48th BIRTHDAY: I HAVE GROANED OVER A QUANTITY OF MISERIES; I THANKED GOD FOR MANY GRACES

The travelers arrived in Fribourg, where Eugene’s nephew Louis was boarding at the college of the Jesuits. Politcal events in France at the end of July obliged Eugene to remain until mid-November.

As you look at the date on this letter, you will recall my dear friend that I enter today into my forty-ninth year. I was busy yesterday, the whole day, with the thoughts that the circumstance of the end of my forty-eighth year brought to mind. I have groaned, as you can imagine, over a quantity of miseries; I thanked God for many graces

Letter to Henri Tempier, 1 August 1830, EO VII n 351

It had indeed been a difficult year for Eugene. He was in Switzerland recuperating from a serious illness that had left him weak and had kept him away from his work as Vicar General in Marseilles for many months. He was also mourning the death of Marius Suzanne and of his niece, Nathalie. From a political point of view, having had to react to the increasing anti-religious attitude and laws of Charles X’s government had also worn him out. As he “groaned” remembering the hardships, he was aware that he had never been deserted and that God’s grace had been his constant companion.

It is a reminder that we are never alone.

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 48th BIRTHDAY: I HAVE GROANED OVER A QUANTITY OF MISERIES; I THANKED GOD FOR MANY GRACES

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    On the surface this piece from Eugene’s letter on his birthday seems calm enough, but Frank’s listing of what Eugene has experienced hints at a different story. How do I react or respond to this? It is funny how these daily posts seem to lead me into looking at my own life more deeply and honestly that I sometimes care to do.

    Aware of all that Eugene went through and experienced I look at my own life to see how it fits. Did I, do I quit and give up, or do I manage to find hope and love and joy in whatever is happening? Eugene’s words that he wrote to Henri Tempier were not empty and written only to sound holy and good. So what does that look like in my life? Not feeling entirely comfortable that is for darned sure. There have been many times that I did not come out of it ‘smelling like a rose’ – but it does seem to get easier as I learn, it gets easier to see what God gives me and how I am never separated from him. I think of so many who have lost so much – their countries, their freedoms, their families and loved ones, and yet they somehow manage to find hope and gratitude for whatever they have left. They don’t give up.

    I have often wondered how people who do not seem to have God in their lives manage to continue on. God is my one constant, always there with me. Not just pious words. For Eugene they were very real. And so this morning as I step out again into the life of my day I give thanks – for no matter what God is with me. Happy Birthday St. Eugene.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *