Despite all the bad news coming from France, his concern for the safety of those close to him and his own health difficulties, it was Eugene’s relationship with Jesus that was the source of his strength.

I found, my dear friend, your letter of the 17th on my return from a short walk. Although I expect each day more bad news, when they arrive it is impossible to ward off a profound impression of sadness, especially when domestic sorrows come and pile themselves on top of the burden already too heavy to bear. I will say to you however that I am not discouraged and that I am afflicted without being laid low. It seems to me that Our Lord will help us by his grace to endure all our sorrows.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 23 August 1830, EO VII n 359

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning even before reading the last line I thought of St. Paul – interesting how often I pair Eugene with Paul. Today Eugene finds his consolation in the Lord, just as did St. Paul when he was in prison – both finding in Jesus the strength and courage to remain where they are called to be.

    I have been volunteering on updating the Necrology for our Province and so meeting and getting to know a little about the Oblates who first came to this country and then later those who followed them. In such a strange land with only sporadic contact with their homelands, they were powerless to affect changes with families back at home; as powerless as were their families to affect change for them. There were no emergency flights to rescue family and friends, there were no miracle drugs to cure our illnesses or the sicknesses that loved ones were experiencing. It would seem that we have in our time many alternatives to try before turning to God. And yet…

    How do I handle separation from those I love, especially when times are difficult? How do I handle it when a dear friend that I love deeply seems hell-bent on destroying the life he/she has been given, and even though that person lives close to me there seems to be a deep chasm between us? In reality I can try to run and ignore the problems, or I can try to run and ‘fix’ the problems, or I can sit where I am called to sit and allow God give me what I need to keep loving and carrying whatever the burden or sorrow is. Not always easy, but it is the only way that my heart will be consoled.

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