WHO IS SAINT EUGENE? EUGENE, MINISTER OF GOD-GIVEN HUMAN DIGNITY

1813: The beginning of Eugene’s preaching to the most abandoned

Come now and learn from us what you are in the eyes of faith.
Poor of Jesus Christ, afflicted, wretched, suffering, sick, covered with sores, etc., all you whom misery oppresses, my brothers, dear brothers, respected brothers, listen to me.
You are God’s children, the brothers of Jesus Christ, heirs to his eternal kingdom, chosen portion of his inheritance…
…let your eyes see for once beneath the rags that cover you, there is within you an immortal soul made in the image of God whom it is destined to possess one day, a soul ransomed at the price of the blood of Jesus Christ, more precious in the eyes of God than all earth’s riches, than all the kingdoms of the earth, a soul of which he is more jealous than of the government of the entire universe.
Christians, know then your dignity…

Notes for the first instruction in the Church of the Madeleine, E.O. XV n. 114

But called by my vocation to be the servant and priest of the poor to whose service I would like to be able to devote my whole life, I cannot help being touched when I see the eagerness of the poor to hear my voice;

Instruction at the Madeleine on the fourth Sunday of Lent, E.O. XV n. 115

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One Response to WHO IS SAINT EUGENE? EUGENE, MINISTER OF GOD-GIVEN HUMAN DIGNITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I always love to read, to hear Eugene’s Lenten homily from the church of the Madeleine, I hear it from inside and from outside. I refuse to be side-tracked and derailed by the limitations of the language lest I miss completely his message. I guess I choose how I will hear and what I will take in. I think of Josh Groban’s song ‘You Raise Me Up’ and how Eugene’s words describe our being brought into the light. There is a certain truth to them and to hear that we are indeed brothers and sisters of and in Christ, inheritors to his realm, his beloved. Not something we have to work towards, to earn, but something that we are and that we live out of. “…know then your dignity…”. There are a couple of decisions to be made here, of what we can and will take on. I find myself saying ‘yes’ and choosing life.

    “But called by my vocation to be the servant and priest of the poor to whose service I would like to be able to devote my whole life, I cannot help being touched when I see the eagerness of the poor to hear my voice…” This is incredible honesty and more than one level, I think of some of the ‘poor’ whom I am graced to be with, see the hope dawning from within them, see them through and with eyes of the heart, eyes of love. To want to be able to share what we have and who we are. This love is so much bigger than I would ever have been able to imagine on my own, so vast and all encompassing.

    I am struck once again by the immensity God’s love for us, and how it transforms who we are. I look to Eugene and see it within him, his words, how he lived and how he lives on, his spirit shared and living within us. Called. There is great joy, and freedom in all of it. I find myself over and over again filled with and living out of gratitude. I find myself singing bits of Foley’s “Dwelling Place”, sung with equal measures of joy and gratitude, strength and peace.

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