At the beginning of September Eugene had written to Father Mie insisting that he take a period of rest. A month later, not only had he not taken a rest but had become involved in another pastoral commitment that upset all Eugene’s planning and commitments for his men. Exasperated, he lets off steam.

… What has got into your head, my dear Father Mie, acting as you do on the spur of the moment, seeing only what is before your eyes and constantly forgetting every detail of the directions I gave you. In the name of God, keep with scrupulous exactness to the plan laid down in advance which embraces all our operations as a whole. You well realize that if each went his own way as he felt like, we would have no possibility to make things go as they ought to go, and I cannot play around with Bishops who have had the esteem to wait for our decision before arranging the Jubilee in their dioceses, simply because it pleases you to prolong indefinitely a mission for countless reasons which seem good to you, and which are no longer so the moment they disturb the general order with which you ought to comply first of all like everybody else.

Again, the instruction to take a break and come back to community life for a time.

… So take care not to undertake the mission of Saint-Laurent; you will need rest on your return from Montdardier. When will you begin it and when will you finish it? You have forgotten that I have sent word to you by Fr. Tempier that you must be available for All Saints and that you must be rested by that time from your latest work; now, if you undertake this mission of Saint-Laurent, when will you find time to rest? So speak no more for the moment of this mission or of any other. On returning from Montdardier you will stop at Nimes to take a rest with Fr. Moreau, if you do not prefer rather to go to Aix or Marseilles where of strict necessity you must be on the 23rd so as to make with us the regular retreat which begins the 24th.

Concerned that perhaps he has been too harsh, Eugene expresses his fatherly concern and affection.

Adieu, very dear Father Mie, do not be annoyed at what I have said to you as my conscience requires; rest yourself well and do not delay to come to embrace us, you and our dear Fr. Moreau whom I greet as well as yourself.

Letter to Pierre Mie. 2 October 1826, EO VII n. 255


“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”   Goethe

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “…take a break and come back to community life for a time.” As members of a family, of a community, what we do affects not only ourselves but those around us. It would seem to be our strength and our weakness. For myself, well I seem to need the reminders of others when I tend to over-extend myself, or when I decide (with only the best of intentions) to veer off on my own, or when I try to “do” too much for a myriad of reasons. I need the reminders, the love of my community to slow me down, reign me in, to remind me of the rest of the community and how my absence, illness or running off on my own affects them. There is a certain humility that is needed and I dare say obedience to be followed. As I sit here this morning I am reminded that it is not all about ‘me’ and that I am but a small part of something much bigger. And as it was for Pierre Mie it all comes about in tenderness and love, but only if I am open to that and able to let go of ‘myself’. We all bring our whole selves to a community, but we also at the same time leave a certain amount of our selves behind. I am just thinking it is how we come before God, why would we be any different or less than that with our brothers and sisters?

    This morning again feeling the tug to slow down and enter more deeply into prayer. I suspect that it is not about the “doing” but rather the “being”. I also suspect that it will not happen by walking away from my community and searching for something on my own but rather by entering into perhaps more softly and also more deeply.

  2. Ken Hart says:

    Yet another example of why spontenaity is good but planning, even to the point of including time to renew, is better.

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