IT IS NOT FOR YOU, IT IS FOR THE CHURCH

Father Courtès was chaplain to a high school in Aix. As a result of the government’s anti-religious measures it appears that he was ignored at the annual prize-giving ceremony. Eugene responded:

… If next year the convocation is to be presided over by the same man, you will have good reason to spare yourself the misery of being in attendance. I hope that public indignation will do justice to this outrage which makes me throw my arms up at the pity of it.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 26 August 1828, EO VII n 312

It must be made very clear that Eugene was not looking for personal honors for the Oblates or for himself. In the growing climate of hostility against the Church, it was the office and role of the chaplain that Eugene wanted honored, not the person. By ignoring Courtès, they are ignoring what he represented: the religious aspect of the life of the school. This is why Eugene refers to “public indignation at this outrage.”

Yvon Beaudoin, in a footnote to this letter writes: “Fr REY (I. 452) transcribes, at the same time as he modifies, another passage of this letter in which there is question of Fr. Suzanne, being named canon by Bishop Fortuné de Mazenod. The Founder received this nomination favourably, writes Fr. Rey, but on condition that

nothing be changed either in the costume or in the style of life and, at the first sign of the superior, one would strip oneself without flinching of what one had only accepted by obedience and by conviction of the opportuneness thereof for the common good.

Any honors bestowed on Oblates were to be seen as being for the good of the Church, and not for the individual.

 

“When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn’t for you. It’s for the Presidency.”   Harry S Truman

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One Response to IT IS NOT FOR YOU, IT IS FOR THE CHURCH

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find myself focusing almost totally on the second half of this posting, both and most especially in what Eugene wrote and what Frank has added. “nothing be changed either in the costume or in the style of life and, at the first sign of the superior, one would strip oneself without flinching of what one had only accepted by obedience and by conviction of the opportuneness thereof for the common good.” and “Any honors bestowed on Oblates were to be seen as being for the good of the Church, and not for the individual.”

    These both point to me, my life, how I handle change(s) and my motives for doing some of what I do and how I do it.” It is all mixed, the good and the not always so great. Why I live and love as I do, why I give as I do. I sometimes get sidetracked by myself or with myself – and then I need to be pulled back, reminded, challenged. That is so very often what I get here in this place and one of the reasons I return each morning, day after day. I am reminded a little of St. Paul and take heart.

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