Eugene’s letter to Fr. Jeancard continues on the question of his not being happy to have been assigned to Aix.

Apart from all these supernatural considerations, which yet have their weight, one should know humanly speaking how to behave oneself and make virtue out of necessity. That is what all people of good sense do.

Then with a touch of humor he writes:

I have seen soldiers who would not be keen on going to Algeria but they went as calmly as the others. A stay at Aix is not as torrid as in Africa and one is not exposed to cannon shot.

He then encourages Jeancard to make the best of the situation by using all his many talents for the mission entrusted to him.

Seriously one cannot commiserate easily with the fate of him who is wherever duty keeps him.
So, dear friend, seeing that I cannot do other than leave you there, be intent on busying yourself with tasks that are in conformity with your vocation. Do not waste time gazing at the moon [ed. “à bailler aux corneilles]. Work, you have too much talent not to be gravely responsible for any inaction which nothing can justify in my eyes. Now that you are sufficiently refreshed by the little outing you have just had, get to work as if short of time, as indeed we are in this fleeting life, in the short span of which we have to fulfil our mission

Letter to Jacques Jeancard, 4 June 1830, EO VII n 346

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    My mind this morning continues to reflect on the gift that it is to say ‘yes’ to God most directly but also through one’s Superior General, Provincial, Superior, etc. to the Holy Spirit. Is it any different in having to do what you are assigned to by your boss, or by even your parents at one time or another. And I think of how we all get to those times in our life when we would rather be somewhere else – for whatever reason. It is precisely those times, at least in my life, that God seems to work overtime within me. Oblation, surrender, obedience – in the end saying ‘yes’ just as did Mary when the angel appeared to her, as did Jesus and as will Eugene in the not too distant future from the time he writes this letter to Fr. Jeancard.

    I look at some of the Oblates that I know in this time and place, who have been ‘sent’ to work in a specific field, doing a very specific task and when that would not have been their first choice. I look at how they have often become more alive because of their obedience, I look at their gifts of being to those they minister to and walk with. The gift that they are in themselves to others and how we all flourish by coming to know them.

    My own sanctification does not come necessarily with me being all alone, doing what I want, when I want and where I want (big or small) – it only comes with others, and it only comes (I believe) when I have struggled in a way, when I have had to let go of something. I think for a moment of the resurrection which could not happen without first there being the crucifixion.

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