THEY WILL ALL HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT MEN ARE NOT MADE OF IRON AND THAT EVEN IRON WEARS OUT

The father of the Oblate family frets about the welfare of his Oblates:

Night and day the labours of our Fathers are on my mind and I cannot put it at rest. It is not possible that they are bearing up to it: it tries me truly and cruelly. How long then will last this so highly rated Jubilee in our blessed city of Aix? I see Suzanne from here forcing his voice in that large church of Saint Sauveur. How could his chest not suffer thereby? And Courtès is he not also forcing himself, although preaching in a church less vast?
At least let no one think of joining to this work any other work whatever. Make your plans ahead; it is absolutely indispensable and I absolutely wish that they rest an entire month after such excessive fatigue.
When I say rest themselves, I mean a total interruption from preaching for those at least who are at it for such a long time and the others who will have been tired by shorter work but still above their strength. You will quite simply have to refuse any proposal and not fear to give the reason why, they will all have to understand that men are not made of iron and that even iron wears out.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 13 April 1826, EO VII n 236

 This concern is built into our Rule of Life today: “The community will provide its members with opportunities for recreation, rest and relaxation.” CC&RR, Rule 39b

 

“Fatigue makes fools of us all. It robs you of your skills and your judgment, and it blinds you to creative solutions. It’s the best-conditioned athlete, not the most talented, who generally wins when the going gets tough.”      Harvey Mackay

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One Response to THEY WILL ALL HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT MEN ARE NOT MADE OF IRON AND THAT EVEN IRON WEARS OUT

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Poor Eugene. There he was in Rome so very far away from his beloved family, hearing what was going on back in France, with the Jubilee celebrations and the involvement of his sons. He knew all too well how easy it could be to try to do too much. He knew too well that although they were all labors of love, they were still labors.

    Filled with love and fueled by zeal it can become very easy for the best of us to sometimes take on too much, to ‘push’ ourselves too far. I am reminded of the time when Eugene stayed behind and the others went out of the church (I think for a procession) and sitting in the the chapel praying in front of the statue of Mary which we now call the Oblate Madonna. In doing that he allowed God to give him a wonderful gift and steadying hand in his relationship with Our Lady. Coming to terms with his own personal limitations – something we all have to learn to do. We hear of Jesus having to ‘pull back’ and go and rest.

    If I wear out I will be of no use to God or anyone else. I am on holidays right now – and the things back home that need to be done will get done for there are many who are just as capable as I, and many more I am sure who are much more capable. I am grateful for the wonderful sleep I am getting each night and the time spent with my sister, the fun we are having simply doing little things together. God is most surely smiling upon me.

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