Eugene spent one semester on the faculty of the seminary and then returned to Aix to begin his priestly ministry. Shortly after this he spent time doing a retreat so as to focus himself in his ministry. His focus was clearly on the Savior:
I will take as model of this worship that I owe God, his adorable Son Jesus Christ our lovable Savior, for whom I will try to have the most sensitive of devotions and the most ardent love, having in my mind and even more so in my heart the memory of his generosity.
Each day he needed to consciously work at staying in communion with his Savior
And recognizing too that I am as incapable as I am unworthy of loving him, I will ask him this grace every day at Mass and one hundred times each day with this spontaneous prayer: My Jesus, give me your love. Ah! The battle will be won if I have this devotion to J.C., one that should be predominantly that of a priest…
All this, not as a self-centered devotion, but with a missionary intention:
My chief occupation will be to love him, my chief concern to make him loved. To this I will bend all my efforts, time, strength, and when after much work I have succeeded in winning from someone just a single act of love towards so good a Master, I will rightly consider myself very well rewarded.
Rule drawn up on my retreat in Aix, December 1812, EO XV n 109
“We cannot judge our prayer…by how we feel when we pray, but rather by how we are loving when we live.” Katherine Marie Dyckman