Just because a person has had a strong religious experience, and is in a process of discernment as to how to live it out, it does not automatically mean that life gets any easier. As much as one needs spiritual direction one also needs companionship from peers on the journey. The need for this deep type of companionship was always present in Eugene’s life. Here he demonstrates this need for support to his friend Emmanuel de Claubry:
And now, shall I speak of myself? Yes, but only to ask for your prayers, to give you the charge expressly to persevere in asking God to accomplish in my regard the adorable designs whose outcome I impede by my infidelities; that he might knock, prune, reduce me to desiring only what He wills, that He might overturn all the obstacles standing in the way of my arriving at a more perfect state to which I strongly believe I am called.
May he give me the grace of recognizing ever more clearly the vanities of this miserable earth, so that I see only those heavenly goods that the moth cannot corrupt. In a word may he make me worthy of the communion of saints and have me assume the place among them that he seems to have destined me for, but which it seems to me I am still far from deserving.
How I wish I were in a position to talk more clearly with you! You would be a help to me not only by your prayers, but also by your example, and at your side I would be more courageous in the battle and more assured of victory.
Letter to Emmanuel Gaultier de Claubry, 23 December 1807, EO XIV n 22
“We must learn to speak according to our own inner truth, as far as we can perceive it. We must learn to say what we really mean in the depths of our souls, not what we think we are expected to say, not what somebody else has just said. And we must be prepared to take responsibility for our desires, and accept the consequences”