The excessive zeal of the Oblate missionaries had a tendency to drain their physical energy – and to lead to disagreeable consequences. An exhausted missionary makes for a useless missionary. Once again, Eugene expresses his concern for the welfare of his brothers, and for those entrusted to their care.

 … In wishing to do too much, a person makes himself powerless, and then what detriment of the spirit does not ensue? He is obliged to live in a manner quite earthly, he cares only for his body, no more for the Rule and very little for regularity; that is all one gains. The superiors look at the wreck and dare say nothing for fear of aggravating the evil, even by giving some simple advice that might annoy the member, expose him to murmuring and thus be detrimental to soul and body both. May God deliver then our brothers from all such misfortune, may at least they do nothing to draw it upon themselves.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 26 August 1826, EO VI n. 252


“All parts of the human body get tired eventually – except the tongue.”   Konrad Adenauer

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of the line “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” and it might well apply here too. I have thought of what happens to me when I get tired or worn down because I can get fearful, angry and impatient. I tend to do half a job rather than the whole thing, my thinking gets ‘skewed’ and my attitude – that is not pretty. And all the while life around me seems to be moving at an accelerated rate. I become unhappy and not so loving. In other words, it shows. I have mostly thought of myself without consciously focusing on how it affects those around me, my community, my colleagues, my fellow parishioners, all those I love and serve. And of course it must affect them because we are all so connected in Christ, in love. Whether its out of a need to try and escape something and so ‘over-doing’, or out of a kind of ‘zeal’ (because I do not tend to think of myself as zealous) I need to stop, or most likely I need to have someone tell me to stop and look after myself. Just as Eugene had done so well this morning.

    This morning quite literally I slept in, I was tired and the bed felt too good. I got up in a rush and my computer took ‘way too long’ to boot up so all the while I kept looking at the clock. I finally made it here to this place and I had to smile. God giving me another opportunity to look at myself and say hey – where am I going right now? But with a new twist that God would be sure to make me sit up and take notice. How is it affecting those I love, all those around me that I walk with? I am ever so grateful how I am able to connect with Eugene for indeed he speaks to us, to me.

  2. Ken Hart says:

    One of the key pieces of the FranklinCovey planning system is a standard entry on the weekly plan for “Sharpen the Saw” It encourages us to plan four types of activity each week: Physical exercise; Social/Emotional activity; Mental activity other than work; and Spiritual engagement. Very reminiscent of the entries here by Father Santucci and Eleanor.

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