As Eugene finally prepares to leave Rome, he looks back at God’s presence and blessing in all that he achieved in the city.
If I were not intimately convinced that the good God was pleased to prepare the way for me and open all hearts to me, it would truly be something for me to pride myself about, when seeing the eagerness, the esteem and affection that everyone has shown to me during my sojourn in this capital of the world. Thanks to the Lord, I have not been even tempted with this vile pride; but to say that I have not been satisfied and consoled by this welcome in general, would be to lie; on the contrary, I have experienced a habitual feeling of joy and gratitude for, I must tell you, from the workers, the brothers, etc. all the way up to the Pope, they have all vied with one another to see who would give me the most tangible signs of attachment or affection.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 April 1826, EO VII n 237
“Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy.” Henri Nouwen