In his convalescence Eugene wrote:
I would have believed, my dear Father Honorat, that either Fr. Tempier or Fr. Courtès would have kept you informed of the state of my health; it is improving so slowly that it is still impossible for me to keep up with my correspondence.
At the moment of receiving my letter, you will be enjoying the presence of our dear Fr. Tempier; it is with regret that I have substituted him in place of myself for the visit that he is making to you; but one must be submissive in everything to the will of God, even if it means staying for the whole of one’s life in the state of nothingness in which I find myself.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 9 August 1829, EO VII n 335
Being in harmony with the will of God was one of the themes that we find constantly in Eugene’s writings and spirituality – “even if it means staying for the whole of one’s life in the state of nothingness in which I find myself.”
What a striking sentiment from a man who was always on the move, always a dynamic leader, always busy with God’s work. If God is going to use me in my state of nothingness, then so be it…
It is the conviction of one who saw the world through the eyes of the Crucified Savior. It is the belief of one who had been embraced at the foot of the Cross, some 22 years before, and was able to unite himself with the “nothingness” of Jesus hanging on the Cross. If that was how God wanted to make use of him in the world, Eugene was willing to cooperate.