Let us work truly for God, I say this once more concerning our Jubilee at Aix. Let them keep instructing and converting and, if possible, to take some means in view of perseverance. For that it would be necessary that our houses be better furnished with members, my God! Let us pray to good effect so that the Father of the family send us workers to cultivate the vineyard he has confided to us.
This grace is one which is for our good Mother to obtain for us for the glory of her divine Son; let us ask for it from her with fervour and perseverance.

Eugene then makes a sad observation of how some of the priests of his time in southern France saw priesthood as an opportunity for the advancement of their well-being and that of their families.

What we need are men who have finished their studies, philosophers and theologians but people of this kind see in their grasp treasures which are going to rain on them; when with their parents they used to eat only a little whole meal bread and onions and now they think themselves destined to become columns of the Church.

This was not to be the case with Oblates – and explained why they got fewer vocations.

What grace they need to acquire truer and more reasonable ideas!

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


“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.”   John Burroughs

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I seem to remember Catherine de Hueck Doherty once saying to her priests “open your hearts to the world so that they may trample through” (not an exact quote but close enough). I have never forgotten that because I thought at the time, and still do, that what she was saying was not only for the priests but for each and every one of us. Not only was she telling the priests to open their hearts so that others might enter in, nothing so dainty or clean or socially acceptable, simply to open their hearts so that everyone could trample throught them, with the muck and grime and struggles of life. No personal gain or advancement here. Sadly I was not called to that life but took so much away from there that would eventually guide me to the Oblates and St. Eugene.

    I think of how Eugene loved and who he loved. I think of the picture he painted of those he loved in his Lenten Homily at the Church of the Madeleine. No worldly advancement in any of this – and yet what could be more attractive and inviting? What could be more beautiful or bring more joy? It would seem somehow that our vocation, our call from God and the response of yes, the living of the that ‘yes’ brings incredible joy and peace, strength and consolation, passion and fire.

    I find myself thanking Eugene this morning, for ‘taking me in’, I was one of those ragamuffins that life is so full of. He has shared his very spirit with us, with me. With him, walking with the Oblates – it will never make me wealthy in money and worldly things, but what I have been given – priceless! My heart smiles and sings this morning. While the world sometimes tramples through it, the garden of my heart seems to be thriving and growing wildly, vibrantly alive and lush with love.

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