Shaken by the deaths of two Oblates in quick succession, Eugene wrote to the overly-enthusiastic and impetuous Honorat with advice on how to look after himself, pace his work and plan his work more carefully.

Changing the circumstances to our own situations, let us allow Eugene to remind us to take the same precautions in our daily lives.

I have nothing urgent to tell you, if it be only to reproach you for the excess of work which you have taken upon yourself. You do not think of it until the moment of departure but you must also think about your stay and calculate all that has preceded and which must follow. As to that, you have failed in foresight, which is also quite a virtue.
Now rest yourself, take care during the retreat to observe the Rule and prepare subject matter. It is necessary that you write and the others also. Let each provide himself first with enough for a retreat. That is to say, prepare the subjects that one deals with ordinarily in these kinds of exercises; as for you, see to it that you do not exceed the hour. You have great need at this time to rest your voice; so, do not consent to preach. Do not fear to give this reason and be adamant in refusing. Do not ask me for men for Nimes.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 15 August 1828, EO VII n 310


“He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.”   Victor Hugo

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Such excellent advice that Eugene has for us. I am pretty good at planning and organizing – but it is the resting part that I seem to fall short on. It feels good to be needed and wanted – to be liked. It can seem to signify love but even as I write this I know that is not true.

    Balance. Having just come from reading a short daily message from Richard Rohr where he wrote of the extremes of some of the desert fathers and mothers where I told myself balance was most certainly needed. But Eugene has brought it from the spiritual plane to the ordinary of every day living. Another thought occurs – I am not called to be, I am not anyone else’s Saviour. Jesus has done that. I can get lost in that labyrinth of daily life and head off in a lot of different and wrong-for-me directions.

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