WHO IS SAINT EUGENE? THE PRIEST WHO AIMED TO LOVE WITH THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

Impelled by a force from outside of himself, Eugene left Aix and followed:

The vocation that called me to dedicate myself to the service and happiness of my neighbour, whom I loved with the love of Jesus Christ for people.

Diary, 31 March 1839, E.O. XX

1808 Seminarian in Saint Sulpice, Paris:

I dedicated myself to the service of the Church because it was persecuted, and because it had been abandoned.

Letter to his father, 7 December 1814, E.O. XV n, 129

21 December 1811, ordination to the priesthood in Amiens:

You, you alone will be the sole object to which will tend all my affections and my every action. To please you, act for your glory, will be my daily task, the task of every moment of my life. I wish to live only for you, I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you. I despise riches, I trample honours under foot; you are my all, replacing all else. My God, my love and my all: Deus meus et omnia.

Notes made during the retreat in preparation for priestly ordination, December 1-21, E.O. XIV n.95

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One Response to WHO IS SAINT EUGENE? THE PRIEST WHO AIMED TO LOVE WITH THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I come here late this morning, having spent the night at a Sleep Apnea clinic, being wired and monitored for breathing, eye movement, leg movement, dreams, etc. Loss of control in a way – for in my sleep (or lack of) I have no control of anything. I thought this morning of prisoners and those crowded into refugee centres and camps who daily live this reality.

    And then to come here, tired, late, and feeling a little overwhelmed with the work load this week – to be able to read Eugene’s words – a gift that stops me in my tracks and inspires and compels me to thank God for Eugene and for all that I have been given. “The vocation that called me to dedicate myself to the service and happiness of my neighbour, whom I loved with the love of Jesus Christ for people.” This resonates within me and echoes quietly in my heart. Does it look like this for me? How do I dedicate myself to the service and happiness of my neighbours? Not perfectly but his I try to do, and when I succeed a little there is joy. “…whom I loved with the love of Jesus Christ for people” – is this how I love?

    “You, you alone will be the sole object to which will tend all my affections and my every action. To please you, act for your glory, will be my daily task, the task of every moment of my life. I wish to live only for you, I wish to love you alone and all else in you and through you. I despise riches, I trample honours under foot; you are my all, replacing all else. My God, my love and my all: Deus meus et omnia.” I love this prayer for it too fiercly echoes my heart although in truth I don’t think I have ever gone so far as to say or think about despising riches. I remember after my conversion experience feeling that “I was called to love” and not understanding or knowing how I would live that out. I did know though that it was only in my giving all of my love and myself to God that I would be able to love others – it began and ended with God, in God – it was all about God – and so it is today. I didn’t speak out loud about it much for it scared me. Then years later to meet St. Eugene and to hear him speaking and writing something so close to my own thoughts and feelings – to give words to what I have lived and continue to try to live. That is such an immense gift just as is today and though I feel tired and a bit out of sorts – God continues to give me exactly what I need and want. This morning I thank God for the very gift of life and for Eugene, who has become such a father to me and for the brothers and sisters that have also been given to me. There is a richness here that blesses me daily. This is part of the ‘daily bread’ that I, that we are given. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”

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