The Oblates were conducting a mission among “poor abandoned mountain people,” and the team wanted to prolong their time with them. Acknowledging their generosity, he still demands that they not prolong the mission and take a period of necessary rest.
I knew well that you would have all the trouble in the world to disengage yourselves from the Cévennes. This country is attractive for missionaries starved for the salvation of souls, but in the undertakings you propose to me I see that rest has not been taken into account.
Now it is just as necessary as work. I prefer no doubt that you employ your zeal in favour of the poor abandoned mountain people rather than waste your time with the proud citizens of disdainful cities. But, once more, I cannot dispense you from taking the rest which is your due by natural right.
Letter to Pierre Mie, 7 September 1826., EO VII n 253
“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” Herodotus