We catch a passing glimpse into the affectivity of the busy Eugene in the midst of his many preoccupations: his need to express his attachment and joy at being able to share more deeply with some of his Oblate sons. This lifelong aspect of Eugene’s character was mirrored in his devotion to Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, with whom Jesus spent time in the Gospel.

I will explain myself subsequently viva voce, when I will have the pleasure of seeing you at Aix. You know with what abandon I love to converse with those of my children who, like yourself, deserve all my confidence and of whose attachment, either for me or for the Society, I am aware ….
I embrace you with all my heart and enjoin you to get well quickly. Adieu.

Letter to Marius Suzanne, 9 May 1827. EO VII n 270


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”    Henri Nouwen

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “…his need to express his attachment and joy at being able to share more deeply with some of his Oblate sons.” Many faces and memories pass my mind as I find myself reflecting on this one short phrase. I have spent the past 20 minutes thinking of them, some who I get to actually spend time with more often, and others who I must be content to love and be with in letters, thoughts and prayers. It gives a new meaning and understanding to the experience of “meeting and being with another in prayer”. Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend time with a friend who I love very dearly and who I get to see from time to time. But yesterday was a little special, the two of us talking, sharing a meal away from others, just catching up. God grants me such moments of intensity and love far more than can be merited. It never ceases to amaze me the extent that our hearts can expand when it comes to friendship and what that warm and tender hand looks like. A moment of profound gratitude.

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