think of how he truly was a Cooperator of the Savior. And rather than asking what was Eugene’s poverty, for I am sure he was poor, I find myself looking at my own brokenness, my own sinfulness. When God lifts me up so that I may be there on the cross beside him do I try to arm myself against the pain of rejection by not so secretly congratulating myself on being where I am, or do I sit in that sorrow with him and love from there. I who have been loved so perfectly by God seem unable to return that love, to live that love in anything that approaches a perfect manner, for always my needs, my smallness of heart gets in the way. It is distressing at best and yet there is nothing that I myself seem to be able to do to change it. At most I can but run to the foot of the cross and ask to be picked up and consoled. My own poverty is not a beautiful or even comforting thing. This morning I come before God once again, to give of myself this day, my oblation, my gift of self which is so small and poor, broken – yet I offer who I am hoping, expecting, knowing I am about to picked up and embraced. It is not holy or perfect or anything near that, but it is where I am meant to be, where indeed I want to be and it is all that I am truly capable of. I think this is where I am poor. I know it is where God loves me and pulls me into deeper communion with himself.

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