Eugene’s affectivity led him to be impulsive at times. When he realized that his words or gestures had hurt someone, he would be upset himself and he would immediately make amends.

Yvon Beaudoin explains one of these incidents:

“It is evident from the letters of 1826, that Fr. Suzanne fell ill in June 1826. Although not recovered, he remained superior of the community at Calvaire. In January, 1827, it seems (REY, I, 421) that the Founder, displeased with the lack of regularity of the community, humiliated Suzanne by removing him from his post right in the middle of a Chapter of Faults. He was probably then sent to Aix where he would have stayed before accompanying Fr. Tempier to Nimes from the 8th to the 14th of February… It was on returning from Nimes, February 14, that Suzanne began to vomit blood, during a brief stop at Aix. He was forced to remain there. Fr. Tempier returned immediately to Marseilles to warn Fr. de Mazenod who came “immediately” (REY, I, 423) to see the sick man. After the Chapter of Faults of January, a certain malaise existed between the father and the beloved son. This would explain the end of the paragraph in which the Founder seems to wish to excuse himself for having sent Fr. Suzanne to Nimes. He explains why he had not written at the beginning of the month (Fr. Courtès or others gave him news each day) and why he had not come, as was his custom, to visit the community, the first Friday of the month. He no doubt had not had the time nor had he deemed it opportune to give an explanation on this latter point during his lightning visit of the 14th, immediately after the haemorrhage of Fr. Suzanne.” (Footnote to EO VII n 263)

Writing to Marius Suzanne, during his convalescence, Eugene shows his relief tosee  him recovering :

I was not worried about your health, of which news was given me almost every day, and as my thoughts were at rest on this score, I put off to the next day my letter, which was not easier for me than the evening before. If I did not go to see you on the first Friday of the month as I had planned, it was because I perceived it would upset my uncle a little too much; it is a sacrifice that I had to add to many others of the same kind …

Letter to Marius Suzanne, February-March 1827, EO VII n 263


“There is no such thing as emotional incompatibility. There are only misunderstandings and mistakes which can easily be set right if we have the will to do so.”     Dada Vaswani

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find myself smiling a little as Eugene says “I was not worried about your health…” yet he received news daily which I am sure he did not ignore.

    I know what it is like to say or do something that hurts another – not the original intention directly, more of a reaction than a response to something, a carelessness born from frustration, tiredness, whatever. And unless amends are made a guilt and sorrow will eat away at your soul, one little wee bite at a time. Eugene seemed to know all of this very intimately. And there were always the matters at hand, the responsibilities that had to be attended to; “…it is a sacrifice that I had to add to many others of the same kind …”

    Dada Vaswani said “There are only misunderstandings and mistakes which can easily be set right if we have the will to do so.” There will always be one who takes the first step, one cannot wait for the other to make the move first. There will always be an element of risk I suppose of being misunderstood or even flat-out rejected, but then that might just be a part of the nature of loving another. There are images appearing before me in my minds eye of some who offered and allowed forgiveness and others who did not. There needs to be a letting-go of hurts and pride on the part of everyone concerned.

    I dare to ask for prayers for a friend Rosa and her family, she is very ill and I love her and indeed the family. My emotions seem to getting the best of me, with the deep sadness experienced yesterday over the deaths here in Ottawa and the witnessing the pain of Rosa’s family around her bed yesterday.

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