With a heavy heart, Eugene brought his difficulties to prayer during his celebration of Mass. In this letter he shares with his confidant and confessor, Henri Tempier, a deep experience he had of God’s closeness. This text is one of the rare glimpses we have of him speaking about the intimacy of his relationship with Jesus, his “good Master.”

This morning, before communion, I dared to speak to this good Master with the same freedom that I would have had if I had had the happiness to live when he walked on earth, and if I had found myself in the same predicament. I said Mass in a particular chapel, I was not distracted by anyone’s presence.
I exposed to him our needs, asked his light and his assistance, and then I surrendered myself entirely to him, wishing absolutely nothing else than his holy will. I took communion in this disposition. As soon as I had taken the precious blood, it was impossible for me to resist such an abundance of interior consolations that it was necessary, in spite of my efforts not to reveal before the brother server what was going on in my soul, to utter sighs and shed such a quantity of tears that the corporal and the altar cloth were saturated.
No painful thought provoked this explosion, on the contrary, I was well, I was happy and if I did not have such a heavy heart, I would believe that I was loving, that I was grateful. This state lasted quite a long time; it was prolonged during my thanksgiving, which I good sense made me shorten.

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

“May the Lord give to all of us the grace to not be afraid of the consolation of the Lord, to be open: ask for it, seek it, because it is a consolation that will give us hope, and make us feel the tenderness of God the Father.”    Pope Francis

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I sometimes wonder if we, well I, don’t always ‘enter into’ and accept the consolation that God so readily offers is because I am afraid. Afraid that I don’t deserve it; afraid that there might be a price to pay for it; afraid that my troubles are too small for God to notice them; afraid that the doubts are real; afraid even to really ask. The list could be endless.

    The words “you of little faith” come to mind as a small rueful smile spreads throughout my heart. I sit here this morning thinking of the times that I have trembled inside and when tears have flowed freely, both within my heart readily viewable if there would be anyone around me to see them. They can be tears of joy and of sorrow; tears brought forth in response to seeing immense beauty or in response to the goodness of another. There are times when the tears come and I am not sure why they are there for they come when I ‘sit with my God’, during moments of secret heightened awareness and I feel as if I have been given an immense gift – so great is it that I cannot always put words to it and only my heart properly recognizes it. Whether I call it contemplation (entering into the presence of God) or oraison (sitting with God) it is utterly personal – intimate.

    I reread Eugene’s words and find a key that my heart responds to; “…and then I surrendered myself entirely to him, wishing absolutely nothing else than his holy will.” There it is, the letting-go of self and offering myself in any way that the Holy Spirit asks of me; a most perfect stance. For it is only in this stance that clears the clutter and that I can recognise who and where I am. This is how to enter into the presence of God, how to sit with God.

Leave a Reply

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