I DO NOT KNOW WHICH SENTIMENT PREDOMINATES BUT I AM NOW AFFLICTED, NOW CONSOLED, SAD AND SERENE

Two Oblates had died within four days of each other: Philippe Dumolard and of Victor Arnoux. Eugene gives us a glimpse of his personal reactions – a reflection of our own when faced with the death of loved ones.

So now our dear Dumolard, who had given us so much hope, who had shown an affection for the Society that one would scarcely find in several of our older members, has been taken from us. Our blessed Father Arnoux, model of all the virtues, heroic in observance of the Rules, as spiritual as he was holy, has gone to take possession of Heaven at the age of twenty-four years and five months, leaving us as desolate over his loss as we are edified by his coming amongst us. I do not know which sentiment predominates but I am now afflicted, now consoled, sad and serene. To be separated from one’s own costs more than one thinks, but to have the certitude that they are in Heaven, and that they have arrived there by the path which we march, oh! what a sweet thought!

Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 29 July 1828, EO VII n 308

 

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”   Washington Irving

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One Response to I DO NOT KNOW WHICH SENTIMENT PREDOMINATES BUT I AM NOW AFFLICTED, NOW CONSOLED, SAD AND SERENE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene was so gifted at speaking to what is within each of us – a mixture of bad and good, sadness and joy, of the true nature of both life and death. It would seem that to have and know one, we must also experience the opposite. In truth I would not know the same levels of joy and delight had I never experienced the dark and the painful.

    These past few days in this place has brought up many memories around my parents – not all of them good and loving, in fact tenderness was most often not a piece of the picture. But still there is a sadness that things were not better and more loving for I would like to have experienced that with them. They were my parents. And co-mingled with that regret there is also a deep quiet peace and consolation that they are now with God, very much in an embrace of tenderness that perhaps they themselves never knew in life but that with death there is freedom to come to know such love.

    I can certainly echo what Eugene wrote; “I am now afflicted, now consoled, sad and serene”. I am a little surprised that I am able to love them as I do – certainly not of my own accord but most surely a gift from God. Being able to be here in this place is I think to be healed. wow.

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