I NEED TO BE SMUGGLED IN AMONG GOOD VIRTUOUS PEOPLE LIKE YOU

Exulting in the goodness and virtue of his Oblate sons, Eugene realizes his own lack of virtue in comparison with theirs.

What virtue do you wish that I perceive in myself? Alas! I have no illusions! … since this tree only produces flowers but no fruits. Believe, my children, that I have need of you all so I can try and be smuggled in with such good quality people.
Never tire then to urge all your people on to the most sublime virtues of our state. A total abnegation of self, a great humility which, joined to the zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, to a great esteem and entire submissiveness towards our Rules, through which we ought to reach our goal, will truly make us achieve this.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 31 May 1826. EO VII n 247

 

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”   Billy Graham

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One Response to I NEED TO BE SMUGGLED IN AMONG GOOD VIRTUOUS PEOPLE LIKE YOU

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Why on earth would Eugene say he has no virtue himself – but rather he needs to be smuggled in among the others for there to be good? I mean the man is now a saint. But as I sit and ponder I come to think that maybe I do understand him and why he writes as he does to Hippolyte. It is like when I say that on my own, by myself I can do nothing. But with God, with the community, I come alive. God has given me as gift to my community and has given the community as gift to me. The ‘I’ only being realised in the ‘we’.

    Eugene seems to be saying – forget about ‘just yourself’. ” A total abnegation of self, a great humility which, joined to the zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, to a great esteem and entire submissiveness towards our Rules, through which we ought to reach our goal…” If I am to spend all of my time and energy only looking inward at my sinfulness, at my failures and weaknesses – or if all that I see is my own goodness, my own greatness – then I am missing the boat and there is something very wrong. Because then I do not see God or anyone else. It is by being in and with God that there is any goodness. It is in being a member of my community, where I live, that I grow and become alive, in God and in all of you. It is in the ‘we’ that the ‘I’ comes alive and to be.

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